Summer's Lab Reference Notes
Join Summer Beach and her prairie dog lab assistant, Ulysses S. Grant, on a sandwich-filled first look at science!
These reference notes provide you with the basic pages you will need to document your journey through learning about animals, the human body, plants, weather, rocks, space, matter, and energy.
Introduce your littlest learners to science through stories, living books, and hands-on activities! Starring research scientist, Summer Beach and her lab assistant, Ulysses, a precocious prairie dog, children are swept away into a 32-week journey designed to sharpen observation skills and teach basic science topics. Young children learn about animals, humans, plants, weather, rocks, space, matter, and forces. The heart of the program is the Teacher Guide, which provides introductory information, the materials and library book master lists by unit, and the unit lessons. There are 8-units each lasting 4 weeks. The units are formatted similarly and include the unit at a glance with the purpose, topics, supplies list, schedule (in grid and list format), the story to read aloud to your children, scientific demonstrations and coordinating activities, reading assignment from the DK Children’s Encyclopedia, as well as additional book suggestions and written assignments from the Lab Manual and Reference Notes. Cleverly, the Teacher Guide builds a science sandwich to explain the various lesson components. Weekly lessons begin with the meat and bread of science - a brief introduction (meat) and questions or age appropriate written activities to assess their key understanding. What follows is a “cheesy addition” (scientific demonstrations) which add flavor to the science sandwich; the “extras” like mayo or tomatoes (art or extra science projects, are snack options) to add flavor and pizazz to your science lessons. One additional feature is the “listen while you eat” scheduled DK Children’s Encyclopedia reading and other suggested living books for read aloud. Flexibility is built in through the two lesson track options: 2-Day or 4-Day. Families choosing the 2 Day track will spend 20-30 minutes per lesson, and those choosing the 4-Day track will spend 10-15 minutes per day. The teacher guide includes reproducible templates for some activities.
It may be possible to use the teacher guide as a stand-alone; the lessons will be richer with the addition of the Reference Notes and Lab Manual, for the student. Both are scheduled in the Teacher Guide (and recommended) although busy families may choose to do one of the student resources. The Reference Notes (70 pgs) contains the stories found in the Teacher Guide and a set of mini books for the student to color, cut and glue into a journal or lapbook. The Lab Manual (149 pgs) contains the stories, coloring pages, demonstration pages, and activity sheets. If you chose the Lab Manual, children completing the program will have a personalized lab journal when they are finished. Both allow for copying of student supplemental pages, for the purchasing family only. Core books are presented from a religiously neutral position, although some of the additional resources like the DK Children’s Encyclopedia present evolutionary theories from a secular perspective. Feel free to contact us for a list of suggested books and master supply list.
The Charlotte Mason and Unit Study mama in me absolutely loves this wonderful introduction to science for little learners! Well-laid out and easy-to-use, appealing books to read aloud and fun hands-on activities creates a wonderful learning experience for parent and child alike! ~ Deanne
What a delightful way to learn science! Read a story, perform experiments, keep a log, and learn some science. This Charlotte Mason style, hands-on, inquiry-based science program might be just what your children need to understand and enjoy science. From the same publisher as Elemental Science, this program follows the Sassafras Twins as they travel the world. The underlying storyline is that the twins felt science was boring and pointless. Despite Mom and Dad's warnings, they continued their lackluster approach towards science and failed through science classes. Consequently, they are not able to be with friends over their summer break, and must spend their summer with their crazy (or is he?) Uncle Cecil. Uncle Cecil and his lab assistant, President Lincoln, develop a series of invisible zip lines and special carabineers that take Train and Blaisy (Uncle Cecil's names for the children) on the adventure of a lifetime as they learn to love science.
Each course requires the Reader, Guide and Scidat Logbook. The story-based science instruction is found in the Reader. The correlating Guides offer road maps for your travels. Divided into chapters, it contains summaries, additional information and instruction for the Scidat Logbook, encyclopedia readings and supplemental library lists, an experiment, vocabulary, copywork & dictation, additional activities and more. An appendix includes reproducible pages (for family use). The Scidat Logbooks become a record of your child’s journey. It includes illustrations, maps to color or mark locations, a place to document projects, and note pages. The Logbook is not reproducible, so you will want one for each child. A fair amount of writing is expected, making this a slightly more intensive curriculum. Parents with younger children may wish to assist them or “buddy” them up with an older sibling to maintain the family learning experience.
Each Adventure covers approximately one semester, and it is recommended (for the story purpose) that the books be completed in order. Each volume, however, begins with a brief overview of the previous book so it may be possible to start with later volumes if your young scientist has previously covered the topic. Optional supplemental resources are mentioned, including various children’s encyclopedias and library book lists for families wanting to study the topic more in depth. Occasionally, a scheduled title may not be available. Families may choose a similar resource and match the topic to enhance learning if they wish.
Items listed in this section tend to be complete science programs with a teacher and student component, requiring few supplements besides science supplies.