TOS Review: Creek Edge Press: Chemistry
Tailorbear (age 12, 7th grade) and I are polar opposites when it comes to teaching and learning. She wants to jump in with both feet and explore her own interests. I want everything laid out nice and neat with structure and plans and an answer key.
While looking over the Creek Edge Press website, I knew I had to express interest in reviewing this for the crew. Not because it fits my style. It doesn’t. It doesn’t appeal to me. It’s too open ended. It’s not structured enough for my taste. But I knew it would appeal to Tailorbear. I hoped it would meet her “I can do it myself and let me just jump in with both feet” style.
Creek Edge Press utilizes task cards. Each card contains “discovery-oriented activities designed to facilitate engaged learning.” The course we reviewed, Chemistry and Great Scientists Task Cards, explores “the world of atoms and molecules. Investigate tasks open up the periodic table through an in depth study of the families of elements. A survey of great scientists wraps up the course.”
This particular course is labeled for grades K-8 and the accompanying booklet gives guidelines for using the task cards with younger children as well as suggestions for older, more independent students. Because I need more structure, I would be intimidated using these cards with Supergirl (developmentally delayed, doing 1st grade work.) It would require more time and teacher preparation than I am able to do. However, for older students who can work independently and who are highly motivated by the subject matter, the cards could work well.
The Chemistry Task Card set retails for $18 (US) It includes 30 task cards and a Course Introduction Booklet. The Course Introduction includes “instructions for using the cards, step by step instructions for preparing the learning environment, and a guide for selecting books and materials to use throughout the course.” To see samples of Task Cards please visit the Gallery. You can check out the scope and sequence and a suggested book list by visiting the At Creek’s Edge tab of the Creek Edge Press Website.
Tailorbear’s Thougths: “It wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. I didn’t like how little structure it had. Otherwise building models and doing posters was really fun. Research for writing was difficult but then again it’s never easy. I really enjoyed this product overall.”
My Thoughts: I liked how independent Tailorbear could be with these cards. I think the Chemistry Task card projects met her need for hands on learning. I loved how excited she got over the idea of making a model of an atom. She was completely self directed and even searched for her own materials. Tailorbear impressed me by creating her own assignment notebook so that she could “better organize her week.” These cards were more successful in my homeschool than I thought they would be.
For an older child who is looking for an independent study course, I think Creek Edge Press would be an excellent choice. In addition to Chemistry, there are several other science sets. In addition to science there are also history, geography and culture cards, art cards, and music card sets. My oldest daughter (age 16, 11th grade) is intrigued by the task card approach and has asked for the Task Card set for Music.
Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. This review is my honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.