Independent Science Exploration: A Review of the Young Scientist Series from Heron Books

When you're homeschooling a large family, mom's time is at a premium. I often find that I am the most limiting factor in my homeschool. The kids might have more time for learning, but I do not have more time for teaching.

I am the bottleneck.

That's why I'm always on the lookout for curriculum and resources that promote and facilitate independent learning.

Heron Books was kind enough to send us a copy of "Light Bulbs, Switches, and Batteries," one of the titles in their growing Young Scientist Series, to try out and review.

Secular Science Curriculum

Heron Books is a secular curriculum publisher. As a Christian family, we use some religious-based materials. But we don't shy away from resources from secular companies because they often offer the same solid material we want to cover without the complication of inserted religious ideas that don't fit our worldview.

The Young Scientist Series books are gorgeous, full-color resources. Text on each page includes a thorough coverage of the topic without overwhelming the student with reading material.

Each book in the series also comes with a blank Young Scientist Journal so that students can take notes about what they are learning, or replicate diagrams from the text.

Self-Paced, Independent Learning

Each book in the Young Scientist Series can be purchased on its own. But for just a little extra, you can bundle each book with the Independent Learning Package. These resource are what truly enable the independent aspect of this curriculum series.

The key component of the Independent Learning Package is the Student Learning Guide. Some homeschool curriculum packages come with lesson plans written out for the parent/teacher. But the Student Learning Guide is like a set of lesson plans for the student!

For each chapter in the book, students have clear action items listed for them to complete. In addition to reading the chapter, the Student Learning Guide directs them to complete various activities to cement and extend their learning.

The last item in each chapter's checklist is a Teacher check-in spot so that your students will know when it's time to touch base with you and share what they've accomplished.

Video Review

Take a look at this video walkthrough to get a closer look at these materials.

Click to play

Additional Homeschool Teacher Resources

The teacher resources in the Independent Learning Package also include an end-of-book exam for students. Because the exam questions are open-ended, an answer key with detailed explanations for each question is also included.

You'll also get a complete materials list for the book so that you can make sure students have the items on hand they'll need before beginning their independent study.

Extra Savings on Homeschool Curriculum

When you're ready to give the Young Scientist Series a try, you can save 30% on the purchase of "Light Bulbs, Switches, and Batteries," or any other material from Heron Books! Use code TrainingWheels30.

In fact, you can use this coupon code multiple times, and it has no expiration date! By the end of the Summer, there will be eleven total titles in the Young Scientist Series, so check back then and use this code again to stock up for the school year!


Lynna Sutherland is a homeschool mother of eight always-homeschooled kiddos ranging in age from high school to kindergarten. She loves to encourage parents in the freedom and flexibility of homeschooling and offer creative ways to manage a large family and a multi-age homeschool!

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