Monday, July 30, 2018

Science Here We Come! – Review of Learning About Science Collection, Level 1

While trying to decide what curriculum materials I wanted to use for my five-year-old for his first official year of homeschooling as a kindergartener, I was drawn to the Learning About Science Collection of WriteBonnieRose. I was already familiar with some of her other products, so I jumped at the chance when when the opportunity arose to review the very same collection I was already interested in. Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 is geared towards 1st through 3rd grade students but I hoped it would be adaptable for my 5-year-old. And it is! Reviewing this collection with our son has been fun and exciting so far and I look forward to using the entire collection during the course of our homeschool year.

There are seven books in the Level 1 collection that study "how plants grow, common fruits and vegetables, animal habitats, senses and body systems, life cycles, the earth's layers, earthquakes, volcanoes, states of matter, and more." The books can be personalized through the coloring of the illustrations included within. In total, there are 172 pages to introduce your child to a variety of fun science-related facts and lessons.

The books are as follows:
  • Familiar Plants and How They Grow 
  • Fruits and Vegetables Around the World
  • Animal Habitats of the World 
  • Our Senses & Systems & How They Work 
  • Learning About Life Cycles
  • Earth: Layers, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes
  • Exploring States of Matter

How We Used the Learning About Science Collection Books

Physical Science Level 1: Exploring States of Matter 

workbook about liquid

We worked our way through the entirety of one of the science books and parts of two others. The first one we viewed was Physical Science Level 1: Exploring States of Matter. It was a shorter booklet containing twelve pages with four main topics: matter, solids, liquids, and gas. We worked on one or two pages each day by reading the material, coloring in the pictures, and then discussing the material contained on the pages. During the evening our five-year-old son also discussed what he learned after dinner with the entire family. I also picked up a book from the library on the material so we would have a few concrete experiments to do. However, the pages are written in such a way that it wouldn't be difficult to figure out what you could do on your own with your children.

I couldn't resist checking out some books from the library!

Both our children wanted to work on the books.

The other two books we are studying right now include: Life Science Level 1: Our Senses & Systems & How They Work and Life Science Level 1: Animal Habitats of the World.

Life Science Level 1: Our Senses & Systems & How They Work

For Life Science Level 1: Our Senses & Systems & How They Work, each of the five senses is discussed on one individual page with facts, questions for discussion, tracing work for words and pictures to color in (if you wish). In addition to the five senses, the book also contains pages on the following systems:
  • Circulatory System
  • Digestive and Respiratory Systems
  • Urinary System
  • Nervous System
  • Muscular System
  • Skeletal System
My mom worked on this book with our son and said it was very easy-to-read and explain to him. She liked the inclusion of questions that helped her discuss the topic with our son.

There is also a two-page review on five senses and the body systems. The review questions ask your child to circle the correct choice to answer the question. An answer key is included in the book.

Two of the Review Questions from Our Senses & Systems & How They Work

Life Science Level 1: Animal Habitats of the World

Our daughter wanted to use realistic colors for the giraffe. 

As a former Zoo Educator, I am really excited to use the Animal Habitats of the World book with our children. There are over 15 habitats discussed – each with at least one page to introduce the habitats and additional pages that highlight a few of the animals that live in that particular habitat.

So far, our children have worked on the introduction page that defines habitat and then the pages that followed on the African Savanna. Our three-year-old daughter, five-year-old son, and I sat together one afternoon and I read the first several pages. After I answered some of the questions – like providing a deeper explanation of a savanna – we colored the pages together. Our daughter was set on coloring the animals and scenes accurately while our son was determined to color them "weird colors" in his words. (I think with the next set we will be looking at photographs of the animals prior to coloring in the pages.)

We are taking this book slowly because I am incorporating library books, our own books, and other activities into our study of Animal Habitats of the World. For example, I gathered together some photographs, vocabulary words, and books for us to read. We can read more about the individual animals that live in the habitats – like penguins in Antarctica or grassland wildlife in general.

Options for Using Learning About Science Collection

There are many options for how to use the books for your family. You could have a set printed out for yourself and for your child. Or you could print one set for your child then read the PDFs on an e-reader or tablet like I did. While you're reading the material aloud, your child could be coloring in the pictures or you can have your child read the material themselves.

Provided along with the Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 is a document entitled Learning About Science Collection Level 1. In this PDF, Bonnie Rose Hudson states that "whether you are studying life science, earth science, or physical science, one message comes through over and over again. God loves you." She then provides a collection of helpful creation science websites along with websites for each of the different books. The user is also reminded that we need to use the websites with our own discretion. All of the sites provide a Creation viewpoint of science.

As I stated earlier, you could use the Learning About Science Collection for your science curriculum for your younger children or as a supplement – it really is up to you! With the topics very well organized, it is quite easy to use them in your homeschool.

What We Like

The font in all the packets is very clear and easy to read. The images are eye-catching, cute, and easy to color – even for younger children. Even though our son at age 5 is on the younger end of the spectrum, he is able to understand everything that is written in the level one material.

  • We can use the books as a starting point to learn more about a topic or subject.
  • We could also use the books as a review if we have already studied a subject.
  • Combination of reading, writing, and coloring is just right for our kindergartner.
  • We were able to do some basic experiments corresponding to the topics discussed.
  • I pulled out a lot of materials from when I was a Zoo Educator to share with our children.
  • Ease of printing – no complicated instructions!
  • Variety of animals presented in Animal Habitats of the World from hedgehogs and zebras to yaks and rabbits.
  • Variety of plants illustrated in Familiar Plants & How They Grow.
  • Labeling of a flower and different seeds illustrated in Familiar Plants & How they Grow.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew are reviewing other Learning About Science Collection levels including:

Level 2 – including information about food chains, hibernation, clouds, the solar system, and more
Level 3 – (comes in both a print and cursive version) including information about plants, weather, rocks and minerals, landforms, and more

I think our family will definitely be checking out the other levels as our children get older.

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