Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Christian Multi-Age Science Curriculum

Yesterday, I posted a review of the Great Science Adventures Series published by Common Sense Press.  In my search for a science curriculum that would cross age groups well, I came across another curriculum by a Christian publisher.  It is Eagle's Wings Considering God's Creation.  I was excited to review this curriculum, because the authors' goal is to "introduce our children to God through His creation".  Essentially, they want to help students see God in His creation--to see how truly awesome God is.    

Last week, I reviewed Eagle's Wings comprehensive phonics handbook.  One of my major concerns with that text was its formatting and ease of use.  This book is very different.  Though the formatting of the teacher and student books are all black and white, the font is easier to read--both because of its size and style.  For each lesson, the headings are bolded and it's easy to read the lesson prep quickly.  Each lesson includes sections for preparation (supplies to gather, etc.), vocabulary, a song or poem, activity, notebook, Bible reading, review, and digging deeper activities.  For some of the lessons, there is also an evolution stumper.  You may or may not want to use this part of the lessons.  I am probably going to call them something more along the lines of Creation Time Questions.  

Most of the supplies for the lessons aren't expensive or unusual, but there are some supplies that you'll need to gather, like rock samples.  I'd suggest that you either skim through all of the lessons before you use the curriculum and make a supply list for the year or that you read ahead a few weeks as you go through the year and make sure you have the supplies you'll need.

This is a notebooking curriculum, but you'll need a student book for each student.  They're very affordable, which is a blessing.  The teacher's guide and 1 student book cost $30 and an extra student book will cost $14 on CBD.  This is not a reproducible curriculum, so you do need to purchase a student book for each student, rather than copying the pages you want for each student from the student book that comes with the teacher's guide.  

As I read through the lessons, I was pleased with this curriculum. There 36 lessons, so I would suggest a minimum of a year for this curriculum.  Some of the lessons have multiple parts, so they will probably take longer.  You could spread this curriculum over a year and a half (and then use The Nature Connection for the other 6 months).  You could also break it up and use a portion each year along with another science curriculum.  This is a curriculum that is best for grades 2nd-7th.  That is what the publisher recommends and I agree with that estimate.  First graders are struggling to write still and are learning to read so the reading/writing for these lessons would be much easier for them come second grade.  

This curriculum would be a great break from a secular science curriculum if that is what you're using.  It would help you point your children to God through creation--which secular science curriculums don't do.  What I also like about it is that the lessons touch on a wide variety of science topics.  It is as if students are given a taste to whet their appetites to learn more.  

This is a curriculum I look forward to using with my children.  I have chosen to use a secular curriculum because of how great the textbooks are--age appropriate reading text, good comprehension questions, instant activities, and they've been easy to use.  So far, the curriculum I use also hasn't delved into evolution or the origin of the world so I haven't had any major issues with it.  But, I do want to make sure my children have a deep appreciation for what God has created and for who He is.  I look forward to using this curriculum for these reasons.  

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this curriculum for review from Eagle's Wings Publishing.

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