For Christians, the best homeschool science curriculum should challenge us to seek God. Throughout the great vastness of His heavens, as well as the minuteness of His unseen world, God?s design is spectacular. In fact, one doesn?t have to look at the world long before discovering His creative hand is in everything. Take, for instance, this amazing fact: the average size of all living things on Earth is slightly larger than a house fly. If a fly is considered the average size, just reflect for a moment on the millions of minuscule creatures that would need to be added together to balance out the size of only one elephant or humpback whale. With so much to explore, how can we find the right homeschool science curriculum to study all of God?s creation? Here are a few essential questions to ask before purchasing a homeschool science curriculum:
Is the curriculum Christ-centered?
Have you ever stopped to think that the chair you?re sitting on is made of tiny atoms, or that everything you see is comprised of protons, neutrons, and electrons? Have you ever reflected on the incredible size of the universe, or pondered the idea that our 100,000 light year Milky Way Galaxy is only one of perhaps billions of galaxies? From the smallest detail to the ever-expanding universe, God has placed his fingerprint on every inch of His creation. Therefore, whether parents are teaching kindergarten or high school, the starting place for any homeschool science curriculum must be Genesis 1:1, ?In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.? The curriculum must also focus on our mandate to care for His world. ?God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth? (Genesis 1:28). A Christ-centered curriculum shouldn?t just teach children about the world, it should also compel us to action to follow God?s command to be good stewards of Earth.
Does the curriculum compare the theories of evolution to creationism?
As Christians, we believe that creationism is the only true explanation for the beginning of the world. The fact that each person has a unique set of fingerprints simply cannot be explained as a result of two large rocks hurtling into each other in space. Still, is it important for a homeschool science curriculum to teach Christians about the theories of evolution? If children are first taught the truth about the creation according to the Bible, they are prepared with the necessary resources to compare their biblical beliefs against the opinions of the world. When homeschoolers are able to see that evolution cannot stand against the impeccable creation of God, a great opportunity exists for them to grow in their faith and knowledge of the Creator.
Does the curriculum present lessons with lab work and hands-on experiments?
No matter how strong a curriculum?s written material may be, in order to truly awaken a child?s interest in science, a curriculum must offer fun and interactive labs. Homeschooling parents should look for science experiments that use easy-to-find chemicals and economical lab equipment. For example, enough electricity can be produced to light a bulb using only paper clips, copper wire, and lemons. Children can also make an active volcano by combining baking soda and vinegar, which produces a chemical reaction that creates carbon dioxide gas. Although children could read about electricity and chemical reactions in a book, learning through hands-on experiments makes their learning much more genuine and meaningful.
What fields of science does the curriculum cover?
Make sure to check state standards to see if certain science fields like physical science or biology are required. Parents also want to ensure that the curriculum gives their child a comprehensive view of God?s world that focuses on elements of ecology, Earth science, astronomy, chemistry, and physics. Although all these fields cannot be completely covered within the span of one school year, children should know that the realm of science reaches all corners of Earth and the sky.
As parents ask if a homeschool science curriculum is Christ-centered, teaches evolution, involves experiments, and covers a broad range of science fields, the emphasis must remain on whether or not the curriculum helps us see our great God more clearly. Through the study of science and His creation, we should be able to look at the created world, smile with the Creator, and declare with Him, ?That?s good!?