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Dawn Oaks, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
After several years of homeschooling, I began to form in my own mind what a great science curriculum would encompass. It would have the foundation of a clear Christian worldview with no compromises. An introduction of new vocabulary terms at the beginning would be great. Some written work is always helpful to reinforce learning, but it shouldn't feel like a creative writing course. What about projects versus chapter tests? That ideal curriculum would come with both. Of course, experiments using common household objects would be essential. When given the opportunity to review Truth in Science, I had no idea that I was about to encounter the closest I have ever come to that ideal. It was packed with all those wonderful features and aspects.
Truth in Science is a complete science curriculum. The course is divided into three major units: life science, earth science, and physical science. The life science unit has four chapters. The very first one is on Creation and a Biblical worldview. This chapter provides the basis and framework for the rest of the course. The authors truly believe in beginning at the beginning. The other life science chapters are on classification, plants, and cells. The earth science chapters cover ecology, meteorology, geology, the earth's resources, and astronomy. The final unit in the course has chapters on matter and forces and energy. In order to truly benefit from the Christian worldview inherent in this study, you would naturally need to begin with the first chapter. After that, however, you could do the other chapters in whatever order you wished.
Each chapter, or module, is laid out in the same sequence. Lesson one introduces the topic, contains a Scripture memory verse related to the topic, reviews relevant vocabulary words, and presents an overview of the project for the module. Lesson two is a hands-on experiment. Lessons three through six contain more of the core information/knowledge for the module. "Ask Creation Lab" is the format for lesson seven in each module, with more hands-on applications. Lesson eight is dedicated to the completion of the module project. Lesson 9 contains a chapter review as well as a Bible quiz. Lesson ten is the chapter assessment or test. The normalcy of this sequence helped to provide structure to our study while allowing for greater creativity through the experiments and project work.
Truth in Science has the content to be both your child's Bible curriculum and science curriculum. I was not sure about this when we began using this program, but I was surprisingly impressed with the total integration of Scripture, Biblical references, Scripture memory work, and the end-of-chapter Bible quiz. Once I realized how much Bible was incorporated, I was concerned that the science would be watered down. I was wrong again. In having homeschooled two older children using a rigorous science curriculum, I found that Truth in Science held up to the others in the area of science content. A lot of value comes from concepts being covered in the student book and then expanded upon through the labs and project work.
The flexibility of Truth in Science was quite profound. Our son prefers to work on projects for science and history rather than taking tests. Because Truth in Science came with both, we had the option of completing a project, doing the test, or incorporating both as a means of summarizing what he had learned. Specific websites are suggested for students to use in their research for projects or to just learn more about the module topic. The websites that were suggested never presented material that was contradictory to a Christian worldview. It was a relief to know that I could trust the links in the study as my son began the research for his project. The grading rubric provided for the projects considers the student's knowledge of the material as well as the presentation (visually and verbally), the organization of material, and compliance with the instructions provided. For those that follow a Charlotte Mason approach, greater creativity can be afforded to your student in designing his own project. Families that prefer a traditional approach will find that there is sufficient written review of the material throughout the lessons as well as adequate evaluation of the student's knowledge through the chapter test. Students are also expected to adhere to the scientific model when completing the written portion of the labs in each chapter.
In homeschooling four children and assisting my husband with the operation of our family business, I do not have a great amount of preparation time for school. Truth in Science comes with it all done. There is a teaching grid to help you pace your year. An answer key contains the test answers as well as answers for all the blanks in the student chapters. Truth in Science also has a complete Teacher's Edition. This is truly a resource to help parents begin discussions related to each day's topic. A material and resource list is provided at the beginning of each chapter. A supplemental CD comes with the curriculum. It contains an introduction to the curriculum as well as supporting materials. A slideshow of additional notes is provided on the CD. The only downside to the CD is that the slideshow presentation is in full color, which can make it costly for families that wish to print the pages for discussion away from the computer.
Overall, I feel blessed that we have had an opportunity to evaluate and use this curriculum with our son and would recommend it to others. Whatever your child's learning style and your philosophy of homeschooling may be, there is something in here for everyone.
Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Truth in Science Grade 6 is a traditional science course based on a Christian worldview. I received the complete curriculum package, which includes the teacher's edition, the student text (11 separate worktexts), a test and quizzes packet, an answer key, and a multimedia DVD.
Truth in Science Grade 6 is broken down into 11 steps. Instead of one large science text, the student has 11 full-color, soft-cover worktexts (called Student Steps) for the year. The titles of the 11 Student Steps are: "Worldview," "Classification," "Plants," "Cells," "Reproduction," "Meteorology," "Changing Earth," "Geology," "Earth's Resources," "Ecology," and "Astronomy."
The Student Steps contain eight lessons each and are written directly to the student to allow for independent study. Each Student Step begins with a bullet list of what will be learned, a vocabulary list for the unit, and a memory verse for the unit. Two of the eight lessons are labs. There is also a unit-long report assigned in Lesson 1, and it should be worked on throughout the unit and completed for Lesson 8. In each lesson, there are questions asked and lines provided for the student to write their answers, allowing the student to interact with the text. Many of the lessons conclude with fill-in-the-blank Science Reviews. For each Student Step, there is a separate Biblical Worldview quiz and chapter test available from the Tests & Quizzes packet. All answers for the Student Steps, quizzes, and tests are in the separate Answer Key.
The Teacher's Edition is an oversized, spiral bound, full-color manual. It includes reproductions of each of the Student Steps along with a lot of teaching commentary. This commentary really stresses the worldview teaching for this science curriculum. There are also additional Bible verses, quotes, and facts that help support the lessons. It is written for a classroom teacher, so there is a lot of information. The Teacher's Edition also includes lessons 9 and 10, which are not in the Student Steps books. Lesson 9 has the teacher give the Biblical Worldview quiz and includes a game for reviewing the chapter. The games are written with the traditional classroom model in mind. Lesson 10 simply provides basic instructions for giving the chapter tests. Lessons 9 and 10 are not really necessary for homeschool use.
The DVD that is provided includes an introduction to the program, support materials ( pdf files that include additional illustrations and explanations for many of the lessons), and a vocabulary lesson for each Student Step.
I think the Truth in Science Grade 6 program is very well done. It does a great job of integrating a Christian worldview with solid science, and the materials are high quality. I was wonderfully surprised when I went online to check the price of the curriculum--it is only $98.90 for the entire set, including the Teacher's Edition. However, the Teacher's Edition isn't required, and some homeschoolers would consider it overkill. Truth in Science also offers a Steps package (which includes everything except the Teacher's Edition) for only $50.85. I highly recommend this program for anyone who is looking for a science curriculum with a Christian worldview. The content is wonderful, the quality is excellent, and the pricing is more than reasonable.
Carrie Fernandez, Hearts at Home Curriculum
"I was so excited when my box from Truth in Science arrived. I had heard great things about this curriculum from my customers, but I had not yet personally flipped through the pages. It didn't take long for me to realize that my expectations had been exceeded.
First, let me start off by pointing out some of my favorite aspects. It is in full color and each of the 11 units or "steps" are in their own booklet, which is thin enough to three hole punch. These booklets are not flimsy, thin-papered books with less than stellar images; they really went all out with the colors and graphics. I also like the teacher manual, which is spiral bound so you can easily open it up and keep your place.
Truth in Science takes a spiral approach to teaching science. Starting at grade 3 and going through grade 6, the student will learn material that is built upon year after year. This makes it easy if you are going to be teaching multiple grade levels, since the units are essentially covering the same type of material for each grade level.
What I found to be a great thing about this curriculum is that it can easily be student led and self-paced. The teacher manual is a great asset to this curriculum, although, essentially, it can be used without it. The components are sold separately so you can purchases an answer key without having to buy the teacher manual for the answers. My preference would be to utilize the teacher manual to enhance this wonderful curriculum and get the most out of it.
The Teacher Manual
The teacher manual is a goldmine in itself. I learned a lot reading over the educational philosophy, which discusses why worldview is important to science and how TIS weaves into each concept taught our origin, purpose, identity, and destiny. The teacher manual outlines quick teaching schedules with ideas on how to allot time per lesson based on how many days per week you plan to teach science. This is a very flexible curriculum and will fit into any schedule. There are suggestions on how you can use this curriculum in a way that would reduce the time to cover material without sacrificing the integrity of the lesson, for those with less time to work on science.
The teacher manual has chapter overviews that contain a planning guide that lists lesson titles, objectives, activities, interesting facts, quotes, and a teacher's commentary. Also listed are vocabulary words, teacher illustrations, and materials required – all at a glance. Each lesson displays a lesson organizer in addition to the above chapter overviews as well as a memory verse. The teacher manual will guide the teacher as they ask questions and teach the material. It is broken down to encourage discussions and interactions.
The Student Books – Units/Step
There are 11 units included with each grade. There are 10 lessons in each unit. Depending on your schedule for science, you may have your student complete all 10 lessons or eliminate up to 2 of them and still get a lot out of this curriculum - a full year's worth. There are 5 study lessons with Q&A, one lab, one teacher demo, a project or report, a Bible quiz and chapter review and finally a chapter assessment. The teacher manual suggests that you can eliminate the project/report and the chapter assessment if you need to save time and stay on track.
The writers of TIS are careful to introduce science that the secular world has accepted as standard. It is in a section apart from section one, which integrates a Biblical worldview. Teaching our children science defined by accepted science standards allows them to gain the knowledge to perform well on standardized tests. It also allows us the opportunity to refute inaccurate information by teaching them how to identify theories versus facts and to show where false teachings contradict scripture. Each chapter has two tests, one that integrates science with a Biblical worldview and the other test is written according to secular standards.
I suppose you could leave that out if you did not feel it was important, however, I agree with the writers that it is necessary to know what we believe as Christians so we can develop a Biblical worldview. If your student does not know what secular science is teaching, they may not be well equipped to defend his/her faith.
I have thoroughly gone through grades 3-6 and have found TIS to be an outstanding science curriculum. It is Biblically sound and presents the information in an easy to learn, self-paced format. I like how each of the grades 3-6 build on facts already learned so the student's knowledge in that particular area is expanded each year. Instead of studying one topic such as biology or earth science for the entire year, you are getting a little of everything each year. At the end of 6th grade, if your student did TIS for grades 3-6, they would be well educated in all areas of general science and have a strong foundation to take into middle school. At the same time, if you jump in at grade 6, your student will still get a well rounded, full year of science. The spiral approach also makes it super easy to teach multiple grades, which is important to homeschooling families.
TIS is a pricier science curriculum than some of the other choices available, but in my opinion, it is well worth it. The teacher manual and student books are very well put together and eye appealing as well. The student books are colorful and have great pictures and the material is broken up into sections, which I find to be a key in not overwhelming my student. It is not a typical textbook, nor does it read like a living book. It engages student and teacher alike and makes learning science fun. I wish I would have found Truth in Science sooner!"
Cathy Duffy, Cathy Duffy Reviews
“While there are a number of science programs available for Christian schools and home education that have a biblical worldview, none that I know of give worldview the priority over science instruction that Truth in Science does. Truth in Science comes from the Creation Truth Foundation and is heavily based on the work of Dr. Henry Morris of the Creation Research Institute, including his sixteen tenets of Biblical and Scientific Creation. These tenets embrace a literal interpretation of Scripture, including belief in a “young earth. ” The curriculum does not support the Intelligent Design movement since ID does not take a position on either the identity of the Designer or the age of the earth. Only the level 6 course is available thus far, so my comments are limited to its content.
The first chapter sets the stage with extensive discussion of worldviews and science, explaining that much of modern science is taught based on a non-Christian worldview. That worldview provides a framework that secular scientists use to explain phenomena that might have a very different explanation when examined from a biblical Christian worldview. Much of what is taught in science is really based upon belief and personal interpretation rather than unassailable fact. With this backdrop, the course continues with chapters on classification, plants, cells, reproduction, meteorology, the changing earth, geology, earth’s resources, ecology, and astronomy.
In a nod to the reality of standardized tests, in most lessons there is a section titled “Science Instruction.” While the first section includes science information in the context of a Christian worldview, the “Science Instruction” section aligns with science standards. In some cases, there is a direct conflict between the standards-based information and what was taught in the earlier part of the lesson, but this is used to highlight worldview conflicts.
The course is beautifully presented with plentiful, full-color illustrations and very attractive layout.
While the publisher says that home-educated students can work independently through the Steps, I think that discussion of much of the course content would be very valuable. Also, most parents are likely to learn a great deal from this course themselves, so I would recommend working through at least part of the lessons one-on-one or as a family.”
Sonya Haskins, The Home School Advocate
Author: Homeschooling for the Rest of Us; Homeschooler’s Book of Lists
“I like the way you have the curriculum designed as far as starting with a foundation of understanding worldview, then progressing to classification, specific scientific categories and then on to more advanced topics of study….
As for content, it is excellent and I believe it will continue to fill the need for good-quality curricula based on the principle of understanding worldview and perspective when studying science. I see already that you guys have included the essential concept of hypothesizing and testing scientific theories rather than just allowing someone to say that the earth is a billion years old….
Thank you so much for allowing me to review your curriculum. I will post a review online and also I’ll make a recommendation to STL that they carry this curriculum. We are quite picky about the products we offer to the stores and your curriculum has come through with flying colors.”
Jess Listwan and Donna Krahn
“Other Bible-based science curriculums integrate worldview as it applies to the concepts, while TIS teaches the concept of worldview and then looks at science through that filter.
TIS offers a broader view of science in a one-year span than Apologia, God’s Design, or Investigate the Possibilities.
The design is eye-catching and the reading is broken up into smaller chunks…. The graphics and photos are great. The professional design will help it stand out from AOP LIFEPACs and so, although it is a new arrival to the scene, it will look as snazzy and professional as Bob Jones or ACSI.
All in all, we think TIS has a lot to offer our customers and are definitely excited to be able to offer it.”
Jim Fletcher, WorldNetDaily
“As American culture has degenerated into a dark alley of moral relativism and narcissism, more and more parents have taken the radical step of educating their children at home.
And as the culture becomes more Darwinian, it is no accident that a growing number of home educators are looking for curriculum that counters the death culture that the high priest of naturalism brought forth. Now, for the first time, the public has access to a year-long science curriculum that is heavily weighted with a biblical worldview.
The brainchild of Creation Truth Foundation founder G. Thomas Sharp, "Truth in Science" (www.truthinscience.com) is the most comprehensive science curriculum I've ever seen and has a chance to seriously impact the nation's youth. It's that good.” (See here for the full review.)