About the product: As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free copy of R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Earth & Space (level 1) from Pandia Press. This book contains a year's worth of of science for your first through fourth grader. Throughout the book are tons of pages that you can copy for your student to fill out. According to the introduction, if the book is used just once or twice a week, you will cover everything you need for the whole year without any supplementation. It is written so that the non-scientific parent can teach successfully with no additional scientific background or research. To quote the author, it is a "minds on," and "hands on" approach to science.
Here's a list of topics you'll cover:
Weather and Seasons - monitoring weather, understanding seasons
The Water Cycle
The Earth's Interior - crust, mantle, outer core and inner core
The Earth's Surface - water and land
Minerals - what they are and how to identify them
Rocks and the Rock Cycle - igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
Erosion - wind, water, ice, and biological erosion
The Solar System
The Earth/Moon System
The Solar System - the sun, planets, and asteroid belts
The Planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Pluto is studied as a dwarf planet
Stars, Comets, Meteoroids and Asteroids
What´s Not in Space?
Warning! It is clearly stated in the introduction that "if you hate to touch dirt, wouldn't think about letting your child to stay out late to look at stars, or have no intention of getting gooey and dirty, RUN NOW!!!" LOL
What are the pros of this product? This is well organized, and, as I stated above, complete. Lots of labs and hands on activities to keep your child engaged!
What's not to like? My only issue is that I didn't have everything available to me to do many of the projects. That is simply due to a lack of time and poor planning on my part, but it's one of the reasons I tend to avoid hands on stuff. For example, the first lesson required a weather thermometer. However, a more organized person (yeah, I'm NOT one of those) would check out the handy list at the front of the book which lists all the supplies needed for every lab. Also, the supplies are also listed at the beginning of each lab page.
My problem was that I (and my daughter Bear) wanted to jump in as soon as we got the book, but you do need to do a little pre-planning. This is one of the downfalls of just having something show up on your doorstep! (But, oh, how I love it!) Another bit of pre-planning would include copying the pages for additional children. I suppose if you only have one child you could have him or her work right in the book. BTW, the copyright does allow you to copy the pages for use within your own family. Other than that, you should be good to go! Oh, and there is an electronic version available which makes it much easier to copy. No scanning! (Did I mention I hate scanning? I hate scanning.)
The Crazy Mom take: Well, I kinda went over the first lesson, even without the thermometer. Then we made the rain gauge. That was fun, and I felt like a good mom making something "sciencey" with the kids. Of course, they loved it. Then, even though I was too lazy to copy the pages, (OK, someone is ALWAYS on the computer, so I didn't want to have to kick anyone off) we drew pictures on copy paper for our "weather journal." I also had all the kids go out and really observe the weather.
Now, since my kids already all take a science class at co-op, I didn't want to really add this in as a permanent part of our school day. So, for the sake of the review, other that what we did above, I just looked through the book myself. Now, I am one of those who would probably tend to heed that RUN! warning, as I am simply not hands on. I learn by sitting in a chair and simply reading. I've always been that way, and that has been pretty much my teaching style. I select books, and the kids read. They do a TON of hands on stuff in co-op, so I don't feel too guilty. LOL
However, my kids really did love this stuff, and I'm honestly considering adding it to the schedule for next year. I'll just make sure I put together a shopping list and get what I need before I open the book to do a lesson! :) (You can get a list of necessary materials if you click here and scroll down.) I doubt I'll finish in a year, but it will be fun to have some hands on learning around here. Well, other than learning to cook, clean, and do laundry. That they do!!! ;)
What's the bottom line? $38.99 for the e-version ($21.99 for student pages only) which can be downloaded directly from Pandia Press and $44 for the print version which is not available directly from Pandia Press, although they provide links where you can buy them.
I am going to give R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Earth & Space (level 1) 3 out of 5 smileys!!!
Check it out!
See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @
*The Smiley System:
I can't really recommend this product.I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.
This is a good product, but isn't right for everyone.
Most homeschool moms will find this useful.
This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!
Disclaimer!!! I reviewed this product because I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I was given the product by the vendor to use and evaluate in my home so that I might share my insights with others. Other than receiving the product, which I kinda have to to be able to assess the product, I am not compensated for my reviews in any way. I am in no way obligated to give a positive review. I do try to point out negatives when I see them, though I am admittedly a pretty easy going gal! What you read are my honest assessments of the products I receive.
As with all products, you must do the research before buying. Please visit the the other crew members' blogs, the vendor websites, and any other review sites you might find before buying. I can't guarantee that a product will work for you. You must decide what will fit with your teaching style, and your child(ren)'s learning style(s). I do not judge anything other than the educational value of the products I review. I am not qualified to make judgements as to the safely of any product, and I make no guarantee that the products I review are safe for you, your family, or anyone else. I am simply giving my opinion; only you know what is best for you and your family.
Don't use your blow dryer while you sleep or take a bath. Don't read my reviews in the tub either, and please do not read them when you are asleep, though I do not guarantee that you won't fall asleep reading them!
Copyright 2010 Ramblings from the Crazy House