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Should you use Sassafras Science or Science Chunks in your homeschool next year?

Sassafras Science or Science Chunks - which one is better?

Sassafras Science or Science Chunks - which is better? We often get asked to compare our series. And so today, we wanted to do just that!

Here are all of the articles in this series:

  1. Should you use Classical Science or Sassafras Science?
  2. Should you use Science Chunks or Classical Science?
  3. Should you use Sassafras Science or Science Chunks? 

Should you use Sassafras Science or Science Chunks in your homeschool next year?

The short answer...

The main difference is that the Sassafras Science series is centered around a living book that covers one subject over a semester, while the Science Chunks series uses encyclopedias for the spines of the program and touches on multiple disciplines in a year. Both programs feature weekly hands-on science activities and notebooking.

In other words - both are good options, but they approach teaching science in a different way. So, it really depends upon which approach fits your unique homeschooling style better.

The longer answer...

Which Elemental Science series is right for you? Sassafras Science or Science Chunks?

We believe that every science program needs to have three keys...

  1. Some kind of hands-on science
  2. A way to gather scientific information
  3. An opportunity to keep a student record with what they learned

There are many different ways that you can put these three keys together to teach science at home. We shared more about how this works in the free conference session - The Three Keys to Teaching Science.

Here at Elemental Science, our different series plan out these three keys in different ways. Here's how this works...

A Look at the Sassafras Science series

The main programs in the Sassafras Science series are semester-long programs, meaning they contain 18 weeks of plans for you to use. The novels cover a single area of science per year - zoology, anatomy, botany, earth science, geology, or astronomy, and eventually chemistry and physics. (Note - Summer's Lab is a 32-week long introduction to all of the above topics.)

Here are how the three keys work in these programs...

  1. Hands-on Science: Weekly demonstrations are included in the activity guides for the teacher.
  2. Scientific Information: Readings come from the included text - either the stories in Summer's Lab or the Sassafras Science Adventure novels.
  3. Student Records: Custom notebook with plenty of pictures and space to write down what they have learned. (There are also optional lapbooks and coloring pages with the programs.)

The programs in this series also include...

  • Memory work, vocabulary, and additional STEAM activities
  • Plus, quizzes for each of the locations in the novels 

Our Sassafras Science programs range in age from kindergarten through sixth grade, but you can combine all your students into one group, adjusting the writing and reading expectations based on the age of the student.

Here is the typical progression through this series...

It is best to read the novels in this series in order for the sake of the storyline. However, we do have many people who pick up the story with one of the later volumes. We do review a bit from the previous book in the first chapter, so it is possible.

This series is best for...

  • Those who want to cover more than one area of science in a year.
  • Those who wish to teach science at home a bit differently.
  • Those who only want to do one program with multiple children.

If you want to see what it looks like to use the Sassafras Science series, check out our experience with the Sassafras Science series.

If you want to dig more into the philosophy behind this series and what it looks like, check out the following posts: 

A Look at the Science Chunks series

The programs in the Science Chunks series are 4 to 12 week long units. However, we also have year bundles with 36 weeks of plans for you to use. The idea is that you will cover multiple discipline through several units each year. In other words, you'll do a bit biology, a bit of earth science or astronomy, a bit of chemistry, and a bit of physics each year.

Here are how the three keys work in these units...

  1. Hands-on Science: Weekly demonstrations or hands-on science activities included in the guide.
  2. Scientific Information: Readings come from full-color, visually appealing children's non-fiction books by publishers such as DK, Kingfisher, or Usborne.
  3. Student Records: Custom lapbook templates and notebooking pages with plenty of pictures and space to write down what they have learned.

The programs in this series also include...

  • Additional STEAM activities, vocabulary, and review sheets.

Our Science Chunks units range in age from kindergarten through sixth grade. You can combine all your students into one group, adjusting the writing and reading expectations based on the age of the student.

This series is designed for you to pick and choose what you want to study, which is why there are single units. However, if you choose to use the year bundles, here is the typical progression through this series...

  • Year K (Colors Unit)
  • Year A (eBook Bundle or Printed Bundle - Includes Plants, Biomes, Solar System, Atoms, Light, and Sound, plus a unit on Gregor Mendel)
  • Year B (eBook Bundle or Printed Bundle - Includes Human Body, Weather, Stars, Matter, Acids and Bases, and Energy, plus a unit on Louis Pasteur)
  • Year C (Coming Soon - will include Living World, Invertebrates, Planet Earth, Periodic Table, Force, Motion, plus a unit on Marie Curie)
  • More year bundles are in the works!

You can pick up the Science Chunks Series at any point and with any unit, so choose what you would like to learn about and start there.

This series is best for...

  • Those who want to learn a bit about every area of science each year.
  • Those who would prefer to pick and choose what they learn about for science.
  • Those who want to use the same program with multiple children.

If you want to dig more into the philosophy behind this series and what it looks like, check out the following video: 

Wrapping it Up

The Sassafras Science series and the Science Chunks series cover similar broad topics, but the specifics are different.

In other words, you won't miss out on anything important by choosing one series over the other. But the specific topics and types of the methods you use to learn the basics will be different.

If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to drop us an email using the envelope icon at the top left or bottom right of our website.


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