Finding an interest-led science curriculum for your homeschool can be a challenge. This approach allows you to mix and match based on what makes sense for your individual learner. It’s so well done, your gifted child will love it!
I believe strongly in an Interest-led approach, particular for gifted and twice-exceptional children. It is the absolute best way to challenge a gifted mind while also meeting your child where they’re at developmentally and academically.
Although I absolutely love it, the very real downside is often finding robust curriculum options that support the flexibility an interest-led approach requires. This has been particularly true for us in science.
Why Interest-Led Science Works So Well
The first time I purchased a full science curriculum, I was hoping it would help me fill in the gaps of my son’s learning. It was all encompassing, complete with a textbook and checklists. It progressed through the subject matter sequentially and offered quizzes every chapter.
I am not sure why I started here. Science is an area of natural strength and interest for my son. Textbooks are not.
I spent the first part of that school year trying to come up with ways to make that textbook fun. By the middle of the year, we had abandoned it completely.
In the years since, I have taken a much more hands-on, interest-led approach in his learning – especially in science, with much success.
As he has matured however, finding multisensory, activity-based learning options has become more and more difficult. Adding to the difficulty is that he is heading into 9th grade this year.
We need a solid option – high school transcripts are our new normal. It is tempting to want a more formal approach. In fact, for a brief period I wondered if we should try a traditional textbook approach because of high school.
That thought did not last long! The reality is, he has always learned best with hands-on, interest-led learning. Anything less would be less effective and less educational.
The Limitations of A Traditional Science Curriculum
The reality is that a traditional approach to science usually skips the most educational part – the exploration and experimentation. Science curriculums can often be restrictive and end up requiring more work on the part of the homeschooling parent to “make it fit” their child’s needs.
For all of these reasons, you can imagine how excited I was to learn about a new, mix and match homeschool science curriculum, especially created for more flexibility in interest-based study.
Science Unlocked For Interest-Led Learning
Let me introduce you to Science Unlocked by Homeschool Science Tools!
Designed for K-12 homeschoolers, Science Unlocked is a leading, all-in-one curriculum program created to teach science at home. Science Unlocked removes the hours-long lesson planning and intimidation by combining a comprehensive, ongoing program with lessons, supplies, and excitement for all ages and abilities delivered right to your door.
The entire program is designed to give you the flexibility and creativity you need to create an interest-led approach to science. It allows you to choose the experiments and lessons around the topics that are of most interest to your child.
Here is how it works.
Choose Your Science Unlocked Kits Based On Interests And Ability
My son and I sat down together and looked at the various options for learning. We looked at the areas of study he is most interested in and I also looked at the typical ninth grade requirements for my state.
Science Unlocked kits are available for all ages and abilities in the following levels:
- Wonder – Ideal for Grades K-2. Includes 6 total hours of instruction and activities per kit.
- Accelerate – For Grades 3-7. Includes 9 hours of instruction and activities per kit.
- Launch – Grades 8-12. Includes 15 hours of instruction and activities per kit.
In reviewing all the choices available, we decided on 3 kits for a total of 45 hours of instruction for his first semester.
Based on his interests and abilities, we chose:
Crack The Code (DNA study)
Figuring out an interest-led science curriculum for my son has never been this easy!
Hands-On Science All At Your Fingertips
When the kits arrived, my son and I were absolutely blown away. Each kit contains everything needed for various experiments. Each kit also includes both a student workbook and teacher’s guide.
The student workbook is dynamic and wonderfully illustrated. This is not your average, worksheet approach to science.
An Example Of How Science Unlocked Supports Interest-Led Learning
As I mentioned, my son and I chose three kits for his first semester. He decided to begin with the Ancient Organisms kit (mostly because he saw that there was plaster included to create his own fossils and animal traces – again, interest-led!).
The very first lesson began with a hands-on activity using actual samples of fossils and rock. He was totally impressed with the samples and took great care in his study of them.
The lesson was about determining the difference between a rock and a fossil. After making some observations, he then began experimenting to determine the difference, including a burn test.
He was engaged and excited about learning the entire activity. The level of study as well as the materials provided, were incredibly high quality. Even more importantly, they were completely age appropriate.
It can be extremely difficult to find hands-on learning options and activities for older kids. Not so with Science Unlocked.
An All-In-One Hands-On, Interest-Led Science Curriculum
Science Unlocked really is a perfect blend of structure and flexibility – exactly what we need to create an interest-led learning environment. And, they make it easy to get started!
First, if you are not sure which level is right for your learner, you can complete their online quiz. This helps take the guess work out of the curriculum planning process!
Then, review the Science Unlocked products or check out the Science Unlocked Scope and Sequence. Each kit is designed to offer 1 month of hands-on home science education, but can easily be modified to add more flexibility to your schedule and routine.
If you want to do a chemistry course, choose chemistry kits only. If you want to do a general science course, choose among chemistry, biology and/or physics (Earth and Space are also coming in December 2021; Engineering and Technology coming in July 2022)
Science Unlocked gives you the flexibility to move around among, and even between, levels to create a program that works for you. It’s completely aligned with an interest-led approach to science.
The result is a well -rounded and engaging science education.
Try Science Unlocked Yourself!
I am so impressed with this new homeschool science option and I encourage you to give it a try for your family! Even better, now through August 31st, 2021, Raising Lifelong Learners readers receive 30% their first Science Unlocked Kit with the code RLL30.