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When I was a child most research for projects meant a trip to the library to check out a stack of books or browse the encyclopedias. Today these are still wonderful ways to start your research, but there is so much information available online that learning how to find it is a very important step for children.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own.
Surfing The Net Science Online Science Research For Kids
Surfing the Net: Science by Jennifer Katherine Brooks is a large 250 paper back book intended for grades 3 to 6. It contains a section overview and instructions on how to use the book as well as an answer key at the back of the book. Surfing the Net: Science covers 7 science topics that are divided into unit sections.
- Section 1: Animals (amphibians, animal cells, birds, fish, insects, etc.)
- Section 2: Atmosphere (climate, clouds, precipitation, severe weather, etc.)
- Section 3: Ecosystems and Habitats (deserts, food webs, forests, grassland,s etc.)
- Section 4: Energy (electromagnetism, energy and conservation, fossil fuels, hydroelectricity, etc.)
- Section 5: Geology (erosion and weathering, minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, etc.)
- Section 6: Plants (plants, plant cells, flowering plants, non-flowering plants, etc.)
- Section 7: Space (solar system, sun, moon, constellations, and stars, etc.)
Each subject section has 6 to 8 chapters that cover each topic.
The idea behind Surfing the Net: Science is to teach students how to use the internet to research subjects while learning basic science concepts at the same time. Most of the worksheets list a few websites that students are to type into their web browser and go to. On this page there will be videos to watch, audios to listen to or reading to be done to find the answers to the questions on the page.
Sometimes the worksheet doesn’t list a website and students need to use the keywords in the questions to do a web search to find the answers.
Each section of Surfing the Net: Science is a stand alone unit so you can start with any subject your child is interested in.
Flexible Homeschool Science Curriculum
Surfing the Net: Science is such a flexible resource! Because each unit is stand alone I’ve been letting our children pick a topic each day that they are interested in and work on that. One day they might want to learn about birds, another day it’s clouds.
Surfing the Net: Science allows reproduction of it’s worksheets for your family’s use. I love this because our children can all share the lessons without trying to share the book. If each child wants to study a different topic at the same time I can easily copy different sheets and let them get to work.
On average we’ve been completing 1 chapter each week. This depends on how long and detailed the chapter units are and the age of each child. We’ve also used some of the lessons as an introduction to longer units.
When I see a topic is really getting the kids interested I pick up extra books and videos on that subject for them to enjoy.
Building Good Research Skills For Kids
We have been loving Surfing the Net: Science! I think this is an amazingly flexible resource for homeschools and schools a like. Developing good research skills is very important and the internet can be a difficult place for children to navigate when they are looking for help.
I love that the book lists websites to help them find these answers. If you don’t want to type the sites in, there is one master site listed in the book with the URLS for each chapter. Children can just go to this one link and click through to the sites from there.
The worksheets include many different types of questions:
- Fill in the blank
- Venn diagrams
- Flow charts
- Life cycle circles
- Written answers, etc.
As with all internet work it’s important to keep your children safe. Our computers are all in the kitchen where I can see what is being accessed at all times. We prefer to use Google search with safesearch turned on.
Another Crew member mentioned that Google has a search engine for children and I didn’t know that! It’s called KidRex, we’ve tried it out and it works well! Google keeps a list of “bad” sites and automatically updates that and blocks them. Even with this I would allow my children unsupervised internet access but it does help to prevent them mistakenly clicking on things they shouldn’t.
Surfing the Net: Science is a program children can use independently or as part of a group study to build online research skills. Visit their website to see sample pages for Surfing the Net: Science.