Wednesday, April 11, 2012

TOS Review: Christian Kids Explore Science - Earth and Space

I have had the pleasure of reviewing a product from Bright Ideas Press this month and I can certainly understand why they say they are a curriculum that mom's love! As most of you know, Gess absolutely loves Science and so I was thrilled to get to choose one of their Christian Kids Explore Science Books. Because Gess has a fascination with the weather and it's a subject we choose to do each spring I chose to review Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space which consisted of the text book and the Student Activity Book Download.

The curriculum is made so that you can use it with several different age groups at once and my special needs daughter was certainly able to read and comprehend the material rather well. I particularly loved the way the author wrote directly to the students and shared her own personal stories and experiences in the study. (Like how she used to be afraid of tornadoes.) She also integrated Scripture into each study and since it was written from such a personal standpoint it really seemed sincere and thoughtful. It also made the study seem more like a conversation rather than a lesson although there is definitely a great deal of information in it.

As I mentioned earlier, every spring we study the weather. Gess has a fascination with storms and tornadoes and since spring is when we "experience" that weather, that is when we study it. So instead of starting at the beginning of the book, we jumped to Unit Five - Earth's Weather.

Each unit is divided into several different lessons. Unit 5 had 5 lessons and a wrap up. There was a little information that was referred to from previous chapters but nothing that kept us from learning this topic without having that particular knowledge. At the end of each lesson there is a Hands On Time activity which made the lessons even more fun. Doing experiments and hands on science activities has to be Gesserine's absolute favorite thing to do and this book certainly provided that! We actually did go back to a previous chapter and do one Hands On Time activity to help us with our weather lessons which was Making a Barometer. The activities are simple and the instructions are easy to follow and so far we have been able to make each one do what we wanted it to do!

First we took a glass jar, added a ruler, a straw and some colored water and were able to gauge if the air pressure had risen or fallen.

We added to that a rain gauge we made from our current unit study and we were then able to do an activity from the Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space Activity Book we had downloaded which was record the weather every day for one week. We noted the temperature, the sky, the barometric pressure, and the precipitation level. Gess loved doing that!

Another thing we did that she loved was making a cloud in a jar. First we learned about clouds and how to classify them. She learned to recognize and label each of the 4 basic cloud formations; Cumulus, Stratus, Cirrus and Nimbus. After learning all the facts about these clouds she had to label them on this chart.

Of course labeling them was not enough fun so Gess used her pencil and colored them too which maybe changed the definition of some of the clouds, which I do not believe was her intention!

Then came the fun part. We got to make a cloud in a jar! First we gathered all the materials from the list provided.

Then we followed the instructions and before you know it we had a foggy looking cloud that made rain! (You can see the precipitation on the inside of the jar.)

Gess was thrilled with it!

We absolutely loved this curriculum and I can't wait to get back to the beginning of the book which starts with the beginning of God's creation of the earth. I think Gess is more anxious to get to the end of the book which sets our eyes on Outer Space. Either way, I think the book will be a fun learning experience for both of us.

Along with Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space the Christian Kids Explore Science series also covers Biology, Chemistry and Physics. (You can check out the TOS Crew Blog to see reviews about some of these other areas of study.) Bright Ideas Press also has curriculum for several other subjects as well.

The Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space Textbook is $34.95 and the Student Activity Book is currently on sale for $7.95 (which regularly sells for $12.95). I think this is a very reasonable price for a years worth of study and hands on experiments and activities. I know it is something we will continue to use. To learn more about this product visit the Bright Ideas Press website or see what other members of the TOS Crew had to say about it.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a copy of the "Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space" textbook and a digital download of the Student Activity Book for giving my honest opinion and assessment of this product in my review.
Note: All pricing is current at the time of posting and is subject to change

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