18 November 2012 ~ Comments Off

Bright Ideas Press

I received several books from Bright Ideas Press. Some of them I have seen before and some I had not. You can tell that they work hard at providing quality materials for students.

The first book (set of books) that I want to mention is The Mystery of History Volume III The Renaissance, Reformation, and Growth of Nations by Linda Lacour Hobar which is 410 pages long. I received the hardcover version along with the Companion Guide: Curriculum and Student Activities  which is 519 pages long. We have read about 1/2 of both the Mystery of History Volume I and II so I was glad to get a chance to look at this volume too.

Volume III is fairly new since it was just published in 2008. It covers the periods of the renaissance, reformation and growth of nations of the world covering 1455-1707 AD. It follows the same great content and structure as the other 2 volumes though. It is divided into 4 quarters with 7 weeks of lessons in each quarter for a total of 28 weeks. It looks like most weeks have 3 lessons. Don’t let the fact that it only has 28 weeks fool you into thinking that there is not enough material for a whole year. You can do 3 lessons a week or stretch it out and do 1-2 lessons a week so that you can learn more in depth.

The main difference between the first 2 volumes and this volume is that the text is contained in one book and the pretests, activities, review and quizzes are all in the companion book. I’m assuming that the books were getting to be too big, so they divided the materials out between the 2 books. Therefore, the Mystery of History volume III contains just the text which is still very good.

All the books tie together Biblical and secular History in a very interesting format. If you want to just read the text and either test orally, make up your own tests or not test at all, then the main book is all you would need. If you like having pretests, enrichment activity pages with with pictures of explanation, review and quizzes, then you will need to get the Companion Guide too.

I highly recommend all the Mystery of History books. I probably would wait until at least 3rd grade to start with these books unless you had older children that were using this program already. The student reader is $59.95 and the companion guide is $29.95. This could be a year or two of history for all of your children. They have samples at the site and special package pricing including these 2 books or these books along with timeline figures.

I received two more books for review. They are called Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space by Stephanie L Redmond and Christian Kids Explore Chemistry by Robert and Elizabeth Ridlon.

My youngest daughter (age 14) used the Earth and Space book. She moved through it rather quickly partly because of her age and partly because she didn’t do any of the experiments.  This book has six units with 24 lessons total. Each unit starts out with vocabulary, materials you will need, a coloring page, and references to any other pages from the appendixes that you will need. Each lesson has a teaching time (which they can read with you or on their own), a “hands-on time”, and sometimes a review section to fill in.

There is a wrap up for each unit that has a checklist of what the student should have done during this unit along with a quiz that they can complete.  You can go as far as you want with this material. You can spend a week on one lesson or just a day or too.

If you plan on doing all the hands on activities, you and your children will learn a lot, but you will also have to spend time collecting the materials and performing the activity. If you don’t like experiments and activities involving Science, you can still read over the experiments and glean some knowledge from the activities.

The only drawback I see with this book is just minor. The answers at the back of the book to the lesson reviews are marked incorrectly. Where it says “Lesson 12″ answers, it should say “Lesson 10″ answers. Each unit is like this, but it doesn’t take long to figure this out.

The Chemistry book is similar to the Earth & Space book, in that, it is in the same format. Christian Kids Explore Chemistry is broken down into 30 lessons. There are 5 units with 5-7 lessons in each unit.

I had my older daughter use this book because she had a hard time with her Apologia Chemistry course (she only got about 1/3 of the way through it). I thought this would give her a good base in Chemistry in a simpler format even though it is designed for younger students.

As with the Earth book, this book also starts each unit with a list of vocabulary words and materials you will need. Each lesson has “Teaching time”, “Review it”, and a Hands On activity relating to the reading material. There is a quiz at the end of each unit with answers in the back of the book.

We are not good about doing experiments, so my daughter read over the experiments and I’m sure didn’t get as much out of this book as she could have. She didn’t complain about it at all so I’m sure it held her interest and made sense to her.

To purchase Christian Kids Explore Chemistry, Biology, Earth & Space, or Physics you can go to www.brightideaspress.com and purchase each one for $29.95. You can even view a sample lesson and view the table of contents and a materials list.  Extra resources can be downloaded there too in PDF form.

I highly recommend all the resources listed here and I’m sure that the other products listed on the website are just as good. I especially like the way that they bring the Biblical aspect of History and Science into their books.

As a member of the Homeschool Crew, I was given this product to review. I was not paid for this post and do not have to return the product to the vendor.  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the blog owner (me).

 Bright Ideas Press

PinExt Bright Ideas Press
Be Sociable, Share!
  • more Bright Ideas Press

Comments are closed.