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Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space

By Stephanie L. Redmond
Bright Ideas Press

PO Box 333
Cheswold, DE 19936

Choosing a science curriculum can be intimidating. You might think the price of the product is the only price you'll have to pay, but in some cases, there are additional costs for kits, supplemental products, and the materials needed to complete experiments and other activities. These costs can add up to a price many homeschoolers are unable to pay.

When I received Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space, my fears about choosing a science curriculum evaporated! Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space is very well organized, and most importantly, it is a wonderful tool for sharing the glory of God's creation with our children. Stephanie L. Redmond's Earth & Space is the latest title in the Christian Kids Explore science series, joining the popular and widely acclaimed Christian Kids Explore Chemistry and Christian Kids Explore Biology.

Earth & Space is the complete package--a cost-effective curriculum with preplanned lessons, inexpensive and easily gathered materials, easy-to-do experiments, reproducible worksheets, coloring pages, vocabulary lists, timelines, memorization lists, lists of optional supplemental resources, and supplemental activities all in ONE book!

It is geared for third to sixth graders but is easily adaptable for younger and advanced students if you follow the author's instructions in the book. Teaching several children at different stages is no problem.

The book covers Creation, the earth's surface (both land and water), the atmosphere, weather, and the universe. There are no accompanying workbooks or teacher texts to buy; everything is integrated within the book. A materials list is provided at the beginning of each unit. The items are easy to gather and are generally already in your home. I appreciate the fact that Bright Ideas Press makes the materials list available for downloading at their website for homeschoolers that are still in the process of choosing a science curriculum. In addition, Bright Ideas Press makes the entire 21 pages of Unit One available for download and the table of contents viewable at their website. There will be no surprises with Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space!

Each lesson begins with an overview called In This Lesson, which gives the parent an overall sense of the lesson's flow. Applicable Scripture verses are located in the margins of the lesson, and there are 24 reproducible Scripture memory cards in the appendix. What a wonderful way to reinforce what you're learning about God's creation! At the end of each lesson is a reproducible page of review questions. (The answers for the review questions are located in an appendix.) The final part of the lesson is an experiment that is laid out according to the scientific method. Reproducible forms for the experiments are available in the appendix.

Earth & Space has 30 weeks of planned science lessons. If you teach science twice a week, 60-90 minutes a day will probably be sufficient to complete all the required work. Of course, the time needed to complete a lesson will depend on the student and on the optional supplemental resources you choose to incorporate. Here's an example of how you might use Earth & Space in your homeschool based on two science lessons per week:

Day 1: review memory work (vocabulary, Scripture verses, etc.), review the previous lesson, read the Teaching Time section (ask questions as you go or have children color while you read), discuss new information, complete the Daily Reading Sheet (a reproducible fill-in-the-blank sheet provided), write vocabulary words in a science notebook or on flashcards, and then finish up by reading from some optional resource books from the library. (There is a list of suggested books provided.)

Day 2: review memory work and then spend the rest of the time completing the experiment.

Mrs. Redmond, a homeschool mother, has put together a wonderful product. It is well organized, easy to implement, and comprehensive. It increases my confidence in the product to know she had this book reviewed for science content by qualified professionals. A classical homeschooler herself, Mrs. Redmond created Earth & Space to fit into the trivium model. A simple preview of the sample pages at the Bright Ideas Press website will help you determine if Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space is right for your family. The price of $29.95 is attractive, and you would incur additional cost only if you chose to purchase some of the optional supplemental resources.

Stop worrying about creating lesson plans, finding appropriate books, matching Scripture verses to what you're studying, and figuring out how to schedule it all. Stephanie Redmond has done it all for you! Enjoy learning about science--make a glacier, simulate a volcanic eruption, or make a spelothem (after you look up the word) with your children. This is one purchase that you won't regret.

Product review by Jessica DeFore, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, September 2006

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