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More About the RealScience-4-Kids Curriculum

Realscience-4-kids Elementary Science Curriculum

What People Are Saying:

As one of the first Charter Conversion schools in the state of Ohio, GDA - Graham Digital Academy - is a change agent for rigorous, relative, and personalized curriculum. Our homeschooling families ordered several of your elementary Biology texts, workbooks and we were THRILLED! The information imparted is excellent! We have perused hundreds of texts, curriculum over the last forty years and I must say, your material is the best we have seen for our younger learner. Please send a catalog of all you offer!  Congratulations for providing copy, illustrations, and explanations that are miles ahead of the competition. We are impressed!         

– Marcia B. Ward, Principal
Graham Digital Academy, August 11, 2008

My kids thought the "titrations" were fun and easy [Chapter 5 experiment]. Even my six year old had fun collecting "data." The word "titration" used to bring fear to my heart when I took college chemistry, and now I even understand it! Now, when my kids have high school or college chemistry, they will already be familiar with the terms and concepts and won't be afraid of taking the "hard" classes.

I'm thrilled that my kids had the opportunity to be involved with this curriculum because they will learn what most people think of as "difficult" concepts of science. My kids learned the vocabulary and concepts so fast, and they didn't think it was any "harder" than building models or riding a bicycle or playing marbles!

Pam Chesebrough, pilot test family, regarding
Chemistry Level I, used with her two boys ages 6 and 9.

I am a graduate student in Physical Chemistry at The University of Wisconsin-Madison, with three years experience lecturing at the college level, plus seven years as a teaching assistant at the college level. I gave my final exam for RS4K Chemistry I to my own children over the weekend. I've been totally impressed with the program.

I never thought of teaching my kids science because I was always unimpressed with the "Gee, lets throw some baking soda in vinegar and watch it fizz" where you never saw “Why” the soda and vinegar fizzed. I had resigned myself to waiting until my kids knew some algebra before I started teaching science.

My oldest daughter was ready to do pre-algebra so I thought I'd start I was looking for some Jr. High Level science for her. That is when I saw the RS4K chemistry text. I looked at the table of contents and said to myself, "This looks like a Freshman College text book" and then looked at the content and saw "This is grade school level." I was very impressed on how Dr. Keller was able to remove the math from the material without loosing the “Why” things are happening.

When I’ve shown this material to the profs here at UW-Madison, the normal response is an incredulous, “You are teaching this to grade-school kids!??” They are all just as impressed with the quality of this material as I was when I saw it.

My kids all enjoyed the class immensely. I taught my oldest four (1st grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade and 6th grade) and they all got a great deal out of the course. The older ones had worked through some other texts with my wife, but still learned much more from this course. My 1st grader had a little trouble with some of the material, but overall she did very well. It was very easy for my 4th and 6th graders and was perfect for my 3rd grader.

I’ve already purchased the Biology I text and am going to do this class over the summer -- The best time to teach Biology! When you can go digging muck out of the lake and look at it under a microscope. ;-) I showed the text to one of my friends who is a bacteriologist and she was just as impressed with it as I was with Chemistry I, so I’m looking forward to another good experience.

– John Bak, Madison WI
from the RS4K Discussion Forum, May 19, 2003

Just wanted to let you know that I have been teaching RS4K Chemistry Level I to my children ages 10 and 11 and we are absolutely loving it! I have to admit that the only Chem background I have is my 8th grade year of Middle School but my children and I are learning so much!! My son looks so forward to this class. He is comprehending everything and really getting the picture of how it all fits together. We were doing a lesson on Chemical Reactions today and he was comparing it to the motor on his go cart and started talking about oil mixing with gas and making combustion. He says that he loves doing the laboratory manual. We have done all the basic science stuff and I have never seen them so excited about science and this is very refreshing because it is challenging. This has impressed me to no end. The children are actually thinking for themselves and having a great time! Thanks so much for writing this and we look forward to doing Biology next spring.

Beth Bowman, Tennessee
May 2003


Introduction

RealScience-4-Kids is a comprehensive science curriculum geared towards the elementary grade levels.  The Level I set includes basic Chemistry, Biology and Physics.  In this set, fundamental concepts are introduced and will begin to form a solid science foundation.  Upon completion of this set the students should be able to answer questions such as:

  • What is an atom?
  • What is a molecule?
  • What is a pure substance and what is a mixture?
  • What are the parts of a plant or an animal?
  • How do we classify living things?
  • What is inside a cell?
  • What is energy and how is it converted between its various forms?
  • What is force and work?
  • What is an electromagnet?

Each of the three sections contains ten chapters divided into two parts. The first part of each chapter is a short introduction of basic science concepts and fundamental facts.  The second part is a hands-on activity designed to incorporate the concepts introduced in the first part of the chapter.  These are actual science experiments in which students propose a hypothesis, collect and record data, and finally state conclusions based on the data they've collected.  In this section, the students are instructed how to keep a laboratory notebook, how to collect and analyze data, how to use "controls" and "unknowns", and how to state valid conclusions. Each chapter concludes with a review of terms that reinforces the science facts presented in each chapter. 

The Level II set expands and deepens the concepts presented in the Level I set. It overlaps with Level I so that multiple grade levels can be taught simultaneously.  Upon completion of this set the students should have a solid foundation of science facts, and have learned the ability to think critically about scientific experimentation and theory. return to top


About the Author

Dr. Keller is a homeschool mom and active research scientist. She received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of New Mexico in 1992 and is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at UNM. She has spent the last eight years working in the areas of Molecular Biology and Biophysics at UNM and UC Berkeley. She has also been judge and Chairman of the Junior Microbiology Division for the New Mexico State Science Fair for six years.

As a homeschool mom for three inquisitive children she has spent hours trying to bring the excitement of active science discovery experienced in the lab to the kitchen table. She has found the delight her kids show while collecting, plotting or analyzing their "data" to be one the most rewarding gifts of homeschooling. With these things in mind, she has written this curriculum to instruct and excite the minds of other inquisitive youngsters in the area of science. return to top


Mission Statement

Science is an area where most homeschool parents feel overwhelmed and under qualified, but it doesn't have to be that way. The goal of this curriculum is to provide the basic knowledge and structure so that every homeschool teacher, no matter what his or her background, can give students a good understanding of what science is and what it says about the world around us. Children are naturally inquisitive and want real answers to their questions. They are also naturally inclined toward hands-on experimentation. Our approach is to combine these two natural interests to guide students into scientific thinking and actual science investigation. The main purpose of the curriculum is not to turn every student into a scientist. Rather we hope to equip students (and teachers!) with enough foundational knowledge so that they can think critically about the world around them and evaluate for themselves the various claims and counter-claims they will encounter in daily life.

Science today is a huge enterprise, and even the most highly trained scientists are not masters of it all. Scientists today are specialists, and are usually very narrowly focused in one small area. But despite the volume of science information available, the fundamental concepts are simple and can be easily grasped even by the elementary school aged child. By building a solid foundation in the basic science areas of Chemistry, Biology and Physics, students will be able to understand a much broader range of science topics (e.g., environment issues, weather, space travel, etc), and will be prepared to go on to more advanced scientific training. Also, by thinking critically about the nature of scientific investigation, students will gain an appreciation for both the exciting conclusions and predictions of science and the limitations of scientific explanation. return to top


The Results

The author, Rebecca Keller, used the Chemistry and Physics Level I curriculum with her daughter Kimberly during her fourth grade year. At the end of the year Kimberly took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) that is administered to public, private and homeschool children across the nation. While Kimberly scored at or slightly above her grade level in most subjects such as reading, math and vocabulary, she scored in the 99th percentile overall for science and her grade equivalent was11.3. return to top


Questions about RealScience-4-Kids

How does this curriculum differ from what is already available?
The RealScience-4-Kids curriculum differs from the materials currently available in two ways. First, the Level I series is designed to lay a foundation of science information through a systematic introduction of basic science facts. This curriculum is not a "special topics" approach which can lead to seemingly disconnected topics being grouped together. Instead, the building blocks of each of the three main science disciplines of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics, are presented in a logical fashion. We believe that this approach helps students' to better understanding and remember the important concepts. The Level II series builds and expands the basic building blocks given in Level I by introducing many new facts and concepts. Second, the RealScience-4-Kids curriculum stimulates scientific inquiry through hands-on experiments. These experiments are not merely demonstrations, but have been carefully designed to engage the students in actively using the concepts they learn in each chapter. The experience of actually making scientific "discoveries" will also help students develop critical thinking skills. return to top

Can I teach this curriculum without a science background?
Yes! The RealScience-4-Kids curriculum is designed to be self-sufficient and most of the concepts are very simple. A complete teacher's manual is provided. It includes much additional information about the concepts and terms introduced in each chapter, together with complete instructions for the hands-on experiments. In the student work/text book new science facts are introduced sequentially in each chapter, building on previous chapters. Additional reading materials (beyond an encyclopedia or dictionary) are suggested and can be helpful, but are not required. return to top

Do I need special equipment to do the experiments?
For the most part, no. Most of the experiments have been designed to require only household items, and additional equipment, such as a microscope, is optional. A complete materials list is given at the beginning of each book. If a microscope is not available, those experiments can be easily skipped. For all of the experiments that will be performed a list of materials is given. To facilitate the execution of the experiments it is recommended that all materials be collected prior to beginning the curriculum. return to top

How much time do I need to complete this curriculum?
The RealScience-4-Kids curriculum contains a total of 60 chapters--ten for each of the three basic subjects Chemistry, Biology, and Physics--in each of Level I and Level II. Each level can be completed in a single year. Biology and Physics should be taught following Chemistry since Chemistry introduces concepts discussed in both Biology and Physics.

Most of the chapters can be completed in one or two days. The text sections of each chapter are typically four or five pages in length and can be read in a single sitting. The experimental sections can be discussed on the first day and performed the same day or the following day. Some experiments require a week or two of observation and/or data collection but these are not generally time-consuming. return to top

What age does my child need to be to follow this curriculum?
The Level I set is geared toward third to fifth graders, but this is a target age that may depend on the skill levels of individual children. For Level I the students should be familiar with numbers and be able to read and write. Level II is geared toward sixth to eighth graders and requires some basic math skills. return to top

When will the Curriculum be available?
All three Level I modules are now available with Level II planned for the future.  Sample chapters are available as downloadable .pdf files from our website at (www.RealScience-4-Kids.org.) return to top

Can I review the curriculum before I buy it?
Sample chapters are available as downloadable .pdf files. Also, Access Research Network offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee on all of it products. If you are unhappy with the products for any reason, you may return unused products for a full refund or exchange. All you pay is the shipping costs. return to top

Where can I buy the curriculum?
The RealScience-4-Kids Curriculum can be purchased from the Access Research Network website(www.arn-rs4k.org). You can order using a credit card through our secure web site, or by calling our toll-free order number at 1-888-259-7102. return to top

Is the curriculum available in electronic format?
Biology Level I first edition was released in electronic format and is currently available as a closeout item. Each disk will be licensed for use by the entire family, allowing an economic alternative to textbooks. You may print any number of copies necessary for your family teaching needs, or work right from the computer. Both Biology 1 second edition and Physics 1 are available in print edition only. return to top

How much does it cost and when will it be available?
Available Now:

Level I Second Edition (Grades 4-6)

Available:

  • Chemistry Pre-level I (Grades K-3), Level I (Grades 4-6), Level II (Grades 7-9)
  • Biology Pre-level I (Grades K-3), Level I (Grades 4-6)
  • Physics Pre-level I (Grades K-3), Level I (Grades 4-6)

Future Plans :

  • Biology Level II (Grades 7-9)
  • Physics Level II (Grades 7-9)

Release Dates To Be Announced.

Does Access Research Network offer any other educational products?
ARN offers many books, videos, and posters on science, technology and society issues from an Intelligent Design perspective available from our website. Most of our other products are best suited for junior high students and above. Of particular interest to homeschool teachers are:


What topics are covered in the Level I Curriculum (Grades 3-5)?

Chemistry Level I: Table of Contents

  • Getting Started
  • Keeping a Laboratory Notebook
  • Chapter 1: Matter
    Experiment 1: "What is it made of?"
  • Chapter 2: Molecules
    Experiment 2: "Making Marshmallow Molecules"
  • Chapter 3: Chemical Reactions
    Experiment 3: "Identifying Chemical Reactions"
  • Chapter 4: Acids, Bases and pH
    Experiment 4: "Making an acid-base indicator"
  • Chapter 5: Acid-base neutrilization
    Experiment 5: "Vinegar and ammonia in the balance: an introduction to titrations"
  • Chapter 6: Mixtures
    Experiment 6: "Mix it up"
  • Chapter 7: Separating Mixtures
    Experiment 7: "Black is black?"
  • Chapter 8: Energy Molecules
    Experiment 8: "Show me the starch"
  • Chapter 9: Polymers
    Experiment 9: "Gluey goo"
  • Chapter 10: Biological molecules: Proteins and DNA
    Experiment 10: "Amylase action"

Biology Level I: Table of Contents

  • Getting Started
  • Keeping a Laboratory Notebook
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
    Experiment 1: "Putting things in order"
  • Chapter 2: Cells: the unit of life
    Experiment 2: "An examination of the cell"
  • Chapter 3: Photosynthesis
    Experiment 3: "Take away the light"
  • Chapter 4: Parts of a plant
    Experiment 4: "Colorful flowers"
  • Chapter 5: How a plant grows
    Experiment 5: "What's up -- what's down?"
  • Chapter 6: Protists Part I
    Experiment 6: "How do they move?"
  • Chapter 7: Protists Part II
    Experiment 7: "How do they eat?"
  • Chapter 8: Metamorphosis Part I
    Experiment 8: "From tadpole to frog"
  • Chapter 9: Metamorphosis Part II
    Experiment 9: "From caterpillar to butterfly"
  • Chapter 10: Our balanced world
    Experiment 10: Making an ecosystem


Sample Chapters

The following sample chapters are available for download. The are provided in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format and require Adobe's Acrobat Reader for viewing.

  • Chemistry I - Student Introductory Material (719 kb) download
  • Chemistry I - Teacher's Introductory Material (486 kb) download
  • Chemistry I - Sample Chapter 8 - Text (551 kb) download
  • Chemistry I - Sample Chapter 8 - Teacher's Manual (517 kb) download
  • Chemistry I - Sample Chapter 8 - Lab supplement (153 kb) download
  • Biology I - Student Introductory Material (806 kb) download
  • Biology I - Teacher's Introductory Material (476 kb) download
  • Biology I - Sample Chapter 6 - Text (2609 kb) download
  • Biology I - Sample Chapter 6 - Teacher's Manual (870 kb) download
  • Biology I - Sample Chapter 6 - Lab supplement (158 kb) download

More Information

To receive more information on RealScience-4-Kids, please add your email address to the ARN-Announce electronic mailing list. ARN Announce is a free subscription service provided by Access Research Network. Designed to help keep our users up-to-date on current events in the world of origins and design, ARN Announce provides news on current events, speaking engagements, new product releases, educational resources, site updates, and anything else pertaining to intelligent design, in a convenient and efficient manner. By receiving ARN-Announce, you will be kept informed of developments and upcoming availability of the RealScience-4-Kids curriculum, as it becomes available. return to top

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