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One of the things I love about homeschooling is the ability to use faith-based curriculum. We love being able to focus on religion throughout our different subjects that we are studying. We have been using a faith-based curriculum recently called ByDesign Science by Kendall Hunt Publishing. (This is a sponsored review in behalf of Kendall Hunt Religious Publishing. I received the curriculum for free and am being compensated for my time in writing this review.) ByDesign is a Seventh-Day Adventist curriculum.
I have to preface this by saying that I am not a part of the Seventh-Day Adventist church, and honestly do not know very much about it. However, I really enjoyed this curriculum and the faith-based approach they took to science. While I belong to the LDS church, I typically use Christian curriculum for our family since may of the ideas and beliefs line up. I felt the same with this one. It was very-well done and I never was worried about doctrinal issues. In fact, I LOVED the way they incorporated scripture throughout the various topics.
ByDesign science is an inquiry based science program. Inquiry-based learning starts with questions and teaches kids to explore problems and scenarios. This approach to learning is new to us, but I liked the thought and discussion that it promoted in our learning process. Learning is done by discovery and exploring rather than memorization of facts and ideas. They can then apply that learning to their real lives.
Here are the steps to inquiry-based learning:
- Creating questions of their own
- Obtaining supporting evidence to answer the question(s)
- Explaining the evidence collected
- Connecting the explanation to the knowledge obtained from the investigative process
- Creating an argument and justification for the explanation
The ByDesign Curriculum followed this pattern of learning in the discussions, workbooks and projects that we did. It was a fun and different way of doing science for us so we enjoyed it!
We received the 5th grade ByDesign science curriculum. My son is actually in 4th grade, but is quite advanced in science, so I thought we would be better to go up a year. I was really glad that we did because it was perfect for him! The units covered in this book include Life Science, The Human Body, Earth and Space Science and Physical Science.
I let my son choose where he wanted to start in the book and we began in the Earth and Space Science Unit. We did part of this section, learning about the atmosphere and air pressure. We made a barometer to observe air pressure. This was a fun project. You make it wit a jar, a balloon with the top cut off, and a straw. It’s cool to see the needle rise and fall with different weather! It really worked.
Next my son decided he wanted to jump back to the human body unit. I was actually really excited to work on the body unit with him because it discussed puberty and the reproductive system as well as conception, pregnancy and birth. It also had a unit on common diseases, which he says was his very favorite. My son knows a lot about science, but puberty and reproduction is a topic we have not yet delved into much. 5th grade science is a pretty typical time to teach these topics, I think. It was a great subject to study from an awesome faith-based science curriculum. I loved how they approached it and was so impressed with all the discussions and questions it brought about from my son.
Kendall Hunt also provides faithbased programs in Reading Language Art called (Pathways) and a New Kindergarten program (Stepping Stones).In addition, Kendall Hunt offers Talented and Gifted programs in mathematics (M2 and M3) as well as products developed in collaboration with the CFGE (Center for Gifted Education) College of William and Mary in subject areas such as language arts, social studies, and science.