Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry ~ Bright Ideas Press

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We were recently given a great opportunity to use the science program Christian Kids Explore Chemistry, produced by Bright Ideas Press.

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry

My boys really love science, especially chemistry.  They even have a poster of the periodic table of elements in their bedroom!  This was a really great fit for our family.  It covers all of the basics of chemistry and provides fun, hands on learning activities to help illustrate the concepts.

The curriculum is recommended for children in grades 4-8.  For any parent who thinks science is difficult to teach, this is a very teacher friendly and God centered program.  The language is easy, and conversational.  Any new vocabulary is defined for you right in the textbook.  There are complimentary activities to do with the student that demonstrate and reinforce the concepts, too.  To make life even easier, the student activity book is a download, and it is reproducible for a whole family.   (co-op licensing is available as well)

The course is broken down into thirty lessons, and these are divided into five units.   Before beginning a lesson, I refer to the teacher's manual.  There I find the objectives of the lesson, vocabulary words, and the supplies I will need for the activities.  Now I am ready to teach.

I read the lesson aloud from my teacher's manual, including the vocabulary words that are defined in the side margins.  After a concept is discussed, there are review questions which the student fills in using his student activity book.  These usually include the vocabulary terms, so it's not an intensive note taking class - although they do provide space in the margins for writing.  The way the information is presented makes it easy to have discussions, and not slave over a notebook.

Next come the activities.  These are not terribly complex.  Using household items, they are easy to do, and also fun for the children.   If you do these lessons as a family, there are some coloring pages in the student book appendix for the little ones, while the bigger ones do the "Think about it" questions.  These questions refer back to the lab activity and help the student develop critical thinking skills.  They will also find some fun science facts and some scripture in their page margins.   There are pages of review questions at the end of a lesson, and at the end of each unit, there is a "wrap - up" of multiple choice questions.  (answer keys are found in the teacher's manual appendices)

Also found in the appendices is an extensive list of additional resources with age appropriate notations included, some suggestions for biographies to read about scientists, a list of the elements and the periodic table are there, and a very inclusive index.  You'll also find a page about the authors.

I like this program, and I would definitely recommend it as an early education science course.   Your child will get a good foundation for more advanced chemistry programs by using this.  I also like that it can be used by one student, or a whole family.

If you are interested in finding out more, there are sample pages from the first lesson available to look at.

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry will cost $34.95 for the Teacher's Manual, and $12.95 for the reproducible student activity book.   To print the .pdf  files for the workbook an adobe reader is needed.  The website for ordering is brightideaspress.com .  Other contact information is as follows:

By phone: 877.492.8081.  Monday—Friday. 8:30—5:00 EST.

By email: direct general inquiries to Contact (at) BrightIdeasPress.com .

By post: Bright Ideas Press PO Box 333 Cheswold, DE 19936

Bright Ideas press offers a variety of other science courses, including Biology, Physics, and Earth and Space.  They also have curriculum for Geography, History, Fine Arts, and much more, including the Illuminations program.  To see all their products, you can look at their store page.

I was given this program to review because I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I was asked to use the products and provide my honest opinion in a review here on my blog in exchange.   My crewmates have been using many of the other products from Bright Ideas Press, and they will be publishing reviews today as well.