Focus on Middle School Science

Explaining complex, advanced scientific concepts in a way that children will understand, this series takes children deeper into the topic compared to other grade level programs. Written for mastery, each topical course is one semester in length. Chemistry is the recommended starting point. Follow with Biology or sequence the courses to best fit your family. Offering thought-provoking discussion questions and home-friendly labs, children are taught scientific facts and philosophy, without referencing evolution or creationism. Elementary and Middle Science courses generally align and could be used simultaneously by families teaching multiple levels.

Each course requires: Student Text, Laboratory Notebook, and Teacher Guide. Texts offer larger font and engaging illustrations. Consumable lab notebooks complement the student text with hands on activities. Teacher Manuals support the lab activities. Available individually, in semester packages or as complete packages.

Textbooks are full color and provide larger font size with plentiful white space making these a nice option for the younger learner or one who is overwhelmed by dense textual information. But don’t let the pleasing graphics and layout detract. The science teaching is solid, with fairly advanced topics presented in an exciting, easy to understand manner. If you are familiar with the previous edition of the Focus on Science, I think you will be excited with all the wonderful additions to this course! First, each book offers more content-additional chapters, expanded explanations, and some updated graphics. New vocabulary words are in red with an extensive glossary and index in the back of the book. Chapters conclude with a bullet summary of important concepts and a “Some things to think about” section which encourages students to think through the chapter and apply what they learned.

The consumable Laboratory Notebook is a very important part of the program. For each text chapter there are two lab activities: a main experiment and a second "Just For Fun Experiment" which is less formal and provides further exploration of concepts presented. Experiments are divided into sections: “Observe it” which focuses on making observations; “Think About It” questions; “What Did You Discover?” where students write down or draw what they observed from the experiment; and, “Why?” where they learn the reasons why they observed certain things during the experiment. Single lines are provided for answering questions, along with space for drawing observations. With a few black and white illustrations, the softcover lab notebook helps children develop their observation and analytic skills, which are vital to understanding the scientific process. Experiments take approximately one hour to complete.

The softcover Teacher Manual corresponds to the Laboratory Notebook and is necessary for success. Guiding students through the experiments in the lab notebook, it begins with an “at a glance” materials list by experiment; a complete listing of materials and quantities for all experiments. Each experiment begins with a materials list, objectives and instructions for each of the sections outlined above. Where appropriate answers to lab questions are included. While most labs use common household items, some specialized equipment is recommended. See individual product description or contact us for the complete list.

Families looking for a comprehensive, engaging science curriculum that teaches science without getting bogged down in ever-changing theories, will find much to appreciate in this well-done curriculum from Dr. Keller. Previous editions are not compatible with the new edition. ~ Deanne

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