Science in the Beginning
Written by Dr. Jay Wile
Published at Berean Builders
Many homeschool mom sometimes panic when it comes time to teach science. I think that these moments of panic often comes because we sometimes don't know where to start and how to make it interesting. Fear not anymore because now there is a new elementary science curriculum that has been written by none other than Dr. Jay Wile (best known for his science courses for high school). The series currently offers four titles at this point in time but a fifth one will be published in the future.
The series is essentially a hands-on, multilevel elementary science series that introduce scientific concepts using history as its guide. The first book of the series is Science in the Beginning. And today I am presenting you this beautiful book that I have received. When the author started to write this elementary level science series he decided to stat at the beginning of history which is given in the Bible's creation account. It made sense to start with the days of creation. The book will introduce concepts like the nature of light, energy conservation, properties of air and water, introduce botany, explore the solar system, discover basic zoology as well as aspects of the human anatomy and physiology. And let me tell you that this book is very different from another popular days of creation science series that many homeschoolers use. Why you might ask? Well, each lesson offers a hands-on activity that will help to cement the concept learned and concludes with three different levels of review depending of the age of the students – youngest students (grades 1-2), older students (grades 3-4), and oldest students (grades 5-6).
In all the book contains 90 lessons that you will be able to read and do with your children. Essentially there are fifteen lessons for each of the creation days mentioned in the book of Genesis. The first twelve lessons are considered "normal" lessons and the last three lessons are considered "challenge" lessons. So you have the choice of doing all the lessons or just simply doing the normal ones. There are two ways to schedule the lessons – you can choose to do a lesson every other day or you can opt to do two lessons each week. Each lesson has a hands-on activity – usually an experiment – in order to help cement the information covered during the reading of the lesson. The lessons are short (about three pages maximum of learning the concepts), contains photos and/or illustrations in order to illustrate the subject of the lesson, and will be completed with review questions that are divided based on the three levels of students you could have. Everything in the book is clearly identified for the person doing the reading. Most experiments will be done at the beginning of the lesson so I would suggest that you quickly check the lesson before starting in order to collect the items needed for the experiment. Then sit comfortable, gather your children around you and learn together about the science behind the days of creation.
The book also has a Helps & Hints booklet which is a great help for the mom doing the teaching. This booklet contains the lesson reviews answers for each lesson included in the book. You will see clearly which answers apply for the youngest students, the older students and the oldest students. Inside this booklet there are also tests provided as well as the answers for these tests. However, Dr. Wile do mention that he do not think that the tests are important for the elementary years. He has included these for parents who desire to test their kids. Personally, I think it was nice of him to include the tests and answers because I strongly believe that the oldest children could practice taking tests before getting in upper grades like middle school and high school. Also, a free notebook is available for your students to fill in at the Berean Builders website.
Needless to say I am very impressed with the Science in the Beginning. Not only does it introduce you to science based on the days of creation with fun experiments to explore but your children will have the opportunity to slowly learn how to review material learned and possibly practice doing tests if you choose to do so. The fact that each lessons are short and offers experiments which are useful to understand the concept learned. My kids and I were able to better visualize and understand the concept we have learned during lessons we have done. The fact that this particular science book is designed for all elementary levels maybe be interesting for families with multiple children. Bottom line, this book is complete to cover science lessons for a complete year for children grades 1-6. It is a fabulous book that homeschool families should seriously consider when it comes to teaching science to your kids because it contains numerous experiments which allow them to better understand the scientific concept taught each time.
To conclude let me tell you a bit more about things that are linked to this specific book. Nature’s Workshop offers a kit of supplies to help you do the experiments. However, you do not have to purchase this kit necessarily. It is easy to collect the items to do the experiment at home or at a store near you. I suspect that this kit was made available to make it easier on moms who might be overwhelmed with teaching science or dislike shopping. A lapbook is also available for families who prefer to take this route through A Journey of Learning. Finally, the author also has made available a series of downloads for the book including three very useful documents which align his science series with some of the history curriculum available: Mystery of History, Story of the World, and Tapestry of Grace.
Science in the Beginning is available at your favourite homeschool store, even on amazon.com.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Berean Builders for sending me the above mentioned curriculum for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.