Elementary Science in History (by Dr. Jay Wile)

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After much speculation and anticipation, Dr. Jay Wiles new elementary science curriculum is now available, and dare I say, it has been worth the wait! For those unaware, Dr. Jay Wile is the author of the Jr. and Sr. High Apologia Science curriculum which was specifically designed for homeschool family use, and he continues in the same vein with his newest courses.

Designed to be used every other day, each of the curriculum titles provides one years worth of science instruction. Each book is divided into six sections that include twelve foundational lessons and three challenge lessons, for a total of 90 lessons. While the challenge lessons may be considered optional if you have a science-resistant child, you will find they add depth and enjoyment to the subject being studied and provide excellent extension activities for older or gifted students.

Firmly believing that children of elementary age can learn together, each lesson includes a hands-on activity or experiment (parental supervision required), approximately three pages of reading, and review questions that have been subdivided into three levels. Wisely, Dr. Jay has given you, the parent, the discretion to select the best level for your student(s), making this practical and easy to use with varied abilities and ages. The hands-on activities or experiments primarily use commonly found household items, although lab kits may become available. See below or contact us to check status. Supply lists by unit are conveniently located in the front of the textbooks, making it easy to secure items ahead of time.

While the hardcover textbook contains all of the instruction, the author has provided parents with a "Helps & Hints" softcover book which offers experiment and activity notes, answers to all three levels of questions, and optional tests/answers for those who want to expose students to test-taking (reproducible for family use). The author recommends students keep notebooks of activities/experiments and lesson questions to evaluate learning. Worth noting, you will find a few activity templates in the Hints & Helps book for Science in the Ancient World. These templates are specifically referenced in the textbook and are reproducible for family use.

Currently there are four books in the still-developing series. The first in the series, Science in the Beginning, teaches science topics as they relate to the six days of creation. Here is an example of the questions and how the level of difficulty increases. From Lesson 9, Day 1 of Creation: Younger Students: Where does your eyes lens focus the light that passes through it? What do the rods and the cones do in the eye? Older Students: Make your own drawing of the eye, based on the one you see on pg. 25. Label the cornea, lens, retina, and optic nerve. Make a note that the rods and cones can be found on the retina. Also, point out in the drawing where the blind spot is, and explain why it is a blind spot. Oldest Students: Do what the older students are doing. In addition, I want you to predict what would happen if I changed the instructions in the experiment. Suppose I asked you to hold the book so the red squares are just to the left of your nose. Then, suppose I told you to close your right eye and look at the red and blue circles with your left eye. Then, suppose I asked you to bring the book closer and closer to your face. Can you predict what you would eventually see? Write down your predication and then see if it was correct by actually doing the experiment that way.

The second book, Science in the Ancient World, is divided into six chronological time periods: Science before Christ Part 1 (570 B.C- 370 B.C.), Science Before Christ Part 2 (424 B.C. - 120 B.C), Science Soon After Christ (40 A.D. - 200 A.D), Science in the Early Middle Ages (490 A.D.-1368 A.D.), Science in the Late Middle Ages (1320 A.D. - 1519 A.D.) and Science in the Early Renaissance (contributions of Leonardo DaVinci). The great discoveries of early natural philosophy and science are studied through the brilliant minds of Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Archimedes, Galen, Roger Bacon, and Leonardo DaVinci along with many others. Topically, students will be introduced to human anatomy, medicine, optics, sound, music, magnets, plant growth, the atmosphere, density, water flow, erosion and other related topics.

Science in the Scientific Revolution starts with The Revolution Begins (1473-1564). This section covers the important work of Copernicus and Vesalius. Subsequent chapters include: Revolution from Mid 1500s to Early 1600s (Galileo, Gesner and others); Revolution in Early 17th Century (Kepler, Bacon, Pascal, plus others); Revolution in Mid 17th Century (Guericke, Huygens, Boyle, Hooke plus others); Revolution in Late 17th Century (Redi, Leeuwenhoek; Newton and others); and The Revolution at End of 17th Century (Newton, Amontons, Leibniz and others). Topics studied include human anatomy, botany, insects, astronomy, measuring time and much more.

The fourth book in the series: Science in the Age of Reason explores the scientists and discoveries from the early 18th century, concluding with science at the turn of the 19th century. Topically, students will study temperature, botany, Bernoulli Effect, biogenesis, electricity, geology, spontaneous generation, acids and bases, vaccines, muscular tissues, atomic theory, light and color and much more. Famous scientists introduced include Edmond Halley, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Anders Celsius, Benjamin Franklin, Carl Linnaeus, Joseph Black, Henry Cavendish, Erasmus Darwin, James Hutton, John Dalton, Thomas Young, William Hyde Wollaston and other noteworthy contributors. Also introduced is the start of the historical transition that occurred in science as discoveries came to light from Christian and secular men and women.

Science in the Industrial Age is the 5th book in the series and covers the period from early 1800s to early 1900s. Students will learn about scientists like Georges Cuvier, Alexander von Humboldt, Michael Faraday, and many others. Science topics covered in this book are fossils, chemical formulas, chemical reactions, colloids, atomic theory, electricity and magnetism, brain anatomy, digestion, respiration, eye anatomy, cells, germ theory, basic genetics, photography, the nature of light, basic thermodynamics, and astronomy.

At this point, you may wonder how this compares to the Elementary Apologia curriculum. At first glance, the main difference is with the scope of topics. Dr. Jays new series provides students with exposure to multiple branches of science within the course of a year. Elementary Apologia takes one topic and studies it in-depth over the course of one year. Parents who have used the Jr. and Sr. High Apologia texts will find this new series is similar to the upper level Apologia texts, with lessons written in a friendly conversational tone, step-by-step experiment instructions and lesson reviews. Fully illustrated graphics are plentiful but not as bountiful as in the Apologia elementary books. Also noteworthy is that each lesson in this book contains three pages of textual reading, which is less than the average daily readings in the elementary Apologia courses. Dr. Jay Wiles Elementary Science in History is a well-done series for the elementary-middle school student or could ease the transition to the Apologia Jr. High Curriculum for a middle school student who is using a different program.

Dr. Jay anticipates the release of other books in this series. Check our website or call to check availability. The set contains the hardcover textbook and Helps & Hints, or the books can be purchased separately. ~Deanne

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Science in the Beginning Text Item #: 011810
Grades: K-6
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Science in the Beginning Set Item #: SIBSET
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Science in the Beginning Lab Kit Item #: 019074
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Science in the Ancient World Text Item #: 025919
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Science in the Ancient World Set Item #: SAWSET
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Science in the Scientific Revolution Text Item #: 019291
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Science in the Ancient World Lab Kit Item #: 020034
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Science in the Beginning Helps & Hints Item #: 011782
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Jay Wiles Science in the Beginning Binder Builder CD-ROM Item #: 061256
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Science in the Age of Reason Text Item #: 013237
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Science in the Ancient World Helps & Hints Item #: 025858
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Science in the Scientific Revolution Helps & Hints Item #: 019254
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Jay Wiles Science in the Ancient World Binder Builder CD-ROM Item #: 061255
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Science in the Age of Reason Set Item #: SARSET
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Science in the Age of Reason Helps & Hints Item #: 013216
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Science in the Scientific Revolution Lab Kit Item #: 004062
Grades: K-6
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Science in the Industrial Age Text Item #: 067278
Grades: K-6
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