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101 Things Everyone Should Know About Science

By Dia L. Michels and Nathan Levy
Science Naturally

725 Eighth Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

If you are struggling to get your older elementary-aged or middle-school child interested in science, you are not alone. Many teachers are finding it difficult to motivate children in the science fields, causing American students to rank poorly amongst the students of the world. Homeschoolers have an advantage in that they are able to pursue their interests in more creative and in-depth ways. If you are looking for a book that will help to guide your older child's interest into biology, chemistry and physics, then 101 Things Everyone Should Know About Science is the book for you.

The book is designed to spark the curiosity of children so that they will desire to learn more about science. The format is a bit different that other books on this topic. It is divided into two sections: Questions and Answers. Each field (biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, and general science) has a set of around 20 questions that the reader is told to first answer on his own. Once the child has written down his answers, he can then go to the Answer section to find out if his responses were correct. The question is first answered in a short statement and then expounded upon so that the reader will gain a better understanding of the scientific principle or fact that is being taught. I think that children will be inspired to go out and find the answers before just looking them up in the back. In fact, if you have more than one child, you could turn this into a healthy competition so that each child is trying to be the one to find the correct answer first. The book has an extensive topical index in the back, along with a list of many science resources, including organizations, museums, and websites to explore.

The answers given in this book are well written and fairly easy to understand, making this a book for ages 8 and up. The only answer I took issue with was on a question about Darwin's theory of evolution. The authors first explain the theory; then after talking about Darwin's observation of 13 species of finches, the authors state, "Darwin proposed that these finches all evolved from one common species. Modern DNA analysis has proven this to be true." This statement implies to the reader that Darwin's theory is truth, and I just wish it had been left out altogether. Obviously, when reading any science materials, parents have to be discerning, but I wanted to make mention of this so that you can make your own decision. Other than this, I found the book 101 Things Everyone Should Know About Science to be a wonderful supplemental tool to add to any science curriculum.

Product review by Jenny Thompson, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, February 2010

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