Friday, November 6, 2009

Review: Bright Ideas Press

"Hands On Geography"

Easy and Fun Activities for Exploring God's World

Have you ever wanted to jump on a plane and leave your home to go explore the world for however long you wish to. I definitely do. I grew up flying to Europe, South Africa, Australia and United Kingdom on planes, learning about the countries and their people. I am not able to financially do that for my children so we are learning through our books.
I had the unique book called "Hands On Geography" sent to be by Bright Ideas Press. One of the main chapters in this book that perked my interest was the 'Passport Fair' and the 'Missionary Geography.'

In the 'Passport Fair' the author Maggie Hogan outlines how to organize a 'visit' to countries you can not physically get to yourself by having a Passport Fair. Participants need to each research a different country that interests them and then write about, draw pictures, find photographs, perhaps postcards, make foods from, and even wear costumes for that country. At the fair there are booths to display all the different information they have collected. Obviously it needs to made interesting to their peers and not just themselves. I loved this idea and am working on doing this with our Field trip coop perhaps.
The second chapter that interested me was Missionary Geography. this will teach your children and you about other countries as well as the culture and people there by studying missionaries who have been there, or perhaps contacting a missionary. The children can put on dramas, try out the different foods the missionaries have to eat, perhaps even start a prayer map for all the different missionary outreaches from your church or ministries they know of. They are learning facts and getting compassion all at the same time.
This Geography book was very basic but has solid biblical principles behind it too. We are in the middle of the 'Joseph's Journey' study too which is making us dig deeper into Joseph's life and the purpose behind it.

I have had to adjust some of the concepts for my son to a lower level of understanding but generally he gets it. We will be using this Activity book for future study and perhaps lap booking too.

Christian Kids Explore Biology

I was also privileged to review the above titled book. This is a thick book with 8 different units with 3-4 lessons in each unit. The book is for Grade 3-8 level Biology. The topics covered are Biology Basics, Plants in God's World, Birds of the Earth, Mammals in the Wild, the Human factor, Reptiles All Around, Insects High and Low, and Water Creatures.

As we were doing a lap book on Fall I decided to use the lesson on Trees in our lap book as an additional subject. We were already tracing the leaves so I added in more detail from this Biology book to teach my son a little more. I benefited from it too re-learning some things I had first read about over 30 years ago.

I had agreed to review this book even though it was not totally age applicable for my son but feel that it will be used in the future to boost our nature studies no matter what other curriculum we may be using. The lesson plans are outlined for the parent and the materials needed are not too costly and are outlined at the beginning of each unit. I fell the author Stephanie Redmond has done a great job of explaining the principles of what you are learning throughout the book. She has used most of the ideas she gives on her own children and is a homeschooling mother herself.
The curriculum does leave room for you to do more research on your own with books you may find at home or in your local library. Science is a difficult subject to teach and the author has done a fine job of presenting the facts. Of course there are lots of other reviews to look at for Bright Ideas Books on the Crew website or at
I have been given the opportunity to review these curriculum books for free and have not been paid to do so. These reviews are my opinion and you need to research the company's involved yourself before making a purchase. Please see the following page for more reviews from the Crew.

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