The last stop on our homeschool tour of Usborne is our favorites for science. I mentioned in my geography post about the books and cards we’ve enjoyed using for our animal study. And really for this year, that’s all we’ve done for science. But I wanted to show you what we used last summer and some ideas I have for this summer.
Last summer, we explored the world using our five senses. In addition to our nature study, I wanted them to get a picture of how our senses work. A perfect resource for this was the See Inside Your Body book. My kids had so much fun opening the flaps and exploring the inside of eyes and ears and mouth, etc. The book goes through each body system revealing fascinating facts behind all of the fun flaps.
It totally captured the attention of my then 4 year old and 2 year old, but I’ve also had 5th-9th graders drooling over this book when I took it with me to an event. Either this summer or next school year, I want to tackle some basic anatomy and nutrition with my kiddos, and I’m definitely pulling this book back out as part of our study.
A couple of my other favorites are the Usborne Science Encyclopedia and 50 Science Things to Make and Do. These are books that I’m saving for special projects this summer (and beyond). Right now, the encyclopedia is beyond my littles, but it definitely helps me with the thousands of curious questions they ask about how things work or why something happens. The 50 Science Things is a small spiral book filled with fun ideas that are engaging and creative. I can’t wait to surprise them with a few of these projects, like the foaming monster and the rubber band paddle boat.
What about evolution?
This is a great question, and one I want to be sure to address. Usborne is not a “Christian” company, so there will be evolution and prehistoric history presented. However, this is what I’ve found as I’ve look through a number of their books: evolution is the worldview, not the agenda. That means, any evolution is going to appear in the obvious places, not hidden in every nook and cranny of their line of books. And any time you have questions about a specific product, please email and ask me (even if you don’t intend to order from me, I’d love to help you find what works for you). See Inside Space has a lot of evolution when relating the origin of stars and planets; the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History has a section on prehistoric man; books on dinosaurs have an evolutionary timeline or references to millions of years.
What’s my view? My children are going to encounter these ideas and this language. I want them to learn to recognize the ideas as false, and I want to be able to moderate their encounter with these ideas. To me, a book is a much safer environment to provide this information than a classroom or a video. Through these books, I’m in control of what they encounter, when, and how.
Overall, I love how interactive and engaging Usborne makes every subject. Learning with Usborne books is exciting and stimulating, exactly what I want my children to remember about their homeschooling years.
Fun fact: Usborne Books are recommended by the Smithsonian Institute for their accuracy, and they are also one of the largest suppliers of non-Disney books to the Epcot Center.
The Usborne Encyclopedia giveaway closes tomorrow! Be sure to enter or pick up a few extra entries while you can.