After a lot of researching and searching I decided to use Christian Kids Explore Biology this year for my third and fifth grade daughters. We are loosely following the Well Trained Mind method of education, and were looking for a classical science curriculum that could be used with both girls, and this seemed to fit the bill.
The curriculum is written by Stephanie Redmond, who is a Christian author that has developed a full set of science books that follow the classical method of education. In addition to Christian Kids Explore Biology, she also has written Christian Kids Explore Chemistry, Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space, and Christian Kids Explore Physics. The curriculum is designed for students in third through sixth graders, but my younger son has been following along with no issues whatsoever, making it easily adaptable for younger students.
One of my factors in my decision to go with this program was the fact that the curriculum is written by a Christian author, so Biology is taught with a Christian perspective. However, the curriculum covers both the theory of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory. Even though we are Creationists, I still want my children to understand that there are other theories on how the Earth was created. I do not want them to be in high school or college before they are exposed to these ideas and I want them to be exposed to them for the first time on my terms.
Another factor in my decision for choosing this curriculum was both the cost, and publisher. Christian Kids Explore Biology is published by Bright Ideas Press, who also published Mystery of History, a history curriculum we really like and use. The book is very inexpensive compared to many science curriculums with a list price of just $29.95.
There are thirty-six lessons in the book, with the intention of students covering one lesson a week. I think that they could be covered much more quickly than that however. The book includes review questions for each lesson, coloring pages, hands on activities, experiments, bible memory verses, vocabulary words for each lesson, and plenty of supplemental reading suggestions. The curriculum is very easy to use as is, with minimal prep required on my part as a teacher. The majority of the prep work is running copies, or collecting the items needed for the day’s activity or experiment.
At this point I am absolutely thrilled with my decision to purchase this curriculum, and plan to continue through all of the books in this series by Stephanie Redmond.