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Science/Nature Reviews
Ancient Science: 40 Time-Traveling, World-Exploring, History-Making Activities for Kids
Archimedes and the Door of Science
Buried Alive
Christian Liberty Nature Reader
Considering God's Creation
Did Eve Really have an Extra Rib?
Exploring the History of Medicine
Find the Constellations & the Stars
Handbook of Nature Study
Integrated Physics & Chemistry
Keeping A Nature Journal
Lyrical Life Science Series
Mistakes That Worked
Moody Science Video’s Complete Series
My Nature Journal
Pocketful of Pinecones
Serendipity : Accidental Discovers in Science
Star Talker
The Amazing Story of Creation
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady (video)
The New Way Things Work
Thinking Physics: Practical Lessons in Critical Thinking
Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation
Where Does the Evidence Lead? (DVD)
World Physical Geography

Ancient Science: 40 Time-Traveling, World-Exploring, History-Making Activities for Kids
by Jim Wiese
A review by Nigel Andreola


Ancient Science
Ancient Science: 40 Time-Traveling, World-Exploring, History-Making Activities for Kids
Jim Wiese / John Wiley & Sons / Paperback / 2003
Students will begin an amazing journey back in time, traveling the world over to places like Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and even the early Americas. In each port-of-call they will witness & participate in the great scientific discoveries that built civilization. Ancient Science is a delightful blend of history, science and hands on activities that students will find irresistible. Who discovered explosives? How did the Egyptians communicate with hieroglyphics? How did Alexander the Great make a Diving Bell? What did they know about electricity in 600 BC? Who should we blame for our math lessons? How can I make a magnifying lens? These are just a few of the mysteries waiting to be unlocked at your kitchen table! Better still, students will learn in a few weeks what took the ancients of many cultures thousands of years to learn! Easy reading explanations, clear illustrations and fun activities will not go over your child's head, and most experiments can be reproduced with common household items. These122 pages will provide hours of informative fun!
- Nigel

Archimedes and the Door of Science
by Jeanne Bendick
A review by Karen Andreola

Archimedes and the Door of Science
Archimedes and the Door of Science
Jeanne Bendick / Bethlehem Books / 1997
My son, Nigel, loves science. Each year I gave him lots of scientific facts. But science is more than a group of facts. Science is also the story behind the facts. When I read aloud to Nigel from Archimedes and the Door of Science we learned about the discovery and development of certain scientific principles. Archimedes, born 287 B.C., was an ancient Greek who loved knowledge. He was an enthusiastic seeker of truth. Chapter by chapter my son and I experienced some of Archimedes’ enthusiasm in his discovery of principles of buoyancy, the laws of the lever and pulley, and the center of gravity. We admired how he mathematically figured out how to measure a circle, observed and measured the solar system and unlike most astronomers believed the earth revolved around the sun. This is a “living” book, with the “literary presentation” Charlotte Mason advocated. The author does a wonderful job of blending scientific facts with their accompanying ideas, and gives us a personal history within the setting of ancient Greek culture.
4th grade-up. Line drawings. 135 pages, Ignatius Press.

Buried Alive
by Jack Cuozzo
Review by Dean Andreola

Buried Alive: The True Story of Neanderthal Man
Buried Alive: The True Story of Neanderthal Man
Jack Cuozzo / New Leaf Press (master Books) / 1998
Buried Alive is car chases, international spies, flying bullets, mysterious deaths, scandalous fraud, and scientific deduction worthy of Sherlock Holmes. Sounds like a great tale, but this is not fiction, it is true! In 1979 an American orthodontist and his family went to France to study the famous Neanderthal fossil remains. They brought with them a rare portable field x-ray machine so they could take full interior / exterior photos and measurements. His evidence was so revealing and contrary to popular opinion (and people in high places) that he and his family barely made it out of France alive to tell the story. So, who were the Neanderthals? Were they really a link in our pre-human history, or were they something else? Something so shocking Evolutionists would have to conspire for years to keep the truth buried or run the risk of losing their jobs, and their hollowed institutions! I won’t give away the surprise, but I will tell you that this is one of the strongest cases for Biblical creationism I have ever read.
Recommended for junior high up.
-Dean

Christian Liberty Nature Readers
A review by Karen Andreola

Christian Liberty Nature Reader
Christian Liberty Nature Reader Pack, 5 Volumes, Second Edition
Christian Liberty Press
When I purchase books for our home school, they don't always end up to be books that have glossy, full-color pictures. Sometimes they are the more humble-looking ones. But very often, humble though they may appear, they possess a writing style capable of drawing my younger students into reading their assignments with satisfaction and enjoyment. Nature Readers are just this sort of book.
For example, in Nature Reader, Book 3 (average third grade reading level), a fisherman tells stories about Old King Crab, Mr. Barnacle and his son, and the flowers of the sea, which are all really animals. At the end of one chapter, describing the business of ants, the author writes, This seems like a fairy tale, but it is quite true. All these things can be seen if you look out for them. Some questions in these readers give the student the opportunity for little tellings (narration). These are the type of prompts: Describe a barnacle fishing party. What can you tell me about giant beetles? Why is it so hard to pull a worm out of its hole? How do ants treat each other while they are at work? Nature Reader, Book 4 has more creatures. The author shares surprising observations of baby hummingbird activity. Nature Reader, Book 5 describes the basic parts of the human body, as well as useful and varied parts of the bodies of animals.
Approx. 200 pages each, softcovers from Christian Liberty Press.

Considering God’s Creation
by Susan Mortimer & Betty Smith ( Book and CD )
Review by Karen Andreola

Consider God's Creation
Considering God's Creation Pack with CD
Susan Mortimer & Betty Smith / Eagle's Wings Educational / 1999
Are you looking for a Christian guide to studying natural science that can be used by a big family (or group) of students of different grade levels? Would you welcome a course that encourages the use of interesting real books – a course that attempts to rid you of any guilt you might have for not using a typical textbook? If so, I am recommending Considering God’s Creation. The Notebook of paper crafts enhances the course. These enjoyable cut and paste activities are intelligent ones that follow along with the information and discoveries the student is to record in his notebook. I like the idea of keeping a notebook. It is a refreshing replacement for the usual multiple-choice sorts of activities found in the textbook/workbook grind of so many schools. I would suggest, however, that younger students tell little narrations on what they are learning and that older students include written narrations in their notebooks. With the paper craft activities a student can make a frog life cycle booklet, he can sort through a pile of paper bones and paste them on appropriate creatures. The child also becomes a detective. He observes and keeps a record in his notebook of various characteristics of rocks, flowers, trees, animals and clouds. The Teacher’s Manual is a guide for the notebook activities. It also provides an introduction to each topic and includes a Bible reading, an evolution stumper, and a poem. Older students are directed to dig deeper using Lyrical Life Science, the Moody Science films and some very good books. Incorporating books from your personal library or public library make this course super. Used this way the topics will provide enough thorough study for (at the least) two years. Some topics include: The Universe: stars, planets, the earth and its atmosphere, Weather, Rocks and Minerals, The Plant and Animal Kingdom, Human Anatomy. Multi-level. For 2nd to 7th grade. Each child should have his own notebook. Authors Mrs. Mortimer and Mrs. Smith are two enthusiastic homeschooling mothers whom designed the course for fellow homeschoolers - one reason it is popular. Thank-you ladies for thinking of us.
Teacher’s Manual, 112 pages.
Notebook (of paper crafts and record sheets for detecting), 270 pages.

Did Eve Really have an Extra Rib?
And Other Tough Questions About the Bible

by Ken Ham
A review by Dean Andreola

Did Eve Really Have An Extra Rib?
Did Eve Really Have an Extra Rib? And Other Tough Questions About the Bible
Ken Ham / New Leaf Press (master Books) / 2002
This little volume is big in content! I use a question from it every week to begin my Junior High Sunday school class. The simple “question and answer” format helps my students to think more deeply about the authority of the Bible, the creation of man, the fossil record, evolution, the flaws of modern science, and much more. Ken Ham offers a concise response based upon good science, strong reason, and Bible knowledge. So, did Eve really have an Extra Rib? I’m not telling!
- Dean

Exploring the History of Medicine
By John Hudson Tiner
A review by Karen Andreola

Exploring The History Of Medicine
Exploring the History of Medicine
John Hudson Tiner / New Leaf Press (master Books) / 1999
This schoolbook is written like a story. That’s why I like it. It puts the people aspect back into science making it both friendly and factual. Chapter by short chapter one man’s discovery builds upon (or corrects) another and the progress of medicine unfolds. Who are the characters? You’ll meet William Harvey who proves his theory of blood circulation. You’ll learn of Joseph Lister’s compassion that drives him to find a better way to combat infections, of Humphry Davy’s gas machine that allows patients to be relieved of terrible pain during surgery. While the British navy balked at Dr.Lind’s suggestion for supplying sailors with limes to prevent scurvy, Captain Cook was a firm believer that citrus fruits contributed to the success of his four-year voyage. A whole host of characters play their part revealing the lesser-known details about; the mold that battles bacteria, how vitamins keep you healthy, the use of radiation, and much more.
Large b.&w. illus. 165 pages, (a Christian book) Master Books
4th grade – 8th grade

Find the Constellations & The Stars
by H.A.Rey
A Message and Review by Dean

Find the Constellations
Find the Constellations
H.A. Rey / Houghton-mifflin / 1980
I have always been fascinated by outer space and the stars. As a child in the early nineteen sixties, I watched all the manned space missions on television, and read lots of space adventure stories. I even asked my parents to buy me a little telescope for Christmas one year, which I tried in vain to use because of my lack of knowledge of the night skies. In fact, several years ago I fulfilled a life long dream when I met one of my space heroes in person. I was at a book convention and saw a familiar looking man standing alone in a publisher’s booth with a stack of color photos in his hand. He was wearing a NASA uniform. As I got closer I noticed the name sewn into his shirt. It was Jim Irwin! Jim actually walked the lunar surface on the Apollo 15 Mission. (He was also a committed Christian and has since gone to be with the Lord.) I am usually shy around the “famous” but my admiration for him out weighed my timidity, so I boldly shook his hand and asked for one of those color photos. It was a picture of him standing on the Moon next to the American flag, Rover and the Lunar module.
I had always wished that I knew a little bit more about the heavens, but time always seemed to be a big factor until recently. Lisa W. from Washington State wrote me a kind note (without knowing of my interest in space), and this is what she said, “ I am enjoying your Charlotte Mason Companion so much and reading your family’s reviews in the CBD catalog. Thank you for your insights. I have begun a nature notebook with my children and want to bring to your attention a book I found to be wonderful. Find the Constellations by H.A. Rey gives such clear concise information that I learned more about the stars and constellations in one hour than I had my entire life! This book will be handy for any clear night…his illustrations are clear and concise. He provides “sky scapes” into the year 2006. My children are enjoying this book and have been pleased with the lack “millions of years ago…” I now have my own copy of Find the Constellations, and I could not agree with her more. It is great for beginners of all ages. I even picked up H.A. Rey’s other book, The Stars. This is a bigger book that goes into even more detail about space, time, planets, distance, etc. for a little older age group, junior high to high school.
One more thought. Don’t be too tempted to think that a child’s enthusiastic interests in space can be dangerous. As long as they are taught about the Creator of the heavens, their study should only strengthen their faith in Him. To support this let me share with you what Jim Irwin wrote on my color photo …

“Dear Dean,
Jesus walking on the Earth is more important than man walking on the Moon.”
-Jim.
…. Keep looking up.

-Dean


Handbook of Nature Study
by Anna Botsford Comstock
A review by Karen Andreola

Handbook of Nature Study
Handbook of Nature Study
Anna Botsford Comstock / Cornell University Press / 1986
Ah, how I love spring and summer! I love to open the windows and breathe in the fresh air that flutters the curtains with puffs of warm breezes. It's the perfect time of the school year to satisfy any urges to stretch out legs that have been bent under desks, to let strained eyes gaze beyond our books, and to be outdoors again. Nature suddenly becomes very busy, giving us lots to observe and study. A drawing of a daffodil makes an impressive entry in a Nature Notebook. If you sit near a clump of daffodils long enough, you will notice who does the pollinating. How about copying a few verses by the poet Wordsworth on daffodils into the Nature Notebook, while you're at it?
Handbook of Nature Study gives many such suggestions. It provides observation questions, poems, and general information to better acquaint the teacher and student with nature. If you wish to study farm animals, birds, insects, garden vegetables and flowers, or roadside weeds and wild flowers, trees, the pond or forest, you'll be supported in your endeavors. When one of my children attempted to follow the suggestion for placing a few drops of sugar water in a container with her capture, Mr. Daddy Longlegs, she almost drowned him. But we did get to see him groom himself, nibbling each leg to its hair-like end. He stayed long enough to be drawn in her Notebook.
This thick, 850-page book written in 1911 is a teacher's guide. The author, founder and head of the Department of Nature Study at Cornell University, feels apologetic that the book is so large. However, it does not contain more than any intelligent country child of 12 should know of his environment. I am so glad it has been updated without losing the author's personal touch. Most teachers' guides are not nearly so interesting. Anna's writing is filled with wonder and firsthand knowledge, allowing us to pick up her enthusiasm for God's creation. This makes the text a hundred times more valuable than its faded black & white photographs. If you plan to make outdoor nature study part of your curriculum (or educational lifestyle) for grades K to 8 and beyond, I recommend Handbook of Nature Study.
850 pages, softcover from Comstock.

Integrated Physics & Chemistry
by John Hudson Tiner
A review by Karen Andreola

Integrated Physics & Chemistry
The People, Places & Principles of Integrated Physics & Chemistry, Volume 1, Reader
John Hudson Tiner / Paradigm Accelerated Curriculu / 2001
I stumbled upon something, quite by accident. The author of some Sower Series biographies we had read, as well as Exploring the History of Medicine, is the writer of the science course my high school student is following (though the writer's name does not appear on the cover.) Now I understand why this course has more of a biographical style than other science texts. John Hudson Tiner's ardent admiration of the lives of great men of science spills over into these lessons. Like a master storyteller he unravels the mystery about the development of the periodic table of elements as well as the laws of physics. In bite-sized narratives his stories unravel and little by little, these normally complex subjects begin to make sense. One discovery in science becomes a foundation upon which new discoveries are made.
There is no need to be intimated by physics and chemistry anymore – not with lessons like these that are so intriguing. John Tiner's lessons are filled with facts presented from the firm footing of a Biblical Base. Although lessons are interesting, this doesn't mean to say the course is "a piece of cake." Studious attention is required but it will be more pleasingly given.
Four volumes together supply 180 lessons. With weekly quizzes and tests this means your student would be expected to do science everyday (and then some) unless you carry the course over to the following year as we plan to do—with no qualms. Cramming has no place in our homeschool. We make all courses be our servants—not the other way 'round. The profit that comes from doing one's best while taking one's time is far greater.
Volumes can be obtained separately.
--Karen

Keeping a Nature Journal
by Clare Walker & Charles E. Roth
A review by Karen Andreola

Keeping a Nature Journal
Keeping A Nature Journal
Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E. Roth / Workman Publishing / 2000
Draw what you see is what I've always told my children when it comes to making a Nature Notebook. Perhaps the tulip they spot at the park is a purple tulip, not the red tulip typically pictured in textbooks. Thus a purple tulip goes into the Notebook. The date of the find goes at the top of the page with its common name in print and the Latin in cursive. Underneath the drawing, observations are recorded: where it was found, its behavior (if it's a bird, insect, mammal), etc. Nature poems and the words of a hymn can also be copied onto the pages. It's that simple.
For those looking for help in making a Nature Notebook, Keeping a Nature Journal provides ideas for every season. It has pointers on sketching and watercoloring. The suggestions and advice are just as interesting and helpful for the adult student as they are for the young. Consequently, you too, teacher, will be invited to make a Notebook of your own. For the homeschool co-op, the chapter on how to teach nature journaling to a group of children seems useful.
Faithfully set aside an hour a week to be outdoors with children, observing God's creation and recording it. At the end of a year, each Notebook will be filled with an array of observations representative of firsthand scientific experience. I assure you, these Notebooks will become precious keepsakes - more precious than a pile of classroom worksheets.
(An excellent teacher's resource yet contains some New Age poems).
192 pages, softcover

Lyrical Life Science Series
(Cassette or CD format)
by Doug and Dorry Eldon
A review by Karen Andreola

Lyrical Life Science, Volume 1
Lyrical Life Science, Volume 1
Lyrical Learning
A couple of springs ago, I purchased Lyrical Life Science, Volume 1 and kept the music cassette in our car all summer. Wherever we went, we enjoyed listening to these folk-style songs with lyrics filled to the brim with science terminology. This clever cassette of rhyme and rhythm helped familiarize my children with the functions and characteristics of bacteria to the tunes of Oh, Susanna; vascular plants to Battle Hymn of the Republic; genetics to Shortnin' Bread; cold-blooded vertebrates to When Johnny Comes Marching Home; and more. By the fall semester, my oldest two children were ready to read the 12 chapters of the accompanying 90 page book.
I like the 200 simple pen drawings and uncluttered appearance of its pages. My students completed one chapter a week, reviewing all the lyrics they had become familiar with during the summer. You'll rarely find me recommending a workbook, but for the upper grades the corresponding work pages are advantageous. Three workbook pages per chapter always begin with a lyric page. The student fills in the science terminology missing in the content-rich verses. The essay page requires narration. The student will describe complete metamorphosis in his own words, for example (answer key in appendix).
Lyrical Life Science, Volume 2: Mammals, Ecology, and Biomes helps them learn about carnivores to the tune of She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain, rodent-like mammals to Irish Washerwoman, hoofed mammals to Home on the Range, manatees to What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor, along with 12 other songs/chapters.
Lyrical Life Science, Volume 3: The Human Body looks at the 11 different systems - skeletal, muscular, nervous, digestive, circulatory, respiratory, etc. - to trace their terminology back to the lyrics of a song. It's funny how children learn about the bloodstream to the tune of Red River Valley and about the immune system to La Cucaracha. The reproductive system has its terminology sung within an old Irish waltz. The waltz's original lyrics spoke of a man's love for his lady. The new chorus is thus:

For life is a mystery that we live,
And our bodies produce life to give
Our genes and our dreams to the children yet unborn
To continue life's cycle again.

What a touching aspect to a science course, but I admit I am sentimental when it comes to family.
NEW! Geology—Eighteen songs teach foundational terms and concepts including: plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, minerals, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock, glaciers, erosion, and more.


Mistakes That Worked – 40 Familiar Inventions and How They Came to Be
by Charlotte Foltz Jones
Review by Nigel Andreola

Mistakes That Worked
Mistakes That Worked
Charlotte Foltz Jones, illustrated by John O'Brien / Random House, Inc / 1994
Silly putty is strange stuff. So are the forty stories that make up this book. Do you know how silly putty came about? Scientists were trying to make synthetic rubber for the space program. They were using silicon from sand but it turned out to be something different than what they expected. It could stretch, it could bounce, and when it was pressed over newspaper it could pick up the print and pictures onto itself. This book is entertaining and gives facts in a fun way. It tells how people tried to make things, failed, and then made use of their mistakes. Common things like X-rays, Scotchgard, Ivory Soap, Velcro, Penicillin and Levi jeans, all have stories behind their discoveries. There are stories behind popular foods too, like the sandwich, chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, ice cream cones, and doughnuts. I think kids will enjoy it. The pictures are weird and funny too.
For all ages, 78 pages
Nigel

Moody Science Video’s Complete Series: VHS format
A review by Dean Andreola

Moody Science Classics Series
Moody Science Classics Series, Video Pack
Moody Publishers
Are you disappointed with video programs that are light in content, slight on teaching ability? Modern educational programs tend to bombard children with a visual assault of constantly changing, flashy scenes—distracting sound affects—obnoxious or irreverent dialogue. You might know the type—those that have the uncanny ability to give a headache to any adult within viewing or hearing range?
Well, allow me to invite you to step back to an earlier era of cinematography that still believed that viewers (children and adults alike) were capable of thinking more deeply about scientific and spiritual matters without the aid of goofy amusement. Filmed in the 1950's (and later) the Moody Science Classics offer us a slower change of pace in their presentation of science facts. Their viewers are expected to have a good old fashioned attention span, an appreciation of words as well as picture. The presentations are colorful, sometimes dramatic, sometimes exciting. Yet because they also deal with the unchangeable character of God as revealed in the Bible, the message of these films is as potent today as when they were first filmed.
Half a century ago the late Dr. Irwin Moon (no relation to Rev. Moon) helped found the Moody Institute of Science which was dedicated to revealing the reality and glory of God through the exploration of science and nature. My son Nigel told me he enjoys watching the actual field and laboratory experiments because they help uncover some of the mysteries of nature. He is also inspired to talk about and refer to what he has learned for days or even months after viewing. Isn’t that the power of a good teaching tool?
Dr. Moon summarizes each program with a message that harmonizes Biblical truths with scientific evidence. He illustrates that God is the author of our universe and that we must believe in Him alone for our salvation. I never tire of hearing the Good News as seen in these programs. I am glad that my children can see a challenging and intelligent presentation of science that both teaches and reaffirms the Christian worldview.
-Dean

My Nature Journal
by Adrienne Olmstead
A review by Karen Andreola


My Nature Journal
My Nature Journal
Adrienne Olmstead / Pajaro / Hardcover
Over the years here at CBD my daughter Sophia and I have recommended materials to guide you in the rewarding pastime of nature study (listed below) Feeling inspired, perhaps you sprang forward with the best teacher's intentions. Yet, the task of turning a blank book into a nature journal proved too formidable. Let me encourage you. I think you will find My Nature Journal more doable. It introduces children to basic scientific information on what can be found in woodland, meadow, pond, etc. while providing pages to record their personal observations. A few pages of illustrated text on each subject are followed by an assignment. Children fill-in: "Animal Tracks I Found, My Favorite Fall Leaves, Birds I Have Seen, My Moon Phase Chart," etc. Assignments vary. I like that. Some require a scavenger hunt, others give time for thoughtful reflection - "Nature is special to me because . . ." or "My poem on the sunset." My Nature Journal puts the powers of a child's curiosity to work, while preserving his sense of wonder for the natural world. Your young investigators will look forward to the "schoolwork" you get to do outside. Use this book with Pocketful of Pinecones for one full year of nature study. --Karen Age 8 and up.

-Karen

Related Materials:

The Handbook of Nature Study
The Nature Diary of An Edwardian Lady
Nature Journaling
Pocketful of Pinecones

Pocketful of Pinecones
Nature Study with the Gentle Art of Learning
A Story for Mother Culture

by Karen Andreola
An introduction by the author

Pocketful of Pinecones
Pocketful of Pinecones:
Nature Study with the Gentle Art of Learning

Karen Andreola / Charlotte Mason Research / 2002
Do you ever feel like giving up? Many get frazzled. Don’t give up. What you need is a little encouragement. That’s why I wrote you this story. It is a diary of one mother’s year of home teaching. In her diary Carol pours out her secret hopes, joys and disappointments. Does she get frazzled? Yes. She is on her feet a lot caring for the needs of her family. Her heart is full of service so it is no surprise that come nightfall she is frequently exhausted. How does she manage? Carol feeds her soul by reading in snatches. She decides to follow “the gentle art of learning”—a life-style of learning that helps to focus her days. She also takes joy in the simple things she considers to be God’s blessings. She goes on nature walks with her children each Wednesday afternoon. Together they observe God’s marvelous creation and record their findings into their Nature Notebooks. Meanwhile Carol copes with the late hours her husband Michael must keep at his workplace, yet she learns to trust God in their circumstances.
Pinecones also features; nature poems and verses, Latin names for the living things observed by the characters, and study questions.



Readers Comments
After I read your book I felt a peace and confirmation that this is what we were supposed to be doing. . . It was enjoyable, relaxing, and inspiring.
-Denise S.

I just finished [it] for the second time. I just loved the story. I honestly couldn’t put it down. . . such soothing reading.
-Suzanne C.

Your book has dramatically changed the way I am homeschooling this year. . . a cure for burn-out.
-Holly G.

For a more in-depth look at Pocketful of Pinecones click here.


Serendipity—Accidental Discoveries in Science
by Roystan M. Roberts
A review by Nigel Andreola

Serendipity: Accidental Discoveries in Science
Serendipity: Accidental Discoveries in Science
Royston Roberts / John Wiley & Sons /
I’ve always had a fascination for science. A lot of other kids like me would too, but too many science books are dull. This makes kids think that only nerds like science. Those dull schoolbooks are lacking something – excitement. Serendipity is a group of suspenseful, faced-paced, true-to-life stories. Learn how plastic came along, laughing gas, insulin, synthetic dyes, Teflon, X-rays, and much more. If you really want something explosive check the chapter on Sir Alfred Noble. A lot of these accidental discoveries were insignificant to the inventor at the time - just dumb mistakes. But learn how these innocent mistakes changed the world.
- Nigel

Mom’s note: A few sentences address “the Pill” and its accidental implications on society. In its original form of progesterone it was intended to treat menstrual disorders and prevent miscarriages.

For high school.


Star Talker (includes charts, maps, cassettes)
by Paul Riehle
A review by Dean Andreola

Star Talker Audio Program for Astronomy
Star Talker Audio Program for Astronomy
Paul J. Riehle / Pco Design Company / 1997
Have you ever been to a planetarium show? Attending a big theater like the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History in New York City is a special treat for adults and children alike. As you enter the large, cool, dimly lit room, and observe the softly glowing night sky on the curved ceiling above,it almost feels like the real thing. Then the room goes dark, the stars come up and the narrator, through an enhanced sound system,begins a rousing tour of the stars and constellations. What could be better? The real thing thing of course! The Star Talker’s easy-fast and fun introduction to the night sky becomes your own personal planetarium show! Star Talker’s creator is Paul J. Riehle worked at the VLA Radio Telescope Facility in New Mexico as an Electro-Mechanical Designer, alongside of some of the world’s greatest astronomers. Many years in development, his course now offers 4 one hour cassettes, 20 star charts, constellation poster and a reference guide. It covers 52 constellations, 200 star locations and names, ancient legends, star facts and more…A cassette player, a clear night, and a pair of binoculars (optional) are all you need to get started. The Star Talker will do the rest! The narrator’s clear deep voice, along with the gentle background music, sound just like those planetarium shows I enjoyed as a child. The perfect learning tool and curriculum elective for the budding astronomers in your home.

The Amazing Story of Creation
by Duane T. Gish, PH.D.
A review by Karen Andreola

Have you noticed that evolution is now assumed to be fact. It is not taught as a theory as it once was. Schools and television programs are relentless in presenting evolution as if no other explanation existed. It is supposedly what under girds all modern science. There are more facts, however, pointing to the evidence of creation than of evolution. These facts are never presented because they would point to a creator. If you would like to teach your child what the Bible and science have to say about how the universe came into existence The Amazing Story of Creation provides a good introduction. Full color photographs and pictures help illustrate, for example, how dinosaur fossils give evidence in support of creation not the other way around.

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
by Edith Holden
A review by Sophia Andreola

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
Edith Holden / Sterling Publishing Co / 1977
I remember my first Nature Notebook. I was nine years old. My mother handed me a blank book and told me that we were going outside to look for things to draw into the book. After some months my Notebook contained drawings of flowers, birds, and insects. Over the years I did better drawings and added more writing to my Notebook. I was given a copy of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. What a beautiful example of a nature diary! It inspired me. Its author Edith Holden was born in 1871 in England. On January 1, 1906 she made her first entry in her diary. The diary (a facsimile of the original) carries us through the entire year of 1906. Her observations are complimented by poetry - some poems her own. The pages are illustrated with her watercolor paintings of the countryside near her home. I’ve completed my homeschool but as I turn the pages of this Edwardian lay’s diary it stirs a desire in me to take up nature journaling again. Someday, after Bible school, I know I will.
-Sophia

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady (video)
A review by Karen Andreola

No matter what science subject the class was currently studying, every Wednesday afternoon Charlotte Mason's students were taken on a nature walk. Nature study was ongoing. This is one activity of our homeschool that I have especially enjoyed with my children. Thanks to Charlotte's advice, dandelions, ants, caterpillars, robins, deer, sunflowers, thistles, autumn leaves, pumpkins, and berries have found their way into the Nature notebooks of my children.
What is a Nature Notebook? A beautiful example of the kind of notebook that Charlotte required of all her students is The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady . So I was happy to find a video production of Country Diary! An actress plays the part of Edith Holden (the Edwardian Lady). A little touch of drama and music highlights the nature that is depicted in the peaceful scenic countryside surrounding her British home. What a delight to watch Edith taking nature walks and penning her personal nature notes for the year 1906. Each season brings a special calm and gentle beauty appreciated by Edith as reflected in her carefully water colored drawings and the poetry she chooses for her diary.
This video will inspire those wishing to attempt their own Nature Notebooks. Of course, we wouldn't expect our young students' notebooks to be as artistically refined as Edith's, but our students can observe, record, and draw the same kinds of things. It is a pity when children can name all the Star Wars characters yet do not know the names of the flowers, insects, and trees in their own neighborhood. Why study nature? It is the groundwork for all the sciences. Nature is one way God reveals Himself. This calming, instructive video can offer a bit of rest to a hurried home teacher.
90 minutes.

The New Way Things Work
& The Way Things Work CD-ROM
by David Macaulay
A review by Dean and Nigel Andreola

The New Way Things Work

The New Way Things Work
David Macaulay / Houghton-mifflin / 1998

The New Way Things Work CD-Rom

When he is not reading or working at his desk, chances are my son Nigel is building something elaborate with legos, designing futuristic paper airplanes, constructing mechanical robots, or putting an addition onto his primitive fort in the woods. I guess that’s why we’ve made David Macaulay’s The New Way Things Work, (and the CD-ROM)) a big part of Nigel’s science curriculum for the sixth grade. Chock full of large illustrations and comical cartoons of a woolly mammoth who helps make things work, this text gives children a lively introduction to physics. It starts out with simple principles of the lever, the pulley, the wheel, springs, gears, and so on. As the chapters progress we learn about electricity, magnetism, color photography, telecommunications, and going digital. Nigel says, “When I was younger I wondered how things worked, like my Dad’s shipping scale, for instance. I wasn’t allowed to take it apart and explore its insides. But when I started reading this book for school I was shown the insides of the mechanical devises that I have been wondering about - things like microscopes, cameras, airplanes, microwave ovens, car engines.”
On the interactive CD-ROM the contraptions and cartoon figures of the book become animated. We can see (and hear) demonstrations of working devises and machines. One evening at supper Nigel explained to members of his family how the dentist’s drill works. Certain explanations, however, make better table talk than others.
Ages 8 & up.

Thinking Physics: Practical Lessons in Critical Thinking
By Lewis Carroll Epstein
For the little Einstein in us all!
A review by Dean Andreola

Sometimes the world's best teachers are often the ones who ask the best questions…then allow the student ample time to figure it out for themselves! When the student poses the question, the truly great teacher has a way of demystifying a problem and offering up a quick solution in plain terms, without the long stuffy lecture. Mr. Epstein applies the best of both worlds in this unusual and highly practical guide to Physics. His goal is for students to be able to intuitively "guess" the answers even before they have done the calculations. How? By developing their critical thinking skills to a higher level! Covering a broad range of topics within each of these disciplines: Mechanics, Fluids, Heat, Vibrations, Light, Electricity & Magnetism, Relativity, and Quanta students will also revisit some of the problems and achievements of Archimedes, Galileo, Newton and others. On the practical side hundreds of short lessons teach everything from the science of household plumbing to space travel! Good humor and lots of clever illustrations drive the ideas and concepts home without the use of higher math. Fascinating!
Junior High to Graduate School: 560 pages.
--Dean


Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation:
The Explorer’s Guide to the Awesome Works of God

by Dennis R. Petersen
A review by Dean Andreola

Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation
Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation
Dennis R. Petersen / New Leaf Press (master Books) / 2002
Much more than an entertaining and fact filled book of Sea Monsters, Dragons, Ape-Men, Mutations and Missing Links, this is the world’s first full color encyclopedia of Creation Science! Mr. Peterson boldly separates solid facts as presented in the fossil record from modern scientific baloney! Hundreds of photos, news items, illustrations, Biblical references, and a lifetime of research support his clearly reasoned text. It can be used as a mini creation science curriculum and reference tool, but we also read it for pure faith building enjoyment! A great gift for any student or septic of the Bible and science. (Junior high to adult…why should the kids have all the fun?)
- Dean

Where Does the Evidence Lead? (DVD)
A review by Karen Andreola


Where Does the Evidence Lead?
Where Does the Evidence Lead? (DVD)
Randolf Productions Inc / DVD / 2004
Darwin's one hundred year-old theory faces a formidable challenge today. It leaves us with a puzzling problem: the complexity of natural design. The complexity is absolutely mind-boggling. Does "intelligence" play a role in the origin of life and its design? A healthy science is a science that lets evidence speak for itself and this six part educational series does just that - explores the evidence. If science ought to be a search for what is (and what might be) true then it will point to an intelligent designer. This presentation is not overtly evangelistic, nor do the scientists who doubt Darwin bring religion into debate. Sharing this DVD, however, with any un-churched "thinking" friends will unmistakably lead them to ask the right question. (The most important question of their life.) It is an excellent resource for all high school biology students.
- Karen

One hour in length.


World Physical Geography
by Brenda Runkle
A review by Dean Andreola

Physical World Geography
Physical World Geography
Brenda Runkle / Runkle Geography / 1998
Have you been looking for a basic yet thorough physical geography course - one with an emphasis on gaining knowledge via critical thinking, rather than simply memorizing names and places? I found one! It’s Brenda Runkle’s World Physical Geography. Short uncomplicated lessons give the student a sense of accomplishment. The author speaks directly to the student in an engaging unstuffy way relating true stories, fun facts and current events from around the world. I like the emphasis on the practical use of Earth’s natural resources for energy, navigation, technology, farming, etc. and man’s constant striving to conquer his environment. Refreshingly, there is no left wing agenda and no Mother Earth worship in this course. We even learned that Israel uses and conserves water more efficiently than any other nation! These factual tidbits add to the read-ability of topics like Earth and Solar system, how to use maps, latitude and climate, time zones, the center of the Earth, mountains and volcanoes, oceans, rivers and lakes, land masses, travel routes, the atmosphere and the weather. Simple hands-on activities do not require trips to the library or even the hardware store! The text already provides all the beautiful full color maps, photos, and charts you will need. They even include lesson review questions, vocabulary and a glossary of terms. Three or four lessons per chapter, means to me, you don’t have to do geography every day of the week. We do lesson review orally. Tests can be photocopied from the teacher’s guide. Overall this is a well designed, thoughtful study that will challenge your children without confusing them, and because it is produced on high quality paper it will survive many years of use in your homeshool! For grades 6 up.
-Dean
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Homeschool Highlights provides homeschooling resources for home schooling parents and students. This site is hosted by Dean and Karen Andreola, noted authors who brought to light the works of Charlotte Mason. They also review "living books" and homeschool curriculum materials for Rainbow Resource Center.

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