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Abeka science and Science in the Beginning


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I'm looking at an online school to outsource some subjects, and this is what they offer for science.  I am Christian, but not YEC.  Is anyone familiar with either of these and can you tell me how overt the YEC perspective is in them?  Is the science still science?  I'm digging around for samples, but until I find them, and in case I don't, I thought I'd ask here.  🙂 

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Science in the Beginning is organised around the 6 biblical creation days, and each of the six sections begins with a reading of the verses from Genesis about that day.  He strives to point out how amazing creation is and to cause the reader to marvel at the God who made it, but the literal 6 days are not discussed outside the introduction and there are no dinosaurs/fossils/geology/flood references.  I would say that it's Christian and supports a view that God specifically created things in all their variety rather than using evolution to do so, but didn't feel that it pushed a young earth agenda.  I have used it in a secular context by simply excising the introduction to each "day" - the focus is the science, not the theology.

I actually really like this book.  It's genuinely multi-age friendly (K-6) with sample narration prompts for youngest, older and oldest students.  Each lesson has a simple experiment (almost all of them worked for us and the two that didn't we found YouTube clips to see what should have happened) followed by a page or two of text to unpack the idea.  There are a couple of color photos or diagrams with most lessons to help the youngers stay focused.  There's a nice amount of detail on each topic, but plenty of variety over the year with six different topics (light, water and air, plants, space, fish and birds, animals).  There are optional "challenge" lessons in each section which helped me pace the course - I scheduled for them, but if we ran behind it was easy to drop them and move on to the next unit on schedule.

This might not apply to your situation, as it goes beyond your question, but if you do go with this book, consider doing your research again before buying the next in the series.  Science in the Beginning is essentially topical, but the others in this series follow the chronological development of science.  I personally feel that the topics in Science in the Ancient World are too atomized, and quite mathy in the first few lessons as well.

We're "using" it now, but actually I'm only pulling out the lessons on Archimedes, Aristotle and Galen (and next year, the Da Vinci lessons from the same book).  With Science in the Beginning I felt that the kids could spend a month or two on plants and collect some connected info about then, but Ancient World sometimes spends just one or two lessons on a given scientist, then moves to the next one, who may or may not have studied related ideas.  For example: one lesson on Giles of Rome and the spaces between molecules, then one lesson on Dietrich von Freiburg and rainbows, then one lesson on Thomas Bradwardine and motion, then one lesson on Jean Buridan and projectile range.  It's possible that this improves as the series goes on and we know more about the scientists and their work.  Certainly the new Science in the Atomic Age middle school book looks nicely topical.  It's less of an issue with kids at the older end of the range, but we're doing it family style and the younger kids include a second grader and a pre-K.  They were fine last year with Science in the Beginning but would have been buried under an avalanche of details if I'd used Ancient World as written.

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Dr Wile (SitB author) is YEC but he actually had a falling out with Apologia about it because he felt they (and I assume others) were being too dogmatic about it being the only possible way for a Christian to believe and he cut his business ties with them over it and started Berean Builders. So his stuff is YEC but not anything like most other YEC stuff in its tone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks so much, y’all!!  That makes me feel better about Science in the Beginning.  I agree with Dr. Wile — once it becomes dogmatic, they lose me.  

I guess I’ll call about Abeka and ask how they use it regarding this subject. 

We’d been (sort of) using R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey, but I’m having to outsource now.  Science is already my major weak point, and I have more demands on my time than I used to.

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