About the program:
R.E.A.L. Science Chemistry (level one) is designed to be used by students in the 2nd – 5th grade for a full year of study. The text (available in bound, loose-leaf, or e-book format) contains:
For My Notebook Pages – These page are to be read either aloud by the teacher or by the student himself. These present the new material and vocabulary.
Lab Sheets – These are the sheets that the students complete as they are performing the labs.
The Instructor Pages – These pages contain the supply lists and detail the laboratory procedures.
Poem Pages and Crossword Puzzles – One of these is included per unit for reinforcement of vocabulary and concepts.
This program is very clearly laid out, and the explanations make the chemistry concepts understandable.
This photo is of part of Lab #2: Telling Things Apart. The objective of this lab was to learn about physical tests and chemical tests and to determine which were more effective in telling the difference between 3 white powders: baby powder, powdered sugar, and baking powder. The lab sheet was clearly laid out, making it easy for my daughter to record her data and draw her conclusions. I also want to point out that we are using regular kitchen materials. A word of warning, these labs are not quick. This one took my daughter over an hour. She enjoyed it, even though she was resistant at first. (She has this crazy idea that she doesn’t like chemistry, which is not allowed in our house.)
The course also contains other hands-on activities like making element models from marshmallows and making an element book.
Why you might not like this book:
You won’t like this book if you don’t want to do hands-on-activities. They are time consuming, but an absolutely essential part of this program. If you’re looking for a book to read about chemistry for younger students, this is not a good choice.
You might not like this book if you don’t want to do any lapbooking type activities. These types of activities do not make up the majority of the activities, but you would be skipping too much of the text if you left them out.
You won’t like this book if you’re looking for a Christian chemistry text. We are a Christian family, and we do tend to use Christian science texts. However, I think that chemistry is the easiest science for a Christian to use a secular text, because it doesn’t involve discussions of the origin of the earth or the origin of life, like geology and biology do.
I am planning on going back to our regular science to finish this year, BUT will come back to R.E.A.L. Science Chemistry next year for my older daughter and younger son. I would recommend this program to people who don’t fall into the categories I mentioned above. If everyone had such a fun, early chemistry experience, maybe there wouldn’t be so many chemistry hating people in the world!
How to order:
You can order R.E.A.L. Science in an e-book format directly from Pandia Press. They list the advantages of an e-book on their website. One of the advantages is a lower price. This text is only $47.99 in the electronic format, plus you don’t pay shipping.
But honestly, for a book this size, I would recommend a paper copy. You will need to be printing almost every page anyway, so unless you’ve got a VERY low cost way to print (the book is 431 pages!), you won’t be saving any money buying the e-book. Plus, you are permitted to make copies of the pages for your own family’s use, so you don’t have to worry about buying extra student pages. (That’s assuming you have an easy and inexpensive way to make copies.) There is a list on the Pandia Press website with links to suppliers that sell the printed copies. The price varies, but I did notice that Rainbow Resource currently sells R.E.A.L. Science curriculum for $38.50 for either loose leaf or the bound format.
Disclosure: This product was provided to our family for free as members of the 2009-2010 Old Schoolhouse Magazine Homeschool Crew. Reviews and opinions expressed in this blog are our own.
By Kristen H.