Sassafrass Science Adventures Homeschool Science Curriculum Review

sassafrass science adventures curriculum review

If you’re thinking about trying the Sassafrass Science Adventures curriculum for your homeschool, you’ll love this in-depth review! 

We started using the Sassafrass Science curriculum after trying Apologia’s Young Explorer Series. 

Apologia was working fine, but my kids and I were getting a bit tired of the strong religious messaging in the curriculum and needed a change. 

Because we love the Story of the World curriculum for history, I was thrilled to stumble upon Sassafras Science Adventures. 

The format is very similar to Story of the World – both curricula rely heavily on living books for their main teaching text.

Related post: 5 Reasons Why We Love Story of the World for Homeschool History

Additionally, both offer an accompanying activity book filled with fantastic ideas for helping students internalize what they’re learning.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s dive in to learn more about Sassafrass Science Adventures!

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Overview of Sassafrass Science Adventures Homeschool Curriculum

Sassafrass Science Adventures homeschool science curriculum is best for elementary ages, especially grades 2-6.

Each of the six main books tells the story of Blaine and Tracey Sassafrass, a brother and sister duo who don’t like science. 

But then their summer camp is canceled, they are forced to spend the summer with their eccentric uncle, a scientist named Uncle Cecil. 

Uncle Cecil sends Blaine and Tracey on an invisible zip-lining journey all over the globe to help them appreciate science over a wide variety of topics. 

Here at the current titles in the 6 book series so far: 

Each 300+ page text volume can be accompanied by a Sassafrass Guide and a SCIDAT Logbook. 

The Sassafrass Guide

The Sassafrass Guide is the accompanying book is required to make the textbooks into a full homeschool science curriculum. 

Each Sassafrass guide contains chapter summaries, and includes encyclopedia readings, additional book lists, experiments, copy work or dictation suggestions, and hands-on activities.

Only one guidebook is needed to accompany each of the main text volumes. 

The SCIDAT Logbook

The SCIDAT (short for Science Data) Logbooks are the note booking portion of this homeschool science curriculum. 

There are pages for geography and map work that correspond with Blaine and Tracey’s adventures around the globe. There are also directed note-taking pages for kids to record facts. 

Because there are no extra learning games, such as crosswords or word searches, the focus is strictly on note-taking and review. 

Additionally, each student will need his or her own copy of the SCIDAT logbook. 

Free Resource Library

Before you get any further, we have to tell you about the Free Resource Library here at The Reluctant Homeschool Mama!

If you struggle to stay organized or wish you had time to make printable book reports or field trip review forms, you NEED this resource!

Inside the Resource Library, you’ll find over 30 resources that will save you tons of time and effort – something every homeschool mom needs!

Click right here or on the image below to get access!

newly updated resource library

Pros about using Sassafrass Science Adventures curriculum

There are several big pros about the Sassafrass Science Adventures curriculum:

1.Affordability

Compared to many other homeschool science curricula, Sassafrass Science is incredibly affordable!

Typically, the main story text costs less than $20 per book.

This book alone isn’t enough to constitute a full curriculum, but the other books are also decently priced as well.

Additionally, the Sassafrass Guides only cost around $20, making these well worth the money.

Finally, even though you really need one SCIDAT Logbook per child, these typically cost less than $15.

Not bad at all!

girl doing science homework

2. Accessibility

Another great thing about this homeschool science curriculum is that it’s readily available on Amazon.

This means that shipping is free and quick, especially with Amazon Prime.

Also, Amazon offers a Kindle version for each of the main textbooks at an even lower price than the printed version.

While we usually prefer a printed copy of a book, this would be one situation where we’d make an exception.

There are very few illustrations in the Sassafrass Science Adventures textbooks, as a lot of the reading is devoted to developing the storyline.

(Plus, if you have a small homeschool classroom, fewer printed textbooks can be a good thing!)

boy doing science

3. Great Guides

One of the best things about Sassafrass Science is the Guidebooks that accompany every textbook.

Each Guidebook is very helpful, with fantastic literature suggestions for additional reading and resources.

In each section, there are suggestions for science projects to accompany the reading that are actually feasible for a homeschool family to carry out! (ie: no paper mache or anything crazy like that!)

4. SCIDAT Logbooks

The SCIDAT Logbooks are great study helps, too.

With a straightforward and organized note-taking approach, they can definitely help kids stay focused on the topic.

Additionally, the Logbooks always have a geography section in each chapter, which really helps to integrate learning across different subjects.

girl doing science experment

Cons about using Sassafrass Science Adventures curriculum for homeschool

There really were only a few major cons with the Sassafrass Science Adventures curriculum for us, but unfortunately, they were big ones.

While we all really enjoyed the Guides and the Logbooks, the core textbooks were really lacking for several reasons:

1.Not enough science

First, there was LOTS of reading to develop the story with very little science mixed in.

Often there would be ten long pages or more of reading, with only one or two paragraphs focused on the scientific topic at hand.

Sadly, the amount of learning that took place didn’t seem to align with the amount of time it took to read that many pages.

Recent research indicates that kids learn science best by doing real science, such as small experiments or learning in nature. With as much time as it took to read the entertaining story of the Sassafrass twins, we didn’t have enough time to do real science.

girl with science supplies

2. Overall tone and wordiness

While Blaine and Tracey’s story was entertaining, it could sometimes feel quite cheesy.

Especially in the Anatomy book, I often found myself skimming entire paragraphs and summarizing them in a sentence or two because they were very wordy. Other times I’d skip over them completely!

While the author was definitely well-intentioned in turning a homeschool science curriculum into an appealing story for kids, sometimes it feels overly dramatic and like too much of a stretch.

3. SCIDAT Logbooks binding improvement

Compared to our two other issues with the Sassafrass Science Adventures curriculum, this one is very minor.

While we loved the SCIDAT Logbooks, they’d definitely be better if they had a spiral binding and could lay flat.

Of course, you could always take them to a local office store and have this done, but it’d be nice to save that time and money!

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Final thoughts about Sassafrass Science Adventures curriculum review

I hope this Sassafrass Science Adventures curriculum review has been helpful to you!

We used it for the Anatomy year and everyone enjoyed it, especially my son in 5th grade. He found Blaine and Tracey’s adventures to be very engaging and would often try to read ahead to see what would happen to them next. 

After using this science curriculum for an entire school year, we were all excited to start the next year’s Botany study. I purchased all of the SCIDAT Logbooks we’d need, as well as the accompanying Botany Guidebook. 

But as we got into the curriculum, we found the reading was almost exclusively storytelling. The real science was buried so deep it was almost impossible to feel that our 20 minutes of reading was productive. 

Related article: Earth Science Homeschool Unit Study – 6 Weeks of Science Fun

We soldiered on for a while, and I worked hard to supplement the curriculum with more facts and other books and resources listed in the Sassafrass Guide to Botany.

Unfortunately, the cheesiness and wordiness of the story got to be too much for me and my kids.

I felt our science time could be better spent reading books that contained a lot more information and a lot less story.

We’ve since moved on to the Unit Study approach for science and couldn’t be happier!

Related articles about homeschool curricula:

Life of Fred Homeschool Math Curriculum Review

5 Awesome Homeschool Math Curriculums You Need to Check Out

Homeschool Unit Studies – What are They? And Why Do People Love Them? 

5 Reasons Why We Love Story of the World for Homeschool History

What are your thoughts about this Sassafrass Science Adventures curriculum review?

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Hi there! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m Jen, a former reluctant homeschool mom who is ready to help you actually enjoy homeschooling too. Read more here…

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