For science, a few years back, I listed all the broad topics that I could think of that pertained to science. For instance, I included, habitats, human body, solar system, weather and earth science, etc. I had enough to cover two topics per year for a total of five years. I have it on a five year rotation, so the younger kids and older kids can be on the same topic each year. You can choose whatever interests you, or what you think is important to cover. You could cover whatever and how many topics in a year you prefer. I just choose to do two per year and not cover the material again until maybe 8th grade or high school (I start the rotation in 3rd grade and then independent projects in the upper grades). Keep in mind though, that you may not be as flexible depending on your states laws.
Here is a good article from Jeannie Fulbright that talks about why this "one topic immersion" approach is good for teaching science.
After I decided on which topics to cover- next year we will be covering habitats and human body- then I sit down and see all the material that I already have. I generally get a lot of e-newsletters, have websites that I check regularly, pick things up at yardsales and the Scholastic warehouse sales, etc. I keep an eye out for things that I know we'd use and then when the time comes to plan, I generally have a pretty good selection of materials. I also jot down library books that I come across as well. I have never purchased a science curriculum. There is nothing wrong with buying one, it's just that I would always look at them and think, "I could put this together myself and save the money." So, here we are.
After I pick my topics, let say I've chosen to cover habitats and for one of them I want to do a Bee unit. I break it down into sections and decide how long I want to take to cover each section. I would find library books for each, any worksheets/projects/experiments that I've collected and see how much I have, If I felt like I didn't have enough, then I would search my websites that I put on this post, or type whatever it is into the search engine. After I've gathered a suitable amount of material then I put it all together. This was our Bee unit from this past year. You can see the lapbooks under "Lapbooks" on the sidebar with links to most of the worksheets we used. This took us about 6 weeks.
**Insect Bee Unit
595.799 Mic "The Life and Times of the Honeybee" by Charles Micucci
JE Thompson "Gran’s Bees" by Mary Thompson
CD 782.42 Hap "Happy Bees" Songs for Happy Kids
Videos 595.799 Bee "Bees" (Bug City)
595.799 Mag "The Magic School Bus in a Beehive"
-Read Bee overview
-Label bee parts, head and leg sheets (cut out for lapbook) what does a bee see? www.centersti.com/bee/beyehome-1.html
-Honey bee stages (cut out stages and stage time chart for lapbook)
-Egg, pupae and larvae sheets (cut out for lapbooks-use as "closeup" view of bee life stages sheet)
-Use worksheet to make one page books of each queen, worker and drone for lapbook
-stinger experiment and identification sheet, sketch and label stinger for lapbook
-Read Honey Bee Society
-Sayings from Unit study-"Busy as a bee" Are bees busy? What are they busy doing? Read Colossians 3:23. Bees are busy working hard. Do we work hard at even the smallest task? Even when no one else is looking? Does God want us to give our best effort in everything we do? "What's the buzz" Buss is a popular term used in the business world. You hear marketing types speaking of generating buzz for their products. What does this mean. What sound does a bee make? What sound do people make when everyone is talking all a once. This is what businesses want. They want everyone to talk about their product.(copy sayings and meanings for lapbook)
-Dancing bees and maze
-Bees home, diagram and beekeepers (cut out for lapbook)
-Trace some hexagons onto yellow constr. paper to include on lapbook
-Read pollination and map of highest pollination states
-Read "Honey" and "The History of Honey"
-Talk about the health benefits of honey; brainstorm all the ways honey can be used. What type of products that we buy have honey in them. Brainstorm all the things that the wax is used for (candles, lipstick, crayons, shoe polish, floor polish) Copy list for lapbook.
-Make beeswax candles
-Different types of honey around the country
-Honey Krispies Recipe (copy for lapbook)
-Honey in Scripture: Why is ther so much "honey" in scripture? Whats so good about a land flowing with milk and honey. Exodus 3:8; Judges 14:8; 1 Samuel 14:26; Psalm 19:10; Psalm 119:103; Proverbs 25:16; Isaiah 7:15; Ezekiel 3:3; Matthew 3:4; Revelation 10:9 (copy scripture for lapbook)
-Africanized honey bee info sheet and map
-Africanized honey bee diary
-Read Parables from Nature pg. 5 "The Law of Authority and Obedience"
**Assemble Bee Lapbook
The younger kids did all the diagrams, and age appropriate things. Since I don't start the rotation til third grade, the younger kids are involved if they want to be, but don't do the full lessons that I've prepared until they fall in line on the rotation.
When you need to purchase science materials, here are some good companies:
Rainbow Resource (sells everything you could ever need for homeschooling!)
Tobin's Lab (trademarked the "Lapbook")
Home Science Tools (has a great e-newsletter)
Amperand Press (Nature games)
Arbor Day Foundation (10 free trees with your membership, and good tree information)
Wild Goose Science
Here are some websites that I have found science material:
Dole 5 a day
Steve Spangler Science
Science With Me
Nueroscience for Kids
Anwers in Genesis
How Stuff Works
FAA (airplane printouts and info)
4th Day Alliance
After I've gotten all of my material together and broken it down into units, I type it up and put all the material together in a three ring binder with dividers for the different units. I use the pocket in the front of the binder to hold all worksheets that I've printed out ahead of time and keep all master copies in the binder. This is my binder, but you could make one up for each child if you prefer.