Category Archives: Science 1

The Natural Homeschool Entomologists

Thank you Tanya.

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

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Have you found the perfect Science curriculum yet? We have! I am so excited to share with you the one we have and how amazing it is. I will tell you all about it and why we love it so much. We are sticking with it for a long while, for sure! This is a review post for  Nancy Larson Science 1 Unit F: Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders).

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

Let me explain to you how this curriculum works. This year has 6 units and every unit focuses on a different topic. This is the sixth and last unit. It focuses on insects and spiders. We had so much fun with this unit in particular. Take a look below at the awesome lessons we covered in this unit!

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

We took our time examining the characteristics and life cycles of insects (and spiders) to learn about insects. We learned about how many legs and body parts they have. We learned about different insects (earwigs, praying mantises, beetles, etc).

These are some of the best books we read about insects: 1) The Best Book of Bugs 2) Big Book of Bugs 3) Familiar insects and Spiders (already included in the kit) 4) Bugs A to Z.

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

One of our top reasons to love Nancy Larson Science 1 so much is that it is hands-on, visual and also quantifiable by having paper and pencil activities as well. I simply love that balance!

For our butterfly unit, we received a voucher to order our caterpillars (kit is included in the curriculum, so no extra charge) and got them in the mail a couple of weeks later. You can specify to the company which week of the month you would like to receive them.

We watched them eat and eat and grow and molt and eat some more. We recorded our observations in the record sheets included in our curriculum. Then we watched them go into the chrysalis stage and then we waited as we learned more with pictures (included in the kit), mini butterfly and caterpillar replicas and activity sheets.

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

We read several butterfly books and we learned so much more. We learned the differences between butterflies and moths and we went exploring for butterflies during the day and we scouted for moths around our lights outside at night.

Finally, our butterflies came out! We fed them (instructions included for every step of the process) and watched them flutter around in their habitat for a few days. Once the last one came out, we released them. Their habitat is a cylindrical net, so we went into our trampoline for a giant habitat feel before they flew out into the world.

It was bittersweet, fascinating and beautiful, all at the same time. We really enjoyed examining the characteristics and life cycles of the beautiful insects! Here is part of our butterfly reading list 1) Butterflies and Moths 2) Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing Butterflies and Moths 3) Are You a Butterfly? 4) From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

Enjoying what you see on  Nancy Larson Science 1? Well, come take a look at our lessons studying the ladybug life cycle, up close and personal. Our kit also included a ladybug (ladybird beetle) habitat and a voucher to order our larvas.

We received them about a week or two after our caterpillars arrived, so, while the caterpillars were in their chrysalis stage, we were had fun observing ladybug larvas scurry around, eat and eat and eat and then go into their pupas. We recorded our observations in each stage with them as well.

This experience was just as fascinating! Once the ladybugs came out of their pupas, we fed them and then we opened their habitat and let them crawl on our hands over a couple of days. It was so much fun! Here is part of the ladybug book list 1) Are You a Ladybug? 2) The Grouchy Ladybug 3) A Ladybug Larva Grows Up

We also studied the life cycle of grasshoppers, but we didn’t grow any. Here is part of our grasshopper book list 1) Are You a Grasshopper? 2) Grasshopper 3) Grasshopper life cycle

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

This post is titled: Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders) and now, we have arrived to the spider part. Spiders are arachnids, from the arthropod family. They are not insects and we learned all about that! We recognized the differences, different kinds of spiders and their general behavior. It was fun leaving the hands-on part out of the equation for this one, hehe.

We have truly enjoyed using  Nancy Larson Science 1 this school year. We love it and look forward to Science 2 this Fall! Stay tuned for our posts about it! In my honest opinion,  Nancy Larson Science 1 is definitely worth the investment. It comes with so much material to cover (71 lessons in all) that it would have taken forever for me to put something this thorough and hands-on on my own.

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

Interested in Nancy Larson Science? Find them everywhere! Take at the list below. ?

Follow Nancy Larson on social media: Pinterest   Twitter @NLScience   Instagram

Nancy Larson Science for Homeschool and Why Nancy Larson Science Works

Facebook group Nancy Larson Science Homeschoolers

YouTube Channel (with videos answering many of your FAQs)

Blog BloomingScientists (where many parents share their stories)

Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders)

Thank you for reading our Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects (and Spiders) post! Here is the list of past posts from this year’s curriculum. You get to study them all with your children! Every single unit has been amazing!

Hip Homeschooling Learns about the Human Body

Have you ever asked your kids what they want to learn about? Mine told me one day they wanted to learn about the human body. Well kids, that’s perfect, because that happens to be a unit in our Nancy Larson Science curriculum! We have been loving this unit, it is so hands on and fun and hands everything we need to complete our lessons… without me having to search in 10 different places! By far the best part of this unit was the human body skeleton X-Ray’s… getting to see how everything fit together. We did a YouTube video on that lesson, so keep reading to see what a sample lesson with NLS looks like!

Learn about the human body with Nancy Larson Science


Learn about the human body in a way that kids can understand.

One of my favorite things about Nancy Larson Science is that it is scripted, meaning it is written TO your child’s level. You just read out of the text without having to stop every few minutes to explain a concept. It works really well for multiple age groups, we use our Grade 1 curriculum for 3 different grades (gr. 1, 2, and 3). Human anatomy can be a complicated subject for young learners, however the curriculum does a great job of giving an introduction and overview of how the human body works without overwhelming early elementary students. Our kids loved the book included in our kit, “Your Insides” by Joanna Cole. It is so fun and bright!

Learn About the Human Body with Us!

Each unit in the curriculum is separated into a student booklet. We put those together in a binder or folder for each child. This month the topics covered included:

  • Identifying parts of the human body.
  • Identifying the function of parts.
  • Skeletal system.
  • Digestive system.
  • Respiratory system.
  • Circulatory system.
  • Nervous system.
  • How to keep our bodies healthy.
  • And more!

Our grade 1 program included 6 units, and therefore 6 student booklets. To see exactly what was included in our box, CLICK HERE. To learn more about Nancy Larson Science, click on the image below!

Watch a complete sample science lesson here!


My Kids Remembered What They Learned!

Natasha at Salt and Sea blog wrote today:
“I just wanted to share a couple things:
1. Even though it’s below my eldest’s reading level, which I knew, she said she loves it AND HAS LEARNED THINGS SHE NEVER KNEW. And after only the first booklet. That’s FANTASTIC.
2. THE RETENTION. We had to go a week and a half without school and in the middle of a unit/booklet. I thought FOR SURE they would not remember the stages of life we had covered (since they always draw a blank in the past) but they REMEMBERED!!!! Blown away. It works.”

The Natural Homeschool: Hands-on activities and books

Observing Parts of Trees & Plants {Lessons, Hands-on Activities & Books}

Observing Parts of Trees & Plants {Lessons, Hands-on Activities & Books}

Have you checked out our post about the Life Stages of Human Beings yet? If not, be sure and read it after you finish reading this one! It was so much fun and we show you many of the activities we did during that unit.

In this post, you will see what we have been doing for the past couple of months in our botany unit. I didn’t take pictures of every single activity, craft and book, but I will make sure you get a really good idea on how this unit went and how you can implement it in your homeschools.

Observing Parts of Trees & Plants {Lessons, Hands-on Activities & Books}

Observing Parts of Trees & Plants

We have been using Nancy Larson’s Science 1 Kit and it has been amazing to us! We enjoy it so much! The lessons are thorough, entertaining, to the point and very, very cool. I personally love writing these review posts for every unit we complete because we get to show you just how cool this kit really is.

We started our Science Unit B: Observing Trees a few weeks ago. This was, fortunately, right before the heat of summer hit hard were we live. We were able to do some lessons in the outdoors and it was fantastic going for nature walks to explore, observe and analyze trees and plants.

Observing Parts of Trees & Plants {Lessons, Hands-on Activities & Books}

Lessons, Hands-on Activities & Books

In the Nancy Larson Complete Program (Science 1), we have all the lessons spelled out for us in script form. It is so easy to follow the lessons, find the books to be used in each lesson and we even have a printable list of books we can check out at the library that coincide with each lesson.

We only took one book from the library for each lesson, but there are 3-4 options for each lesson. It is so neat to be able to pick and choose! We got “What is a Plant?” for our first lesson. We read it outdoors (sitting by some plants, of course) and we discussed every page. This lesson sparked a super fun and interesting conversation between us.

Observing Parts of Trees & Plants {Lessons, Hands-on Activities & Books}

Plants are Amazing!

We learned what plants need to live: water, air, light and nutrients. We filled out the workbook pages outside before looking at the roots of a plant. I only have one copy of this workbook, so I let Brother do the writing and Sister do the drawing and coloring. They are a great team, don’t you think? :)

We also read the book “Roots.” It was super and I highly recommend it. While we were still outside, I removed the pot and turned the plant around. We analyzed the roots and we were in awe at how tangles and long they were. We followed one around and around until we lost it in the dirt. Roots might seem mundane, but to us, they are fantastic!

Observing Parts of Trees & Plants {Lessons, Hands-on Activities & Books}

Hands-On Learning

We enjoyed making drawings of plants and labeled the parts of the plant. Coloring was Sister’s favorite part. As the lessons in this unit progressed, we learned about trees in our habitat. We observed and compared leaves, we identified and labeled the parts of a tree and we learned to identify characteristics of shrubs by going outside and looking at them.

Then, we identified leaves and learned the difference between broad leaves and needles. It was fun going for a nature walk and finding trees with broad leaves and trees with needles. Last week, we learned all about deciduous tree and evergreens. We read more books. We looked at more pictures. We went on more nature walks.

Observing Parts of Trees & Plants {Lessons, Hands-on Activities & Books}

This week, we learned about the seasons and what characterizes each. We also learned what deciduous and evergreen trees look like during each season. For the last lesson of this week, we will be learning about seeds of broad-leaved trees. And we aren’t done with the unit! We are learning so much and we are looking forward to the lessons that are coming next week.

After next week, we will be starting a new unit. That lesson will be learning all about sunlight, water and soil. We can’t wait!

Observing Parts of Trees & Plants {Lessons, Hands-on Activities & Books}

Would you like to learn more about this amazing program?

Follow Nancy Larson on social media: Pinterest   Twitter @NLScience   Instagram

Nancy Larson Science for Homeschool and Why Nancy Larson Science Works

Facebook group Nancy Larson Science Homeschoolers

YouTube Channel (with videos answering many of your FAQs)

The Life Stages of Human Beings Unit

Tanya, at The Natural Homeschool wrote:

We are absolutely loving our Science curriculum! It is the Nancy Larson Complete set for First Grade. You have go to try it! Here are some of the things we did for Unit A: The Life Stages of Human Beings.

The Life Stages of Human Beings Unit

Since this is the beginning of the curriculum, we wanted to establish who scientists are and that we are scientists. It puts us in character and we take everything we study seriously, asking questions and learning something new every time.

The Life Stages of Human Beings Unit

We read a book about scientists and also tested some of the statements on the cards. They had fun. That evening, I ordered them scientist gowns and goggles, just to make it more real.

The Life Stages of Human Beings Unit

We mention these facts about scientists regularly as it helps us get into character and see what we are learning with different eyes.

The Life Stages of Human Beings Unit

Then, we went into our studies of the stages of human beings. We learned about all the stages: baby, toddler, child, adolescent, adult and elderly adult. We learned details about each stage and even the difference between a teenager and an adolescent.

The Life Stages of Human Beings Unit

We also kept notes and wrote down things that we learned as we went along. This unit was 12 lessons. It is great for us to do 2 lessons per week, to we completed this unit in 6 weeks or so.

The Life Stages of Human Beings Unit

I love it that the curriculum comes with a long list of resources including books to check out at the library that are relevant to each lesson and also a CD with backline masters. We read some of my favorite books. They are all on the life stages of human beings. They are definitely relevant and definitely touching.

The Life Stages of Human Beings Unit

Like all that isn’t enough, I felt my children were learning more and really understanding with all the hands-on activities and crafts that the lessons have to offer. The craft below is about labeling a piece of paper with the stages of human beings and then finding people in all those stages in children’s magazines.

The Life Stages of Human Beings Unit

Here is one of them. It was fun and it I feel like it really drove all this information home.

The Life Stages of Human Beings Unit

We saw pictures of me in the infant, toddler, child, adolescent and adult stages and then I showed them pictures of their dad and pictures of my grandmother, too. My children were seriously loving this unit and we are all looking forward to the next unit.

Mason (Homeschool Manager for Nancy Larson Science):

“One of the things Nancy creates in the first booklet is the Science Conversation between parent and child that is paramount to learning. What better way to start the conversation than by talking/learning about themselves and their family, looking at characteristics that carry over from one generation to the next, talking with grandparents about ‘what dad/mom did when he/she was my age’.

The Science Conversation is a great learning tool, talking, reviewing, answering open-ended questions about what was learned. If we just jump in with review questions, without the warm-up about family, child can resist or close down, become apprehensive. This whole booklet, looking at characteristics, observing generational similarities, chatting with family, is non-threatening and practice for more complex questioning and conversing later. BTW: It’s also a great way to get your kids really talking with grandparents, and vice versa.”

That is exactly what we did! We highly recommend Nancy Larson’s 1st grade Science curriculum.

Follow Nancy Larson on social media: Pinterest   Twitter @NLScience   Instagram

Nancy Larson Science for Homeschool and Why Nancy Larson Science Works

Facebook group Nancy Larson Science Homeschoolers

YouTube Channel (with videos answering many of your FAQs)

Blog BloomingScientists (where many parents share their stories)

The Life Stages of Human Beings Unit


Charlotte Mason and Nancy Larson Science

Kris recently finished Nancy Larson Science 1, and posted her thoughts.Nancy Larson Science 1 Review from Book Wishes!

These last few weeks my children have been working hard on science. As a Charlotte Mason homeschooling family, we love literature and with Nancy Larson Science literature is added in two ways. Nancy Larson Science kit 1 comes with several wonderful pieces of literature, as well as, an additional literature print-out for parents that are used to reinforce what my children are learning through literature connections.

In using the Charlotte Mason method in our homeschool, the books I look for to reinforce my children’s learning have to be living books. What is a living book? I know this is an ongoing question with a lot of homeschooling newbies. The best definition for myself is a living book is a book that was written by a person who is an expert on the material that brings my children to know more about that subject. Usually these books are written in a narrative type style. I also find that “expert on the subject” depends on ones views. For instance, Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, I would consider her an expert on pioneering because Laura lived in that time period and grew up being a pioneer. So, Little House in the Big Woods, in our homeschool is a living book.

I was excited about NLS printed list that they give you because it is not small. This allows me to pick and choose what books I want my children to read that fit our homeschooling method. This is a wonderful plus for us to be able to add books that I know my children can learn with and I can feel good with them reading and growing their learning of science.

Nancy Larson Science Review from Book WishesIn NLS Kit 1, my children have covered many topics. The lessons do start off easy and progressively get harder along the way. My three children (Franklin (9) Hubble (8) and Elion (5)) flew through the first three-quarters of this book. This was mostly because it was a lot of review for them. Be very careful on what kit you pick for your family. I would highly recommend calling and talking to NLS staff about your order and the levels that your children are at in science.

I really liked how each subject has a packet of its own for the student. The teacher’s guide , pictured above, is easy to read. Each lesson has a material list and at the end of each lesson, the answers for your student packet (if you need it). What I did and didn’t like was the script. I read the script before each lesson to guide my lesson, however, I do not need to read the script while teaching. I can see how some teachers or homeschoolers would love this, simple, easy, no planning way to teach. Scripted lessons are just not my style, therefore, I used it to teach me before hand what the lesson was about.

Nancy Larson Science Review from Book WishesMy children overall enjoyed every lesson. Elion, I believe, received the most out of science 1 because this was not review for her. My boys really liked the lessons even though they were review for an 8 and 9-year-old.

Nancy Larson Science Review from Book WishesWe have been expanding the anatomy lessons currently because the kids are having so much fun with it! I do love the ideas Nancy Larson Science gives you, however, I would love to see more overall. I would like more creative ideas and application rather than just writing and reading. I would love crafts and more ideas for exploration. We took what we were learning indoors and went outside with it. I highly suggest when completing NLS 1 to take your children out to observe and I know that we have some fun butterfly observing through NLS 1 coming up. I just wish there was more.

Nancy Larson Science Review from Book WishesNancy Larson Science Review from Book WishesMy children had fun learning with all the wonderful learning cards, photographs and samples that NLS 1 gave them. I really enjoyed NLS 1 during the winter because the kids really could learn science indoors. When we were learning about the seasons the photographs were amazing!

Nancy Larson Science Review from Book WishesOverall, Nancy Larson Science 1 is a wonderful science program. My children learned a lot with this program. They connected to the literature. We did the lesson reviews together and I saw the team work as they helped little Elion understand each lesson better. My oldest son Einstein helped me team teach the entire way through and has really gained great verbal skills.  We modified the lessons a little to fit us as a family and I love how simple it was to do that. Is this an open and go curriculum? Yes! However, I put a little more work into it because I found the script didn’t fit me personally.

Nancy Larson Science 1 Review from Book Wishes!

Nancy Larson Science 1 covers so many topics and each one is wonderfully explained and easy to understand. Their was never any tears learning with Nancy in our home, not to mention, the beautiful literature, as well as, literature connections to add-on. What is included in the NLS 1 kit is wonderful. I am so glad my children got to experienceNancy Larson Science.

To purchase your NLS 1 or to see what is included, visit Nancy Larson’s website and pick what kit fits your family.


FTC Disclaimer: I do receive free items from various companies on this site, (Book Wishes) for free. In exchange for an honest review. I a.m never required to write a positive review of the product nor am I compensated in any way. All opinions that I express on Book Wishes are my thoughts or my families thoughts. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

Payment is never taken for reviews, ads or any other PR on Book Wishes, ever.

This Summer, It’s Nancy Larson Science!

I cannot tell you how EXCITED I am to start our Nancy Larson Science 1 complete program this summer!

Nancy Larson Science 1 What's in the Box?!

You see, I had researched and searched forTHE perfect science curriculum for my littles. After finding a fantastic program this past year, I quickly realized that it just wasn’t the right fit for my children (trial and error, friends!)!  My search then resumed, yet again.  This time knowing what would and would not work for us.

One of the things that I LOVE about homeschooling is that we can select what works for our children! However, I’d like to note that this doesn’t need to be limited to a homeschooling family!  I can easily see this program used as a supplement at home for science loving families.  Why?  Because it’s FUN!

What exactly was I looking for in a science program?

Something that:

  • Was hands-on
  • Was Cross-curricular
  • Encouraged scientific conversation
  • Covered interesting & sophisticated topics (explored in an age-appropriate way)
  • Was NOT sheet work or workbook heavy
  • Facilitated a love of science
  • Provided everything one needed:  All inclusive
  • Required very little teacher-prep time
  • Provided built-in reinforcement
  • Was comprehensive and creative
  • Was scripted!!!  (Yes, scripted!  Let’s face it, I am NOT a scientist!  I love that the script is all laid out before me, and if my husband wants to help out a few lessons, he knows what exactly should be said!  Obviously you don’t have to follow the script, but it’s there for lovers of it!)

You can see my list was pretty lengthy, and finding all of the above found to be a difficult task…  Until I discovered Nancy Larson Science!  Nancy Larson is all of the above, and more!  Nancy Larson Science offers programs for grades K-4.  My favorite part is that complete program packages are offered for each grade level.  Purchasing a complete program means that everything from the scripted Teacher Manual (with answer keys), student materials, tool kit (all the fun visuals & extras I will show below!), resource materials, & access to website resources for one year is INCLUDED!  And for a very reasonable price!  (I highly recommend you check it out!)

After using ‘Picking the Right Level’ as my guide, I decided to go with the Science 1 Complete program for our family.  Because I have 2 children participating in the same (grade) program, we are using one additional individual student unit.  There is no need to purchase more than one complete kit in the same grade.   This is a great way to save on costs if multiple children are participating!

Grade 1 covers topics such as:

  • Describing the Life Stages of Human Beings
  • Observing Trees
  • Exploring Sunlight, Water, and Soil
  • Investigating Animals and their Habitats
  • Discovering What is Inside our Bodies
  • Examining the Characteristics and Life Cycles of Insects

I’m so excited!  Clearly you can tell that I adore this program.  Let’s take an actual look inside the box, shall we?

Nancy Larson Science What's in the Box?

Science 1 Complete Program – What’s included:

Inside the box we received a welcome letter with log-in information to our Nancy Larson Science website resources.  We also received…

     1.  Books!

Nancy Larson Science 1: We love books

Nancy Larson Science 1

Books included:

  • Trees to Paper
  • Insects and Spiders
  • Peterson First Guides: Trees
  • The Season’s of Arnold’s Apple Tree
  • What do Scientists Do?
  • Your InsidesNancy Larson Science 1 Apple Tree Book

     2.  A Butterfly Garden Set w/ Larvae Coupon!

Nancy Larson Science Butterfly Garden

     3.  Human X-ray Set

     4.  Insect Learning Cards

Nancy Larson Science Insect Learning Cards

     5.  Jack Pine Cones

     6.  Magnifier, Dual (hand lens)

     7.  Tree Cookies

     8.  Ladybug Land w/ Larvae Coupon

     9.  Insects & Spiders (plastic) They LOVED these!

Nancy Larson Science Insects & Spiders Nancy Larson Science Insects and Spiders

Nancy Larson Science Insects and Spiders - Bugs!

     10.  Teacher Manual (in scripted format) with Answer Keys

     11.  Student materials

     12.  6 topic booklets to go along with student material

     13.  Visuals!  Photo card pack with CD 

Does this program not look adorable?!  And this is just the beginning, friends!  I adore the way that the lessons build on each other, that the topics are genuinely of interest to my children, and that the material is covered at an age-appropriate level.

I am beyond anxious to get started, and to share with you along the way!!!  I do hope that you check out Nancy Larson Science and that you follow our family along our study!


Nancy Larson Science 1: What's in the Box?!

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