What type of homeschooler are you? We are fairly eclectic in our approach to learning. I have both classical and Charlotte Mason leanings, but we also enjoy unit studies, hand-on and practical methods, and elements of both student-led and traditional learning. We do enjoy a gamut of approaches. This year’s science for my 4th grader is pretty traditional with text readings, comprehension questions, experiments, and tests. This actually works well for my son, but sometimes it is nice to mix it up a little. That is why I was excited for the opportunity to review CrossWired Science’s multi-sensory, online unit study (albeit eclectic) approach on Sound, and Fluid Dynamics.
CrossWired Science is a Christian company who desires to help ages 4 – 18 use it to understand more of God’s creation. Their goals are worth noting:
- To Make Studying God’s Nature a Delight & Make the Wonder “Stick-for-Life”
- To Bring Power to Scriptures
- To Build Faith and Encouragement
- To Build Family Learning & Make Great Teachers
- To Bring in New Resources
- To Increase Reading
- To Increase Lifetime Memory
- To Expand Horizons
- To Increase Opportunities
- To Increase Finances for Families
- To Increase Knowledge of How the Brain Learns
- To Increase Gleaning Precious From the Worthless
- To Help Other Ministries
- To Avoid Dead Knowledge
- To Train the Eyes
- To Increase Time Outdoors
Just by looking through the bullet points, you can see that the focus of this curriculum is to use a variety of approaches to help kids grow in knowledge and closer to God. They stick to these 5 key design methodologies:
1. Integrating many examples and elements of science to make a point
2. Varying lesson structure
3. Providing a foundation in all scientific fields
4. Providing a stand alone curriculum while incorporating the many available resources
5. Using Global Topics that connects all science together
Global Topics and Lessons
Currently, 2 Global Topics have been released — Sound & Fluid Dynamics — but there are plans to release 28 more, ultimately providing a full, stand alone curriculum equivalent to 10 year of science education. Each are designed to take about 4 weeks to complete; however, the curriculum is designed in such a way that the student paces the course and can progress as fast or as slow as needed. Also, there are so many extra assignments, experiments, videos, etc. that the student can extend their learning well beyond a month if desired. There are two levels “First Timers’ and ‘Second Timers’ allowing the student to revisit these topics several times, deepening their understanding with each revisit. Each Global Topic incorporates 12 types of lessons that allow you to customize your student’s experience according to their interests and learning style.
- Core Videos: short, quick-paced videos that lay the foundation of the topic. Also included are comprehension question worksheets and quizzes.
- Experiments: several options of experiments, ready to print and go.
- General Links: a fun detour to other fantastic science learning
- Unit Links: broaden your understanding with three levels of activity links
- U-Choose: a fun array of additional resources including art, apps, coloring, videos, etc.
- Field Trips: list of ideas to take your learning on-the-go.
- Reinforcement: ideas on taking the time to show the student’s learning in whatever way they choose.
- Research: choose a related topic and study it in more depth.
- Reading: suggested reading lists for several levels.
- Gold Digs: learn fun topics more thoroughly.
- Digging Deeper: learn the Global topic more thoroughly.
- Devotions: suggested devotions for different levels.
Below is a suggested timeline:
In Our School Room
Both my second grader and fourth grader are working through science curricula that works for them; however, the Global Topic ‘Sound’ aligned with what my oldest was studying, so we were able to supplement his current text with some of the resources provided by CrossWired Science. We watched the core videos (and some of the other, fun ones), used some of the comprehension questions worksheets, completed some of the experiments and quizzes, and had fun with the U-Choose options, to name a few. We enjoyed going outside and listening for different bird calls and are planning other field trips.
We really enjoyed this curriculum. The videos are fun, colorful, an attention-grabbing, although they zip through the information really quickly. I both liked and disliked the freedom of a specific scope and sequence. I like that I could tailor my student’s experience, but I, personally, also like having a daily check list, so each day, we just created our own. I liked that I could print off the whole experiment journal in one document or pick and choose which ones to print. The variety of activities were great. They were able to guide the student’s learning while allowing for them to follow their interests.
Overall, we really enjoyed using CrossWire Science and think you will, too. I would love to hear about your experience below if your student has used CrossWire Science. If not, give it a try. It is only $27.95 for one student for the year, and only $10 for each student after that. Use this discount code dearhs20 to get an additional $5 off! Enjoy!
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Till Next Time,