Christian Kids Explore Chemistry with Resource CD
This volume consists of 30 lessons divided into 5 units: "Basics of Chemistry," "Atoms and Molecules," "The Nature of Chemistry," "States of Matter," and "Organic Chemistry." Unlike Biology and Earth & Space, this volume was authored by husband-and-wife team Robert W. and Elizabeth J. Ridlon.
Category Description for Christian Kids Exploreà
By identifying a need in her own homeschool and filling it, homeschool mom Stephanie Redmond has constructed a user-friendly, biblically-based science program that you can easily use with multiple levels of children at once. Each volume includes lessons to read, hands-on activity instructions, unit reviews, lists of suggested supplemental resources, and more. While you will probably locate some supplemental resources, the bulk of what you need is contained in just one book which keeps things simple (no searching the house for misplaced workbooks or activity books!). Volumes are broken down into 24-35 lessons organized into units. While the number of units varies per book, you can plan on completing the course in one year (or less) if you take the author’s suggestion and complete one lesson per week, dividing the lesson up into two 60-90-minute sessions - one for reading and one for activities.
The first portion of the lesson contains the instructional text which can be read aloud, or read independently by older students. Although intended to introduce and explain science concepts, the text is conversational and well-written. Lesson vocabulary definitions, related scriptures, and science facts appear in the margins, and several questions follow the reading for either discussion or a short quiz. If time and interest permit, you will probably want to supplement the lesson reading with library books or other resources. You’ll appreciate the author’s extensive resource lists in each book’s appendix which offer ample suggestions. In Biology, the author recommends these activities for the "reading" part of the lesson: making and reviewing unit vocabulary flashcards, reviewing the main topic(s) of the previous lesson, reading the current lesson, memorizing the vocabulary for the current lesson, and spending any remaining time reading from supplemental sources.
The second half of the lesson is the activity portion. There is quite a variety to these, and they relate very well to the lesson content covered in the reading. Each activity includes an objective, a materials list, and step-by-step instructions. Occasionally, a simpler activity for younger students is included if the main activity is likely to "go over their heads." Rather than answering questions following the activity, students are usually directed to fill out the provided "Checking It Out" form, which is like a lab activity guide. They’ll record the objective, hypothesis, procedure, results observed, and what they learned. Examples of activities found throughout the series are: building a terrarium (Biology), making an edible sedimentary rock (Earth & Space Science), finding household products that contain strong bases (Chemistry), calculating bicycle wheel speed (Physics), or making a fossil (Creation Science).
You’ll find everything else you’ll need either in the unit introduction or at the end of the book.Units begin with a list of vocabulary covered, a comprehensive materials list, and any other information you’ll need to cover the unit. A multiple-choice "Unit Wrap-Up" is provided at the end of each unit for review. Appendices, answer keys, and a glossary are included at the end of each volume. The appendices include reproducible sheets and reference lists. Typically, reproducibles include forms that are utilized often throughout the course like "Checking It Out" experiment forms, maps, memory lists, scripture memory cards, coloring pages, field trip journal forms, Daily Reading Sheets, and much more. Appendices with reference lists often include suggested books and other resources you may find helpful in teaching the unit, and in some books, lists of topics to use in research projects. In addition, some books include a resource CD with daily lesson plans, reproducibles, materials lists, and bonus literature study guides. See individual descriptions for more specific information on each title. - Jess
I tried Chemistry with my oldest daughter in high school (textbook) and we quit after 3 weeks, so I was a little leery of trying this. My thought was that if I introduce it early maybe by the time the younger children are in high school we can tackle the textbook with more success. This was Wonderful! We had so much fun with it, it was easy to use, explained everything so well and I feel as if they have a strong foundation to work from. Great for Middle School & it has suggestions in the back to add more reading & experiments so you could use it for High School as well.
We use the WTM as our guideline, which rotates students through the sciences three times. I feel confident using this for 3rd and 7th grades (or any in between). The next time we come to third grade Chemistry I would start out with Unit 1 of CKEC. It has 5 lessons covering: Intro to Chemistry, Chemistry Tools, Matter, Elements (11 common), Mixtures and Compounds. Then I would do Unit 4 of CKEC, which has 5 lessons covering: Solids and Liquids, Gases, Gas Laws, State Change, Solutions. Then I would spend the rest of the year doing the experiments from Well-Trained Mind's suggested text, Adventures With Atoms and Molecules. I think the remaining lessons of CKEC are too in-depth for elementary (3rd grade) students. When we return to Chemistry for 7th grade, I would quickly review Units 1 and 4 and then study Units 2, 3 and 5 of CKEC, which cover "Atoms and Molecules," "The Nature of Chemistry," and "Organic Chemistry." They are technical and in-depth enough for a 7th grader and will really prepare them for high school chemistry. CKEC is written by Robert and Elizabeth Ridlon, also the authors of CKEP. Their style is much more in-depth and technical than CKEES. They do a great job of representing the God-glorifying aspect expected in a science book entitled "Christian Kids..." I get worried remarks from my father, a geology major, about teaching science from a Christian worldview. So in case you were wondering, here's excerpts from CKEC. The "Christian" parts are in the introductions to each new unit, for instance: Unit 1 Intro: "Studying chemistry, just like other sciences, is a way to appreciate creation more deeply and examine the beauty of all that God has made. The universe was created by God and is made up of matter and energy that can be studied." Unit 3 Intro: "Matter is part of God's creation and it is subject to certain rules. Just like God has rules for people, the Bible tells us that He has rules for all of creation. In this unit we are going to see how different chemicals behave- how they act and how they react." Knowing that an intro to Chemistry is sufficient for 3rd graders, and that I can use it again for middle school, in addition to having the option of filling out the comprehension question verbally or on separate paper (then using it with another child) makes this a great deal. It's very easy to use, not ed but easy for my child or I to read. I thought it was a great improvement over CKE Earth and Space. The experiments use pretty everyday supplies and clearly express the principle of the lesson.
I ordered the book Christian Kids Explore Biology for our science curriculum. When I began to look through the book it was very exciting. Finally, a science curriculum that both my kids and I could enjoy. The explanations are thorough and the questions and activities are thought provoking and fun. (My kids and I have already been reading some of the chapters). I also love the side notes that lead you to more discovery. The biggest plus is that I can use this curriculum with all my kids at one time. How wonderful is that?
This past school year I used the Christian Kids Explore Chemistry curriculum with my four kids, ranging from 2nd to 7th grades. We all loved it, and I found the format very user friendly. It helped us understand the basics of chemistry that chemistry experiment kits can't, without being too overwhelming for my 2nd & 3rd graders. We especially enjoyed creating our own research cards on the elements from the periodic table. My kids were inspired to memorize over 50 element symbols, and I even catch them checking out library books on individual elements. There were a few "experiments" that were far too simple for my older kids. The only thing to change would be to make the curriculum longer. But then again, we had time and clearer understanding to really get something out of the experiment kits I used to extend the curriculum to fit our school year.
While searching for a science curriculum to continue to build upon the scientific knowledge base our child already has acquired I discovered the "Christian Kids Explore" science series by Bright Ideas Press. "Christian Kids Explore Biology" is a science curriculum which follows the teachings of "intelligent design" with the influence of the teachings of Charlotte Mason and Classical Education. The curriculum is divided into 35 lessons covering the topics of Biology Basics, Plants in God's World, Birds of the Earth, Mammals in the Wild, The Human Factor, Reptiles All Around, Insects High and Low, and Water Creatures. The lessons are divided into teaching time, checking it out, hands on time, quick quiz, memory work, vocabulary,coloring pages and books. The curriculum contains notes for the teacher on "how to use this book" along with an appendices including reproducible forms/maps, memorization lists, Scripture memory, ABC Animal Book, coloring pages, recipes/supplemental activities, answer key and book/resource list. We are planning to follow this edition with the remaining books in the series on the topics of earth and space, chemistry and physics.
These books are wonderful and we are so lucky to have such a wonderful science curriculum that is easy to use with more than one student. It's through and has a perfect blend of hands on activities to add to the text. I used it from grade levels 2-5 and they all did well with it and I didn't find it over anyone's head. It worked for my different kinds of learners and was well worth the investment.