REAL Science Odyssey

February 5, 2011
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REAL Science Odyssey

Content: Science
Grade(s): 1st-4th (Level 1); 5th-8th (Level 2)
Perspective: Secular
Prep Time: Moderate
Teacher Manual: Yes
Teacher Involvement: Moderate
Cost: $$ || ?
Pages: 250 (varies)
Publication Date: 2013

Common Core Aligned: No

** From the Publisher’s Website: **

Each book of REAL Science Odyssey is a complete one-year science curriculum. Each topic in the REAL Science Odyssey series is presented in an entertaining story-like format and is followed by hands-on activities along with background science information, parent instructions, labs, reading lists, journaling ideas, and websites.

RSO Biology (Level 1 – 1st to 4th grade) The course is divided into three sections: the human body, the animal kingdom, and the plant kingdom. Students study the major body systems through making models and doing tests on their own bodies. Classification and the five kingdoms of living things are studied as students make an animal kingdom book. Animal kingdom labs include examining real worms, mollusks, arthropods, and butterfly metamorphosis. Students learn about the plant kingdom through looking at the makeup and function of seeds, flowers, leaves, stems, and roots. Each topic and/or subtopic will include 1 to 3 lessons complete with lesson story, labs, reading, and other activities. Each topic will take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks to complete.

RSO Biology (Level 2 – 5th to 8th grade) This year-long course assumes no science background for teacher or student. Most materials needed for labs and activities are commonly found items. A few items such as a microscope (microscope labs are optional but highly encouraged) and dissection specimens are easily obtained from science supply vendors. The student text starts each chapter with an entertaining written lesson that is followed by several components intended to reinforce the lesson, address the needs of different learning styles, and engage students in hands-on learning and research. These components include lab sheets, lab reports, problem sets, activities, famous science research assignments, coloring sheets, microscope labs, poetry, and vocabulary review. The parent/teacherʼs text provides all the help a science novice needs to assist her student including suggested course scheduling, summaries, additional material and explanations, sample reports, learning objectives, answers and suggestions, tests, and quizzes.

RSO Earth & Space (Level 1 – 1st to 4th grade) Topics include weather, seasons, the earth, minerals, rocks, our solar system, and space. Students study the weather and atmosphere with several hands-on labs including making an anemometer, a rain gage, and water cycle in a bowl. Rocks and minerals are studied in depth with students identifying their samples through the same tests used by geologists. Each planet in our solar system is studied individually as students make their own planet book. Earth & Space has recently been revised to include changes to the status of Pluto and the definition of planet. Each topic and/or subtopic will include 1 to 3 lessons complete with lesson story, labs, reading, and other activities. Each topic will take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks to complete.

RSO Chemistry (Level 1 – 2nd to 5th grade) This comprehensive course covers topics usually reserved for high school chemistry, but in way that youngsters can easily grasp. Topics covered include atoms, molecules, the periodic table, states of matter, acids and bases, and chemical reactions. Students start small, pondering the size and magnitude of atoms and molecules. Then students make their own periodic table and study 18 of the most common elements. They experiment with states of matter and make their own pH scale. Students end big with chemical reactions and exciting combustion labs. Each lesson is followed by 1 to 5 hands-on activity labs that reinforce the material and introduce science terminology and age-appropriate math.

RSO Physics (Level 1 – 3rd to 6th grade) This comprehensive course presents complicated physics concepts in a way that young people can comprehend and immediately apply to everyday play and work. Topics covered include the study of matter, motion, friction, work, sound and wave, magnetism, electricity, and even a glimpse into the quantum world. Students will not only learn Newton’s three laws of motion, but they will experiment with them and develop simple models of real-world applications such as rockets, auto safety, and electric motors. Each lesson is followed by 1 to 5 hands-on activity labs that reinforce the material and introduce science terminology and age-appropriate math.

About the Author:
Terri Williams wrote REAL Science Odyssey Biology 1 and Earth & Space Science 1. Blair Lee wrote REAL Science Odyssey Biology 2 and Chemistry 1. Dahlia Schwartz wrote REAL Science Odyssey Physics 1

Because one opinion is never enough! Have you ever used REAL Science Odyssey? How did it work for your family? Share your review below.



  • LineaS March 7, 2012 at 8:17 am

    My gifted 6 year old likes the “project” idea of the R.E.A.L. Science labs, but finds the Gr. 1-4 materials (life, earth) to be far too simplistic, too. We were disappointed that the only exercise on animal classification was to cut out blobs and separate them by # of feet, eyes, etc. At least in Apologia, he learned the names and order of the classification system. Now, I usually order Usborne companions, which are internet-linked, so that we can explore different websites on each topic. (For example, yesterday, he was on 3 different sites learning about and playing games to study bones, after cutting & pasting a simple skeleton as his only R.E.A.L. bones lesson.)

  • kalanamak February 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I have used all three years for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. I wish physics was out. I think that chemistry is the “strongest”, and kiddo was really happy every time I got the book out. I think the astronomy, the second half of Earth/Space is the weakest, but I had trouble teaching that subject in general, apart from looking at pretty books, learning a little vocab, and revisiting the Greek myths.

    Each book took us less than half a year, but we do a lot of science. I liked the bibliographies, the supply lists, the hands on, the tear-out pages, and the little tricks for memorizing things.

    It is religiously “neutral”, so if you want to teach evolution, you’ll have to add it on (which is not hard, as there are plenty of books about it).

    If science is not your focus, each year is sufficient. If science is your “spine”, these are a good half-year intro, from which you can springboard.

  • Jen February 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    We used the Chemisty curriculum over 2 years for my 8/9 year old and 10/11 year old.

    We really liked it. We spread it over 2 years because the first half was a pretty intensive, but fun, study of the first 18 elements. We returned to finish the curriculum a year later and still love it. There are lots of fun experiments that can be done without special stuff. I’ve had to go out and buy a few things, but nothing was hard to find.

    I really like how the lesson is ‘story-like’ and the labs are easy to follow and fun. The lab sheets are easy to complete for both kids.

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