My oldest daughter loves to learn and is completely fascinated by science. We do not have a regular science curriculum I follow at home because from September through May my girls attend a learning center which covers a wide variety of science topics. At the same time science has always fascinated me and I encourage my girls to engage in what interested them scientifically. I even have a science corner built into our homeschool room to encourage investigation.
Additions to our schoolroom this year included instruments for investigation. Although I was extremely excited about getting a microscope and telescope into our room, but I have to be honest...it has been a while since I've used a microscope and I don't know if I've ever used a telescope!Reviewing the Under a Microscope Curriculum (K-3rd grade) from In the Hands of a Child seemed like a great opportunity to refresh my skills.
We don't typically use lapbooks, but In the Hands of a Child is a company I am very familiar with. They are at the top of the list when searching for quality lapbooking materials. For those unfamiliar with how lapbooks work I like to think of it as scrapbook learning. As students read, learn, and investigate they construct a miniature scrapbook of the information usually kept in a manilla folder. Instructions are included at the beginning for how to construct this lapbook although I was a little confused about where exactly to place the information. This is probably because lapbooking is still more out of my comfort zone than most learning activities. This particular company offers lapbooks in a variety of formats including e-book ($10.00), CD ($15.00), Printed ($18.00), Print+CD combo ($16.00), and a Lapbook It Pack ($12.00 - Does not include the teaching materials). This and other titles are currently on sale right now!
One of the reasons lapbooking isn't typically our learning format is the time it takes to construct the lapbook. It is difficult to do this with multiple ages of children, but In the Hands of a Child helps by gearing their units to a wider age-range with multiple book options and activity choices. My oldest daughter mostly worked on this, but my other girls were excited to check out the microscope as well.
Matching up the scientific vocabulary used when talking about microscopes to their kid-friendly definitions was one of the first activities we did. This was a great way to start out the study so as we went through our learning she would have a good understanding as well as a reference dictionary along the way.
Although many lapbooks I see use lots of multicolored paper I like having the option to print on what I want to. This way my girls can decorate and color the pictures as they want. I particularly liked this how to focus the microscope step-by-step clipboard. It turned out really cute an looked "scientific" to Rose. It also gave very clear instructions for even a newbie scientist.
In addition to information on how to use a microscope and the various types which exist, there was quite a bit of historical information as well. It was fun learning about who created the first microscope.
Rose was so excited to be able to follow the directions and focus the microscope on her own! We have a set of 15 slides I purchased at the same time as the instrument and she has been waiting to learn how to use it on her own. Her favorite slides to look at were the pine stem and human blood. "Ewwww! Blood!" That was my almost-four-year-old Grace's response. She still enjoyed looking at it though!
While working on this unit we had a friend who was over for the afternoon. Rose was very happy to teach her how to use the microscope and share all she had learned.
If you enjoy lapbooking, this is a high-quality lapbook at an affordable price. They also frequently run specials and offers with steep discounts. I personally do not care for this learning medium, but I know many families who do. If you like the idea of project-based learning and hands-on instruction I encourage you to take a look at In the Hands of a Child and their many resources which cover all subject areas.
You can see some other products from this company reviewed by my Crewmates below!