The study of science – nature, creation, marine biology, engineering, you name it! – is a hot topic and favourite area of study for pretty well everyone in our family. We put a lot of emphasis on ensuring we have good quality books and curriculum available for our use.
While we don’t shy away from teaching what the secular world believes in many theories and practices of evolution, we prefer to have a central focus on creation as God intended it to be understood and taught through a faith-based, biblical perspective. There’s a lot of material out there full of error even just against basic, simple scientific principles, so unless you’re a science buff (ahem, nerd ;D) and know everything there is to know about every area of science, it can be difficult to know just what to trust.
Obviously no books are absolutely without error (except the Bible!) so we always proceed with caution, testing anything we are unsure of against God’s word and trusted scientific sources.
We love our current science curriculum, along with our plethora of science related picture and resource books. However, a lot of what I read in our group study time goes over the head of our kindergartener. Though she definitely loves learning about science, some of the ideas and concepts she misses because the lessons are geared more toward older grades and students.
When we had the opportunity to review By Design faith-based science curriculum from Kendall Hunt, I was excited and hoped this would be the chance I was waiting for to draw her into a more one on one discovery of science on her level. But with 4 kids, I knew I didn’t have a lot of time to dedicate to teaching science twice.
By Design Faith-Based Science Curriculum
(We received Level 1 of By Design faith-based science curriculum for free as well as compensastion for our time spent reviewing this product. All opinions are our own.)
By Design did not fail me! Not only does the curriculum draw from a faith-based, biblical standpoint of God as Creator, it’s very flexible, easy to follow, and includes many activities, ideas, exploration and solid scientific information.
The curriculum comes with a teacher’s manual that lays out a schedule for each chapter or section. Sometimes we followed the schedule, other times when we had less or more time we did more reading or activities in the workbook. If you are not confident in teaching science, the teacher’s manual is definitely valuable as it is a really helpful guide, and provides more background information, in-depth questions and material that may assist you in teaching your student.
Since I have taught science a number of times already, and we were learning about similar topics I was teaching at the same time to my boys, I haven’t needed to rely on the teacher’s manual as much. The textbook on its own is very easy to follow and includes activities and applications for what you are teaching.
The textbook is full of colorful illustrations and photographs (kids love photos!), prompts and questions, applications, math integration, and so much more!
Our favourite parts are the inquiries, or “experiments”, where we get to take what we’re learning and put it to the test or into action. ;0)
While the curriculum level of By Design that we received is geared toward first grade, it has also been working well for our kindergartener. Because of the great teacher’s manual you can go deeper into a topic if you feel the student needs to and can be challenged, or just stick with the basics.
Each section of the textbook comes with an accompanying workbook which contains exercises and questions, and introduces them to the idea of hypotheses and “research” – VERY simply, but still teaching students how to gather information and make guesses about results.
Since Keekers isn’t doing a lot of writing yet, some of the workbook sections we just answered verbally, or I wrote the answers for her, or she drew pictures.
At the end of each section is a lesson review and a family link – a great opportunity to get your young students to teach their family members what they’ve been learning (and test how well they were listening ;D).
In all I’ve been really impressed with the By Design science curriculum – not only in the depth in which it goes into details without overcomplicating or losing the student’s interest, but also by the inclusion of Scripture throughout the lessons, and by how easy it has been to incorporate into our already very busy homeschool schedule. While we don’t do it every day, a couple of times a week (and sometimes only once!) is enough to keep Keekers interested in and learning more science.
By Design’s faith-based science curriculum is available for grades 1-8. Learn more on their site or watch this video:
Kendall Hunt also provides faith-based programs in Reading Language Art called (Pathways) and a New Kindergarten program (Stepping Stones). In addition, Kendall Hunt offers Talented and Gifted programs in mathematics (M2 and M3) as well as products developed in collaboration with the CFGE (Center for Gifted Education) College of William and Mary in subject areas such as language arts, social studies, and science.
Kendall Hunt Twitter – @KendallHuntRPD
Check out our other curriculum reviews and recommendations on Serving From Home: