The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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Sonlight Science H Technology Review by Audrey TolleSonlight Curriculum, Ltd.
8042 South Grant Way
Littleton, CO 80122
Science time is always a hit around our house. Whenever we go to the library, I guarantee that at least a quarter of our stack is science based. My kids can’t seem to get enough of learning about the world around them. We have found great programs that study biology, earth science, and chemistry, but I hadn’t found a good hands-on curriculum for introducing the science of technology. We’ve had several STEAM sets, but not an actual curriculum that dives deeper into the world of mechanics and how modern things work. When I had the opportunity to review Sonlights’s Science H Technology Kit, I was intrigued by the list of books that were included in the kit, as we are big readers here.
The Science H kit covers a wide range of different aspects of modern technology. The units that are included are: Energy, Planet Earth, Robotics, Industrial Revolution, Garbage, Canals and Dams, and Weather and Climate. There are eight books included in this curriculum. Weather & Climate Change by Usborne Books, Cool Stuff 2.0 and How It Works by DK Publishing and Energy, Planet Earth, Robotics, Canals and Dams, Garbage, and The Industrial Revolution, all by Nomad Press. The kit also includes the instructors guide and a box of supplies for projects/experiments.
I appreciate Sonlights’s ability to make such a great science program based on great literature that already draws kids in. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and come up with a complete science program from scratch when there are great tools already in place that are already geared to captivate kids. The books in this kit are fun, colorful, and chalk full of information in bite size chunks. We would be drawn to all of these books even without this program.
The suggested break down of this science curriculum is a 4 day/week schedule where the first three days are reading several pages from the assigned book and then students fill out a few questions on the weekly activity sheet. Then they do a fun lab on day four. Many of the lab supplies are included in the lab kit, and those that are not are clearly listed in the instructor guide with a reminder a week in advance to start gathering those items. The labs are varied in their scope and intensity, but my children enjoyed each one that we did. Their favorites were the lemon battery, making a vibrobot, and making an arch canal.
Overall, I really enjoy the set-up of this curriculum kit. The books are wonderful, the weekly break-down and layout in the instructor’s guide are clear and concise. The activity sheets are great at making sure students comprehend what they are reading as well as reviewing what was read. They also get to define key terms, write paragraphs and explain connections and differences and overall work through the questions to gain more of an understanding of the topic. Though the books used are not Christian in and of themselves, they are not glaringly filled with evolutionary verbiage. It does touch on global warming during the weather and climate change unit, so if that is bothersome to you, you may want to skip over that part of the Usborne book.
The only thing I didn’t love about this science curriculum is that there is nothing that is “Christian” about it. When I think “Sonlight,” I think “Christian Curriculum,” however, there is nothing in this particular curriculum that draws concepts learned from secular sources and points them back to a Christian worldview. Since the goal of our homeschool is to see everything through the lens of Christ, it was a bummer not to have this aspect woven naturally into the curriculum. We still really enjoyed it and will continue to use it and point our kids to the wonder of God in his creation ourselves.
If you are looking for a study of technology using engaging books instead of a boring textbook, then I highly recommend this program. It is geared for grades 7-9, however, my 4th through 7th grade students have been enjoying it right along-side their older brother. I am thankful that Sonlight did the hard work of knitting together a wonderful program focusing on conservation, robotics, and technology in a fun way that doesn’t really feel like learning.
-Product review by Audrey Tolle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2018