Oh how I love science curriculum, especially ones that not only incorporate experiments but also make it easy for me to use! That’s where Bright Ideas Press comes in…
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been using their Christian Kids Explore Biology curriculum from Stephanie Redmond. This series was designed by a homeschooling mother who was seeking Christian-based interactive lessons for her active kids.
This book is a complete 1 year curriculum, primarily for grades 3rd – 6th, but can easily be adapted for younger children. It includes 35 lessons, divided into 8 units – Biology basics, plants, birds, mammals, humans, reptiles, insects, and water creatures (including sharks, crustaceans, amphibians, and others). Each unit contains a vocabulary list, materials list, coloring pages, 4-5 lessons, and a wrap-up lesson/activity. There’s even a writing prompt over the topic, if you are also doing a science journal.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been using unit 2, Plants, for additional ideas and activities for the co-op classes (grades K-1) that Aikman is in. This unit is divided into 5 lessons – introduction, photosynthesis, plant reproduction (which, we called pollination), fruits and veggies, and trees. Each lesson contains a reading section, questions to think about, typically a labeled diagram illustrating what is being studied, a hands-on activity, and a follow-up/extension activity. Since my class is younger and most are not fluently reading, I teach the lesson using the information from the book. I use the questions as a basis for discussion. Then we complete an activity (or three!) that is based upon this information. So far, we’ve cut open a variety of fruits and veggies to find their seeds, dissected a plant, and this week, we’ll be checking out conifers!
What did we think?
I think Christian Kids Exploring Biology is a very thorough curriculum, as it focuses very heavily on vocabulary. Since this curriculum is designed for older children, it really doesn’t fit perfectly for Kindergarteners, but I’d highly recommend it for advanced first graders or even second graders. I do plan on keeping this book until Aikman is a little older; it has a lot of great information that could easily be transferred to independent study time when he gets older.
I must say, the greatest treasure in this book is the appendices in the back! It includes reproducible forms and maps, quick reference lists for each lesson (ie components of a biosphere, types of vertebrates – these lists are GREAT for reviewing key facts), scripture memory cards, pictures to make an ABC animal book, supplemental activities, and a resource list of videos and books that supplement each chapter!
You can purchase Christian Kida Exploring Biology through Bright Ideas Press for $34.95. An additional pdf of just the student pages can be purchased for $7.95, if you do not want your child to write in the book.
Read what other crew members had to say about this book and others offered by Bright Ideas Press here.
Disclosure: I received a printed copy of Christian Kids Explore Biology in exchange for a honest review. I did not receive any additional compensation.