We love to answer your questions here at Sassafras Science! We would love to tell you that we can instantly reply to every single one, but we just can’t. We respond as soon as we can, but we are busy zip line traveling around the world and all.
So, we put together this list of frequently asked questions to help you get your most pressing inquiries answered before we can hit send on the reply!
- How can I use the Sassafras Science Adventures series with students ranging from K5 through 6th grade?
- How many books will be in the series?
- When will the next book be out?
- How does the Sassafras Science Adventures series work?
- How long will each book last?
- Should I use the activity guide or lapbooking guide?
- Are the Sassafras Science books secular or Christian?
- Do I have to read the books in order?
- What are living books?
- What is notebooking?
- How do you pronounce SCIDAT and LINLOC?
1. How can I use the Sassafras Science Adventures series with students ranging from K5 through 6th grade?
The Sassafras Science Adventures series is designed to work with a variety of ages. This is possible because:
- The novels are on a 5th grade reading level, so a middle school student can read it on his or her own. Alternatively, the whole family can listen to the novel as a read-aloud.
- The activity guide provides you with suggestions for older (middle school) and younger (elementary) students, so it will help you as a teacher pull out the key concepts and provide you with options to enhance what the students are learning.
- The logbook is very open-ended so that you can tailor the program to the individual student’s needs. We also offer a lapbook as another option for recording what your student is learning.
The series offers multiple options so that you can provide a quality living books education in the sciences for a range of students.
2. How many books will be in the series?
The completed series will have 8 books in all.
- Volume One: Zoology
- Volume Two: Anatomy
- Volume Three: Botany
- Volume Four: Earth Science
- Volume Five: Geology (Coming in 2017)
- Volume Six: Astronomy
- Volume Seven: Chemistry
- Volume Eight: Physics
Our goal is to release at least one book per year until the series is done.
3. When will the next book be out?
The Sassafras Science Adventures Volume 5: Geology is currently being written! Volume 5 will cover basic geography and geology! If all goes well, we plan to release it by mid 2017.
Please check the Sassafras Science Facebook page for the latest updates.
- Read a chapter in the adventure-style fictional novel each week.
- Then, you will choose one or more activities from the activity guide or lapbooking guide to enhance what the students have learned from the novel.
- The students will record what they have learned in their own SCIDAT logbook or lapbook.
The novel and supplemental materials work together to create a full homeschool science curriculum. Check out this post for more information.
5. How long will each book last?
You can read the Sassafras Science Adventure novels at whatever pace you choose. That said, each book is 18 chapters long. So, if complete a chapter and the corresponding activities per week, you will need two books for a full school year.
6. Should I use the activity guide or lapbooking guide?
It depends on what your students will enjoy and how much you want to add to your studies. The lapbooking guide includes:
- scientific demonstrations,
- additional book suggestions,
- and lapbook instructions.
The activity guide includes:
- chapter summaries,
- encyclopedia readings,
- additional book suggestions,
- possible answers for the logbook pages,
- scientific demonstrations,
- copywork and dictation,
- and additional activities.
The student materials in the lapbooking guide include templates to create a lapbook that documents what the students are learning, while the activity guide partners with the SCIDAT logbook which includes notebooking sheets to record what the student are learning. Using the activity guide will give you more options to choose from while using the lapbooking guide will give you a more focused approach.
Even so, both have all the basic components you need for homeschool science, so it is really up to your teaching and learning preferences. You can also read this post on lapbooks vs. notebooks to help you with your decision.
7. Are the Sassafras Science books secular or Christian?
Neither, each volume is just a good, old-fashioned adventure novel. The scientific facts contained in each book stick to the basic facts, like what a mammal is or how the digestive system works. So, the books don’t touch on topics that are under religious debate. We don’t push any agenda at Sassafras Science, instead, we focus on sharing the basics of a discipline of science in a meaningful and memorable way.
8. Do I have to read the books in order?
It is best to read them in order for the sake of the storyline. However, we do have many people who pick up the story with volume 2, 3, or 4. We do review a bit from the previous book in the first chapter, so it is possible.
9. What are living books?
We use the term “living book” here at Sassafras Science a lot. A living book is simply a book that engages the reader and draws him or her into learning more about a subject. This type of book is typically narrative in style and written by an authority on the material.
To learn more about living books, check out the following posts:
- Are Living Books Superior or Not?
- 10 Posts you Must Read About Living Books
- How to Use Living Books for Science with Elementary Students
- How to Use Living Books for Science with Middle School Students
- How to Successfully Use Living Books with Multiple Ages
10. What is notebooking?
We use notebooking in our support materials here at Sassafras Science, which you may or many not be familiar with. Notebooking is simply a method of interacting with and recording the information that students are learning. This type of record-keeping is more personalized that your typical worksheets.
To learn more about notebooking, check out the following posts:
- What is Notebooking?
- 3 Easy Steps for Getting Started with Notebooking
- Why Choose Notebooking over Worksheets?
- How to Use Notebooking with Different Ages