Wednesday, May 25, 2011

TOS Review: Considering God's Creation

I have two non-negotiable requirements to even consider using a science curriculum.  First, the curriculum cannot perpetuate the myth of evolution (To be honest, my first instinct was to use the word "lie" instead of "myth".  That's how strongly I believe in the truth of Creation.)  I don't mind a text or program that presents the argument of evolution as an unproven, unbiblical theory but I absolutely refuse to give my kids a book that presents evolution as fact or "one of many possible truths".  Second, I don't want to spend even 1/2 the amount of time preparing for the lesson as it takes to teach the lesson.  It's science for crying out loud.  You're supposed to be able to walk out the door (or even stay inside) and study the world around you.  It shouldn't take four specialized shopping trips and two hours of prep time to teach your kids about the solar system, the human body, or the plant world.
I was pleasantly surprised when we received the Considering God's Creation set from Eagle's Wings.  They specifically describe Considering God's Creation as "A creative, in-depth encounter with natural science from a Biblical perspective." and " the way we wish we'd been taught!"  The program can be adapted for grades 2-7, and can be a quick overview or an in-depth study.  Best of all, it doesn't require anything for projects that you wouldn't find in your home - mostly crayons, tape, glue, and the occasional shoebox.  Best of all, each lesson requires the use of a Bible, as the program is intended to teach children not just about the science of God's creation, but how to defend Creation to those who believe evolution.

The program itself consists of a student workbook, a teacher's manual, and an audio CD.  The audio CD contains 23 songs and poems that go along with the lessons and can be memorized.  The student workbook is essentially the "projects" that go with each lesson - pages to color, booklets to put together, diagrams to cut out and put together, cards to cut out, etc.  Below are just a few samples of the activities from the student workbook.

Check out more samples here.  Also, on the right side of this page, underneath the order information, you can check out a few of the sound clips from the audio CD.
The teacher's manual has a short introduction that explains the many versatile ways this program can be used, and how to adapt it to different grade levels, or even use as a supplement to other programs.  Then it provides the preparation info, the vocabulary, the reading portion, instructions for the activity and notebook, the Bible reading portion, a section called Evolution Stumpers (more on that in a minute) and the review for each lesson.  Also included is a section called Digging Deeper that provides multiple resources for that particular lesson topic to use with the lesson or assign to older students for a more in-depth study.

Teacher's Manual Sample Page
 Click to view larger version
The Evolution Stumpers section is particularly geared toward teaching students to defend Creation to those who believe in evolution.  Mostly they're just a series of questions.  Though some of the answers are in the lesson they've just covered, there is no answer guide for this section, and no "right" answer for every one of the questions.  It's just a jumping-off place to get students started thinking about what they believe, which is critical to defending it.  As one of my favorite teachers has said: It's not enough to give students the information they need to know about their faith.  They need to know how to think through what they believe and why, so they can answer people when they ask the hard questions.
The subjects covered in this course are:
  • Universe
  • Stars
  • Solar System
  • Earth
  • Light
  • Sound
  • Wind
  • Weather
  • Clouds
  • Rocks
  • Plants
  • Insects
  • Mammals
  • Reptiles
  • Birds
  • Fish
  • Amphibians
  • Food Chains
  • Reproduction and Genetics
  • Human
  • Animal Anatomy
  • Physiology
The best part about this course - that you get SO MUCH for SO LITTLE.  The entire set (teacher's manual, student workbook, audio CD) only costs $29.95.  A limited copywrite on the student workbook allows you to copy the workbook pages for your own family to use, but you can also purchase additional student workbooks for $13.95 each.

I love the intent of this course, and I super-love the adaptability of this course.  We usually use Apologia's science courses, and we were able to get through the Universe/Stars/Solar System/Earth portions of the Considering God's Creation program.  It dovetails perfectly with Apologia's Astronomy course.  

I planned to have a "light" summer this year.  We're not taking the summer off, but we're not going to be doing much school work.  After using this course for several weeks, I decided that we'll be using the program for our summer science study, doing about two sections a week and concentrating more on the activities and defense of creation aspects than going real in-depth.  We'll be getting to the human anatomy and physiology section just in time to start our Apologia Anatomy course and I'll dovetail those together.  

Bottom line, this is easy and enjoyable to use.  It's a fantastic product at a fantastic price, and would be an excellent addition to any homeschool.

Check out what my other crew members have to say about this product here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received a complimentary set of Considering God's Creation in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased review. No other compensation was received.

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