2023 Science Olympiad State

Posted on

Cedar Springs Homeschool, our team, won second place in the Tennessee State Science Olympiad, held on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville. Our son won gold in Solar System and Crave the Wave. Our daughter won silver in Flight.

Teen cubing at Science Olympiad

Between events, in the homeroom

Teen girl Science Olympiad

Waiting between Flight and Bridge

We are proud of their achievements – overall, as a team, and individually. Our children did their part to help the team win second place out of the best 15 teams in the State of Tennessee. Continue reading »

Medals from Regionals

Posted on

The medals our team earned at the Regionals in Science Olympiad (SO) came in, finally. We forgive the organizers for forgetting to order them in time to distribute during the awards ceremony last month. It is hard to imagine how one would forget to order medals when one organizes a competition, but we will be gracious and give them our thanks for all their efforts in putting together such a massive effort as SO Regionals.

Claire with medals

Our daughter with her two golds from SO Regionals

Our son put his on – four golds and a bronze – but he did not want to be photographed. Then, he took them off. He said it felt good to have them, but not getting them on the day of competition took away from their aura. Continue reading »

Dodgen Invitational, Science Olympiad

Posted on

Last week, our children participated in the Dodgen-Walton Science Olympiad Invitational, together with their team, Cedar Springs Homeschool. This invitational happens at the Walton High School in Marietta, GA. We compete against teams from public schools, private schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and there was another homeschool team, as well.

Cedar Springs Homeschool Team

Cedar Springs Homeschool Team for Science Olympiad

Invitationals are tough competitions which we attend in order to learn. We build on this experience. By the time we go to Regionals, State, and (hopefully) Nationals, we feel prepared. Continue reading »

Science Olympiad – Facebook Live

Posted on

Science Olympiad does not equal Science Fair. Many people have never heard of Science Olympiad and they assume it is a glorified Science Fair.

Occupy Mars

His Occupy Mars hoodie reflects his interest in rocket science, which he can hone during Science Olympiad.

Science Olympiad is a national tournament where teams compete for prizes and trophies after they qualified within their state. Every state declares one winner. The winners meet at an annual event, usually on a university campus. Last year, for instance, they went to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Continue reading »

Generation Genius Science Curriculum

Posted on

Today I want to tell you about Generation Genius science curriculum. This program consists of 36 videos, 12 minutes each, on major science topics that we should cover in grades 3-5.

Every video comes with a lesson plan, a vocabulary list, a teacher guide, and activities to do before and after watching the video. Generation Genius was produced through a partnership with the National Science Teachers Association.

Generation Genius Videos

My children watching Generation Genius videos

My children will be in 3rd grade and 5th grade respectively this Fall, so this curriculum fits our needs very well. I can see how younger or older children would like it, too. The videos entertain, besides delivering solid scientific concepts. Continue reading »

2016 Aquarium Science Classes

Posted on

This is our fourth year attending science classes at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. It’s a bit shocking for me to write that, but it’s true. Four years already? At first, it was only my son and I going there. My mom was living with us at the time and she kept my daughter, age three at the time.

Boy and girl at Ripley's Aquarium

Before the class, they look at the fish.

The following year, they each attended their own class, but soon the Preschool class was canceled and my daughter joined my son in the K-2 class. Last year, they were perfectly matched to the K-2 class, as my son was in second grade and my daughter in Kindergarten. Continue reading »

Science4us.com Review

Posted on

Here we are again, talking about science. Science4us.com is a wonderful online curriculum for K-2 which can also be used in grades 3rd-5th for review of key concepts. It was developed in 2010 and has since received several awards. The Department of Education gave them a grant for game-based learning innovation and they used it well.

Science4us.com activity

Science4us.com activity

This is an online curriculum so once you pay ($7.95 per month) they will send you login information and you are good to go. Once logged in, you can choose from four books: Life, Physical, Inquiry, and Earth/Space. Inside each book, you will find different modules which can be picked up in random order. Once inside a module though, you should start from the top left and work your way down through the activities in order.  Continue reading »

Science in the Ancient World Review

Posted on

Berean Builders Publishing, Inc. produced Science in the Ancient World by Dr. Jay Wile. It is my privilege to write a review about this elementary science curriculum.

First off, this science curriculum is written by a scientist who is a Christian and believes in Creation, not evolution. Secondly, this curriculum can be used with multiple students on different levels. The review questions are written for three different types of students, from more mature to the youngest ones. As such, this curriculum keeps the family learning together and it exposes the young ones to vocabulary while challenging the older ones to grasp scientific concepts on their grade level.

science in the ancient world

Last summer, I attended a seminar by Dr. Wile regarding the teaching of science in grades K-6. In short, Dr. Wile gave parents permission to skip science and focus on math in these early grades. Why? Because science is all around us and math is the foundation of later studies in science.

Young children will ask questions about animals and plants, stars and planets. If you take them to the library and find books to answer those questions, you have just done science. Nature walks are another way to do science in the early elementary grades, of course. And if your budding scientist keeps a nature journal, that’s all the science you need in grades K-6.  Continue reading »

Science4Us.com Review

Posted on

I have written here before how science is not my cup of tea and how I delegate it as much as I can. One of the ways to delegate science is to buy a Science4Us.com Online Subscription. Science4Us.com has made it easy for me to integrate science in our homeschool routine. I am excited about this product because we have been using it in our homeschool for the past couple of months and it has helped me so much.

Not only has it given me hope that yes, I can actually homeschool even though I don’t like teaching science, but it has also given me time. You see, the children tutor themselves through a series of interactive activities on the computer screen and I have time to myself. Don’t get too excited. It’s not uninterrupted time. In fact, I am in the same room, doing things that allow me to pay attention to what they are learning. Why? Because there are discussion questions and, as my son reads them off the screen, they expect me to lead the discussion.

The kids are watching one of the short video presentations on science4us.com

The kids are watching one of the short video presentations on Science4Us.com

But at least I get some housekeeping items out of the way while they homeschool. When was the last time you swept the floor or checked your emails while your children were learning? One must remember my children are three and six. As such, they need a lot of hand-holding throughout their learning activities. But not with Science4Us.com.

I think it also prepares them for the future, when they will walk themselves through new material and only come to me with questions. At least, that’s the future I envision and hope for.

The online subscription, which is only $7.95 per child per month, allows you access to the full curriculum which consists of four books of science – Inquiry, Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth/Space. Each book breaks down into units, which break down into modules. There are 28 modules total in Science4Us.com. For my children, it takes about one hour to finish a module. They are not bored and it goes by fast.

If you were to follow their lesson plans and if you had a larger group of students, each module would take two weeks to teach in 30-minute increments. This curriculum was designed for either a classroom setting or a homeschool setting. So you make it your own.

This is what we do: my son is six and he handles the laptop. My daughter is three and she just sits there, watching it all unfold and learning by osmosis. Pun intended. We log in and I let them choose whichever module they want to do. He walks them through the screens, which are interactive and intuitive. Now and then they ask for help and I am right there, so I help.

Science4Us Review
I have not used their lesson plans because I feel the material they cover through the online lessons and our offline discussions and activities is plenty for my children’s age. By the way, Science4Us.com is geared toward grades K-2, but children in grades 3-5 can also use it as a thorough review of prior knowledge.

If you were to use all the teacher materials provided, you would do a thorough job of teaching science. They give you a description of each lesson, core concepts covered, essential vocabulary and even professional development in the form of videos or a PDF. So even if you are shaky on some of the subject matter, the professional development area for each lesson plan will equip you to teach with confidence.

Each module is structured according to the 5-E instructional model. Thus, you will have Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. Engage is the part where the students activate prior knowledge, so that the new concepts will be connected to something they might already know. Through a short video and a quick exercise where they are asked to circle items that give natural light, for instance, they are then ready for a teacher-lead discussion.

Science4Us Review

Explore follows the same pattern: online activities which the students can do on their own, followed by offline discussions and offline activities. Explain represents the core of your lesson and teaching.

Under Elaborate, several activities have been designed to offer not only science instruction, but literacy and math concepts. Silly Bulls is a cute section where children get to break words into syllables (and yes, there are some silly bulls dancing around before and after the section, but it’s brief and almost painless). Take A Note, on the other hand, is where they learn about why and how scientists record their findings. Investigate and Alphabetizing round up this section of the lesson plan.

Finally, Evaluate tests the students. I like how they try to relax the students before taking the quiz, with a cute army of ants who sing while marching. They also say things like, “You already know this. Just show what you know.” This is good preparation for taking more formal tests, in my opinion.

Science4Us Review
I am very proud that my son gets 100% on these tests, often completely on his own. He always wants me there for the quiz though and I have to help him think through the answers sometimes. I don’t mind, because I think that, at his age, he needs to be taught the process of accessing his database of knowledge and working through answering a question.

At this point, my three-year-old daughter sits and takes it all in. She suggests a module now and then and my son obliges, clicking on the right icon. She likes repetition and some of the characters teaching them, so she will ask to repeat an activity.

Again, I think it is perfectly fine for them at this age to have fun with it and enjoy a less structured approach while getting all the benefits of learning. The other day she saw her own reflection in my computer screen and said, “Look, mama, my reflection!” I really like how they add vocabulary painlessly through these Science4Us.com lessons.

You should know that you can log in either as teacher or as student. As a teacher, you have access to your class roster, where you can add or delete students, preview curriculum, assign curriculum to certain students, monitor their progress and see how many minutes they logged in, their notebook entries and their test results. It gets so detailed, you can actually see how many attempts they had at a quiz, what they got wrong, and when they completed the test for the first time.

On their site, you will find some free examples of some of their lessons, which I invite you to take a look at. You don’t really know what a product feels like until you try it out yourself.

Science4Us Review

Here are some other ways you can connect with the team at Science4Us.com:

Twitter: httpss://twitter.com/Science4UsSays
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/science4us/
Facebook: httpss://www.facebook.com/Science4Us
G+: httpss://plus.google.com/u/0/b/112259351657747584252/

Click to read Crew Reviews


Crew Disclaimer