A dear friend of mine from church had been encouraging me to homeschool ever since I first asked her about it, and while I didn't initially start homeschooling, she never judged my decision, but quietly kept herself involved in my life. Looking back, I think this was just the support and encouragement that I needed. I will never forget the Sunday before Thanskgiving when I stopped her before the church service and said "I did it. I took Anna out of school!" She hugged me and promised to help me in any way she could.
This friend has three children - and she homeschooled each of them up until the sixth grade, at which point she sent them to an exceptional private school in our area. This year marked her last year of homeschooling, so a few weeks ago she invited me to her home to pour through her resources - jackpot! As we sat on her basement floor pouring through boxes of books, games, etc..., I asked a lot of questions and she offered advice to me. One of the things I had expressed some concern about was science. Yes, last year I had purchased the science curriculum that came along with the Sonlight Core 3 Newcomer package, and I really liked some parts of it, but this coming year I wanted to do science together with my Kindergarten and Fourth Grader. It sounds like a stretch in age range, but my friend had a great idea and I am going to try it this year!
On a few occasions this past year, we have read a Magic School Bus book together. We even did a complete lapbook about sharks based on "The Great Shark Escape". Check out what a great job my daughter did here. Both of my children enjoyed the book, and also enjoyed several of the Magic School Bus movies from the library during the year. My friend "willed" me her complete set of The Magic School Bus books and suggested I take a book every two weeks and go in depth with it by supplementing with other library books, experiments, and videos. She said I had better do it this year because my oldest may not be interested in The Magic School Bus after this year. I am so excited to begin! If you aren't familiar with The Magic School Bus you should really check it out. Miss Frizzle takes her students on a school bus to impossible places of learning - inside the human body, to the moon, and to the ocean floor to name a few! She is quite likable and the adventures are fun and interesting. There are also activities on the Scholastic website to support a lot of what you do, including experiments, games, video clips, and much more.
Now, if you want a science curriculum for the little ones with everything ready for you, this may not be it. But, if you are like me and enjoy having a "spine" and then being creative from there, this just might be the thing for you. Check back to see where the bus takes us this year!