I printed up a sample and left it in with other "get to some other time" stuff for a good long while. I find the extremely involved (find your own platinum bar and 2300-weight brass coil, three lemons and a chickadee egg) experiments to be a bit beyond me in the Lifepac curriculum. It's fun to test which items would be attracted to magnets, but not so easy when one of the experiments casually calls for good ol' Mom to generate electricity with a cardboard tube, some magnets and a bunch of wires. I got the DVD for the set... but I still wasn't pleased with *some* of the books in the fourth grade level. Which is odd, because I thought the science was fun to teach until this year. Some of the experiments are getting harder to implement even under ideal circumstances... which we're not in. And I didn't think that the video "matched" the experiment in the workbook very well at all, so I had to have the children just answer based on the experiment they DID see and just forget the other one.
I don't think it's wrong to choose a curriculum in part because it's easier to teach, knowing that the easier to teach stuff actually gets done. :)
This beginning chemistry curriculum I just ordered seems really cute. It's just at the right level for Emperor and Elf. Want to see a whole chapter online? Here you go. As you can see, there are several other small books for sale. I had a lot of trouble trying to order on this site; it seems to think I have a paypal account and wanted to just send me the stuff... so I had to cancel the order and re-try several times before finally giving up and going to Rainbow Resource Center. I got it there for a little cheaper, too, but I was hoping to buy some of her other things that RRC doesn't sell.
We've worked through this first chapter and the boys absolutely love it. They're having a bit of trouble adjusting from the blatantly, obviously Christian curriculum that sneaks in questions like, "Who created the heavens and the earth?" into the workbooks every now and then. Questions like that can actually make or break your grade at four points each, so you'd better have your theology straight.
One of the introductory lessons in our new (I'm guessing secular) sample introduced the chemical compound for glucose sugar. I told the boys that the C stands for carbon. Now, what do you think the H stands for?
"HELL!" shouted Emperor.
Um... no. You can't mix HELL with carbon. At least, not that I've ever seen... Emperor was serious, too.
I think it should be an interesting experience, working with something a little less overtly religious. New mindset. Promise we're not pitching God to the curb, but learning some principles over which He is Master. Not to mention, the Atomic Chef is a pretty funny guy featured in the comic section.