Science is one of those subjects that I really disliked in school but that I've thoroughly enjoyed as a homeschooling parent. I didn't learn science in a way that was exciting and alive and full of wonder. I learned mostly dry facts that I've now forgotten. But in homeschooling my own children with great curricula, I've found that I really like science.
Early on in our homeschooling, I found a science curriculum that I especially loved. It is rich in reading- and I'm a reader. It has hands-on activities to make learning more meaningful- and we love those science experiments. And, most importantly, it has a distinctive Christian worldview and teaches the kids to understand the whys behind this worldview. We used this curriculum through the early elementary years of my oldest children. I did most of the reading aloud, and even the younger set listened along.
When my oldest hit the upper elementary/middle school years, we continued right on with this science curriculum for her. She's a reader, and she enjoys the in depth reading in this curriculum. And then came Charles. My second born does not like to read. In fact, he pretty much avoids it as often as he can. I had the expectation, though, that he would keep right on using the science we had always used even as he began to read more independently. This was not a success. He struggled immensely with the reading, and he began to really dislike science all around. I realized that even though I loved the curriculum we had, it was not for him. And so I began the hunt for something different.
I had a few important qualifications. I wanted a curriculum that came from a distinctively Christian worldview. I wanted a curriculum that wasn't heavy on reading but was still "meaty". I wanted a curriculum that included hands-on activities. And I wanted something that would be minimal prep and involvement from me because I now had kids splitting off in various directions. I began googling, and I found the Christian Kids Explore series from Bright Ideas Press.
What is the Christian Kids Explore series?The series, from Bright Ideas Press, includes five titles. Biology and Earth and Space are aimed at 1st-6th grade. You can include all of your elementary-aged students and adapt each lesson for different ages. Creation Science, Chemistry, and Physics are aimed at grade 4-8.
Each of the books has lessons that include
- A reading/teaching section
- Hands-on activities
- Bible memory work
- Coloring pages
- Printable worksheet pages
- Supplementary reading lists
Why was this series my sanity saver?
- It has a distinctively Christian worldview. All of the lessons are Biblically-based. There are memory verses to go along with the lessons. The reading material addresses secular beliefs about science and discusses the Christian worldview that counters those beliefs. The material that the students read, the verses that they learn, and the activities that they do all serve to point to Christ as the Creator.
- The amount of reading is not copious, but it does cover the material. And the supplemental reading list offers a variety of choices for readers of different abilities. The material in the book covers basic information and vocabulary, and the suggested reading delves deeper into each subject.
- There are a combination of workbook type activities and hands-on activities. There are review questions for each lesson and often some other type of printable worksheet. (The resource CDs have all of the printables.) There are also hands-on activities for every lesson that include experiments, observations, things to make, and more.
- The books are easy to use. As an 6th/7th grader, Charles was able to use the Physics book primarily on his own. Each unit has a materials list, I could gather what was going to be needed. Lesson plans and printables are available on the resource CDs, so everything I needed was all in one place. The books that can be used with younger children (I'm using Biology with my younger girls now.) seem to be a little more directed toward the teacher, but an older student can still cover much of the material independently.