Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Christian Kids Explore, Earth and Space! TOS Review.

We were given the chance to review one of the science books in the Christian Kids Explore series from Bright Ideas Press, and I chose Earth and Space. Buster has been asking to learn about this topic for awhile and other than a few lessons here and there we have not had a chance to dive into it.
Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space is a 30 week long curriculum written by a homeschool mom. The book is broken down into 6 units, 24 lessons, and 6 reviews. The topics include:
 Getting Started, which covers Earth's creation, facts about the earth and its structure.
The Lithosphere, Plates, Caves, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Rock Types.
The Hydrosphere, Water Cycle, Oceans, Groundwater, and Glaciers/Icebergs.
The Atmosphere, Introduction, Atmospheric Pressure, Humidity, and Air Composition.
Earth's Weather, Weather, Seasons, Clouds, Precipitation, Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, and Hurricanes.
Beyond Earth, Makeup of the Universe, The Sun, Earth's Moon, and The Eight Planets.

Each of these 6 units contains several lessons as well as a review lesson. The lessons contain in varying amounts, reading, vocabulary, review, activity's, hands on/experiments, notebooking, timeline, daily reading logs, write about it prompts, show what you know/quiz, coloring pages, memory verses, a list of all needed materials for each unit, and some reproducible worksheets found in the appendix.
In the back of the book you will also find a glossary, memorization lists for each unit, scripture memory cards, some supplemental activities, a list of supplemental books for each unit(non fiction and fiction), and an answer key.

Now I will admit when I first saw this textbook it looked pretty dull to me. It is completely black and white and other than the worksheets and coloring pages there are no pictures at all. In the introduction they suggest that you seek out extra books and pictures to add to the study. Due to several weeks of sickness we were only able to complete the first unit but I will share with you now what we thought of it.

Once I started reading the first unit to Buster and Sweetpea I very much enjoyed the lesson. Sweetpea was a bit squirmy with it at first, but I did all of the activities etc. that were suggested and she started to warm up to it. The activities began with using a map to learn the continents and oceans.
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This activity you see above was a way for the kids to understand how the earth rotates and revolves around the sun. Sweetpea was in love once we did this. It is one thing to see it visually with a globe, and it is another to be the sun and the earth.
I was also prompted to use a ball of playdoh and a tooth pick to demonstrate the axis of the earth.
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The hands on element for the first unit was to make a model of the inside of the earth. So after going over what each layer was called the kids colored each section a different color. Once the coloring was done the circles were stacked and glued to form this model of the earth. On the reverse side they were told to color it like the outside of the earth.
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When we finished the unit I gave the kids the review quiz orally and they each did quite well with it.
I asked each of them what they thought of Christian Kids Explore earth and Space and if they would like to continue using it.
Buster said he gave it 4.5 stars and Yes he would like to finish it!
Sweetpea gave it a full 5 stars and said she would love to do it every day!

For me I enjoyed how it was written, the activity suggestions, and that it is creation based. We also decided that we will indeed finish the whole book before we jump into studying anatomy.

According to the Bright Ideas Website this series is intended for grades 3-6, but my K/1st grader very much enjoyed it also. She would not be able to do most of the written work, but it can be easily adapted. You can view samples of Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space here. As far as pricing goes this textbook will cost you $34.95+SH.

Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space was given to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was given.

To read more about this and other science books from this series visit the Homeschool Crew blog!

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