God's Wondrous Machine (Elementary Anatomy)
Have you ever wondered what your science course would look like if a pediatrician became a homeschool mom and wrote her own curriculum? Be prepared to reach a new level in your science experience! This excellent new series offers science-minded parents and students an in-depth look at a science field (Anatomy) that traditionally has been reserved for high school students. While there are only 3 body systems covered, children receive an excellent introduction to the practical anatomy and physiology of familiar systems.
The student book, God’s Wondrous Machine, is divided into three sections: The Electrifying Nervous System, The Breathtaking Respiratory System, and The Complex Circulatory System. Engagingly written, with easy-to-understand text, numerous illustrated diagrams and vibrant photographs, the anatomy presentation is age appropriate. The author introduces normal physiology, as well as common diseases. I appreciate the author’s ability to write about common diseases in a way that is understandable and relatable to children. Topically, students learn how the brain and nervous system work before delving into fetal development, brain injury, paraplegia, polio, and normal and abnormal sleep patterns in The Electrifying Nervous System. The next section, The Breathtaking Respiratory System, covers fetal lung development and premature birth, the healthy respiratory process, and illnesses such as asthma and tuberculosis, as well as damage caused by cigarette smoking. The final section, The Complex Circulatory System, covers the heart, blood, and blood vessels that make up the body's circulatory system. Students learn about blood sucking critters and leeching, heart surgery and transplant, fetal development of the heart, heart disease and the importance of physical exercise. Interwoven within the text are real-life examples and practical application.
The student book provides basic teaching support, including a "How to Use It" section and vocabulary lists separated into 3 levels of difficulty. Distinctive to this program, the vocabulary lists include the word, a pronunciation guide and definition which allows you to create your own vocabulary cards if you chose not to use the Teacher Guide. Adding to the incredible value of these texts, the author has also provided a historical timeline of scientists and medical discoveries related to each body system, along with "Wacky, Weird and Wow" facts, light-hearted kid jokes, and famous quotations. Along with the academically strong, science instruction, Dr. Callentine skillfully integrates Scripture (NIV) into the text helping children understand and appreciate the miracle that is our human body.
The Teacher Guide offers a wealth of resources for parents, including lesson plans for 36 weeks, worksheets and activities, tests, and answers for the worksheets and tests. Lessons will take 30-45 minutes per day, five days a week to complete this course in one year. The author has a special interest in multiple intelligences and provides parents an overview of the intelligences. She also has created activity lists with the intelligence identified., along with a helpful ability level designation that aligns with the vocabulary list levels. This helpful resource equips parents to narrow learning activities for individual student needs if desired. Reproducible worksheets are diverse and include experiments, report projects (oral and written), diagrams to label, word scrambles, timeline templates (with black and white images) and much more. Also included are vocabulary flashcards, Scripture copywork and summary pages, lab supply lists, experiments, grading rubrics for reports and concept objectives per unit. Worksheet illustrations are black and white. Worth mentioning, some of the graphics, for example, the stages of bruising are difficult to identify the differences. Parent teachers, however, can easily use the textbook’s color illustrations for these few activities. These resources provide parents tremendous flexibility for a variety of course work evaluation and documentation: portfolios, project based and traditional assessments. The TG is 3-hole punched and the perforated student sheets are reproducible for immediate family members.
Let me talk briefly about the hands-on lab activities. Most activities use ordinary items, for example eggs, yarn, hammer, scissors, magnifying glass, oil, food coloring, and the like. There are a few experiments that require special lab equipment like test tubes, test tube rack, safety goggles, microscope slides, bromothymol blue solution, a reflex hammer, dissection kit, sheep brain, sheep or cow heart, and cow spinal cord. There are no lab kits available, families will need to source these items from a science supply company. Making the effort to locate lab supplies is recommended, for hands-on learning through dissections provides a valuable learning experience. For the family who prefers to introduce dissection at the high school level, God’s Wondrous Machine still provides an excellent introduction to anatomy and physiology. This is an excellent course for families with an interest in the medical field, or to engage a reluctant science learner that may be bored with their current studies. The Teacher Guide and Student Book are sold separately, or together in a Package for your convenience. ~Deanne