It should come as no surprise that the country with consistently the highest international test scores in science and math (Singapore) should have some of the best science curriculum available. About ten years ago American educators (many of them home school parents) became interested in obtaining these books and beginning in 2000 they were made available in the United States.
Currently there are texts available for grades 1-6. Singapore follows a pretty hardline science-only approach with little reference to origins or any specific ideology. The programis fast-paced and filled with information, and students used to the more casual pace of American science textbooks will likely find it difficult to keep up. It is worth the effort, however, especially if your kids like science or are interested in it as a profession.
The My Pals Are Here series covers grades 1-6 and provides a solid foundation for a comprehensive study of science. Students are introduced to chemistry, physics, biology, etc. in a series of textbook/activity book combos that are fun and kid-friendly. There is enough teacher support, though there is also plenty of leeway to present your own material.
Science Matters for 7th-12th ....
All texts are full-color, well written and fun. The diplomatic handling of potentially thorny issues (evolution, sex) will be appreciated by most parents, and these sections are easily edited by the teacher. Overall, this is an excellent program that imparts a firm understanding of science, as well as the parameters under which scientists pursue their investigations.
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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