This post may contain affiliate links.
We are huge fans of science in our house if you haven’t noticed. A few years back I discovered Real Science 4 Kids and have used it a few different times throughout our homeschool journey. We always tried the younger versions, but they have some great options for older elementary grades in their Exploring the Building Blocks of Science series. In fact they have programs for up to high school! Their newest product, Exploring the Building Blocks of Science book 7 will be released at the end of this month. We have been using their 4th grade homeschool science program as we start out our school year.
Why I Love Real Science-4-Kids
What drew me to Real Science-4-Kids initially is that they teach difficult subjects at a young age. They start chemistry, biology and physics in the earliest years and I just love that! I struggled a bit with those subjects in high school and college, so I would love for my kids to have the building blocks of that knowledge at an earlier age so it makes more sense to them when they do more advance science. We started years ago with the Chemistry course. It is fun and perfect for little ones! I like also the fun hands-on learning aspect of it. They include a lot of interesting experiments that really help teach the concepts.
What a 4th Grade Homeschool Science Lesson Looks Like
Our 4th grade homeschool science set came with three books: a Teacher’s Manual, a Student Textbook and a Laboratory Notebook. You can view samples of the curriculum here. It has 22 lessons that cover a range of topics including chemistry, biology, physics, geology, and astronomy. There are 4 lessons in each topic and an intro and conclusion lesson.
With just 22 lessons, I would say this would be done once per week, especially since each lesson includes an experiment. Or, you could break it up and do it twice per week with the reading on one day and the experiment on the other day.
In the Teacher’s Manual, it starts with an overview of supplies you need for the lessons and experiments. Then it goes through each lesson with an outline of what to teach as well as some discussion question str ask your kids. It gives the learning objectives and the experiment instructions. I like the teacher manual. It is thin, easy to use and not too overwhelming.
For each lesson, there is a chapter to read in the Student text book. The chapters are not too long (5-8 pages) and are easy for kids to understand. Depending on their reading level, they could easily read it on their own if needed. I read them with my daughter. The chapters each introduce a new topic. For example we did chapter 12 which was about light. We learned about waves, photons, visible light and color and the colors of atoms.
After completing the reading, there is a related experiment in the Laboratory notebook. For this experiment we were using prisms and shining a flashlight through it as well as catching the sunlight in it. We compared the difference to see how the prisms reflected light with each. The lab notebook has experiment instructions, questions to fill in, spaces for drawing what happened and explanations for what happened in the experiment.
As I mentioned, each lesson includes an experiment. I love doing experiments with my kids and they also love it. The experiment part of science is what really brings science to life. The Real Science-4-Kids curriculum includes a lot of fun experiments for kids!
I will say, though (just as a warning) that some of them take a lot of pre planning and supplies to acquire, especially the Biology portion. To name just a few, you need a butterfly kit, worms and snails, a tadpole kit, a model robot kit, a model rocket kit, prisms, and jellybeans. While all of these are easy to acquire online, you have to plan way ahead!
The Science of Prisms
Since we had some prisms already, we decided to work on the sections about waves and light in the Physics portion. For review purposes, we jumped around a bit to get a eel for the program. Both were great experiments and my kids really enjoyed learning about them as well as doing them together!
Do you know how prisms work? I was surprised to see that they did not work the same with a flashlight as with the sun! When we shined the flashlight through, there were not really any rainbows, but the light was bent and made pretty patterns.
Sunlight, however contained all of the different wavelengths of light and includes all of the colors in a spectrum. As the sunlight passes through the prism, each wavelength of light is bent by the prism and separated from the others. The light leaving the prism is arranged by color according to wavelength from shortest (violet) to longest (red). Since they are different sizes, they travel at different speeds and bend differently.
Raindrops work in the same way which is why we see rainbows when it rains!
Discounts & More Details:
Take a minute to check it out! They are also offering some great incentives! They have a $20 payback reward toward your purchase for any referrals you make. Also, through this referral link you can get 30% off through September 30th. After that date it drops to 15% off.
Still interested in learning more? Watch this interview with the author Dr. Keller for more background on the curriculum.