A complete education includes science study. While we at Exodus Books don't buy into the whole "science is everything" mindset, we do think understanding the world around us is very important, and try to offer the best resources to help you and your kids in that sometimes difficult endeavor. Evan-Moor's science products aren't curriculum or comprehensive, but they do provide excellent supplements to ensure your kids are at grade level, and to lend depth to their study.
Science, more than any other subject, requires hands-on participation, and the fact that every Evan-Moor science text is fully reproducible means you'll be able to use them with multiple kids without worrying about ruining the book during a chemistry experiment or frog dissection. It also means kids can do the same project more than once; science is often challenging, and repetition can be the key to ensuring kids understand what they're learning.
The Giant Science Resource Book is an all-encompassing supplement for grades 1-6, covering all the main topics: physical science, life science, space science, earth science, and environmental science. There are 296 reproducible pages that include diagrams, picture cards, minibooks, activity pages, research helps, reference sheets, and more. Kids color, write, memorize, look stuff up, and complete activities all related to specific aspects of major science topics.
Rather than giving your students everything they need on any given subject, however, the goal of Giant Science Resource Book is to enrich an existing program or course of study. A lot of curriculum options give your kids the information they need, but this text will give them memorable ways to enact it or put it to use, without putting you or them to sleep. There is no teacher support beyond a single "how to use this book" page, but that shouldn't pose any problems for completion of the various worksheets.
For a more regimented approach, Daily Science presents one worktext each for grades 1-6, each with enough work for a 30-week school year. In every level there are six "Big Idea" sections centered around a science fact; each of these sections provides a framework for five weeks of study, with five-day-a-week lessons. The weekly section begins with a teacher page, followed by one page per day for the students.
This series is more thorough than other Evan-Moor products. Students actually read text before completing the exercises (instead of simply answering questions and doing projects right off), and for every "Big Idea" section there's a hands-on activity at the end to reinforce the concepts studied. Daily Science is review-oriented, and designed to coincide with more thorough study through a curriculum or unit study.
Read and Understand Science is a four-book series for grades 1-6 which provides longer texts for students to read, followed by in-depth exercises. There are 27 science stories per book, each of them two pages long, followed by a page ofstory-related questions, a page of vocabulary exercises, and a final exercise page including everything from matching and true/false, to identifying terms and illustrations, to sequencing activities.
Like other Evan-Moor series, this one is an excellent choice for test prep orsupplemental work. The exercises offer a challenge without being too difficult. An answer key in the back of each book provides answers to all exercises; otherwise there's not much teacher support. This is primarily a series designed to get students thinking outside the normal boundaries, and makes a great addition to a more fact-based program.
Parents looking for topic-specific texts will want to investigate the ScienceWorks for Kids Series. Every book centers around a particular theme (like Animals Without Backbones, Simple Chemistry, and Exploring Space), and includes a number of units that explore concepts within the main theme. These books are basically introductions to the scientific method for students in grades 1-6, with activities guiding them through hypothesis, observation, experimentation, and theory.
The ScienceWorks for Kids books have children completing a variety of hands-on activities before recording their findings, commenting on them, and drawing conclusions. Texts are designed either for 1-3 grade students, or 4-6 grade students; exercises and projects are suitable for the target age.These make great starting places for creating your own unit study, foundational sources for writing a paper, or simply offer a fun break from a more traditional curriculum.
Whether your kids love or hate science, do well or struggle with it, the Evan-Moor science books are excellent additions to your core program. It would be difficult to use them as your main curriculum (if not impossible), but there are few programs available that couldn't stand some outside support. These aren't Christian texts, but they aren't explicitly secular either (for the most part), and we heartily recommend them for use as supplemental, remedial, or simply extra texts.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
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