When I first looked at Science in the Beginning, I knew it was the work of Creation Scientist and Author, Dr. Jay Wile, as it shares some similarities in set up to his middle and high school texts. However, this book is definitely geared for younger students.
"What is science? It is an attempt to understand the world around us and how it works. Why should we study it? Because God created the world around us, and by studying it, we learn more about Him.....
In this course, then, you are going to learn a lot about God's creation. However, you will learn a lot about god as well. To do this, we will start at the very beginning. The book of Genesis starts with the account of how God created everything, so we will use that as our guide. Over the course of this year, you will learn about the things god created in the order that He created them. By the end of the year, I hope that your knowledge about both God and His creation is significantly increased! This will lead you to a deeper, more intimate knowledge of God and help you grow in your relationship with Him."
Science in the Beginning contains a total of 90 lessons broken down into 15 lessons for each creation day. That's 12 "normal" lessons and 3 "challenge" lessons. This curriculum is very flexible and can last as long as the parent desires. For example, do 1 lesson every other day which will cover all 15 lessons for each creation day. Or do 2 lessons a week which skips the challenge questions. Or stretch these lessons out even further by making this book last more than 1 year.
A wide range of science topics are covered and are neatly organized according to the days of Creation for elementary aged students.
Day 1 Lessons 1-15 = Light, Energy, Human Eye
Day 2 Lessons 16-30 = Water, Solutions, Air
Day 3 Lessons 31-45 = Land, Sea, Plants
Day 4 Lessons 46-60 = Sun, Earth, Stars
Day 5 Lessons 61-75 = Animal Classification, Vertebrates, Invertebrates, Flight
Day 6 Lessons 76-90 = Land Animals, People, 5 Senses
Each lesson generally starts with a hands on activity. If you do have a multi-age science class its suggested that the oldest child read to the younger children. At about 3 pages in length, each lesson is short and to the point but in true Dr. Wile style is conversationally smart!
This book stands out uniquely in that the end of each lesson contains review questions that are split up according to the age and ability of the student. The youngest student has two questions to answer orally. Older students have a notebooking exercise and the oldest a have more difficult notebooking exercise to complete.
Youngest students: Answer these questions:
1. When air (and most things in creation) is heated, does it expand or contract?
2. When air (and most things in creation) is heated, what happens to the speed of its molecules?
Older students: In your notebook, draw two pictures of the experiment. One of the pictures needs to show the bottle and balloon before the bottle was heated. The second picture needs to show the bottle and balloon after it had been heated for several minutes. Underneath the two drawings, explain why the balloon inflated when the bottle was heated.
Oldest students: Do what the older students are doing. In addition, try to draw a picture or pictures that illustrate the fact that the molecules in air move more quickly the warmer the air is. Draw whatever you think illustrates this idea. Write down an explanation as to why your drawing or drawings illustrate this idea.
Concerning the labs, they are filled with plentiful and fairly easy to execute experiments. Students should do most of the work, but must be supervised by an adult. Experiments that need harder to find items or that require "long-term" observation are highlighted ahead of time. Necessary supplies are broken down by day of creation, making it easier to gather all items. That's just the help a busy mom needs!
A test booklet is also included for those who feel the need to test their children.
I wish I would have had Science in the Beginning to use with my older children when they were younger. What a great way to get a broad Biblical overview of the world God has created for us all within ONE book! I am blessed to have two children that will be able to use this curriculum. And, I'm really looking forward to doing so next year!
Because of the multi-aged structure, I whole heartedly recommend this book for co-op settings as well as in your own home!
Equally exciting is the up and coming books Dr. Wile has in the works! I can't wait to use this whole series with my younger children!
Read my reviews of the other books in this series!