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Every Herb Bearing Seed Review by Holly Johnson

Dr. Sandi Queen
Queen Homeschool Supplies
168 Plantz Ridge Rd.
New Freeport, PA 15352

Alternative and holistic medicine is an interest in our family, but it can be difficult to find good resources that are age-appropriate for children.  Enter the Discovering Nature Series from Queen Homeschool.  Every Herb Bearing Seed, one of the books in that series, is appropriate for high school students and adults. You can purchase the book on the website for $34.95. That price is very reasonable, when you think that it is an entire year’s worth of high school science.

As with all Queen Homeschool materials, the course is a faith-based, Charlotte Mason style book.  There are thirty-six lessons, one for each week of the school year.  Each one contains a story and four activities.  They are meant to be completed at one lesson per week.

In this volume of the series, we follow Sam Smith, a homeschool graduate who is now working with a naturopath.  Sam learns about essential oils, herbs, homeopathy, nutrition, exercise, anatomy, vitamins and supplements, and massage and chiropractic care as part of his training.  He also learns about body systems and how they function together.  As a year-long science course, it combines anatomy / physiology and natural health into one biology credit.

I used this alongside our ninth-grade son, and he enjoyed the hands-on aspects of learning.  As part of the purpose of this style of homeschooling is to train students to think, the curriculum is slow-paced, requiring independent research to get the most from it.  This is a real-world approach to learning, since you won’t always find the answer you need in a book (or even on Google).  In real life, you have to research different topics to find the answers to your questions, and this book utilizes that format.  It is not a textbook, but rather a series of prompted explorations, and we liked it.

While the course was designed as a high school science course, it seems to be popular with mothers, too.  For mothers who are interested in alternative and holistic medicine, this book is a great introductory resource that covers many topics.  Personally, I think I appreciated the course even more than my son did!

For the college-bound student, two concerns about this course are that there isn’t much math involved and there aren’t any formal labs.  It is suggested that students use labs from the Summer By the Sea course to supplement the high school science course hands-on labs required by most colleges.  That said, the college-bound student is also apt to learn quite a bit about taking care of himself – eating healthily, exercising, and treating illness and injury naturally - once he is out of the house and on his own.

Each of the lessons is short and contains some sort of sketching / labeling activity in addition to the research projects.  There are also some writing activities.  When he had the materials on-hand, we also tried to incorporate hands-on activities with each lesson, particularly with herbs, oils, exercise, and nutrition lessons.

I appreciated the format of this curriculum. It was not overwhelming and flowed very well.  It took a real-life subject and brought it down a notch, making it easier to comprehend.  The stories are wholesome and contain, not only holistic wisdom, but good moral and character lessons, too.  The lessons allow for the student to do research as far in-depth into each topic as desired, and prompt further exploration in a real-world style.  We will continue to use these interest-led, Charlotte Mason style science books in our schooling.

-Product review by Holly Johnson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2017