My children love learning about science. I came across the Sassafras Science Adventures series on Pinterest and knew it was something I wanted to try. We have been using Sassafras science for several months now and I want to share my experiences. So far, we have completed the Zoology volume and are part way through the Anatomy volume. This review of Sassafras Science is based on my experiences using these two volumes.
The Sassafras Science Adventures are a newer science series for homeschoolers. The main course book is a novel that presents the science information. If you like the Magic Treehouse series, you will probably like the Sassafras Science Adventures too. The main characters of the novel are Blaine and Tracy Sassafras. Their parents send them to their uncle to learn about science. He sends them all of the world to learn science information from experts. They meet new friends and have a lot of exciting adventures. There is a mystery man with no eyebrows who is following them and trying to thwart their progress.
My children love the story format of the Sassafras Science Adventures. This series is great for auditory learners or for children who love story time. The stories are fun and teach science concepts within each chapter. Your children will be exposed to science as they listen to the story. The activities and optional additions help the child learn more about specific science concepts. The logbook or lap book is used to record science information. There are also vocabulary lists, science demonstrations, projects and activities, copywork, dictation, tests, and additional book lists to go with each topic. You can use any of these activities as they fit within your time, teaching style, or your child’s learning style.
The Kindle version of the novels occasionally has problems with an image blocking some of the text. I have been able to work around this by rotating my device to a different orientation to read the covered words. Although I really like this science adventure series, I have difficulty following through with the science projects and demonstrations. This is more a limitation of my time (most science demonstrations just are not open-and-go format) rather than a limitation of the curriculum. This component is available if it works for you, if not, just skip it like I usually do.
The Sassafras Science Adventures stories are fun and my kids love them. I plan on continuing on with the series. I do recommend the Sassafras Science Adventures as a fun science curriculum. You can preview the novels by using the “look inside” feature on Amazon.
What to Buy
With all of the options available on the Elemental Science website or Amazon, it can be difficult to determine what you need to buy to use the program. I will break down the core materials and supplements so you can decide what will work for you.
Core materials you must buy:
Each guidebook also lists additional science reference texts that you will need to buy. For Zoology, it recommends Kingfisher First encyclopedia of Animals for K-3rd grade and DK Encyclopedia of Animals for 3rd-6th grade. I bought both as I have a 2nd and 4th grader using the program; however, both children prefer the DK Encyclopedia due to the photographs. The Kingfisher book has drawings of animals rather than photographs.
Additional core materials (pick one of the two):
Student logbook or lapbook. These provide worksheets and forms to record the science information the child is learning. The lap book is available from Elemental Science website.
You can also purchase a set of coloring pages (available on the Elemental Science website) to go with each volume of the Sassafras Science Adventures. The coloring pages can be used in two ways:
- If your child loves listening to the stories, but is too young to fill out the logbook or lap book, the coloring pages will allow them to participate. You could make a book with the results and read the captions for review.
- Use these in addition to the logbook or lapbook for children who like coloring. The child(ren) can also color as you read the corresponding chapter in the novel.
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CLICK HERE to read my reviews of other elementary science curricula.