Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Eat Your Science Homework Review

If you've followed our blog for any amount of time, you know that cooking is a passion of mine. Not only do I love to cook delicious meals and bake yummy treats for my family, but I believe that it's important to teach my kids those skills, as well. You can often find one of my little ones in the kitchen scrambling eggs, baking a cake from scratch, or chopping veggies for a snack. And just like I thrive on working in the kitchen, they feel the same way about performing science experiments. They get excited about the hands-on learning. They are enthralled watching reactions. They love learning the hows and whys things work. Cooking and science go hand-in-hand. Combining the two in our school day is pretty much perfection.

Ann McCallum Books were written by a teacher with a Master in Education. Ann has written several award-winning children's books. Many of her books focus on learning concepts. Eat Your Science Homework is one such book. 

Eat Your Science Homework: Recipes for Inquiring Minds is a book that teaches science with edible projects. Each section highlights a scientific idea. It starts with a description, is followed by a step-by-step recipes, and concludes with an additional activity that correlates to the study.

  • Atomic Popcorn Balls
  • Density Dressing & Veggie Sticks
  • Invisible Ink Snack Pockets
  • Loop, Whorl, & Arch Cookies
  • Sedimentary Pizza Lasagna
  • Black Hole Swallow-Ups

Ann has a down-to-earth way of explaining science concepts. Her book reads like a story. I read each section aloud to my kids (9, 7, 5, 3) and had only a few times where I had to stop to explain something further. Of course, the level of understanding with vary depending on the age of the child. My 9-year-old has a deeper knowledge of science than his 3-year-old little brother, obviously, but the book held the attention of them all equally. That is an important aspect to a homeschooling mom who is teaching multiple ages at once. Some of the concepts are easier to grasp, while others are more complex.

The recipes themselves were the kiddos favorite part. The loved mixing and creating in the kitchen. I supervised, but they did most of the work themselves. The recipes are easy enough to be completed by the students. The majority of the ingredients are items that we keep stocked in the house: i.e. cheese, sausage, bbq sauce, pepperoni, popcorn, (not all in the same recipe though, ha!) There are some ingredients required, like refrigerated pizza dough and pancake mix, that we never purchase. I appreciate that they were chosen for this book for their convenience and ease, but we decided to make them ourselves like we always do.

Though the book is written at an elementary level, there are multiple scientific words woven throughout. Each of these words is in bold to draw attention and then defined in the glossary in the back of the book. There is also a review section that discusses the scientific method, atoms and molecules (Atomic Popcorn Balls), properties of matter (Density Dressing & Veggie Sticks & Invisible Ink Snack Pockets), inherited traits (Loop, Whorl, & Arch Cookies), rocks and minerals (Sedimentary Pizza Lasagna), and our solar system (Black Hole Swallow-Ups).

This book is just a sampler of scientific ideas and not meant to be a full curriculum, but if you'd like to take the learning even further, there is also an educator's guide that is filled with more activities and experiments that accompany the concepts in this book. (Any resource that teaches melting point by experimenting with cheese and chocolate is worth looking into!)

Eat Your Science Homework was a huge hit in our house. The kiddos would ask first thing in the morning if they could do their science. Before we even finished the book, they asked if we could get the other Eat Your Homework books. I have a feeling we'll be eating our math or history soon. Yum!

If you'd like to see how other homeschool families used this book or one of the other fun books offered by Ann McCallum books, please read more reviews on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.


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