Science in the Beginning (Dr. Jay Wile)

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  • Reviewed on Saturday, January 16, 2016
  • Grades Used: 3rd
  • Dates used: 2015-2016
I LOVE this course! We are coming to this after doing half a year of a "lit-based" science course. I love lit-based curricula, but what we were using just wasn't working, the experiments/activities seemed to be very loosely aligned with the literature. I had a hard time seeing the connections a good part of the time. So we switched. One of the best mid-year decisions I have ever made. :)

The lessons are very simply laid out. There is some reading, an experiment, some more reading, then review and a notebook page. So far the experiments have been extremely easy to do, but interesting and educational. When my husband comes home at night my son loves to show off what he has learned and repeat the experiment.

I find that the lessons take about 30 mins to complete. I don't have the "hints" book, but so far I haven't hit any snags. You only need a composition or spiral notebook for the notebook assignments. Big thumbs up!!


  • Reviewed on Friday, April 17, 2015
  • Grades Used: 2-6
  • Dates used: 2013-present
I LOVE this science program! My kids are all learning so much, because the experiments all demonstrate so well what they are learning. Every day there is an experiment, and then an explanation. I love that all you need to purchase is the actual book, plus the helps and hints book that comes with it. Students can answer the questions in a notebook. I love how the experiments all build on each other. This is a very well thought out program. No random experiments here. Each experiment builds on something they learned from the previous experiments, which allows the student to really understand and grasp the concepts. I've never really been one to do a lot of experiments before this, and it seems like it's so time-consuming. But when I actually look at the clock, most lessons take 1/2 hour or so. That includes setting up the experiment, reading the lesson, and having the kids answer the questions in their notebooks. So that's really not time-consuming at all. You can tell that Jay Wile, the author, really knows his stuff, and has a great way of helping kids understand and love science. I highly recommend this product, and can't wait to try the next book in the series next year.


  • Reviewed on Thursday, September 25, 2014
  • Grades Used: 1st, 3rd, 5th
  • Dates used: 2014

- I can use it with all my elementary-aged kids together

- it's only meant to be used 2-3 times per week so that science doesn't take over your life

- the experiments are really interesting! Often they demonstrate things my kids didn't know were possible and they aren't predictable, but at the same time they require very few objects, all of which are part of our household (so far). I have on occasion seen my kids re-doing the experiments without me after school is over.

- I love the notebooking, and the different levels of requirements for the students. Youngest students only answer questions, older students make drawings and write about them, oldest students do more detailed drawings and explanations.

- related to the notebooking, I love that you just use a regular notebook and don't have to buy any pre-made, expensive, fancy notebook to fill in.

Some things to consider:

- it does take some time. The lessons aren't necessarily short and I find it hard to keep the attention of my 1st grader the whole time

- there is a lot of info in the lessons. My oldest student (5th) is getting a lot out of it and enjoying it the most. I would venture to say it's best to use if you have an older elementary student with younger siblings tagging along. I'm not sure I would use this with a 1st or 2nd grader alone.

- some of the experiments haven't worked for us, but I think usually it's our fault and not the text's. I guess that is par for the course in homeschool science!