In general I have been happy with Real Science for Kids, as our primary science curriculum. Both the kids and I really enjoy the books and we have learned a lot about what are typically considered hard and difficult science concepts. I look forward to continuing to use the books through the years and they will have a special space on our bookshelf. However, I feel like something is missing. Real Science for kids seems like a great supplement, or great for small units, but not a whole package.
I’ve hunted and searched. I have explored high and low, near and far to find the perfect science curriculum for our family. There are lots of good programs out there. I like how one uses a lot of great books, how another has plenty of hands-on science experiments. I like how that one has a great Christian base, and this one is grounded is solid science. Nothing seemed to have all the pieces I wanted and I was about ready to give up until I found Science in the Beginning by Dr. Jay Wile.
I think I’m in love!
What I love:
This is the first in a series of science texts written for elementary students. The text goes through science chronologically, starting with creation, and exploring science as we track through history of great scientific discoveries, thoughts, and ideas. I particularly LOVE this format for my history-loving little boy. It’s also great to keep in step with our chronological history curriculum. I really like being able to teach science and math in the context of real life, keeping it practical. This format makes that really easy to do.
There is a science activity with every single lesson. This makes my heart happy. Some people don’t like all the prep, but I find the activities super easy, and not much of a big deal. There are also lists of every single supply you will need in the front of the book, which is super helpful for planning ahead. I find these activities give us a way to see science in action and keep our hands busy while we talk about the lessons.
This is a Creation-based curriculum, but it doesn’t have weak science. That’s been one of my biggest struggles. With many of the curriculums out there I feel I’ve had to pick between grounded scientific ideas, principles, and reasoning or a Biblical worldview. It has been frustrating to say the least. With this curriculum I get both. I don’t have to chose! It’s wonderful!
Sometimes science can be dull, dry, and boring. While, this still has a bit of a text-book feel to it, it is very user friendly and easy to follow and understand. I love that Dr. Wile actually talks to us through the text as that makes it feel more alive.
I like unit studies . . . a lot! I love being able to take ideas that the kids are excited about and expand on them. This curriculum is very adaptable. We started in on day three instead of day one as it goes perfectly with our gardening unit. It’s been going great. We also did a mini unit study on rocks when we hit that section in the text book. I love using the book as a springboard for all sorts of scientific discoveries.
The last thing I want to mention about this curriculum is that it’s family friendly. Dr. Wile believes in doing science together as a family. All of the lessons are written to do together with multiple ages. There are leveled questions and assignments at the end of each lesson for independent work.
What I Would Change
For the most part I really love this curriculum. There is really only one thing I would change, and it’s not actually a change, just an addition. I would add a resource section. I think this is so important for almost any curriculum. If we are studying about color and prisms, and my kids want to know more, I would love to have a list of books and resources right there at my fingertips to get me started. I think a lot of this might stem from my love of unit studies, but as a homeschooling parent, I would much rather spend my time “doing learning” with my boys than tracking down tools and resources.
Overall, I really LOVE this curriculum. We are having so much fun with it and I see all four texts from this series in our future with many, many hours of science fun.
Have you tried Science in the Beginning? What did you think of it?
To see the book inside, check out my video review.