Good Science: Process Skills in Science 4-6 is a thorough science curriculum for your upper elementary students. The program consists of both a student workbook and a teacher's guide. The two-book set includes enough information for three years of science study, making it a great deal for any homeschooling family.
The program is a Christian-based science study that includes lessons and hands-on activities in both physical and life science. The author makes learning new science topics fun for both parent and child. The goal of Process Skills in Science is to encourage questioning. Through experiments and personal observation, the student learns decision-making and critical thinking.
While the teacher's guide includes all the information the teacher will need and the student guide contains worksheets, graphs, and charts, the program does not include supplies of any kind. Most items are found in the home, but some will need to be specially purchased.
Lessons in the student workbook coincide with lessons in the teacher's guide. The teacher is given a list of necessary materials along with an objective for each lesson. Suggestions are given for how to teach the lesson, and the teacher is encouraged to add ideas of her own. After the lesson is taught, the student completes questions in the workbook. There are questions to allow the child to define terms in his own words and charts for tracking experiments. Many questions allow the student to come up with ideas rather than a clearly right or wrong answer. For example, a fifth-grade question in the Life Science unit asks "What do you think would happen if we didn't have decomposers on the earth?" This follows observations of decay and decomposition.
Many experiments are well suited to group learning, and the program would work well in a co-op setting as well as a single family. Because the book contains information for three grade levels, a family can use it with children in grades 4-6. The first two chapters are for grade 4, or Level D, the next two, grade 5, Level E and finally grade 6, level F. While the units do not coordinate exactly, the "Scope and Sequence" explains that Level D covers Relativity and Environments, Level E covers and Energy and Living Communities and Organisms and Level F covers Models and Ecosystems. Both Levels E and F have lessons that require making a terrarium and provide wonderful learning options for children of various levels and abilities. The author's love for God's creation and passion for science is clear throughout the program. The information provided is "real science," not simple science for children. Children are able to be true scientists with this program, as well as lovers of creation.
There is a lot of writing expected in answering the questions in the workbook. A student who struggles with writing could dictate answers to the teacher, or you could use the questions as discussion topics. The author includes resources for finding the more unusual items required for some experiments (isopods and mealworms.) Advanced preparation is required for many experiments to be sure all materials are at hand.
This program overflows with information for your 4-6th grade student. It is ideal for the budding scientist who asks questions about everything he sees, and it encourages the less-experienced student to make observations and begin questioning his environment. Love for God and His creation abound in the text, reminding the student of how this all came to be. I highly recommend this program for the organized homeschooling parent.