Bright Ideas Press is one of my favorite homeschool companies. It is a homeschool family run business, which stemmed from Maggie and Bob Hogan’s homeschooling their two sons beginning in 1991, when homeschoolers didn’t have the amazing choices of materials available that we do today. As they began creating and improving on their own curriculum, they graciously published their materials to share with the homeschooling community, and today they offer a wonderful variety of Christian based curriculum and homeschooling products through their company Bright Ideas Press.
Since we already own several of their products, we chose to review a program from their Christian Kids Explore Science line of books.
Taylor chose Christian Kids Explore Chemistry. We received a 384 page softcover manual which retails for $34.95, and a printable digital download of the Student Activity Book, which includes all of the reproducible pages of the book for easy printing and retails for $12.95. You can see a table of contents as well as sample pages on the website.
This book has 30 lessons in five units, making it very easy to schedule. It is geared for upper elementary to Junior High aged students (grades 4-8). The lessons are short and extrememly easy to understand, making it perfect to give the student great practice in independent studies. Each lesson ends with a hands-on activity, and many use things most people already have available in their kitchens, but some do require things to be purchased extra, like styrofoam balls, or things that might not be readily available like fine sand. You can download the materials list from the website to help prepare, or just take a peek now out of curiosity. 🙂
The program includes Unit reviews to help bring the concepts together, a supplemental book list, and some beautiful coloring pages that sum up each unit.
Their is also a more extensive additional resource list on the website along with personal comments from the Hogans. Taking a peek at this list will certainly spark your interest in Chemistry, though!
Gunn Ranch Academy thoughts:
We are definitely a science family. We absolutely love our science programs, and currently have a favorite. I’ll admit I was a bit reluctant to let Taylor dive into a totally different topic while working on her current Botany study. But when I asked her to look through the list and choose what she would be interested in, she was very enthusiastic about many of the topics. She is very familiar with most areas of science from living with a Mom who is a Vet and father who is a Biologist/Chemist.
She chose chemistry, and has been eager to progress through the book. I really wanted to see how she would handle it on her own, knowing of course, that she could ask for clarification or further explanation of anything she is studying. So far, she hasn’t had any questions and has absolutely LOVED this book. I printed out the first unit of the activity book, which made it super easy to complete on her own. While the activity book is just a printable version of everything included in the text, I would totally recommend purchasing the download to make it very easy to print and compile a student workbook without having the hassle of copying pages from the text. I have always been one to save a dollar, but have sometmes found that leads to skipping pages or stalling a study all together due to my inability to get things copied. Just go for it, you’ll be so glad you did!
I can’t say enough about how easy this book is to follow. I am completely impressed at the way the authors have put such a complex subject into easily understandable language and short lessons! While it certainly wouldn’t be complete enough for a high school credit in Chemistry, it most certainly will introduce students at a younger age than is traditional to this complex science topic, acting as a perfect pre-chemistry introduction and I imagine help the student to later whiz through a High School course.
I also found that adding this book to our current studies certainly wasn’t a problem. It was incredibly easy to add to her schedule, and Taylor has been able to keep up with both sciences with absolutely no problems. Part of the beauty of homeschooling, though, is giving a child the opportunity to love what she is learning. I can certainly see that these books do just that. She has already asked if we can do the other subjects when she is finished with this one! We will definitely be progressing through as many of these books as time allows before we get started on our upper level science journey in a few years.
You can read reviews of this and other Bright Ideas Press products over at the Crew blog.
*I received this book and download free for purposes of review as a member of the awesome TOS Homeschool Crew. No other compensation was received, and opinions in this post are mine and Taylor’s honest thoughts and experiences.