Monday, April 9, 2012

AIMS What on Earth? - Review

My kids (6 yr & 4 yr) love science. That's one reason why we do a science experiment every week for Theory Thursday. There's just one problem - I struggle with the subject. I am always looking at various books to make learning fun. That's why I was excited to try AIMS What on Earth?. This science curriculum is geared towards Kindergarten-1st grade.

The book includes 30 activities and is divided into the following sections:
  1. Resources: The Earth has resources that are used to make all kinds of things. Resources can be conserved by recycling, reusing, and reducing their consumption.
  2. Rocks and Soils; Rocks and soils have observable properties.
  3. Water: Water is found in oceans, lakes, ponds, and rivers.
  4. Changes: Earth’s surface can quickly change due to hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, and wind and wave action.
  5. Day/Night: The sun and moon are objects in the sky that have repeating patterns of movement.
  6. Seasons: The seasons form a repeating pattern. The changes in weather help determine our clothing and activities.

The book is very thorough. It breaks down each lesson for the teacher with things like topic, key question, materials needed, background information, procedure, and more. It also includes a CD for printing the worksheets. I like the hands-on approach of the curriculum. After all, the Chinese proverb that guides all AIMS material is “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

This curriculum was written for use in a classroom setting. While I was able to adapt some lessons to be used with my 2 little ones, it did make things a little more difficult. Also, because of the strong focus on the hands-on approach, each lesson required a lot of prep work. I found myself skipping some of the lessons because I just didn't have the time or the resources needed. 

During one lesson about the sun, I asked, "The sun gives us light and what?" I expected my 6 year old to answer with heat. Instead, he replied, "Vitamin D!" I am glad that the lessons reiterate things that we've already taught on a daily basis. I think this is a good supplement for science, but would require too much effort to use as a main curriculum.
You can purchase a copy (paperback or PDF) for $21.95. They offer free sample activities to see how it would work with your family. Or stop by their store to check out other grade levels and subjects.

To learn more about AIMS, please visit their website here. Also, don't forget to head to the TOS Crew blog to read more AIMS reviews here.

* Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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