I loved Considering God's Creation six years ago when I first used it with my son, and I still love it now!! This is, as the authors state, a creative Biblical approach to natural science. Susan Mortimer and Betty Smith set out to write a curriculum where by studying the creation, the student would get to know the Creator, and they have done an admirable job!! As I said before, this science curriculum has been around for a while now, I'm reviewing the fourth edition, and so it's definitely around to stay!!
Considering God's Creation was written for second to sixth graders who have had enough life experience to begin a more systematic approach to science. The authors want you to prepare your children to approach science as detectives - to learn to observe, to ask questions and to draw conclusions. This is a very hands-on, notebook approach to Natural Science. The student will be preparing a notebook as he/she moves through the pages and studies the different areas of science. The end result is a large, very fun notebook full of papers and projects showcasing what they have learned. My son still remembers making the lift up solar system that fits in a notebook.... And that was six years ago! It was his first introduction to science, and it was a positive one!
The curriculum is adaptable to older or younger kids, but ideally it is perfect for those 2nd to 6th graders, or those who haven't done any science before. This is not a heavy experiment based program; there is a lot of cutting paper, and pasting, and making projects out of paper. There is also a lot of natural investigating. The kids fill out Animal Detective, cloud detective, tree detective, flower detective sheets as they move through the various scientific areas. This is heavily paper based, but not boring in the least! It is perfect for those who may be intimidated by the experiment-based programs. There is also a biblical component in every lesson, with Bible reading and discussion on how the passage fits into what the student is learning. The areas studied include Creation, The Universe, The Earth, Non-living things, weather, the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, animal anatomy and physiology and, of course, man, made in God's image.
The material is very thorough and really does cover the topics fully. The course comes in two volumes, a student book and a teacher's manual. The student book eventually becomes the notebook mentioned earlier, as you work through the pages and finish the projects. The student book can also be photocopied for your immediate family use only, so you don't have to buy multiple copies for other children. This course works wonderfully for large families, or co-op groups. I taught a group of five children with it, and it was a very pleasant experience for all of us. This is gentle learning at its best!!!
The lessons are not totally scripted, but give enough support so that even the most science phobic teacher can teach the subject and feel comfortable. The author's also stress that this program works well as a supplement to whatever else you may be doing, and I can see how that would work. There are so many projects to do, and you could easily skip around the book and pull out whichever ones you choose. The activities have been deliberately kept simple so that you will not need a lot of materials or equipment. There is also a CD included with the program that has wonderful fun songs on it to help with memory retention of facts learned. At first my son thought the songs were "babyish" but several times a week I'd catch him singing the songs... they work, and he changed his tune!!! The finished product is definitely something to be proud of, and my son has kept it in his file all these years. It will be fun to do the program again this year with my now second grade daughter. This program is a keeper, and if your kids enjoy hands-on paper based things, if they enjoy cutting and pasting and exploring, they will love this program!! In fact, if they are the least bit curious about the world around them, they will love this program, and what's better... so will you!!! I highly recommend this program, without any reservations!