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Christian Kids Explore Science Series Review

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I had the opportunity to review the ENTIRE Christian Kids Explore Science books published by Bright Ideas Press. Bright Ideas Press is the publisher for the excellent Mystery of History and All American History Series.

This is going to be a very detailed review of these books. I will start off by reviewing how the books are laid out and what you can expect from this curriculum, and then I will break down a small synopsis of how many lessons and what subjects are covered in each book.

These books are wonderful. They use a very classical approach to teaching using a conversation style of reading, along with notebooking, a comprehensive list of resource books to use alongside the curriculum to make for a very well rounded living book. If you lean towards classical learning or even love the Charlotte Mason method of learning then this curriculum will be just perfect for you. The best thing about these aren't just that they use a classical approach, but that they are extremely Christ centered, which is hard to find while using a classical approach, especially with a Science curriculum. You can purchase these books knowing that you will not have to filter out or explain unwanted information to your children.

Another plus of this series is how the books are laid out. They were created specifically for the busy homeschool mom with multiple children! The beginning of each book has an entire page of encouragement for you, the teacher. It also gives you a sample idea of what a daily lesson can look like, with ideas of how long each section will take to complete. All the books follow the same schedule, so you can get very used to using this curriculum and not have to change your routine when you switch to a different book. The books vary in the amount of lessons, but each book is designed to be taught ONLY twice a week! They even encourage you that once a week is plenty of Science for early elementary students (K-3) and then the rest of the days you can just read to them from books that go along with what they are studying using the book resource list in the back of the book.

Each Lesson includes a Teaching time and a Hands On Time. They recommend doing the teaching time on one day and the Hands on Time on the other science day. They also advise you that each lesson will take 60-90 minutes a day, but keep in mind this is only twice a week! *UPDATE - We are using CKE Earth and Space and find that we can complete it in about 45 minutes per day.

Lesson Features:
  • At the beginning of each lesson is a list of Vocabulary words that can be used for flashcards for memorization (optional) or for the child to write out and store in their Science notebook
  • List of materials needed for that lesson
  • A coloring page (to be photocopied from the back of the book) I would suggest having the child color their page during the read aloud teaching time. It keeps them busy and they are still listening to what is being said. The pages are beautiful, younger kids can use crayons and markers, older kids could use colored pencils and make very intricately detailed colored art to store in their notebooks.
  • Scripture for each unit


The teaching time consists of a reading that you read aloud to your students, or if you are using the books for the older grades and have an independent student, they could read the materials themselves. Personally, I like doing the reading because I enjoy the lessons too!

The Hands on Time has great tips on the margin of the page for the teacher to help them with ideas to use with the crafts-experiments, etc... There are many options and things you can use, this curriculum does not just have one way of doing things.

There is also a quiz, or review questions at the end of each lesson.

On the side margins for some of the lessons there are random little things titled "Discovery Zone' These are very cute, very interesting little tidbits of information. There are many things you could use this for. You could make up a random fact book with your child. You could dictate this to them for them to write out in their notebooks, or they could use it for copy work. This would help to incorporate handwriting practice and spelling practice as well!

The back of the book is a plethora of information! There are appendices with reproducible forms, journal pages, observation forms and maps. Memorization word lists, scripture memory verse cards that you can cut out and glue to 3x5 cards to review during the week, the coloring pages, recipes and supplemental activities, quizzes, the answer key and a book and resource list. The book and resource list is very impressive! It includes a key that shows you what books are best geared towards, lower reading levels, upper reading levels, books that can be enjoyed by both, books that are explicitly Christian, and they also include ISBN#'s for easy look up.

The only suggestion that I have for you is; if you purchase this curriculum, I would definately recommend purchasing the Student Activity Books directly from Bright Ideas Press. If you are tired of making photocopies or skipping activities because you don’t have the pages ready for your students to work on, then the activity book will be such a help! They’ve taken every possible reproducible page from CKEP and turned them into one printable digital download for you. Make as many or few copies for your entire family: Review-its, Wrap-ups, Coloring pages, Activity and Experiment forms are all there.

Print it out and get the MOST out of this great science curriculum! Click here to order the activity books.

Some of the books have the quizzes in a separate appendix in the back of the book. Some of the books do not have this option and they have the review questions with fill in the blanks in the middle of the lesson. These would need to be either done verbally, or rewritten on a separate piece of paper for the student to fill out if you did not want them working in the book itself, which I would not recommend, since this book is so much more for the parent than for the student! You can definitely make this curriculum work for a wide variety of ages, and the books themselves are wonderful with being able to use the reproducibles for multiple children, in turn, saving a lot of money!


INDIVIDUAL BOOK DETAILS PER CURRICULUM
Christian Kids Explore Biology
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This book is written for multiple ages and grades! This is what makes this curriculum so wonderful because you can use one curriculum for multiple ages and teach them all at the same time. This Biology book was designed for 3rd - 6th grade, but can be adapted for younger children and has the ability to dig deeper with older children by using the multiple resources in the back of the book.

There are 35 weekly lessons that are completely laid out for you with little to no prep work. It is also designed to be taught only twice a week!

This book covers the topics of creation, cells, taxonomy, earth and plants, trees, birds, mammals, humans, reproduction (which they list as optional and best taught by the parent), reptiles, insects and water animals.

The appendix in the back of the book has reproducible science forms and maps, memorization lists, scripture memory cards to cut out, coloring pages, recipes and supplemental activities, a book and resource list and an answer key. It also has an ABC animal book, with photos of animals in alphabetical order that you can have the children color and cut out and create into a book. This would be great to do even with young children to include them in your lessons!

Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space
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This book is written for multiple ages and grades! This is what makes this curriculum so wonderful because you can use one curriculum for multiple ages and teach them all at the same time. This Earth and Space book was designed for 3rd - 6th grade, but can be adapted for younger children and has the ability to dig deeper with older children by using the multiple resources in the back of the book.

There are 24 lessons and 6 unit reviews for a total of 32 lessons. Each lesson and or unit review is designed to be completed in one week and to also be taught only twice a week!

At the beginning of each unit there are timeline activities with names and dates for you to add to your Science timeline to put in a notebook or hang on the wall.

This book covers the topics of:
  • Earth, the Lithosphere (caves, volcanoes, earthquakes and rocks)
  • The Hydrosphere (water, oceans, groundwater and glaciers)
  • The Atmosphere
  • The Earth's Weather (cloud formation, precipitation, storms and weather seasons)
  • Beyond Earth (sun, solar system, moon and planets)

The appendix in the back of the book has reproducible science forms and maps, memorization lists, scripture memory cards to cut out, coloring pages, recipes and supplemental activities, a book and resource list and an answer key. It also includes an appendix that teaches you how to make a folderbook (lapbook) with photos and ideas on how to make one!

Christian Kids Explore Physics
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This book is written for multiple ages and grades! This is what makes this curriculum so wonderful because you can use one curriculum for multiple ages and teach them all at the same time. This Physics book was designed for 4th -8th grade, but can be adapted for younger children and has the ability to dig deeper with older children by using the multiple resources in the back of the book.

There are 30 lessons in this book. Each lesson is designed to be completed in one week and to also be taught only twice a week!

The topics covered in this book are:
  • The Foundation of Physics
  • Matter
  • Mechanics
  • Matter in Motion
  • Energy in Motion
  • Electricity and Magnetism

The appendix in the back of the book has an extensive book and resource section, and answer keys for the Unit Wrap -ups and Review its.

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry
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This book is written for multiple ages and grades! This is what makes this curriculum so wonderful because you can use one curriculum for multiple ages and teach them all at the same time. This Chemistry book was designed for 4th -8th grade, but can be adapted for younger children and has the ability to dig deeper with older children by using the multiple resources in the back of the book.

There are 30 lessons in this book. Each lesson is designed to be completed in one week and to also be taught only twice a week!

The topics covered in this book are:
  • The Basics of Chemistry
  • Atoms and Molecules
  • Nature of Chemistry
  • States of Matter
  • Organic Chemistry

The appendix in the back of the book includes the Element tables, an extensive book and resource sections, a section on further biographical study and the unit wrap up answer keys.
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