Tag Archives: Blessed Little Thistle

Whole-Child Approach

Christy at Blessed Little Thistle tells why she chose Nancy Larson Science kits.Christy Mandin Family

“When I went looking for a homeschool science curriculum I knew it would be tricky to find one without a heavy slant in either religious direction. I wanted a good middle-of-the-road program that didn’t compromise on the meaty science stuff. Nancy Larson was our girl! I love that Nancy Larson Science provides a strong science education without religious overtones.  Nancy Larson science gives us the option to let those connections between different subjects, including but not limited to religion, happen organically.


  It is the purest approach to teaching critical thinking in my opinion. Which brings me to the other things I love about Nancy Larson: :

We take a whole-child approach to home educating so I tend to look for curricula that do the same. Nancy Larson Science does that by encouraging experiential learning. The lessons include discussion that makes the material more meaningful to the student. Because it’s relevant to his own life, I’ve seen Owen’s retention and recall of the information significantly increase. It doesn’t come across as a bullet point he has to memorize. It’s simply his “life” we’re learning so he has an easier time calling it back up when I check to see if he’s absorbed the day’s information. Plus the lessons are scripted so it makes it easier for me to deliver the information in a clear and concise manner.

Nancy Larson also encourages critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. The lessons progress in a gentle manner that build up a new reader’s confidence. The wording is easy to understand and the writing portions are short. I like that all of this is built into a science program. Sometimes we just can’t get to everything in a day so it’s nice when a curriculum covers several things at one time. Of course, our science doesn’t replace our reading or writing. But it does supplement it and I love that.


What do you look for in a science curriculum? Do you prefer one with a religious tone or a secular approach?

Follow along with us throughout the year as we continue to explore science with Nancy Larson.”

Read the complete story.

Secular or Religious Science Kits?

Christy of Blessed Little Thistle, shared her struggle finding the right science kits.

Christy Mandin Family

“We are a religious family but our choice to homeschool is not based on religious reasons. Because of that, our curriculum choices are also not solely based on our religious stance. That gets hairy sometimes when trying to find curriculum. In the past I think a lot of American families have chosen to homeschool because of religion. But, I think the tide has turned in homeschooling and, although many do home educate with a heavy emphasis on religion, a lot more families are now homeschooling for a variety of reasons – to address special needs; families who travel a lot; poor, few, or no school choices in their area; bullying; to nurture a special skill. Home educating has become a lot more diverse. And curricula targeted towards homeschool settings are starting to become more diverse as well. There’s more out there now than just the religion-focused curricula.


Science programs for homeschoolers that take a neutral stance to religion can be tricky to find. There’s a lot of heated debate where science and religion intersect. Or don’t intersect, depending on who you ask. But even before they intersect (or not) there’s a lot of science left to be taught. As a family we are a hybrid sort of religious bunch (I’ll elaborate more on that another time). So, of course we would want a science program that left the door open for us to explore freely any connections we might make between our religious studies and our science curriculum. It’s how we study the rest of our subjects as well. We give religion study its own time and then see what connections can be made throughout our other studies.

What do you look for in a science curriculum? Do you prefer one with a religious tone or a secular approach?

Follow along with us throughout the year as we continue to explore science with Nancy Larson.”

Read the full story now.

What’s in the box with Nancy Larson Science for Homeschool

Christy of Blessed Little Thistle  writes. “I’ve researched Nancy Larson’s approach for some time and just knew it would be a good fit for us.

Owen had been eyeing the box for a week and it was driving him crazy. Our first lessons are on the life stages of humans. He thought we were going to dive right into beakers and bubbling concoctions since that’s all he really thinks of when he hears the word “science”. I was worried that he would be disappointed when he discovered science was more than that. He had obviously built up some expectations of how this science thing was going to go down.

Nancy Larson Science 1, science curriculum, complete science kit

 Let me tell you, even though we weren’t donning white lab coats and goggles, he was NOT disappointed. In fact, he was so engaged that it turned out to be the most successful school time we’ve ever had in the history of our homeschooling. That’s huge! There are a lot of times that I just KNOW that I will love a curriculum and the kids don’t meet my enthusiasm. Sure they like it. Sure they do the work. But they’re just not as into as I had built up in my head. That’s not the case this time around. Owen is totally as excited and enthusiastic about this program as I am. At one point he said, “I like this way better than doing school.” Ha! Joke’s on him! This IS school buddy!

When your kid is so into the lesson that it doesn’t seem like “work” to him and he doesn’t realize he’s doing regular school; that’s when you know a curriculum is going to be worth the money. And when he talks about the content from the day’s lesson even after school is over in general conversation, you know you have a keeper. That’s the most organic form of learning.”

Nancy Larson Science 1, science curriculum, complete science kit

Read more of Christy’s first impressions and more What’s in the box?