God's Wondrous Machine
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. At the time of this description, three Student Texts and one Teacher Guide have been completed.
Each hardcover Student Book contains 80 pages of easy to understand text with illustrated diagrams and photographs. The anatomy presentation contains age-appropriate content on normal physiology and an introduction to common diseases. The Breathtaking Respiratory System includes fetal lung development and premature birth, the healthy respiratory process and illnesses such as asthma and tuberculosis, along with a look at damage cigarette smoke causes on the lungs. The Electrifying Nervous System provides thorough information on our brain and nervous system and includes age-appropriate discussions on fetal development, brain injury, paraplegia, polio, along with normal and abnormal sleep patterns. Complex Circulatory System covers the heart, blood, and blood vessels that make up the body's circulatory system. Interwoven within the text are real-life examples and practical application. Student Books are designed as a one semester course, but would also be an excellent supplement to another science curriculum, a comprehensive home library reference guide or foundation for a science based unit study.
In these textbooks, basic teaching support is available, 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 Guides. 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.
While not absolutely necessary, the softcover Teacher Guide offers a wealth of resources for parents and teachers, including lesson plans for 36 weeks, worksheets and activities, semester tests and answers for the 3 textbooks. Science is scheduled to be taught 2-3 days per week, although science minded parents and students would easily be able to use the course 5 days per week. Each lesson is expected to take approximately 30-60 minutes if you complete all recommended activities. The heart of the TG is the activities. Dividing activities into three grade levels (K-2, 3-5 and 6-8) and eight multiple intelligences and learning modalities, flexibility abounds. While this plethora of options may sound confusing, the author does an excellent job of outlining and scheduling these for you. As a parent, you can select from the variety of activities or dive into all of the outlined activities to create varied learning situations for children. Reproducible worksheets are diverse and include experiments, report projects (oral and written), diagrams to label, word scrambles, Scripture copy work pages, timeline templates (with black and white images) and much more. Also included are vocabulary cards, worksheet answer keys, lab supply lists, experiments, grading rubrics for reports and concept objectives per unit. A learning log and experiment recording sheet are also included. All of these resources provide parents and teachers tremendous flexibility for a variety of course work evaluation and documentation: portfolios, project based and traditional assessments. The TG is 3-hole punched and perforated student sheets are reproducible for family or a small classroom (up to 10 children) use.
Let me talk briefly about the hands-on experiments and activities. While the afore mentioned lab kits are still being developed, parents and teachers of older middle school students will find these tremendously beneficial in understanding the human body. Specifically designed lab kits are also expected to be released which will include harder to locate items like dissection tools and specimens (for example the sheep brain and cow spinal cord in the Electrifying the Nervous System kit); percussion hammer, human body charts, etc. Contact us for lab kit availability or a list of items. There are numerous activities that use commonly found items (a well-organized supply list is found at the front of the lessons). For the family who would prefer to introduce dissection at the high school level, it is possible to use the course with the other miscellaneous activities: making anatomical models, testing lung capacity, testing reaction reflexes, etc. The whole series' 9 student texts and accompanying teacher guides will provide 4 ½ years of science.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention that on top of the academically strong science instruction, Dr. Callentine skillfully integrates Scripture (NIV), leading children in understanding and appreciating the miracle that is our human body. ~ Deanne