This information will help you get organized and prepared to use the Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Core Knowledge Science curriculum to homeschool.
How-to Videos: Watch the how-to videos to learn to use the Core Knowledge Science curriculum to homeschool by clicking here: Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade, and Fifth Grade.
Units: There are 5-6 units for each grade of the CK Science curriculum. All students start with Unit 1 for their grade level and progress through the units in order. You will download each unit separately from the CK website. Each unit will be downloaded as a file folder containing multiple files including the Teacher’s Guide and Student Reader.
Teacher’s Guide: This is the primary resource used for science lessons. When you are ready to start a lesson with your student, you will simply open the PDF file for the Teacher’s Guide on your tablet or laptop, navigate to the lesson indicated on the daily schedule, and work through the instructions in the Teacher’s Guide for that lesson.
Student Reader: This reader contains both images and text and is used on some school days. This reader can be accessed as a PDF file on your student’s device.
Demonstration/Experiment Materials: A list of materials and equipment needed for the science lessons can be found in the introduction of each unit’s Teacher’s Guide. This list is broken out by lesson.
Online Resources Website: Many lessons call for accessing this website which contains additional lesson resources:
To find a specific resource, click on the name of the unit and click on the lesson number. Save this website so you can access it easily during lessons.
Preparing for a New Unit: Before starting a new science unit, please take time to:
- Carefully read the unit introduction section in the Teacher’s Guide
- Gather the materials listed in the introduction section of the Teacher’s Guide
- Print the activity pages located in the back of the Teacher’s Guide
Activity Pages: Activity pages (and the answer key) for each unit are found in the back of the Teacher’s Guide for each unit. It is easiest to print all the activity pages at once at the beginning of the unit. Activity pages are often used over multiple school days. Save all activity pages until you have completed the unit.
Unit Assessments: Some units end with a unit assessment. The documents for that assessment are located with the other activity pages in the back of the Teacher’s Guide.
Answer Key: The answer keys for the activity pages and any unit assessments are located in the back of the Teacher’s Guide.
Organization & Time-Saving Tip: Print all the activity and assessment pages for all the CK Science units at the beginning of the school year (these pages are always located in the back of the Teacher’s Guide). Place all the pages in a binder together or have the pages spiral-bound at your local office supply store. This not only saves you from having to print pages at the beginning of every unit, it also ensures you always have previous activity pages handy as many pages are used over a number of lessons.
Advance Preparation for Lessons: It is useful to review the upcoming science lesson the day before so you can prepare any needed equipment and materials. Many lessons include an “Advance Preparation” section. The advance preparation typically takes no more than 10-15 minutes.
Multi-Day Lessons: Some lessons extend over multiple school days. If the schedule specifies “Day 1” for example, the Teacher’s Guide will specify where the “Day 1” vs. “Day 2” portions start.
Effective and Safe Activities: In the back of the Unit 1 Teacher’s Guide for each grade level, you will find several useful resources including how to safely work through demonstrations and activities, tips for advance preparation for lessons, and what to do when the activities don’t yield the expected result.
White Board: Many lessons suggest using a white board, chalk board, or board/chart paper. If you do not have one available, you can use a plain piece of paper to write out or draw the information called for in the activity.
Classroom-Based Activities: Some activities in this program are clearly designed for a classroom setting. Please adjust the activity as needed for your situation. For example, if an activity that suggests students work in teams, you can act as your student’s teammate. For activities where multiple stations or portions need to be completed, your student can either complete all those portions or you can recruit siblings or other family members to participate too.
The Core Knowledge Foundation is a non-profit organization and has generously made their curriculum free to download. If you are able to, please consider making a donation to support their ongoing curriculum development efforts.
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Core Knowledge, CKLA, CKHG, and CKSci are registered trademarks of the Core Knowledge Foundation.
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MEP Math has been made available through the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching.