Sassafras Science Review

Science curriculum

With its literature-based approach, fun, adventure-filled books, hands-on and interesting activities and strong science learning, Sassafras Science can be a great way to teach elementary school science in a way that engages students, laying a foundation for strong STEM skills without boring kids to tears.

What We Like

Pretty affordable K-5 science curriculum
Highly flexible
Literature-based approach with engaging, adventure-filled books
Very easy to teach, open and go curriculum
Makes hands-on learning and notebooking a key part of its learning, with lots of explorational activities and experiments
Surprisingly in-depth science learning
Doesn’t shy away from scientific vocabulary or facts
Printed, eBook and audiobook options for learning

But watch out for

Chapters can be a little long
Books aren’t the most illustrated
Recommended reading and some activities may require extra purchases

What Is Sassafras Science

Produced by Elemental Science, Sassafras Science is a literature-based elementary school-level science curriculum for homeschooling families. 

The curriculum uses a series of adventure novels, as well as an activity-filled learning guide, projects, lapbooking, notebooking , experiential learning and more, to explore several units of science learning, from Astronomy to Zoology (though not necessarily in that order).

The curriculum is available in traditional printed format, as well as being offered as audiobooks and eBooks. 

The curriculum’s literature-based approach stands in contrast to the more classical educational approach taken by its sister program, Elemental Science Classical Science.

What Ages Or Grades Is It Intended For?

Sassafras Science is an elementary school-level science curriculum aimed at students in K-5.

The books themselves are not aimed at any particular grade or age level, rather the program’s guidebook frequently offers a flexible assortment of teaching resources and activities that can scale the learning up or down in terms of learning, depth and involvement, catering to students at different ages and abilities. 

Consequently, while its core (the adventure novels) remains fairly constant, the rest of the Sassafras Science curriculum is pretty flexible. 

Parents of younger students who are still learning to read, for example, can use the books as read alouds (or purchase the audiobooks) and explore science through lapbooking, an assortment of visual and age appropriate living books and hands-on, get-up-and-go activities that will keep them engaged and interested.

Older students, on the other hand, might read the books themselves and, under the guidance of their parents, complete some of the more formal learning activities, such as by writing reports, doing vocabulary and memorization exercises, doing their own research and data gathering, completing multi week-projects, reading more advanced living books and completing various experimental exercises and activities. 

Parents should know that Sassafras follows its own scope and sequence and so isn’t NGSS or Common Core standards aligned, and it is recommended that the series be done in order, i.e.:

  1. Zoology 
  2. Anatomy
  3. Botany
  4. Earth Science
  5. Geology
  6. Astronomy

Although it is a unit study and these subjects are rather different from one another, because the core Sassafras books are a story and occasionally refer to content in previous books, things may get a little confusing if the books are read out of order. 

That said, each book does have a review in the first chapter and, with a little supplemental googling, we don’t feel it’s particularly difficult for parents to catch up regardless of where they start. 

What’s Included in the curriculum

Sassafras Science has several components to it. 

As well as the Sassafras novels, there are lesson guides, logbooks and lapbooking material for each volume or unit. 

These can be used together as a fairly comprehensive elementary science curriculum or purchased and used separately and added to an existing science curriculum. 

The only real required component of the program are the adventure books, which form the core of the curriculum. 

Core Material

Sassafras Science Adventures Books 

The core of Sassafras Science is its series of science-themed adventure novels. 

These books are each 18 chapters long and are fictional tales about the adventures of a pair of science-averse twins, Blaine and Tracey Sassafras, who spend the summer with their scientist uncle Cecil and his prairie dog/assistant, affectionately named President Lincoln. 

As the story goes, Uncle Cecil has invented a series of invisible zip lines that can take the twins pretty much anywhere and, as the two go on various adventures around the globe (and beyond), they come to explore, appreciate and love the world of science. 

The science learning for each topic is woven into the storyline of each book – as the twins explore the world and get themselves into and out of various situations, they are introduced to fairly in-depth explanations of scientific material, usually by the locals. 

What Are The Books Like to Read?

The Sassafras Science books themselves are around 300 pages, black and white and lightly illustrated, looking and feeling somewhat similar to a young adult novel. 

Although their primary purpose is really to teach, the books are actually kind of fun to read.

The twins travel the world, meet interesting people and get themselves into sticky situations and the stories are pretty action packed on the whole. 

screenshot of sassafras science book excerpt, showing its action packed nature

Although the premise of invisible, planet-spanning zip lines and prairie dog assistants may be a little eyebrow-raising for some older students, they will likely appreciate the fast-pace of the stories and the very identifiable sibling banter that frequently occurs between the twins. 

The science that the books introduce is pretty solid overall, explaining concepts in an appropriate amount of depth and sophistication for the intended grade levels. 

Although the information is presented in a story form, at no point does it feel like the material is being dumbed down in any way. 

screenshot of sassafras science text showing high level of science

Rather the opposite – the level of science can at times be a little advanced for younger students and may require additional explanations from parents. 

Parents should also note that the reading level of the books is somewhat high, as well (around 5th or 6th grade).

The books don’t shy away from using somewhat sophisticated language and descriptors, which is great for literacy and vocabulary development but may require parents of younger students to step in and explain certain words and phrases from time to time. 

On the downside, although split into two parts, each chapter in the Sassafras Science series can be somewhat long (10-20 pages), something that can be challenging for students especially considering the more sophisticated writing style and information presented within. 

To give parents a further idea of what these books are like to read, a short sample from one of these stories can be found below:

Learning Guides

Sassafras Science also offers learning guides that can be used by parents to formalize the learning experience around the novels. 

Broadly speaking, these guides provide the lesson plans, schedules, activities, experiment guides, reading suggestions and more that complement the books and serve to organize and systematize the learning, turning Sassafras from an educational book series into a more complete science curriculum for homeschools. 

There are two guides available, the Sassafras Science Guide (with SCIDAT Logbooks) and the Lapbooking Guides (Lapbooking Through [Subject] with the Sassafras Twins), and parents can choose between the two depending on the needs, interests and age of the child.

Sassafras Science Guides with SCIDAT Logbook

The Sassafras Science Guides are black and white softcover books that are about 130-150 pages long and provide suggested homeschool lesson plans and activities centered around each chapter of the Sassafras Science Adventures Books. 

As such, each Guide provides 18 weeks worth of lessons, meaning that at a chapter a week pace, families can complete about 2 books a year. 

Each lesson in the Science Guides contains a rather helpful chapter summary (useful for parents of students reading the books on their own), lesson materials list, suggested 2 and 5 day schedules, scientific vocabulary lists, recommended readings from both high-interest encyclopedias and a living books list, notebooking work (done in the SCIDAT logbook, discussed below), various activities, games and multi week project ideas. 

Interestingly, aside from traditional science experiments and activities, the Sassafras Science Guides also contain copywork and dictation exercises.

screenshot of Sassafras Science copywork and dictation exercises

These are designed to help students remember, spell and be able to use important science-related concepts and language. 

This adds a little bit more of a Charlotte Mason flavor to this already literature-rich curriculum and can make Sassafras a more appealing and easy to integrate choice for homeschools interested in such an approach. 

In general, we feel the Science Guides are well-made and probably an essential resource if parents do want to turn Sassafras into a more comprehensive science unit study. 

Because they do require a bit more reading and quite a bit of writing (in terms of notebooking and projects) the Science Guides are probably best used with students who are already comfortable doing so. 

Parents of students in earlier grades (K-2), who are still working on their reading and writing, are likely better served by the less intensive and more age-appropriate Lapbook Guides.

That said, parents of younger students who don’t like Lapbooking can obviously use the Science Guides as long as they’re willing to offer a little more guidance, oversight and help. 

SCIDAT Logbook

Notebooking, data gathering and recording data is an important part of the Sassafras Science Guide (and science in general, really). 

The logbook is about 100 or so pages of black and white worksheets that contain dedicated space for students to record their data and observations about the different subjects, areas and topics they are learning (from either the books, encyclopedias or their own research), build their own glossary of terms, keep notes and generally input information as suggested by the lesson plans in the Guide. 

screenshot of sassafras science scidat logbook for anatomy

Rather than simply providing lined sheets (as is common with many curricula), the Logbook’s sheets are nicely organized and lightly illustrated, providing students with properly labeled and dedicated spaces for their work, which helps keep the learning a bit more systematic and makes keeping track of the work a little easier for both parent and student.

Lapbooking Guide – Lapbooking Through…Series

Sassafras Science’s Lapbooking Guides are, like the above Science Guides, a way of turning the Sassafras Adventure Books into a more formal and complete science learning experience for students. 

Like the Science Guides, they provide lesson plans, vocabulary work, suggested readings, activities, scientific demonstrations or observations and more.

Unlike the Science Guides, however, the notebooking activities center more on creating lapbooks (sort of subject-specific scrapbooks made of mini topic-specific booklets) rather than doing more direct written recordings in worksheets.

The Lapbook Guides also offer fewer lessons, which are designed to take a little longer than those in the Science Guide, and on the whole there is a little less independent work required of students. 

For example, when learning vocabulary, students are simply given the words and their definitions in the lesson plans, whereas in the Science guide they can be tasked with looking up and defining a list of words to add to their SCIDAT glossaries. 

screenshot of sassafras lapbook vocabulary work

As a result, we feel that the Lapbooking Guides are a little better suited to younger students, particularly those whose still-developing reading and writing skills would see them struggle with the Science Guides.

That said, the Lapbooking Guides are, in our opinion, equally well-made and well-organized, and the learning itself is quite solid. 

Although there are slightly fewer lessons overall, the essential science is still covered and kept at a fairly high level. 

As a result, we feel the Lapbooking Guides can also be used by older students who enjoy Lapbooking and scrapbooking as a study method, especially if parents are willing to supplement its activities with more formal data logging, observation and other written work. 

Recommended Readings and Other Living Books

Beyond the material produced by Elemental Science, lesson plans from both the Sassafras Science and Lapbooking Guide often refer to select living books as optional reading assignments. 

These books are all science-themed and refer directly to the lessons’ topic, adding an additional layer of literature-based science learning to the program. 

Each lesson offers a choice of living books, usually presented in increasing reading difficulty/age range, allowing parents to tailor the program to their students ability and age, which is a nice bit of baked-in flexibility. 

A lesson on the skeletal system, for example, may recommend The Skeleton Inside You, a picture book ideal for younger children, and progress to a Scholastic Science Level 2 Reader on the same topic. 

screenshot of sassafras science living book recommendations for anatomy

The recommended books are all, overall, high interest and fun to read. 

They won’t be particularly challenging for students to read on their own, with the most challenging  books aimed somewhere around 8-9 years old, which we find to be fairly appropriate and probably a good idea. 

After all, Sassafras is a science curriculum, not a language arts program, and the purpose is to draw students into science, not challenge their reading ability. .

In addition to the living book list offered to both Guides, each unit of the Sassafras Science Guides also includes optional encyclopedia readings from an assortment of visual, high-interest encyclopedias, such as Usborne, Kingfisher Science, the DK Children’s Encyclopedia and more. 

As with the living books reading list, parents can select which encyclopedia they would like to make use of based on their students age, preference and abilities. 

screenshot of sassafras science encyclopedia recommendations

In fact, each Guide in the program offers advice to parents on which of the encyclopedias would best fit a particular grade level, something that might be useful to parents who have never homeschooled or used these visual encyclopedias before. 

On the downside, as with most other literature-based curricula, the inclusion of these reading activities can (if parents choose to do them) raise the cost of the program to some degree, both in terms of time and money, as parents will need to source these books on their own. 

In fact, if parents choose to include the encyclopedia readings they will likely need to buy a few different titles as they progress through the different units, as some of the encyclopedias can be subject-specific (Kingfisher First Encyclopedia of the Human Body for anatomy, Usborne  Encyclopedia of Planet Earth for Earth Science, etc.)

How It Works

As mentioned previously, Sassafras Science is a literature-based science curriculum. 

Rather than using a typical textbook, the core of the program is the Sassafras Science Adventure books. 

These books are thematically linked to several topics in science, such as Zoology, Earth Science, Anatomy, Botany and more, and students go through them one at a time, making the program something of a science unit study. 

Each week students read a chapter of the book to introduce and explore various scientific topics and concepts and, together with their parents, supplement and formalize the learning through a variety of notebooking activities and demonstrations found in the guides. 

Although the overall structure of lessons in Sassafras are broadly similar, depending on which guide a parent uses (the Sassafras guides or the Lapbooking Guides) there can be slight differences between exact lesson formats.

In general, the Lapbooking Guide lessons are a bit shorter, are focused on lapbooking and don’t require quite as much written or independent research work (looking things up in an encyclopedia to create a glossary, for example).

The SCIDAT Logbooks, on the other hand, are based on traditional science notebooking, with students filling out maps, completing reports, building glossaries and so on.  

Sassafras Guide / SCIDAT LogbooksLapbooking Guide
Reading Assignment – Science-Oriented Books Reading Assignment – Science-Oriented Books 
NotebookingNotebooking and mini-lapbooking
Scientific Demonstrations or ObservationsScientific Demonstrations
Multi-week Projects/Activities

Science-Oriented Books 

Each lesson begins with the student (or parent, depending on the student’s age and reading level) reading a corresponding chapter in their Sassafras Science Adventures book.

This is where the main ideas and topics for the week’s lesson are introduced, and it is something of a required reading component for the program.

In addition to the book, parents can opt to assign or read aloud from a topically-linked living book. 

There are, in the SCIDAT Logbook Sassafras Guides, some selected encyclopedia readings, as well. 

Notebooking / Mini-lapbooking

Sassafras Science is a big believer in notebooking. 

Rather than using a workbook, students record, organize and compile their observations, thoughts and notes in their own words, either directly into their SCIDAT logbook or cutting and pasting things into lapbook form, depending on which guide you use. 

Depending on the program, lesson and subject, students might fill out maps, look up and record any topic-specific facts they find interesting, record their observations about the world around them, fill out structured record sheets, make notes on important science information from the readings and more. 

sample of notebooking activities for sassafras science earth science lessons

With the lapbooks, this involves more cutting and pasting from included tabs and building out a mini-book for each topic. 

Part of the notebooking in Sassafras involves vocabulary work. 

Being a science program, it is important that students learn, understand and be able to use the proper scientific terms presented in each chapter. 

In the Logbook Guides, students are encouraged to look up these words and build their own glossary, while in the Lapbooking Guide they can cut and paste definitions into their mini-books. 

Scientific Demonstrations and Observations

As with any proper science program, Sassafras Science has an experiential component to it, where students can explore scientific concepts in a more hands-on way. 

During the program students may, for example, build an anemometer to measure wind speed and direction, dissolve the calcium in chicken bones with vinegar to better understand bone structure, or even build a spinal cord out of marshmallows to understand the importance of structural support in the body. 

screenshot of sassafras science experiment directions

Overall, these are Sassafras’ take on traditional kitchen science experiments, where parents and students use common household items to build devices that can demonstrate the scientific principles introduced in each chapter. 

They can be quite a bit of fun for students to build, use and watch in action and the guides do a pretty good job at explaining what’s going on (which is good for parents whose own STEM skills are a bit rusty) and also offer ideas for further learning and exploration, which is something we like in a science curriculum. 

The demonstrations aren’t particularly difficult to put together and use fairly easily sourced components (rubber bands, ziplock bags, food, balloons, cardboard, etc), but they can take a little prep to get everything together before a lesson and a little organization to make sure that parents have everything they need. 

There are some exceptions, however, particularly in the Anatomy books, where experiments can include the use of dissection kits and microscope slides, things not normally found in a typical kitchen. 

Each guide does, helpfully, include an overall materials list for its lessons that parents can go over ahead of time to figure out what they’ll need, which is nice. 

For those that want to conduct these demonstrations but who don’t want to put together a shopping list of their own, the company does offer ready experiment kits that provide the materials needed to teach 2 levels. 

Multi-week Projects and Lesson Activities

In addition to the notebooking and lapbooking activities, each lesson also has a variety of activities that parents can include. 

These are generally an assortment of fun, engaging, hands-on activities that integrate with the lesson’s topic. 

A lesson on wind, for example, might have a student go out and fly a kite or observe the effect of wind on a microscope slide, a lesson on anatomy might have the student build and test a protective “skull” for a water balloon “brain,” and a lesson in botany might have them examine spores under a microscope slide. 

There are usually a couple of these per lesson and parents are free to choose as many as they feel the student would appreciate or benefit from (or have time for). 

In addition to these activities, there are also multi-week projects that students can complete. 

Rather than being tied to a specific lesson, these projects touch on topics spanning several lessons and are worked on a little at a time in each lesson. 

For example, a student may spend several weeks in anatomy constructing and labeling a poster of the human body, adding a bone or organ each lesson, while in botany they may create and properly label/fill out a poster of the rainforest, adding a plant or flower every lesson.


Finally, each lesson in Sassafras’ Science SCIDAT Logbook Guides ends with some memorization work. 

Taking inspiration from Charlotte Mason, these include copywork and dictation exercises with parents reading a passage from the guide (or from their own choice) and students copying them down for their logbook. 

Our Thoughts

Sassafras Science really stands out to us for its flexibility as a curriculum. 

The program itself is highly customizable – parents can choose to follow it as a structured science curriculum, using its books, recommended reading and lesson plans to explore different units in elementary science. 

They can also use the Sassafras books as an addition to another science curriculum, since they do stand alone. 

Similarly, parents are free to choose between a somewhat more intensive notebooking approach with the SCIDAT logbook guides, or a gentler, lapbooking approach. 

Finally, there is a lot of choice inside each lesson, with parents having several options to choose from when it comes to encyclopedias, living books and even suggested activities to include.

That said, should parents choose to use the guides and follow their recommended activities and experiments, we do feel that Sassafras can provide a fairly comprehensive science education at a K-5 level. 

Although it is a literature-based approach that uses visual encyclopedias and living books to introduce scientific topics, the learning is quite solid.

The Sassafras Adventure Books do introduce science topics in some depth, and the choice of encyclopedias (Usborne, DK, Basher, etc) are high-quality, fun and commonly used in other homeschool science curricula. 

Meanwhile, the activities provided in the guide, although designed to be engaging and hands-on, can be pretty thorough and quite good.

At times, students will record facts, log their data, observe their surroundings, do microscope work, grow plants, create science posters, conduct experiments and even do dissections (should the homeschool be amenable to it).

All told, Sassafras’ hands-on activities should give students a deeper and more personal understanding of scientific topics, even compared to competing homeschool science curricula. 

How Easy Is Sassafras Science To Teach?

Overall, Sassafras Science is pretty easy to teach.

Its lesson plans are fairly well-designed and somewhat scripted, guiding parents through teaching lessons in a step by step manner and providing enough detail and explanations to be easily used by those new to homeschooling or parents whose science skills and knowledge are a bit rusty.

These step by step explanations and instructions are especially helpful since the program does include a lot of hands-on activities and experiments that parents may not be familiar with.

As a result, the curriculum is pretty open and go.

The only real pre-lesson prep parents might need to do in terms of teaching is to read the chapter summaries at the beginning of each lesson (assuming they haven’t read the books themselves). 

One thing to note is that Sassafras Guides aren’t fully scripted, in that they don’t always provide an exact dialogue for parents to follow. 

While the explanations of scientific concepts can more or less be read word for word, transitioning from activity to activity may require some improvisational dialogue. 

One thing parents should note is that Sassafras Science is a parent-led program and does require parents to spend a considerable amount of time teaching the lessons, guiding the learning, introducing and setting up activities and helping conduct experience.

Although older students can certainly read the Sassafras Adventure books on their own, the guides are not a self-study program and do expect a fair bit of parental instruction and interaction with students.

Is Sassafras Science A Secular Or Religious Curriculum?

Sassafras Science is a faith neutral curriculum. 

That is, while it does cover all the essential science expected at the K-5 level, it does steer away from various controversial topics in homeschool science teaching. 

At the same time, it doesn’t contain any religious material or philosophy.

As such, Sassafras can be used by a wide variety of homeschools, although it may not be the most ideal for those looking for a faith-based science curriculum or those looking for a strict secular science curriculum, where topics such as evolution are explored in depth.

Sassafras Science Pros And Cons


Highly flexible

There is a lot of baked-in flexibility when it comes to Sassafras Science. 

Among other things, parents can choose to use the Adventure Books alone or with the guides, choose a notebooking or lapbooking pathway, choose whether or not to use supplemental encyclopedias and living books, and select books and materials that reflect the age and ability of their student. 

Literature-based science

Rather than teaching science from a dry textbook, Sassafras Science uses a literature-based approach that combines adventure books, visual encyclopedias and various living books, making learning science a far more engaging and enriched experience.

Adventure-based stories can be very engaging

The core of Sassafras Science are the Sassafras Adventure Books. 

These books weave science learning into a fun, action packed storyline involving globe-trotting twins, an eccentric scientist uncle, his prairie dog lab assistant and a network of invisible ziplines. 

Easy to teach

The Sassafras Science Guides provide parents with a step-by-step, guided approach to science that makes it quite easy to teach. 

With very little in the way of prep or experience necessary, the curriculum is essentially open and go.

Lots of engaging and high-quality activities

Sassafras Science lessons are activity rich and surprisingly in-depth in terms of hands-on science, with students collecting and recording data, doing experiments, growing plants, making science posters, examining things under microscopes and even doing dissections (if they so choose). 

Lots of science information 

Although it is taught largely through an adventure novel, Sassafras Science never shies away from teaching science. 

The program covers a diversity of subjects, from Zoology to Astronomy (with more being developed) and topics are covered in a surprising level of depth.

Combined with the activities and experiments in the teaching guides, it can be a very comprehensive and full science curriculum. 

Doesn’t dumb down the learning 

Similarly, although it is fun to read, Sassafras Science treats the science seriously, approaching concepts with an appropriate amount of depth and seriousness and providing the same scientific vocabulary as might be found in a traditional K-5 science text. 

Printed, ebook and audiobook options

Sassafras Science Adventures and the Guides are offered in a variety of formats, from printed books to eBooks and audiobooks, giving parents some choice in how much (or how little) technology they would like to use and, with audiobooks, making things a lot easier for parents who plan on reading aloud. 


Chapters can be long, involve quite a bit of reading

Although they are divided into two parts, Sassafras Science Adventure Book chapters can be a little long, especially for students reading alone or for parents reading them aloud, and may take some time to get through, especially since they are somewhat information dense. 

Largely black and white with sporadic illustration

Most of the books and materials in Sassafras Science are black and white, with the Adventure series only lightly illustrated. 

As a result, they may not be the most visually interesting for younger students to look at. 

Including all activities and experiments can involve extra purchases

Parents who do want to enrich their student’s learning with the optional living books and encyclopedias may find themselves buying quite a few books throughout the series, adding an extra cost to the program. 

Similarly, while most of the experiments only require common household goods, some do require things like microscopes and dissection kits, which will need to be purchased separately. 

Who Is Sassafras Science Ideal For?

Parents and students interested in a literature-based approach to science

Sassafras Science uses a series of living books as a core of the program that weave solid science learning into an adventure themed storyline. In addition, the curriculum guides offer parents a selection of recommended living books and visual encyclopedias that can compliment their lessons. 

Students who enjoy adventure novels

Sassafras Science Adventure Books are action-packed books that explore the world of science with the help of two plucky, globe-trotting twins. 

Students who enjoy reading (or listening to) adventure-filled books will have much to enjoy with this program.

Parents looking for an easy to use, open and go curriculum

Although not totally scripted, Sassafras Science’s guide books offer parents easy, guided and pretty comprehensive lesson plans in science that can be readily taught with very little in the way of planning, research or prep. 

As a result it can be a great science curriculum for those new to homeschooling and those who are uncertain about their own science knowledge and skills. 

Students who enjoy a lot of hands-on activities in science

While many homeschool science programs make do with a textbook and a few home experiments, Sassafras Science offers students and parents a greater variety of hands-on learning options including notebooking, multi-week projects, experiments, and an assortment of games, activities and get-up-and-go exercises to complement their readings. 

Parents looking for fun science books to integrate into an existing curriculum

Although it can be used as a full curriculum, elements of Sassafras Science (such as the books) can be purchased individually and used to complement a more traditional science curriculum. 

Students who love lapbooking and journaling

Along with home science experiments, notebooking and/or lapbooking form the core activities of the Sassafras Science lessons and can make for a great alternative for students who enjoy lapbooking, journaling or who just hate using traditional workbooks. 

Who Is It Not Ideal For?

Students looking for a traditional, straightforward science text

Some students prefer being taught science is a quick and to the point manner. 

A literature-based approach, where facts and information are woven into a wider story or living books, might frustrate these students to some degree.

Busy homeschools looking for a self-study science program

Although not particularly hard to teach, Sassafras Science is not an independent learning program. It is parent-led and does require parents’ guidance, attention and oversight during lessons, so may not be the best solution for busier homeschools looking for a self-study program. 

Parents looking for a “pure” Charlotte Mason approach 

With its literature-based approach, exploratory learning and copywork/dictation exercises, Sassafras Science certainly is Charlotte Mason inspired. 

That said, Charlotte Mason purists may not appreciate the fact that Sassafras does offer a bit more direction when it comes to explorations, observations and data recording than a traditional, more openly exploratory/nature study approach. 


Note: Prices correct as of writing. All prices in USD. 

Generally speaking, a complete Sassafras Science set includes the Science Adventure Books, and the Science guides and the SCIDAT Logbooks (for notebooking) or the Lapbooking Guides (for lapbooking).

Sassafras Science Adventure Books – $15.99 each

Sassafras Science Guides – $20.99 each

Lapbooking Guides – $15.25 each

SCIDAT Logbooks- $12.49 each

Complete set of 6 Sassafras Adventure Books – $79.95

Sassafras Science Complete Sets  (Book + Guide + SCIDAT)- $49.47 each

Ebook combos (Guide + SCIDAT Logbook) – $25

Experiment Kits (covers 2 books)- $54.99

It’s important to note that Elemental Science does run offers and sales from time to time so it is worthwhile to check the current pricing.

Is It Worth The Price?

Overall, Sassafras Science is a pretty affordable elementary school science curriculum. If purchased as a set, a complete K-5 science curriculum (minus any living books) will come in at around $300. 

Yet, despite its relatively affordable price as a science curriculum, Sassafras still offers a lot of value to parents. 

It offers a literature-based approach to science instruction, teaching essential learning in zoology, botany, earth science, anatomy, astronomy and more through an information rich, engaging and fun to read series of children’s books. 

In addition, its Charlotte Mason-inspired lesson plans are activity-rich, well structured, easy to teach and explore science fairly deeply and in a way that will appeal to both parents and students alike. 

Combined with the information presented in the Adventure Books and the optional reading lists, the program as a whole offers a very comprehensive science education. 

Finally, the program is also quite flexible, allowing parents an impressive amount of choice in how they would like to teach and which resources they would like to use, and providing them with enough help to scale the learning up or down depending on student needs, abilities and interests. 

Bottom Line

Despite its importance in the modern world, not every student is all that excited about learning science.

With its literature-based approach, fun, adventure-filled books, hands-on and interesting activities and strong science learning, Sassafras Science can be a great way to teach elementary school science in a way that engages students, laying a foundation for strong STEM skills without boring kids to tears. 

Picture of our tech author David

About the Author

David Belenky is a freelance writer, former science and math tutor and a tech enthusiast. When he’s not writing about educational tech, he likes to chill out with his family and dog at home.