Science for Little Hearts and Hands is The Good and the Beautiful’s science curriculum for preschool through second grade. It uses a unit study approach with stories, discussions, and activities all based on a central theme. The three courses are Fields and Flowers, Wind and Waves, and Sparks and Stars.
Each course has a full-color parent guide and a Big Book of Stories (with stories pertinent to the unit’s topic). All of the books are beautifully illustrated. You can purchase printed books or PDFs.
The courses are taught from the parent guide. Instructions to the parents are in an orange font, while text to read to children is in black. You will need some resources for activities, which are conveniently listed near the front of each guide as well as at the beginning of each lesson. As long as you’ve got the resources on hand, you can use the lessons in an open-and-go fashion.
Each course has 30 lessons, with two pages per lesson in the Flowers and Fields guide and two to four pages per lesson in the other two courses. Lessons open with a brief introduction of the topic that might involve a simple activity, such as going outdoors to see if you can feel the wind. The lessons continue with instruction and activities, or they direct you to read a story, watch a video, or listen to an audio narration.
Stories to accompany some of the lessons are in the Big Book of Stories for each course. The stories convey a great deal of information in more than 200 pages per book, with 14 to 17 stories in each. At the end of each story, “Fun Facts” provide additional information on the topic addressed in the story—a point at which students are likely to be interested in learning more.
For every other lesson in Fields and Flowers, you will access a free video (brief videos created by the publisher). Rather than videos, Wind and Waves and Sparks and Stars incorporate audio narrations for more than half the stories that include sound effects. Seven figures at the back of the Wind and Waves Parent Guide are punched out (from the printed book or cut out if you print from the PDF) and assembled to stand up so children can place them on lesson pages in the guide as they listen to each narration. For example, your child moves a raindrop figure to eight places on three illustrated pages in the lesson as they listen to a narration about how the water cycle works. Sparks and Stars has similar pawns to use during audio narrations. (Videos and narrations are accessed on a password-protected page or in the publisher's Good and Beautiful Homeschool app.) Discussion questions follow each story, video, and audio narration.
Experiments and observations are easy to do and generally require items you’re likely to have around the house. The guides provide information for parents to read or discuss with children so they can learn something from the experience. Occasionally, experiments will take more than one day. For instance, for Lesson 2 in Wind and Waves, you will construct a barometer, and then make observations about air pressure over several days. Discussion questions follow some experiments or observations. In addition, most lessons suggest one or more optional activities, sometimes referring parents to the publisher’s website page for the Little Hearts and Hands series for even more activity suggestions.
You might be able to complete some lessons in one session, while others will take longer, especially if you add optional activities. I think scheduling for at least two days a week should work best for both courses. If children have very short attention spans (normal for preschoolers), you might break up lessons into shorter segments over more days.
The courses are written from a Christian perspective with occasional mentions of God as creator, that God loves us, and that God gave us this beautiful world—nothing that gets into controversial theology.
Science for Little Hearts and Hands offers a gentle, family-friendly introduction to science with plenty of content for first- and second-graders, while also being usable down to the preschool level.