Friday, June 27, 2014

Designing a custom elementary science curriculum

While sifting through curriculum choices for the next school year I found that I was totally unsatisfied with the science options that were available. I felt they were all to in depth and focused to much on one specific area of science for such a young age group. At the end of 6mths my child would know every single aspect about flying animals but know nothing about any other type of animal.  I found that to be too repetitive and too in depth when dealing with our current age group of  5th and 3rd grade.

I kept looking around for a more varied science curriculum that would cover a bit of everything to give the children a larger foundation for more advanced work later on. After months of searching I was getting really frustrated. I finally threw my hands up and announced that I was just going to design our own science curriculum based on month long units of study covering varied scientific subjects. I was surprised how many parents had done the same thing!

I first sat down and wrote out all the different scientific fields I wanted to cover throughout the coming year. My list included: Paleontology (I have a dinosaur enthusiast), Biology, Astronomy, Meteorology, Physics, Anatomy, Chemistry, and Geology.

Once I had my list of the subjects I wanted to touch on I broke them down to one month units of study.

June: Dinosaurs
July: Ecosystems
August: Solar Systems
September: Weather
October: Energy/Forces/Motion
November: Circuits and Electricity
December: Cells
January: Human anatomy
February: Atoms/molecules/elements
March: Solids/liquids/gases
April: Mammals/reptiles/amphibians/avian
May: Geology

Then came the fun part finding the materials I wanted to use for each unit. I set up a pinterest board for each unit and after a quick search I was off and running. There are so many different ideas out there for all of the above units. The majority of which are free!

Our first unit study was a massive hit with our girls. They love science now and get excited to see what I have planned for that day's lesson. I can't wait to share the details with you as soon as we finish out the month!

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