Friday, February 08, 2013

Behold and See 6: A Review

Yesterday during our school hours the iPad told us of a new study on salmon behavior--a link to it was posted by a prolific Facebook friend.

It was an "Aha moment"! We are using Behold and See 6 for Science and had read recently about the curious and amazing behavior of the salmon: it returns to the very place it was born to lay its eggs even after years in the open ocean. The article in question was about a new study where scientists think the salmon may actually use earth's magnetism to help direct them on their way back to their birthplace.

We wouldn't have read the article, or cared about salmon at all, if not for the wonderful Science curriculum. I will spare the reader of this review from details of the curriculum per se. Publisher Catholic Heritage Curricula is very generous in providing information and details about it, along with many sample pages.

As it happens with any good curriculum, if I am reading it aloud to the 6th grader, family members of different ages will invariably stop to listen as well. In this case it is most likely the eighth grader. Never mind she is two grades ahead: she loves it, and when I ask the workbook questions orally she can answer  them all.

What's to love in this curriculum? Start with the professional presentation, binding, layout and overall quality: outstanding.  The book is gorgeous and everything about its quality of production is top-notch! What a delight to have something so professional done available to the Catholic homeschooler.

Then the writing is wonderful. The right combination of story-telling, engaging language and the right amount of information provided on any given topic. The lessons revolve a homeschool family studying science together and we get to "know" them pretty well! In this manner the book also inspires families to follow their example of creative whole-family learning models.

The organization is also so well done: chapter divisions, illustrations, photographs, sidebars definitions and workbook links, he workbook, labs. Everything has been very well-thought of!

I use the poetry volume by the same author and publisher so I am familiar with her capabilities: suffice is to say she graduated Summa Cum Laude from The University of Dallas and, having a son there, I can attest to almost-impossibility of this feat.

Enjoy browsing through the samples and informational on their site. This science volume is recommended for 6th grade but truly I think it can be done from 3rd to 8th grades... well, actually, I am much older and I am learning as well!

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