If anyone ever tells you that teaching science is not necessary in the early years, don't believe it. While it may be true that the vital early skills include character development, reading/writing, and math, there is still that "WOW!" factor and the curiosity and understanding about the way our world works that we want and NEED to develop, so that our children will become lifelong learners, and in my book, science is a big part of that. Personally, I feel that developing that spirit of inquiry is much easier in the younger years because most youngsters are both naturally curious and enthusiastic...especially when it comes to the "flash" and "amazing" parts of subjects like science. In my opinion, I'd rather they learn to love science early on, than be a bit intimidated by it later...even if it takes a bit of extra time and effort on my part.
However, science does NOT have to be either intimidating or ultra-time-consuming, for either Mom or the kids. You don't have to have been a Chemistry major to understand all of the experiments on the set of Amazing Science DVDs available from ScienceandMath.com. All you need is a DVD player, a few easy to find materials, and a sense of adventure.
Why don't you check out their DVD trailer below? You will get a taste for what the two DVD set, which costs only $19.95 (now that's amazing!), has to offer. To see a detailed listing of the contents of the two DVDs, check out the Amazing Science Page at their website. To watch five of the twenty-three experiments contained on the two DVDs, you can click here.
My homeschooled children are ages 2, 4, 6, 8, and 14. They all sat riveted to the screen, watching, laughing, and talking about the fascinating experiments conducted by Jason Gibson on the Amazing Science DVDs. Cowboy, age 6, was especially intrigued by the process of making an hypothesis and conducting appropriate experimentation. After watching "Amazing Magnetic Force" he had to walk around the house, conducting his own experiment by using a powerful magnet we have and testing different things in our house to see if they were magnetic, too. It only took minutes to type up a chart he could fill out to demonstrate his findings, then we added that to his nature notebook (not exactly what we had in mind for our nature notebooks, but magnetic fields are a part of nature, too!) Once we obtain some copper pipe, we will have to re-create the experiment with him at home.
Ladybug and Firefly LOVED the "Color-Changing Milk" experiment so much they talked Tex into reproducing it in our own kitchen. We had all that was needed for the project (each experiment is preceded by a list of necessary items), and the kids had watched the procedure several times, so they knew just what to do and to expect (very simply, you get a shallow pan of milk, put four different colored drops of food coloring---not touching---in it, then you put a drop or two of dish soap in the middle of the drops and watch the colors "run way" from the soap and mix together, making new colors and interesting patterns). I asked the kids to draw pictures of what they saw afterwards and each one wrote (or I wrote for them) what they learned from the experiment.
You could also complete lab sheets based solely on the video demonstrations. Here are a few FREE! printables I found to use with the experiments demonstrated on this DVD set: basic page with space for a drawing and blank lines , higher level page listing materials and hypothesis, higher level page showing results and conclusion. Here's a link to Notebooking Nook where you can download a FREE! 16 page science notebooking pages set.
My kids regularly request this DVD to watch their favorite experiments performed again and again. I don't like to have the TV on a lot during the homeschool week, but if there is a stretch of time that it seems appropriate (like if Tex is babysitting, it has been raining relentlessly for a long time, or someone is ill), then I find it hard to find fault with using this DVD as "educational entertainment." I am hoping that since this DVD is called Amazing Science: Volume 1, there must be a second video in the works. We can't wait!
I have had a playlist on YouTube for several years of "science experiment videos" that the kids have enjoyed watching from time to time (because that is the FREE! option), but it is so nice to be able to conveniently pop in a DVD (at home, in the car, at the homeschool co-op) and see high quality demonstrations. For the small investment of $19.95, I don't see how you can lose with this product. It would certainly compliment almost any K-8 science curriculum.
If you have learners at higher levels, you can also purchase video lessons about Chemistry, Physics, Algebra, and Geometry, to name a few. There is even a video tutorial for K-7th Grade Math I'd like to have a look at sometime. Check out the Science and Math website for more video tutorial DVD titles.
The bottom line is that after watching a few of the segments on the Amazing Science DVD, my kids had a renewed interest in pursuing scientific studies and a determination to search for answers to questions they had in a scientific way on their own, and I had an improved sense of confidence that "YES, we can do science experiments (and live to tell about it)." Look at that any way you like, but in my book that's amaaaaazing!
To see what others on the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about Amazing Science!, check out the Crew Blog.
Disclaimer: I received the Amazing Science! dvd set in order to complete this honest review. The opinions you read here reflect the personal experiences and thoughts of me and my children about this product.