Warning: LONG review, but worth it (I think!)
Exploring Creation with General Science, 2nd Edition is a 7th or 8th grade science curriculum that I have been very impressed with! Written from a Biblical perspective, 32 lessons cover a broad range of introductory science themes that will give your child a solid knowledge base when entering into higher level science courses.
Sixteen Modules cover the topics of the history of science, scientific experiments, simple machines, archaeology, paleontology, geology, fossils, life, classification, the human body and energy. Each module is intended to last approximately two weeks with the student spending 30-45 minutes per day on the lessons.
Questions are interspersed throughout each module to make sure your child has understood the information presented. You can choose to have your child answer the questions orally or in written form.
One to five experiments are found in each module, which means one or two experiments will typically be performed each week. Parents will be glad to know there is an Appendix in the back of the book listing all the supplies needed in order to complete the experiments. Most of the supplies are very easy to find around the house and won’t require too much pre-planning. It’s suggested that an experiment notebook be kept for recording findings and summaries of each experiment.
To help the student understand what is most important to memorize from the readings, the testable material is typed in bold font. There is also a review guide at the end of each module to help the student prepare for the upcoming test on the material. The study guide asks questions and expects the student to find the answers. Those questions and answers will be testable material. Answers to the study guide questions are found in the Solutions and Tests Manual that comes with the textbook.
Tests (and answers!) for each module are found in the Solutions and Test Manual. There is a permanent reproducible copy of each test found in the book, as well as one tear-out copy for every test. They are each two pages and include many types of questions such as matching, defining terms, making inferences, reading graphs and charts, multiple choice, and explaining answers. These are supposed to be completed without the help of the textbook or any notes. Quarterly tests that cover material from four chapters each are included if you’d like to use them.
For students who are having trouble grasping a certain concept, there is an extra help found in one of the Appendixes called a module summary. The information found in the particular module is condensed into a summary where the student must fill in some blanks to complete the summary. Again, the answers can be found in the Solutions and Tests Manual. In completing this extra exercise, it’s hoped that any hard to understand information might be understood through the additional practice.
Many pictures, charts, graphs and tables are inserted when they will be of added value to understanding the material. All of the pictures are colorful and high quality, and all of the charts, graphs and tables use lots of color and clear labels.
A glossary of terms can be found at the end of the book, which gives references pages back to the module where the term was originally found. And, besides the Appendixes I’ve already mentioned, you can find an Appendix of extra diagrams that support various module studies.
This is an outstandingly organized curriculum. It covers a vast amount of material in a way that concretely teaches the concepts. It expects a lot from a middle school aged child, but I don’t feel like the material is “over their heads”. It does, however, require a dedicated amount of time in order to complete within a year. Once completed, though, I believe your child will have a very solid base on which to begin their high school science courses.
-Written by Cindy, an eclectic Charlotte Mason mom of 3 from Central KY. You can find her blogging at Our Journey Westward and find her nature study curricula at Shining Dawn Books. This product was provided to Cindy for the purpose of an honest review.