Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TOS Review: Bright Ideas Press Chemistry

It was a real treat to review Christian Kids Explore Chemistry from Bright Ideas Press!

Bright Ideas Press is a company that offers Christian-oriented curriculum for a variety of subjects for all ages. In general, each curriculum is easy to use with different ages as well as being affordable to families.  Christian Kids Explore Chemistry, Grade Levels 4-8 contains units on the basics of chemistry, atoms and molecules, the nature of chemistry, states of matter, and organic chemistry.

There are a number of things I love, love, love about this curriculum:

1)  The Christian Worldview - The original purpose of the study of science was to learn more about God's world.  Bright Ideas Press teaches science for that purpose, even including memory verses from the Bible that accompany each unit.  If you think that's stretching the "Jesus" thing, it's not.  The Bible has far more to say about science than most of us were ever taught!

2) Excellent Organization of Material - Along with the comprehensive 385-page text (which was a little overwhelming to me when we started), we received a "Start Here" outline, CKEC Lesson Plans, a CKEC Student Activity Book, a CKEC Supply List, and the Literature resource A Piece of the Mountain.  I received everything in PDF format, and I was able to use the textbook on my computer without printing it out, while printing out just the Student Activity pages for the kids to use.  The Lesson Plans and Supply List made organizing the lessons easy and prep time minimal.

3) Complete Curriculum - As I said in #2, everything I needed was included.  The 4th-8th grade level worked great for me, since my older 3 children are all in that range.  Add in the coloring pages after the glossary in the text, and my 1st-grader was also occupied.  As I already mentioned, Bible passages are included, and there is also an extensive resource list of supplemental reading and research that you may or may not want to use to accompany the curriculum.  This makes it easy to work with all your grade levels together, giving an extra challenge to the more advanced students while covering the basics with the younger ones.

We had a little fun with the coloring pages in Photoshop as well as with printing them out and coloring them!

4) It's Fun! - OK, if you read all my reviews, you may realize this is a common theme, but you know, it never hurts to make real learning fun for kids!  (And moms!)  Every unit includes hands-on activities - including making model atoms, breaking covalent bonds, and making gas expand - to cement the learning.

In short, I may use this for my complete science curriculum in the future, and I highly recommend it.  Christian Kids Explore Chemistry is for 4th-8th Grade.  As I mentioned, younger kids may learn some basics and enjoy the coloring pages, but they will of course need to repeat the curriculum when they are in the age range to really learn the material.  Likewise, older children could do this curriculum along with their younger siblings and complete some extra projects or research, but once you get into high school levels you will need to be sure you are satisfying your state requirements for high school.  I believe this is best used for the age range indicated.

You can learn more about Bright Ideas Press and the other marvelous Christian curriculums they produce on their website.  You can find sample pages and purchase the Christian Kids Explore Chemistry for $39.95 on this page.  I would highly recommend also getting the Resource CD Download here, which is now on sale for $9.95.  You may get it for Mac or PC.

My compadres on the TOS Crew reviewed this and several other Bright Ideas Press Products.  See their reactions here.

Disclaimer:  I received these free products from Bright Ideas Press in exchange for a fair review.  No other compensation was given, and all opinions are my own.

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