Science, Naturally! Review
Clever STEM books for secular homeschooling families.
Are you looking for a fresh new addition to your secular homeschool toolbox? Look no further than Science, Naturally! With award-winning, National Science Teacher Association recommended books for preschool through middle school, available in multiple languages (and bilingual books too), Science, Naturally! connects kids with STEM education through brainteasers, puzzles, fiction, and nonfiction by merging facts and fun.
Though written for elementary students, my preschooler loves If My Mom Were A Platypus: Mammal Babies and Their Mothers by Dia Michels. It’s filled with information about how 14 different mammals are born, how they grow, what they eat, and more. The colorful illustrations by Andrew Barthelmes invite you into the world of baby bats, elephants, whales, shrews, seals, and other animals from around the world…and of course a baby platypus too.
We recently got a sneak peek at two new bilingual “Beginnings Books” aimed at children 0 – 4 that will be available this summer. Babies Nurse, a book of simple poetry and watercolor illustrations by Phoebe Fox and Jim Fox, introduces young children to mama and baby mammals nursing in the wild. Cuddled and Carried, written by Dia Michels and illustrated by Mike Speiser, is filled with sweet paintings of mother and baby animals and simple text that make it great for reading while cuddled up with your tot.
Upper elementary and middle school students will enjoy the fun fiction in the new League of Scientists and Innovators in Action series. In the first League of Scientists mystery, Ghost in the Water, we meet John Hawkins as he begins 7th grade at a new school. After receiving an invitation to the secret League of Scientists club John joins his new friends Malena, Kimmy, Hector, Natsumi as they solve mysteries using biology, technology, chemistry, and logic. Readers will be pulled into the twists and turns as this exciting story is told from multiple points of view and will feel like a member of the club as they solve interactive codes and puzzles along with the League of Scientists. In Leonardo da Vinci Gets A Do-Over, the first book in the Innovators in Action series, readers join three middle school students on a trip to Florence, Italy, where they meet a man claiming to be Leonardo da Vinci. This entertaining story blends fiction with facts while interweaving academic topics including science, history, math, and art.
101 Things Everyone Should Know About Math uses a Q&A format to connect math to sports, science, hobbies, careers, and pop culture through trivia, challenges, and a bit of math history. We have had a lot of fun in my house using this book to create game show style math trivia nights. I highly recommend adding these buzzers for extra excitement! This book is a great supplement, both for math loving kids and kids who struggle to connect math to real world situations, in mid-elementary through middle school grades.
The One Minute Mysteries series, including 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math and 65 More Short Mysteries You Solve with Science, is great for when we are short on time. These books are filled with mysteries and brain teasers that take just one minute to read. Then use your knowledge of math and science, along with logic, critical thinking, and deductive reasoning skills to solve them. The short format of these challenges makes them great for slipping in math, science, and reading when your busy homeschool life keeps you on the go. You can solve a few mysteries in the car, a waiting room, or anywhere you are.
The educational resources page of the Science, Naturally! website is full of free materials and resources that are great for secular homeschoolers. There are teacher’s guides and activity guides to use with many of their titles, as well as lots of resources that can be used with or without the Science, Naturally! books. With interactive activity sheets, STEM education power points, more than a dozen hands-on activities, and a Guild to Children’s Literature that contains 40 resources for students, parents, and teachers, you will definitely want to take some time to browse through their website.
With many titles available in English, Spanish, or bilingual versions (and select titles available in Korean, Dutch, and Hebrew) Science, Naturally! will add to so much more than just your science lessons. These books have been an excellent addition to our secular homeschool, leading us down many interesting rabbit holes, and I’m looking forward to seeing more new titles from them soon.