Category Archives: Science 2

Homeschool Creations – Fourth Grade Curriculum Choices

Jolanthe recently posted what she’s doing this coming year for her fourth grader. Read the complete curriculum choices.


The plan: Nancy Larson Science 2 with LEGO Education programs ~ WeDo andSimple Machines; three weekly Snap Circuit assignments; K’Nex Simple Machines set


Zachary worked on Science 2 together with Kaleb. Although he has worked through the level before (several years ago) he really enjoyed doing it with Kaleb. Because of the way the program is laid out (lesson plans already in place), there were a few days when he offered to do the lesson teaching with Kaleb (I may have enjoyed that a lot!).  Above you see the end results of dissecting an owl pellet (something both boys enjoyed much).

read aloud time

We added in some fun simple machine projects using our Simple Machinesfrom LEGO and also our K’Nex Simple Machines set. When we were learning about pulleys and levers, Zachary built a ‘working’ elevator using the K’Nex set (he may have been very proud of that!).

Snap circuits

The initial plan was to have him work on 3 Snap Circuit assignments each week, but in truth that ended up being when he wanted to work on them. There were days that he did between 3 to 5, but he did work on most of the projects in the box over the course of the year. This was one of those “I’m really glad that we purchased it” items for the year. He loves hands-on projects like the ones included and it keeps him away from other things…such as my vacuum cleaner. (ahem)

Homeschool Creations – Using Science 2


Jolanthe wrote about their Homeschool Curriculum Choices.

The plan: Nancy Larson Science 2 with LEGO Education programs ~ WeDo andSimple Machines

simple machines nancy larson

Our boys (2nd and 4th grade) both worked on Nancy Larson Science 2 together this year and loved it. We added in some fun simple machine projects using our Simple Machines from LEGO and also our K’Nex Simple Machines set (the boys LOVED these!!). The pace for the year was 2 to 3 lessons a week, depending on how they wanted to work on the lessons. If we were in a groove, we kept going with lessons!


Because Kaleb isn’t a huge fan of writing (a lot of complaining when he has to fill in blanks, etc…), there were times when I just let him get creative with his answers (so instead of writing out the color name, he drew a colored line).

Military family loves Science 2

Heather writes at Only Passionate Curiosity.

We’re having a great time with Science 2 from Nancy Larson Science. Nancy Larson Science for Homeschool is a complete, secular science program. This means that when you purchase Nancy Larson Science, not only do you receive the teacher and student materials, you also get a “Tool Kit” with the materials you need for the lessons, Picture Cards, and addition resources on CD for your lessons. Everything is there, ready to go, out of the box.

Nancy Larson Science 2

This level of Nancy Larson Science covers these topics:

  • Physics {Investigating the Physical Properties of Matter}
  • Geology {Observing Rocks and Minerals}
  • Physics {Investigating Forces and Work}
  • Physics {Examining Simple Machines}
  • Physics {Exploring Sound and Light}
  • Ornithology {Investigating Birds}

While it is recommended for students ages 7-9, it can also be used for older students with limited science experience. I received an additional reading list from Nancy Larson Science which gave me many ideas to expand on the ideas in the lessons. This list could be used with older students to help them dig a little deeper into the subjects. The flexibility of this program makes it easy to use it across multiple grade levels. It’s easy to purchase extra Individual Student Units (extra copies of the student materials) so all your children can use the same program. I am combining Mr. Man and Bug (Kindergarten and Third Grade) using Science 2 with good results.

Read our Review of Nancy Larson Science 2! (2)

Teaching a Lesson and the Teacher’s Manual

This program is very much “open and go.” I look over the next lesson for me to teach while Bug and Mr. Man work on the review pages, so I can get an idea of what items I need to gather and what I am going to be teaching the next day. The Teacher’s Manual starts with a box for “Lesson Preparation” which outlines everything you need to teach.

Nancy Larson Science 2 Teachers Manual Lesson PrepSample Lesson from Nancy Larson Science 2

The program materials and Tool Kit Items are all included in your box. Collected items are things you’ll need to find around the house. This list is never very long, and I have yet to come across a material I didn’t have. Everything is common items, so when I read the lesson, I just quickly grab the things I need, throw them in a ziplock, and stick that in my science box which holds all my Nancy Larson Science 2 materials.

When it comes time to teach the lesson, Nancy Larson couldn’t have made it easier. The lessons are scripted, which means everything you need to say and do is spelled out for you in the manual.

Nancy Larson Science 2 Teachers Manual Scripted LessonsSample Lesson from Nancy Larson Science 2

You can use these lesson plans verbatim, by reading the boldfaced words, and preforming the bulleted actions. If you want, you can also read ahead and paraphrase the lesson. I personally like the scripted lesson plans, because they give me a good idea of how I can steer the conversation with my kiddos while teaching the lesson, and what kind of responses I am looking for from my children. I don’t always read straight from the lesson, oftentimes I will read a section to myself, and use it as a guide with the kids. If I feel the conversation going off topic, then I come back to the script. It is a wonderful tool to keep us all focused, and to help me know what and how to teach.

Hands on Learning

Most of the lessons include a hands on element which has your child exploring the different topics in a way they will remember. You won’t just talk about buoyancy, you’ll test different objects from around the house to see if they float. What I really like about the hands on lessons is that they aren’t big, complicated experiments. Nothing takes long to do, or makes a large mess.

Fun hands on learning with Nancy Larson Science 2

The activities are purposeful, and designed in a way to teach a lot, without causing a headache for Mom. I get overwhelmed with too many “big” projects to do, and Nancy Larson Science doesn’t overwhelm me. I love that I am not wasting my time on a big set up for a 5 second demonstration, and I love that most of the hands-on discovery is done by the kids, instead of demonstrated by me.

The Student Materials

Nancy Larson doesn’t use a textbook. Instead, you have student produced booklets which your child will really enjoy making! When I am looking at new curriculum, I want to be able to hold it in my hands and flip through it before buying. Since I can’t invite you over to see this part of the program in the flesh, I decided to try something new and give you a video look at the student materials.

The lay out of these are great, because as I showed you before, it’s entirely child-led. They illustrate it themselves, add in found objects, and are taught specifically how to highlight and read for important information.

If you don’t want to watch the video above, I showed you the student booklets, and the review worksheets in depth. The booklets contain the reading for the programs, which you are directed to use in your teachers materials. The reading is done either by the teacher with the student following along, or, like we do in our house, the student can read the materials aloud as you discuss. The review worksheets are done after the lesson, and include a “looking back” section which helps keep prior knowledge fresh as they work through the program.

Pacing the Program

There are 80 lessons in Science 2. Each lesson also includes a review, which can be done on the same day as the lesson, or on a different day. This means the program is set up so you can easily pace it. If you do a 40 week school year, you can either do science twice a week (doing the review on the same day as the lesson) or you can do science four times a week, and do the lessons and reviews on alternating days. This is how we decided to use the program, I teach on Monday and Wednesday, and the kids do the review on Tuesday and Thursday.

What About the Price?

The question I get most often about this program is “is it worth the price?  I have to say, it absolutely is. This program is well set up, and complete. It’s “open and go” which means that science gets done on a regular basis without hassle. I have not seen a science program as well set up as this one before. When I get ready to teach, all I need to do is open my teachers manual, check the list of supplies, grab them out of the science box, and go.

I compared prices to some of the other complete science programs out there, and Nancy Larson is comparable to many programs on the market. You get what you pay for, and in this case, you are paying for an easy to use, complete program that will not end up sitting on your shelf collecting dust.

Final Thoughts

This is a very well put together program. Science has never been easier for us, and since starting Nancy Larson Science, we have been consistent with science class. I am impressed with the content of the Science 2 program. The vocabulary words are well thought out, and so much content is covered. I am also impressed that it is teaching reading and study skills along with science. Nancy Larson Science 2 taught Bug how to highlight his reading, and read for content, which he is now doing with reading passages in Language Arts. His comprehension is improving as he is slowing down to read for content. It’s a wonderful added benefit from Nancy Larson Science 2.

So Proud of His work! Nancy Larson Science 2

Not only am I happy with this program, Bug and Mr. Man are having a wonderful time with it. They ask every day when we are going to do Science, and beg to do it first. They love the hands on activities, and love “being scientists.” Both are very proud of the work they have put into their student booklets, and Bug has even pulled his out to show friends when they come over. I love that they love Nancy Larson Science.

In a Nutshell

Nancy Larson Science for Homeschool has 5 levels, Science K, 1, 2, 3, and 4. All levels are secular and complete. Science 2 is appropriate for kids ages 7-9 and older students with little science exposure. The Tool Kit includes most of the materials needed to use the program, and you’ll only need to gather a few common household supplies before each lesson. The lessons are scripted, and come with student booklets which include all the reading for the program and interactive elements, like collecting items, and illustrating concepts. In addition to the student booklets, Nancy Larson Science includes review pages and assessments which help your child keep important information fresh as they progress in the program. I *highly* recommend this program for anyone looking for “open and go” science that is complete, secular, and FUN!

Homeschool Creations – Science 2 Update

Jolanthe sent this update:


Snap circuits

The boys are a little more than halfway through Nancy Larson Science 2.  Although Zachary worked on this level a few years ago, he asked to do it with Kaleb this year and has been a great help to Kaleb. They both are having fun with the hands-on aspects (we’re learning about levers and simple machines right now) and tying in some fun LEGO projects. On the side, Zachary is working with Snap Circuits and K’Nex projects – we try to find a project that goes along with our lessons that week.


Science 2 with videos

Heather shows us exactly how it works with videos!

I know when I am looking at new curriculum for the kids, one of the things that is the most helpful to me is the chance to see the program in action.


Unfortunately, when we moved this summer, I didn’t have room in my suitcase for all our science materials (it’s a complete product- you get the materials for lessons as well as the teacher and student books) so I had to let the movers pack them for me. When I was preparing for the packers, I put all the materials in gallon sized zip-locks, and put them together in a nice stack with the paper materials, and left it all in my kitchen where I knew they could be found fast after our stuff was delivered.

Looking back, either I was naive as heck, or the movers just had a good laugh packing our stuff, because the teachers guides, bags of materials, and student books all were placed in different boxes, none of which made any sense. These books were the one thing I desperately wanted to find, and they were the very last thing I managed to unpack this week.

But- they are back! And this post is proof that we’re back to work! I am impressed with how much the kids retained from what we learned before the move, and that we were able to pick up right where we left off.

Nancy Larson Science 2-

Bug is just getting started on the Simple Machines unit in Nancy Larson Science 2. I recorded his lesson because…. well, that’s the easiest way to show you what it is like. For some background, the teachers manual contains lessons in a scripted format. As you’ll see in the video, with all three kids running around, I can’t always follow the script to the letter, but I don’t really feel the need to. When I teach this program, I tend to quickly read over the day’s lesson as I have Bug round up the supplies listed, and then we get to it. I do have the book right in front of me so I can follow it as a general guide, and I do say many things as written, but I am not strict about it.

The first part of the lesson is typically hands-on, with a demonstration or “experiment” of sorts for your child to explore the topics.

After this portion of the lesson, typically you move on to the “textbook” portion of the lesson, which has reading and often some sort of coloring/diagramming portion in the “individual student unit” materials.

After this point, Bug basically finishes the lesson on his own. He completes the activity in his booklet:


And then he does the Lesson Review. Some days, I save the review for later, but most days, he just does it as part of the lesson.


And, that’s that!

Read our complete review of Nancy Larson Science here.