Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space: Bright Ideas Press

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I am a non-science mom. I prefer history, literature, art, music- the more artsy subjects. Math and science are just not my thing. When I discovered that Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space was written by another homeschool mom who struggled with science, this appealed to me. Some may prefer their science texts written by someone with a PHD in the subject, and that's great too, but I found comfort in the fact that this program had been put together by someone who's been there and wanted to keep it simple and easy to use for her fellow non-science moms.

Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space is an oversized softcover containing twenty four lessons in six units. Units cover the earth and it's structure, the lithosphere (plate tectonics, volcanoes, etc), the hydrosphere (oceans, glaciers, etc.), the atmosphere, earth's weather, and the universe. There are coloring pages, maps, puzzles, memory cards, graphics, and instructions for creating folderbooks from your studies. Hands on activities are included. These range from the simple (such as acting out the earth rotating around the sun- which my kids loved!) to the more complex (creating your own "volcanic eruption"). I appreciate that nothing is too complex and the instructions are simple and easy to follow. There's even a recipe for making Chocolate Nut Layer Bars when studying sedimentary rocks. Any curriculum that has you making chocolate bars for rock study is my kind of curriculum. Yes, I am easily swayed by chocolate. And coffee. (Curriculum providers: find a way to integrate coffee into the product, I'm sold!)

The authors intent was to make it user friendly and I think she has succeeded. The main prep for me is in making copies of the reproducibles. Each of my children have a 3-ring binder to store their work. I allow them to color the coloring pages as I read the text aloud. The text itself is easy to read and comprehend. There are times where it doesn't flow as it should and a point seems to come out of nowhere. I was able to overlook this and choose to just skip a sentence if needed. If you can't self-edit as you read, this may bug you.

The hands on times are great. My kids and I enjoy hands on learning and seem to retain more by doing. My only wish is for an all-inclusive supply kit to be available, as I have a tough time remembering to buy supplies before hand. In the absence of this, what I really need to do is go out and create my own all-inclusive kit at the beginning of the year.

We're planning to use this study for the rest of the year as it's a good fit for us. If you are a non-science mom like me and you'd like something user friendly, fun, and hands-on, this may be a good fit for you. If science is your thing, this probably won't be a deep enough study for you. If you're a science mom who loves this study, please feel free to disagree and let me know in the comments section. I'd love some input!

Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space
is designed for grades three through six but can be adapted to use with a wider range of ages if needed. We are currently studying this with our second through seventh grader without any trouble. As the title states, this is a Christian curriculum and does come from a Creationist viewpoint. It is available for $29.95. You can also order a downloadable activity book for $12.95 which contains all of the reproducibles, making it easy to just print them directly from your computer.

*Disclosure: This book was provided at no cost for review purposes.*

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