Friday, 28 April 2017

Exploring the Building Blocks of Science Book 7 {Review}

"How will you teach Science?" is one of the most common questions I get asked when people find out I am home educating.  One of my greatest delights after being on this journey for 19 years is finding products which have been designed by professionals in the field of study and home educators for home educators.  Combine the two things and you have a marvelous product! Real Science 4 Kids recently blessed Nathaniel and I with Book 7 in the Exploring The Building Blocks of Science. I had been hearing some fabulous reports about this product and was super excited when they asked us to look over their book.



About the Author

I set up the program from a reversed viewpoint. I asked, “What would a high school student need to know to master college science? What would a middle school student need to know to master high school science? What would an elementary school student need to know to master middle school science?”
The basic concepts of science are broken down to a fundamental level so that a first grader can master a few key aspects of science. I don’t overload students with material at this stage. It isn’t necessary or beneficial. The program offers just enough to get them interested without making it complicated. Those initial concepts will be built upon in second grade, and so on. As learning capacity increases, so does the material. Dr. Keller
Rebecca W. Keller is a homeschool Mom with a difference.  She has a PhD and her professional specialty is science. When Rebecca began home educating her children she came to realise that there was a lack of real science for home educated children.  She realised that most scientific texts had been dumbed down to the point where there was no real content and therefore no connection with real scientific terms and concepts.  She couldn't find any texts containing chemistry or physics which are the foundations of all science.  Born out of many years this labor of love to give children real chemistry, physics, biology etc to inspire children to learn and love science which in turn has grown into Real Science 4 Kids. You can read a more in depth interview on why Real Science 4 Kids Works with Rebecca W.Keller PhD in her interview: Real Science Chat.

Her original series Focus On was set up to meet the unit study approach and focus on single subjects.  Dr. Keller realised that many families prefer to cover multiple areas of science each year so she repackaged the Focus On course materials into grade level books and created the new Building Blocks series.  Each year, students study all five areas of science as they would eventually do if they worked through the Focus On courses. Both text and illustrations in the student books have been borrowed from the Focus On series with minor changes and additions.



We received the following to review and share with you today: Real Science 4 Kids sent us their Building Blocks Book 7 Bundle consisting of: 

About the Books

Building Blocks Book 7 (Grade 7) Student Textbook this is a beautifully illustrated full color text divided into 22 chapters subdivided into:
  • Introduction using Science
  • Chemistry - Pure Substances, Organic Chemistry (Carbon), Polymers and Biological Polymers.
  • Biology - Plants, Photosynthesis, Plant Structure and Growth as well as Plant Reproduction
  • Physics - Chemical Energy, Electrostatics, Electrodynamics and Electromagnetics.
  • Geology - The Hyrdosphere,The Biosphere, The Magnetosphere, and Earth as a System
  • Astronomy - Galaxies, Our Galaxy The Milky Way, Other Galaxies, Exploding Stars and Other Stuff
  • Conclusion Putting It All Together.
  • Appendix (Chemistry)
  • Glossary/Index

The whole text book is beautifully written and every page contains beautiful crisp full colour photographs or drawings illustrating the point being taught.  It's a visual feast for the eyes and a banquet of knowledge for you and your student.  This books will introduce your student to foundation scientific concepts and terminology giving them a solid foundation on which to build their study of science.


There is no need to go looking for a suitable laboratory notebook for your students.  Real Science 4 Kids has a beautifully presented ready to use Building Blocks Book 7 (Grade 7) Laboratory Workbook which corrolotates beautifully with the student text. This 258 pages is printed in black and white and contains:
  • Introduction
  • Chemistry - Four Experiments
  • Biology - Four Experiments
  • Physics - Four Experiments
  • Geology - Four Experiments
  • Astronomy - Four Experiments
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix
Experiment 8 - Colorful Flowers
 Each section follows the same outline:
  1. Introduction and Think About It with questions to answer before you commence the experiment.  This helps the students clarify what they are looking for.
  2. Experiment - Here you will find a space to clarify the objective, your hypotheses, Materials you will need and then the Experiment with directions and Results recording page 
  3. Conclusions
  4. Why? This contains a discussion on what and why with deeper insights on the practical implications of what you are doing.
  5. Just for Fun.  Sometimes students are encouraged to dream big and jot down ideas for the future and other times they are challenged to answer an extension question with an experiment.
Experiment 8 - Colorful Flowers Results


This book contains everything you will need to fulfill the hands on section of the course. Every question is clearly asked followed by double spaced lines for the student to write in their answers/thoughts. All the directions are clear and easy to follow and reinforce the subject matter being studied.


Building Blocks Book 7 (Grade 7) Teacher's Manual contains 103 black and white pages containing:
  • A full list of the Materials at a Glance listed by experiment.
  • A list of the Materials quantities needed for all the experiments.
  • Introduction
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Geology
  • Astronomy
  • Conclussion
 The purpose of the teachers guide is to assist you to guide your students through the experiments in order to help them solidify their scientific understanding in the five scientific disciplines through the 44 experiments presented. It also provides you with an answer key of what should happen in each experiment and the possible answers your children (and you) could come up with.

You can download and view Samples of each of the books here.

Connect with
Facebook Real Science 4 Kids @realscience4kids
Blog Real Science 4 Kids Blog
Pinterest Real Science 4 Kids @rs4k
Twitter Real Science 4 Kids @RS4K_gravitas
YouTube RealScience4Kids
Instagram @realscience4kids


Over All I thought ...
These books are beautifully presented and well put together.  They are twaddle free, logical  and provide you with challenging science instruction.  This curriculum will make it easy for any parent who has no scientific background or understanding to give their children and themselves a quality scientific education, preparing them for a life long love and understanding.  The books are available to purchase individually or as bundle sets.

Blessings
Chareen

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Daily Bible Jigsaw {Planet 316 Review}

I have a new daily source of inspiration thanks to Planet 316. They have a fabulous FREE app called Daily Bible Jigsaw which Nathaniel and I have been using on my Android smart phone.  Today's review will be slightly different to my normal review.  This one will be more of a show and tell with pictures.



How does it work?

The app is available to download through:
When you open the app you will have the option of signing up with your email or using Facebook.  Each time you open the app you will click Log in and it will generate a new puzzle. I loved the name for each day (Motivational Monday, Renewing Saturday, etc)  During the first few times you play the app it will prompt you with a hint on how to use the app.

 Once the puzzle is loaded the timer will begin in the top right hand corner and it will continue counting until you place the final piece.



Once the final piece of the puzzle is placed the puzzle fades into a beautiful photograph and a scripture verse appears.  There are also streamers and confetti to celebrate the completion of the puzzle. IF your account is linked to Facebook you will be asked if you would like to share it to Facebook.



 After you have finished the puzzle morphs into a puzzle piece which is added into a month long puzzle.  The puzzle pieces fill in every day you do the new puzzle.  If you miss a day you will have a missing piece in your monthly puzzle.  The missing puzzle piece/puzzles can be purchased using in game puzzle coin currency. During each puzzle there is a boost piece which lights up.  If you are able to connect this piece to it's mate you earn a puzzle coin!


 You can earn FREE coins through sharing on Facebook or purchasing. Planet 316 gifted members of the Homeschool Review Crew with 500 coins (worth $39.99) to expand our experience and enable us to complete a month of puzzles. 


It was very rewarding watching the puzzle pieces fill in each day and watching the picture appear.

 Each day as we built the beautiful puzzles I began to really anticipate a new scripture to meditate upon.



 There is an Awards center in the App in which you can earn awards and special tokens as well as a leader board if you sign up via Facebook.  A few of our Crew joined up together and there has been some fabulous challenges to see who could get to the top of the leader board!

 I was quite thrilled to see the puzzle completed by the end of the month!

In the Future
Planet 316 has some fabulous ideas in the pipeline for the future.  Here are couple of the ideas they are working on:
  • They are very excited about connecting the Bible verses to the Fusion Bible. The Fusion Bible is an all new digital bible app they are releasing later this year. For example after completing a puzzle players would have the opportunity to read the passage of scripture by simply clicking on the a button that opens directly to the that passage in the Fusion Bible. 
  • Considering adding a Scripture of the month to the monthly puzzle upon completion
  • Being able to share the inspirational scripture / picture to Instagram.
Daily Bible Jigsaw has been loads of fun and has lived up to it's aim of providing inspirational bible verses to meditate upon along with beautiful photographs. I hope that you and your family will be as blessed as we have been with this app.

Blessings
Chareen



Daily Bible Jigsaw {Planet 316 Reviews}

Friday, 21 April 2017

Charlotte Mason and Geography

Welcome to day five of the Homeschool Review Crew annual blog hop. Today I would like to encourage you to teach the subject of geography holistically and not as an isolated subject within your homeschool. One of the things I appreciate about Charlotte Mason approach is making geography an integrated and living aspect of your education process.
"The panoramic method unrolls the landscape of the world, region by region, before the eyes of the scholar with in every region its own conditions of climate, its productions, its people, their industries and their history. This way of teaching the most delightful of all subjects has the effect of giving to a map of a country or region the brilliancy of colour and the wealth of detail which a panorama might afford, together with a sense of proportion and a knowledge of general principles.Charlotte Mason Vol 6 p 228

Geography is often thought of synonymously with mapping but this is only a small part of geography.  Geography is all about places to begin with but ultimately it's about the people and those places. C. C. LONG, Ph.D. had this to say:
Geography may be divided into the geography of the home and the geography of the world at large. A knowledge of the home must be obtained by direct observation; of the rest of the world, through the imagination assisted by information. Ideas acquired by direct observation form a basis for imagining those things which are distant and unknown.
Geography begins with finding the content you are learning about and then it drills down to countries and finally cities.  It has taken me a few years to discover what a living geography text is but the journey has been worthwhile.  The first living geography books I ever read were by Holling Clancy Holling.
The process was so easy.  Read the book, find the place on the map at the end of each reading. Learning to know the names of places takes practice and for each family this needs to take on it's own form.  Some families print maps and fill them in daily, others use tracing paper and trace the maps and fill them in until through route it is learned and others use geography songs.


I am directionally challenged and am eternally grateful that gps navigation is now at my finger tips.  As immigrants we posses an un-quenching desire to see the world around us and as such love to explore new places.  I find there is no better way to learn geography then to go for trips both short and long.  Stop and read memorials where ever you go and you will soon build a repertoire of places and people.  Many signs will explain things of significance and these days the information on geology and ecology abound in public places.

I have found some amazing resources and explanations on teaching Geography from a Charlotte Mason perspective, that I would rather not reinvent the wheel but would encourage you to grab a warm cuppa and read a few of the posts I have found below.

The Parents Review - Geography

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
Edited by Charlotte Mason


On the WWW
Thank you for joining me in a look at geography in homeschool.  What are your favourite resources?

Blessings
Chareen

There are some pretty fabulous posts the crew have been sharing and I would encourage you to grab a cuppa and spend some time cruising the blog hop list at the bottom of this post. 
5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017


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