18 May 2010

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry

So I attended my first curriculum fair yesterday. I was mainly selling a bunch of high-school level books I got for free off Craigslist, but I managed to get away from my table a few times to speed through the other tables. I picked up four The Boxcar Childrenfor $1 and an abacus, also for $1.

I was really hoping to find a cheap copy of "Laying Down the Rails, a Charlotte Mason Handbook," but no luck there. Here's a list of all the reasons why I didn't need to buy the book I'm about to tell you about:
  1. Claire is finishing up her 3rd grade study of Chemistry.
  2. I was only satisfied and not deeply in love with Christian Kids Explore Earth And Space(CKEE&S). Read my review here.
  3. A friend of mine wasn't impressed with the difficulty level of Christian Kids Explore Physics(CKEP).
  4. I was supposed to be earning money, not spending it!
Anyway, all these logical reasons aside, at the last second before I wheeled my nearly empty suitcase of books (I only brought home 4 things- everything else sold!) out to the car, I paid $8 for... du du dooooo.... Christian Kids Explore Chemistry(CKEC)!

I have to tell you, I really like it. The next time we come to third grade Chemistry I would start out with Unit 1 of CKEC. It has 5 lessons covering:
  • Intro to Chemistry
  • Chemistry Tools
  • Matter
  • Elements (11 common)
  • Mixtures and Compounds
Then I would do Unit 4 of CKEC, which has 5 lessons covering:
  • Solids and Liquids
  • Gases
  • Gas Laws
  • State Change
  • Solutions
Then I would spend the rest of the year doing the experiments from Well-Trained Mind's suggested text, Adventures With Atoms and Molecules.

When we return to Chemistry for 7th grade, I would quickly review Units 1 and 4 and then study Units 2, 3 and 5 of CKEC, which cover "Atoms and Molecules," "The Nature of Chemistry," and "Organic Chemistry." They are technical and in-depth enough for a 7th grader and will really prepare them for high school chemistry.

I see that CKEC is written by Robert and Elizabeth Ridlon, the authors of CKEP. Their short bio in the back does not list that they are homeschoolers themselves, as is the author of CKEE&S. So that would seem to contribute to the more in-depth, technical content. They do a great job of representing the God-glorifying aspect expected in a science book entitled "Christian Kids..."

I get worried remarks from my father, a geology major, about teaching science from a Christian worldview. So in case you were wondering, here's excerpts from CKEC. The "Christian" parts are in the introductions to each new unit, for instance:

Unit 1 Intro:
"Studying chemistry, just like other sciences, is a way to appreciate creation more deeply and examine the beauty of all that God has made. The universe was created by God and is made up of matter and energy that can be studied."

Unit 3 Intro:
"Matter is part of God's creation and it is subject to certain rules. Just like God has rules for people, the Bible tells us that He has rules for all of creation. In this unit we are going to see how different chemicals behave- how they act and how they react."

Astonishingly, they do not ask the student to memorize Colossians 1: 16 and 17! A friend of mine is married to a chemist and he has it tattoed on his... actually, I don't know where on his body he has it. Maybe we'll learn in the comments? Anywho it is clearly about chemistry:

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible... all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

So there you have it. A firsthand report of just what it means when you hear "Christian Science Curriculum."

I'm so pleased you are reading Higher Education!
Click on the post title to leave a comment.Teresa (Tracy) Dear

1 comment:

  1. It's on his ARM..lol, not that exciting, really... although his mom was apoplectic at the time! I think learning about the natural laws that govern our world is a critical Christian endeavor. Only by learning how the world is supposed to work can we appreciate the miraculous suspension of natural law as recorded in Scripture. Keep up the good fight Tracy! You are amazing to me.