Whenever I have an opportunity to try out a new science curriculum or even just science activities I jump on them. It was no different when I heard about the new program, CrossWired Science. To begin with, we had access to Sound, and Fluid Dynamics that included several videos, worksheets, quizzes and more about these topics.
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Understanding that we would be among the first to try out this new science curriculum we looked at it as more of an opportunity to beta test it and chose to use it as a supplement rather than a full curriculum although I am quite certain it will work well as one, especially as additional resources and activities are added over the next weeks and months.
In order to give you a good idea of how CrossWired Science works I thought I would go step by step with you through some of the features so you can have a better idea of how the calendar works and how we used the program.
Videos & Quizzes
EJ was eager to watch the videos and see how well he could remember what he learned by following them up with a quiz right away. It seemed to us that this process really worked for him and allowed him to go back and watch the video again if he needed to or simply doing the quiz straight through and feeling good about remembering what he had learned (memory is one of his weaknesses).
I liked how the videos were a balance of information and peppiness that was a bit reminiscent of the old Schoolhouse Rock videos of my childhood, full of drawing and words, perfect to keep a young person’s attention.
Gold Digs & Digging Deepers
These are videos of a larger and longer nature. They connect topics together so kids have a better chance of retaining the information. The folks behind CrossWired Science believe it is better to teach things as a group so kids can see how they all fit together. I have to say I agree that this approach seems to work well for EJ. Often there will be something he is really interested in as part of a group and this helps him connect with the other sections as well.
A CWS mantra about this wonderful area is:“Every kid needs a “read-a-book-every-week-in-a-hammock-in-the-sunshine-or-curled-up-by-a-fire-in-the-fireplace-sipping-hot-chocolate time.” Whew!
– CrossWired Science website
Really what more can you say after that quote except for perhaps what parent doesn’t need the same thing? I was happy to see the suggested reading included Heroes of History. EJ decided to begin with Thomas Edison since he has always been fascinated by this hard-working inventor.
There are reading plans to go along with the reading suggestions that allow for about 45 minutes of reading once a week (this is based on the first plan that has been posted with more coming) but as with everything it is important to use a plan that works best for you child to enable them to earn and retain the information.
We didn’t have time to plan any field trips during the review period but we had recently visited the Houston Space Center so this fit right into our list of choices. Even though we didn’t plan this in conjunction with the program, EJ was able to complete the assignment by going back to his pictures and making a field trip report for this visit.
Here’s a video we shot during one of the Rocket Science sessions we attended!
While this entire curriculum is built on how God built our universe, Don and his team have also included specific devotionals that come at the end of the units to help tie this all together.
There are also lessons on research and experiments to round everything out and make this an option to use as a complete curriculum.
My Final Thoughts
First, I am happy with any program or curriculum that will keep kids interested and learning. It doesn’t matter how much information we push out at them if they cannot retain it. Somehow, with his integrated method, Don Miller has come up with the formula that works for our family and we are looking forward to the addition of more topics in the coming weeks and months.
By getting in on the ground floor of this new program we can join in with the excitement as it grows and matures into a full-blown year-long curriculum. I encourage you to check out their website, CrossWired Science and try out their sample unit for yourself.
And to make this even more affordable the folks at CrossWired have generously provided a $5 off coupon code for my readers. Simply enter blue16 at check-out to receive your savings.
To hear what other crew families thought about CrossWired Science please be sure to click the banner below.