Exploration Education science curriculum


#1

I recently learned about the homeschool science curriculum Exploration Education. It doesn’t state if it is a secular or Christian program (or I couldn’t find it.) It stated that they provide high quality Christian service so I feel that I need to ask the question. I tend to stay away from programs that are overtly Christian as most are YEC. Has anyone used this program and can provide any feedback on it views as well as the quality of the materials. I would be using the Advanced Physical Science course for a 12 year old.


(Christy Hemphill) #2

I used the Elementary version.

There was nothing explicitly Christian in it, and nothing that would offend Christians either, because the topics it touched on were not contested topics (light, sound, motion, electricity, etc). I met the creator at a homeschool fair and he was a very pleasant person and the customer service was good.

Here is my pros and cons list:

Pros:
It was project-based which my kids found very engaging. It was one of the years they looked forward to science, which has not always been the case. A couple projects were really pretty cool and went beyond the kinds of “kitchen science” you normally find in homeschool kits. We did a neat science fair project with the solar powered fan they built. They build something and then use or modify that thing for a unit’s worth of lessons/experiments.

We found that almost all the experiments/demonstrations worked the way they were supposed to and the explanations were clear and easy to follow.

The work book was set up to model actual lab write ups, and it really hammered the scientific method instead of just questions and answers. They were expected to do a reasonable amount of math and present data in various ways: tables, charts, graphs.

The lessons were relatively short and I had no problem getting the work done as part of the normal school week. It wasn’t super ambitious like some programs.

It is all there for you in the box, so there is little to no teacher prep required.

Cons:

Most of the projects were assembled with a glue gun and were always falling apart. Next time around, we will make them in advance and use better glue.

(At least when I used it three years ago) There is no text, all the lessons are on a CD-ROM. It was obviously produced a number of years ago and it looks dated to kids who are used to modern websites or presentation software. There are occasional typos and it looks like one teacher’s class slides, not something polished.

Overall, I was happy with it and I’m planning on using it again. I need to see if I can get another project kit to use with my youngest next year. Hope that helps!


#3

Thanks! This helps a lot. The regular demonstrations and everything being in one kit appeals to me. I am hoping the hands on part will engage my child as they haven’t shown much interest in science yet. We are planning on using Conceptual Integrated Science Explorations after this.


(Christy Hemphill) #4

We went on to Conceptual Physical Science Explorations. Overall the kids have really liked the Hewitt videos online and the text is not to hard to follow. I will say that the answer key is terrible. I find multiple typos (wrong answers) in almost every chapter. The text also has some problems (like showing the same circuit diagram twice and calling one image a simple circuit and the other a parallel circuit). Also, I have tried to use their lab manual and found it very frustrating. Rarely are specific instructions given for how much of a supply you need which makes compiling a purchase list a real challenge, and they just assume you know things a science teacher would know (like how to set up your multimeter to be an ammeter not a galvonometer) and I am constantly googling stuff trying to figure out what they mean. Not to sound overly negative on it, because it is working out okay, but those are my first thoughts. I don’t know if this is just par for the course with science textbooks or what. I used two CPO textbooks and found errors all over the place in them too.


#5

Good to know, thanks. I purchased the textbook to review it, but haven’t seen the teachers manual yet. I liked the questions at the end of each chapter. Your reviews are helpful.