Research shows that one of the best ways for children with learning differences to really grasp and retain learning is with a multisensory approach. This easy hands-on homeschool science program is designed to create hands-on learning opportunities for children from preschool to high school!
When my son and I sat down to discuss what he wanted to learn this year, without hesitation he replied, “I want to do more science experiments.”
I felt a bit discouraged when he said it, because I made it a point last year to incorporate hands-on science activities at least once a week. Now he was asking for more?!?
Easy Hands-On Science Experiments
He learns best when he can experience learning. If I can make it multisensory for him, I know he can master it. The problem is always how to make it successful for him, while achievable and not overwhelming for me.
Hands-on science has required more of me and my time in the past – more more Pinterest searches, more shopping lists and more planning.
Thankfully, last year, I discovered that BookShark has taken on this challenge and offers multisensory science programs, no matter what your child’s age and grade level.
This year, it’s even better suited to our needs.
Hands-On Literature Based Science For All Ages
BookShark Science has taken hands-on learning to an entirely new level with their all-in-one literature-based science program. Packages are arranged by Level, not Grade. I find this to be a wonderful benefit for a struggling learner, who might be discouraged seeing grade levels much lower than their own on their curriculum. Nothing shuts my 15-year-old son down faster than seeing 5th grade on his math program, for example. This is a non-issue with BookShark.
The program levels do have a recommended age range, but I have found those to also be flexible depending on your child’s interests and needs.
The options include:
Level A, Recommended Ages 5-7
Students will learn about wildlife and ecosystems; weather patterns and the purpose of weather forecasting; and simple machines and physics. The experiments will develop critical thinking skills by students go through the scientific process of Prediction, Investigation, and Conclusion. Science A experiments include building an ant tunnel, making chocolate from cocoa, designing a boat, and more!
Level B, Recommended Ages 6-8
Science B students will learn about light and sound waves, animal life and survival, the solar system, and engineering design.
Level C, Recommended Ages 7-9
Science C students will learn about the interdependent relationships of plants and animals in ecosystems, explore what the world is made of, and examine the water cycle.
Level D, Recommended Ages 8-11
Science D students will learn about forces and interactions, life systems and cycles, weather and climate, and engineering design. Experiments range from: constructing a roof that can withstand a hurricane, creating an electrical current to light up a battery, building a robot powered by a motor, and more.
Level E, Recommended Ages 9-12
Students will learn about energy; earth’s systems, including rock formations, tectonic plates, and natural hazards; the properties of waves; and physical characteristics of living things. Experiments range from: simulating animal nerve connections with an electrical current, building a methane gas collection system, creating an electromagnet, and more.
Level F, Recommended Ages 10-13
Students will dive deep into the application of science, learning about stars and the solar system, human impact on earth’s materials and systems, matter and energy, and properties of matter. Experiments range from: engineering a catapult, constructing an articulating hand, making plastic from corn, and many more.
Level G, Recommended Ages 11-13
Students make connections and delve deeper into chemistry, physics, and biology. Experiments range from: engineering a catapult, constructing an articulating hand, making plastic from corn, and many more.
Level H, Recommended Ages 12-14
Science H students learn the fundamentals of robotics, conservation, energy, engineering, and technology. Each week is capped with an experiment that will have your middle school student building things that range from solar robots to windmills to dams.
Level I, Recommended Ages 13-15
Students will learn all about physics, electromagnetism, and waves by using The Story of Science series and hands-on activities. Includes weekly, step-by-step, photographed instructions for lab experiments that correlate to the science concept of the week
Level J, Recommended ages 13-15
Unlike most BookShark Science programs, Science J does not include read-alouds. Instead, this program for ages 13-15 includes two main components: a Science Supplies Kit and a Student Lab Book (includes Parent Guide). The 36 labs are designed to complement the BookShark’s Level J History of Science and requires some knowledge of basic algebra.
My boys completed Level H last year with great interest and success. This year, as I am only homeschooling my youngest, we are tackling Level F (and loving it!).
The Benefits Of BookShark Science For Easy Hands-On Homeschool Learning
There are a ton of reasons why this works so well for us.
- Levels are arranged by recommended age ranges and not grade level (again, this can be a huge confidence booster for children with learning differences!)
- Literature based learning – the read alouds included in BookShark Science programs bring the concepts to life through the power of story.
- BookShark Science packages now meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)- not common core. Learn more about the value of these standards HERE.
- Hands-On science experiments, ready to go (and lots of them)
This last benefit is clearly what has sold me completely on this program! Just look at this gigantic book of science labs for our current level.
We LOVE this book of science experiments. As soon as we received it, my son went through and started marking the labs he wants to do first with post-it notes!
New for 2021: BookShark Virtual
When you pair BookShark print curriculum with a Virtual seat, parents and students get cool online features like assessment, grading, and accountability—accessible via mobile or desktop!
The best way to understand BookShark Virtual is to try it yourself. The first three weeks of every Virtual course are available for free just like the Instructor’s Guide samples always have been (here).
Watch the demo videos to get your bearings, and then take it for a spin. Let your child take a peek, too!
BookShark Virtual is a great option if you prefer your child’s learning to be more independent.
Try BookShark In Your Own Homeschool
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.