Science Year in Review – 6th Grade
The year in review posts are especially fun because it’s my chance to reflect back on the year and all the things we managed to accomplish!
Sometimes in the short-run it can feel like we’re not getting much homeschooling done. You know how homeschooling can go… we’re interrupted for activities, illness, errands, appointments, or the occasional blahs. But then when we step back to look at the bigger picture, we’ve actually covered quite a bit.
I was planning to write about ED’s 7th grade plans, but spent so much time wrapping up last year’s science I figured I would just rename this post and come back to her 7th grade plans in the next post!!
So… here is our Year in Review: the 6th Grade Science Units ED did last year. ED is the blog nick-name for my youngest daughter. 😊
As many of you know, we’ve been homeschooling right from the start. For many years, we did the majority of our subjects together. With my older two in high school, we now do science separately for the most part, though as you’ll see ED did a couple of units with her (older) sister, DD, (who did high school biology last year).
I’ve linked to the posts if you are interested in reading more about any of these units.
We went on to do a unit on the Properties of Matter. We talked about the physical & chemical properties of matter and reviewed the differences between pure substances & mixtures and so forth.
She spent time building molecules as well:
ED also became familiar with the first twenty elements of the periodic table (and worked on this independently).
Plant Kingdom – We then switched to botany for a little while. We went over some basic plant classification because her older sister was covering that in biology. She had done some basic plant classification when she did a mini-unit on carnivorous plants (which is also included in the Botany Packet) the year before. When I asked her, she said the review would be good. 🙂
She then went on to learn about the life cycles of moss, ferns & conifers/gymnospoerms as well.
We did a number of hands-on activities that she really enjoyed. She really loved the one we as we talked about bone diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.She also asked if she could do owl pellets again (we’ve dissected those every year or two since the kids were little!) and really enjoyed finding all the mice bones. There’s a free owl packet that I shared at that post too, if you’re interested.
We had family fly in to spend the Thanksgiving holidays with us last year and then after that ED did the muscular system.
This was her movable hand project from that unit. The fingers were all different sizes… which is why she wrote that message to all of you! (Yes, she knows most of her projects wind up on the blog!!) 😊
Next, we moved on to the nervous system. Funny enough, I guess I didn’t share that blog post with you all last year! I found it in draft form when I was writing this post. Oops! Life got away from me!
We also talked briefly about how the eye and how the ear functions. (These were worksheets I included in the Five Senses Packet).
After the winter break, we started with a unit on renewable & non-renewable energy and on the carbon cycle. (This is one of the packets I haven’t proof-read & shared yet.) We talked about things like kinetic and potential energy, energy sources and our local power grid before going on to talk about fossil fuels and so forth.
And, after talking about the power grid it made sense to talk about electricity. ED jumped into a big unit on Electricity and Circuits! That is a super-fun hands-on unit!
It had been quite a long time since we had talked about Weather & Weather Fronts and we spent a couple of weeks going over the types of winds, warm and cold fronts, the Coriolis effect and all that!
And finally, we ended the year with a couple of Physics Units… talking about light waves and sound waves. (Again, I’ll add these into the Energy Packet.) We also watched some physics videos from a homeschool curriculum I purchased and covered the physics of light, the physics of sound and the physics of heat.
Reflecting back, it might look like I had a grand plan… but more often, we just went with the flow. In fact, we didn’t cover some of the topics/units that I thought we would get to.
And as you saw, there were other units that we did that I hadn’t expected/planned for. For example, since ED’s sister was doing some biology units (on botany, on the human body)… it made sense to piggy-back on what her sister was covering.
Similarly, we wound up doing the physics units because her older brother had the opportunity to take two physics courses (with a homeschool Dad who teaches physics at a university). Again, it made sense for our family at the time!
Other units came about when I casually asked if she remembered things… for example, I asked her (and her sis) if they remembered much about high & low pressure systems, global winds, the jet stream, local winds, weather fronts, etc. They didn’t, so we spent some time covering that! (And my son, LD, also joined in on that unit even though he was also doing physics at the time.)
You may find that your year goes something like that too! Winding from topic to topic… diving deep into some things and reviewing others.
You might make wonderful plans… only to abandon some of them and to explore unexpected topics! That’s homeschool life!
I have a general checklist and keep that top of mind as we move through the year, trying to make sure that we are both covering new material and reviewing older units (that we might have done when she was quite young).
- If you are wondering in general what science topics/units to cover, this is the free checklist of the units we hoped to cover K-8 Homeschool Science Unit Checklist for Elementary and Middle School (free printable)
So, that’s about it for today! It has been fun thinking back on last year!
In the next few days, I’ll be sharing some of our plans for this year. 🙂
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