A medley of books and experiments
Each Sonlight Science program, from A–G, includes an Instructor's Guide, a collection of great books, and hands-on experiments. Let's look at each.
Science Instructor's Guides
The Science Instructor's Guides include the complete schedule for the year: what books to read when, what experiments to do and movies to watch. The Guides also include notes to enhance the reading.
Sonlight integrates a Christian perspective into our Instructor's Guides, so you and your children can look at the world through the lens of God's Word, the ultimate source of truth. We highlight God as Creator and Intelligent Designer. And we encourage your family to first seek to understand differing perspectives before critiquing them, so your children gain the ability to discern.
Each guide includes a list of what science supplies you will need, both for the present week and the week to come. (Need to save a milk carton for next week? Now you know!)
Guides A-G also include activity sheets, filled with questions and simple activities to help reinforce each day's learning.
Click here to learn more about Instructor's Guides.
A collection of great books
As in our History programs, each of the Science programs include some longer books that students read for many weeks.
Unlike in our History programs, the additional, shorter books do not reinforce the same subject, but offer fascinating information on other topics.
For example, Science B includes four longer books: one on the human body, one on outer space, one on animals (one of my favorites, World of Animals, filled with incredible photography), and one on how things work (this, too, is outstanding: how to make a guitar, ballet shoes, Legos, and so on, all with beautiful photographs).
Added to that are four shorter books: one on illness, one on food, one on nocturnal animals, and one on waterworks, a look at the water that comes out of the tap: where it comes from, and where it goes.
This is the pattern for all our Science programs. I like this approach because it allows the student to learn about a wide range of topics, from immediate (tap water!) to beyond-comprehension remote (the universe).
In addition, each Sonlight program from A-F includes one scientist biography. In B, students read a brief, illustrated biography of Louis Pasteur. Other years include Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and, in F, a collection of short biographies about people who made important advances in medicine.
In each program, I chose the best book of experiments I could find. Informative, interesting, illustrated. In B, this book is Science Activities, Volume 1, with homeschool science experiments on water, magnets, and light and mirrors.
Sonlight adds extensive homeschool science kits to the book of experiments. These are boxes of materials that you probably don't have lying around the house, plus the stuff that, even if you own it, you're not likely to put your hands on at a moment's notice: everything from marbles and powerful magnets to wire, thumbtacks, straws, mirrors, seeds, and paperclips.
(Previous customers! New for 2016: no need to buy a Non-Consumable kit. All the Non-Consumable supplies have been incorporated into all the programs' science supply kits.)
In addition, all homeschool science curriculum programs A-E include a Discover & Do DVD with every one of the experiments performed by an enthusiastic instructor.
Some families watch the DVD first, then perform the experiments. Some let their children watch, and experiment on their own.
And some families belong to HENSE (Home-Educators Neglecting Science Experiments), and find that they don't always get to experiments with their children. This DVD allows them to still watch the experiments.
Sonlight Science Programs
Upper level science courses
Sonlight's upper level science programs are founded on the creation-based home school science books from Apologia Educational Ministries.