Thursday, May 28, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Homeschool Curriculum Review: Christian Kids Explore Biology

It's time for Throwback Thursday - the day that I feature some of my older posts.  For today's Throwback Thursday post I am reposting my review of Christian Kids Explore Biology.  We really enjoyed this curriculum and actually went on to use additional books in the series.

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.

Five Signs That Your Refrigerator Needs to be Repaired

Your refrigerator is the most used appliance in your home, and if it goes down it can often lead to chaos.  Luckily, your refrigerator will often show signs that it is need of repairs before it goes completely out.  Here are five warning signs that your refrigerator is in need of repairs.

Food is not as cold as it should be or it spoils quickly.

Food that isn't as cold as it should be, as well as fruits or vegetables that spoil quickly when they are stored in the refrigerator are warning signs that something major is wrong with your refrigerator.  It could mean that your refrigerator is leaking coolant, your refrigerator's thermostat needs replacing, or even that there is something wrong with your refrigerator's compressor.

The refrigerator is making noises.

While older models of refrigerators were quite loud when they were running most modern refrigerators are designed to run quietly.  Listen to how your refrigerator sounds so that if your refrigerator begins making odd noises you will notice.  Among the noises that you should look out for are is a constant humming tone, banging noises or a loud pitched tone.  If the noises are ignored they will only get worse, and ignoring the problem may lead to further damage to your refrigerator.

There is water pooled behind or underneath your refrigerator.

Some water leakage from your refrigerator is normal and you can expect to find water in the refrigerator drain pan.  However if water is overflowing out of the drain pan or is pooled behind your refrigerator it is a sign that there is an issue with your refrigerator. There are many issues that can cause water to leak from your refrigerator.  The issues could range from a cracked drain pan, to the waterline to the icemaker springing a leak, or worn out seals that need to be replaced.

There is frost built up inside of the refrigerator.

Frost building up on the inside of the freezer compartment of your refrigerator can be normal and a sign that the freezer needs defrosting.  Frost that is built up on the inside of the lower compartment of your refrigerator is a sign that you your refrigerator is malfunctioning and may be in need of repairs.

There is sweat on the outside of your refrigerator.
When your refrigerator sweats it is from a build up of condensation on the outside of your refrigerator.  It is normal for a small amount of condensation to build up on the outside of your refrigerator, especially on hot or humid days.   However if your refrigerator has an excessive buildup of condensation on the outside of it is a sign that your refrigerator might be in need of repairs.