Rainbow Science

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  • Reviewed on Sunday, January 31, 2010
  • Grades Used: 7th and 8th
  • Dates used: 2009-2010
Yes, the author has a simple approach that may leave some people wondering if it is too simple for this age. We got found an old edition in a pile of free home school materials and my kids started reading the text for fun! That was when I decided to look into using it as a full program. Honestly, I love the conversational speech and the wonderful photography. I also have found Rainbow Science to be a great launch pad into high school sciences for less-than-eager students. The labs are simple, but if you have a large family and need the junior high kids to do science alone, this is a great way to fit labs into your busy day. It is possible to teach this two-year junior high program in the 8th grade. I prefer to let them add library reading materials when we want to study further. I tend to prefer science that is not presented in a dry manner. We will likely switch to Apologia for high school. The conversational read in Apologia texts mirrors the Rainbow, but at a higher level.
Pros: Great photography, the book has not changed, so older used editions can still be used to save money.
Cons: Actual recording of grades would be difficult since their are no written tests with this program. The cost is high if you feel that you must get the text new.


  • Reviewed on Sunday, January 25, 2009
  • Grades Used: 7th
  • Dates used: 2008-2009
We are enjoying the first year of Rainbow Science and plan to continue with the second year.

To comment on previous reviews, the material seems simple, but I think it is because the author is very concise. I like how the lab directly reinforces the textbook lessons and adds the details through hands-on activities. It is very well planned out.

The book includes many nice photographs and illustrations so it's good for a visual learner. Each lesson in the textbook takes about 15-30 minutes and the lab takes 30-60 minutes including clean-up. It's planned for 3 days per week (lesson, lesson, lab) but it's very flexible and easy to get through.

In my opinion, a middle school student who is advanced and/or very enthusiastic about science could complete the entire 2 year curriculum in 1 year working 4 days per week (2 lessons, lab, 2 lessons, lab). But the well planned and relaxed schedule of 2 lessons and 1 lab per week is perfect for a student who is used to a more gentle approach or hasn't been very enthusiastic about science. And after using the Rainbow I wouldn't be surprised if that student finds a new interest in Science!

For a student who has already had a solid introduction to Physics, Chemistry and Biology this will be review or reinforcement (depending on how you look at it). As a first introduction to these topics we couldn't have been happier. I believe Rainbow Science is an excellent preparation for high school level science.

Pros: Full color textbook, weekly hands-on labs ideal for kinesthetic learner, thorough introduction (including Chemistry which is missing from another popular curriculum), well layed-out, easy to implement.

Cons: Textbook is pricey. (Lab cost seems to be in line with pricing for comparable all inclusive labs for other popular textbooks.)

Gaye of PA

  • Reviewed on Friday, May 23, 2008
  • Grades Used: 6th-8th
  • Dates used: 2004-2006
We very very much enjoyed the Rainbow Science:

We were always discouraged with science curriculums because it seems like so many are "hit and miss." A chapter on birds, a chapter on the sun, a chapter on volcanoes. And then BOOM! Heavy science in high school.

That was until we found Rainbow Science, published by Beginnings Publishing House. We used it for the junior high years, and I couldn't have been more pleased. It explains heavy topics in a way I've not seen anywhere else. Fantastic prep for the higher grades.

It's expensive, but to me, well worth it.


  • Reviewed on Saturday, February 2, 2008
  • Grades Used: 8th
  • Dates used: 2007/2008
The Rainbow Science sounded like a great program because of the conversational writing TO the student, excellent experiments and all the supplies included for all the experiments. But after only getting through the Physics (red) portion, I am a little bewildered at the lack of meat to this program. Each lesson is no more than 2-3 pages with no more than 5-6 questions to answer. I just don't feel that for a 7th-8th grade level program, this is near enough information to cover the topics. The program is rather expensive, and in the Teachers Manual, there are reviews for each colored section, but only for the END of each topic section. There are more comprehensive review quizzes available to PRINT from the website that cover every 4 lessons---not included in the cost of the program. I think these quizzes AND their answers should be included in the Teacher's Manual to make a more complete program. I looked over the whole program again today to decide if I wanted to go ahead and use it with my son, but again, I am left scratching my head wondering WHERE the meat of this program is. Honestly, almost every topic covered in the whole 2 year program is covered in much more depth in the BJU 6th science program he is using this year! The program looked and sounded wonderful---but I feel that it is just not meaty enough to use for a 7th AND 8th grade science program.