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Hands-on Elementary Science with Christian Kids Explore Biology

When it comes to science, I believe that hands-on is the best way to learn. We really need to see how things work for it to make sense, whether it’s how plants grow or why some things float and some things sink. All of those science concepts are best demonstrated with experiments and hands-on projects. We’ve been doing just that for elementary science in our homeschool with Christian Kids Explore Biology.

Hands-on elementary science with Christian Kids Explore Biology ~ look at all the fun science we've done! heartandsoulhomeschooling.com

Christian Kids Explore Science

Christian Kids Explore is a science series from Bright Ideas Press. They offer textbooks (with companion projects and printables on CD-rom) for grades 1-8, including:

  • Biology (1-6)
  • Earth and Space (1-6)
  • Chemistry (4-8)
  • Physics (4-8)
  • Creation Science (4-8)

We’ve been using Christian Kids Explore Biology for a full semester now and we’ve covered a variety of material with lots of fun, hands-on projects for my 6-year-old and 8-year-old daughters. The lessons can be adjusted to fit the learning needs of grades 1-6, so you can easily use this for all your kids in that age range.

Our Hands-on Learning with Christian Kids Explore Biology

There are 35 weekly lessons in Christian Kids Explore Biology divided into 8 units:

  1. Biology Basics
  2. Plants in God’s World
  3. Birds of the Earth
  4. Mammals in the Wild
  5. The Human Factor
  6. Reptiles All Around
  7. Insects High and Low
  8. Water Creatures

Each lesson includes Teaching Time and Hands-on Time. First we have a reading portion to talk about a new concept, then we demonstrate and explore that concept with experiments and projects. The Teaching Time portion also introduces new science vocabulary words.

Each Unit begins with the list of vocabulary words, materials needed, and a coloring page. The coloring pages are also included in the companion pdf that comes with the textbook so you can print them out. (Biology is the only book in the series that currently uses a pdf rather than a supplemental CD with purchase.) Each Unit ends with a wrap-up to review and test our knowledge, as well as a writing assignment.

Here is a pictorial peek into how Christian Kids Explore Biology has been working in our homeschool:

My daughters observed plants in our own backyard and on field trips. They studied the parts of flowers and painted what they saw.

 From Unit 2: Plants in God’s World

Studying plants and flowers with Christian Kids Explore Biology

Getting up close and personal with the flowers made the lessons more memorable. The girls noticed many more details about flowers than they ever had before. This was the hands-on part of Unit 2, Lesson 8. Instructions are given on how to dissect a flower and label the parts on a printable diagram from the book.

Learning about the parts of flowers with Christian Kids Explore Biology

Lesson 9 taught us about fruits and vegetables. The hands-on part included dissecting an apple and other fruits and vegetables. We learned about seeds and how fruits and vegetables grow.

Learning about seeds and how fruits & vegetables grow with Christian Kids Explore Biology. heartandsoulhomeschooling.com

In Lesson 10, the girls learned about trees. We observed our backyard trees and made drawings of their leaves. This came in really handy for identifying a maple tree so we could tap it! We had fun with leaf rubbings, which was also a recommended activity from the book. This was a perfect lesson for the fall because the book also talks about the difference between conifers and broadleaves and gives a closer look at autumn colors.

Learning about trees and leaves with Christian Kids Explore Biology at heartandsoulhomeschooling.com

From Unit 3: Birds of the Earth

Bird watching is the hands-on section of Lesson 11. We were able to observe wild turkeys in our own backyard. We learned all about bird bones, how they fly, and what they eat. This was covered in Lessons 12-13.

Learning about birds with Christian Kids Explore Biology at heartandsoulhomeschooling.com

One of the recommended activities is making a homemade bird feeder with peanut butter and bird seed. The girls had a great time doing that and we hung them around the yard where we could easily watch birds from our windows. In addition to birds like chickadees and crows, we got to observe a sneaky squirrel who likes to eat bird seed!

Making bird feeders with Christian Kids Explore Biology

Lessons 14-16 are all about mammals. My girls especially enjoyed this unit because the hands-on section included an in-depth study of a mammal of their choice. Since we had been watching a deer family in our backyard, they chose to learn more about them. Our deer family consists of a mother and twin babies. They often come close to our window, watching us while we watch them! {The photo below is one of the babies.}

We learned about the deer habitat, their food supply, the scientific name, and more by working on this report together. We enjoyed a day at the library finding books about deer, too.

 From Unit 4: Mammals in the Wild

Observing backyard animals with Christian Kids Explore Biology at heartandsoulhomeschooling.com

All of these great hands-on projects are just what we needed for our science studies. My girls have learned so many new science concepts and vocabulary words while using Christian Kids Explore Biology and we’re not even through the book yet. I love that I can tweak it a little when necessary to allow for rabbit trails and delight-directed learning to keep their interest level high. It’s nice that my girls can work on something together and that I can just open and go on our two science days each week. That makes my life easier! Most importantly, the curriculum is written from a Christian worldview so I don’t have to worry about conflicts with our beliefs.

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    1. Oh, that’s fun, Gina! It does make a great book to read. My oldest daughter does that with textbooks, too. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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