Review: Science in the Beginning by Dr. Jay L. Wile

I was so excited to find that Dr. Jay L.Wile had written a brand new science textbook designed for elementary students.  Through the years, we have used his high school level science with our students and have really loved both the content and format of the text AND the experiments.

Science in the Beginning caught my attention on the first page, by using one of my favorite verses.  “Ask the beasts, and let them teach you; and the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you….” from Job.  You may have seen it on other parts of Mindful Ramblings.  I am a firm believer that nature itself proves creation. Look around you! Not chaos, but order and intelligent design is found everywhere in nature.

To start, here is a little about the book, from it’s publisher, Berean Builders:

Science in the Beginning is the first book in a hands-on, multilevel elementary science series that introduces scientific concepts using history as its guide. The beginning of history is given in the Bible’s creation account, and this book uses the days of creation as a way of introducing a wide range of scientific concepts including the nature of light, energy conservation, the properties of air and water, introductory botany, our solar system, basic zoology, and some aspects of human anatomy and physiology. As the students learn about these scientific concepts, they are constantly reminded of the Creator who fashioned the marvels they are studying.”

Science in the Beginning includes 90 lessons, 15 for each day of creation (12 normal lessons, plus 3 more challenging lessons). Each lesson has a hands-on, simple activity or experiment, most of which use things you already have on hand.  There is review assignment at the end of each lesson.  Best of all this review is divided by age; verbal questions for young students, notebooking exercise for older students, and notebooking with additional prompts for the oldest students.  Perfect for working with multiple students of different ages.

Additionally, there is a Helps and Hints booklet available with answers to the review questions, tests, and test answers.  (This is an additional resource and is really only needed if you want to have a basis for grading your student’s work.)

The complete content of this course can be found by checking out the Science in the Beginning Index.  You can also take a look at the Scope & Sequence for Science in the Beginning at the publishers website.

For more information about this book and upcoming books in the series, you can find out directly from the author, Dr. Jay Wile, by reading  My New Elementary Science Series on his blog, Proslogion. 

observations1.  I love that Science in the Beginning starts at the very beginning of creation, with the advent of light and energy and moves through creation to end with the creation of land animals and people.  The very last page of the text is reserved for the 7th Day of Creation and the importance of rest.

To give you an example of how the text flows, on the first day of creation God said, “Let there be light” and what do your students get to study? They will learn about color, absorbing & reflecting, light and energy, energy conservation, light you don’t see, how the human eye sees, refraction and magnification.  Then for day two of creation, your student will study the properties of water and air; solids and liquids, floating and sinking, air pressure and wind….to name a few. (For a complete list, please review the Index from the link above.)

2.  The experiments are simple. Most only require things you would normally have around the house and yet they do a great job demonstrating the concepts your students are learning about. Here’s an example of a simple experiment from Lesson 8: Light You Don’t See. All you need is the remote for your TV and a digital camera (We used the camera on my phone.)

Did you know, that the infrared light that causes your TV channel to change can be seen by using a digital camera?  I didn’t! The text explains why that works.

3.  The multi-level approach in the text really works well when teaching multiple ages/grades in one setting. When we first started our journey in home education, we did science together as a family.  My oldest was 11 and my youngest was 7.  I geared my curriculum selection to the oldest, and let the youngest absorb whatever he was able to.  Science in the Beginning would have been the perfect solution!

4.  Science in the Beginning is a great way to start a study of science and get an overview of a lot of areas of science.  I love the “spiral” approach for beginning science, but if you are looking for something that goes into a lot of detail on one particular subject area, such as botany or astronomy, this may not be the type of text you are looking for.  I would have loved to have this resource when we were just starting to study science and would have proceeded, after this course, to whatever area my child was most interested in learning more about.

Overall, I think this book provides a well rounded approach to beginning science with your elementary students.

This product is available at:

Textbook (hardcover) ISBN: 978-0-9890424-0-6

Helps & Hints (softcover) ISBN: 978-0-9890424-1-3

Age:  Elementary, Multi-grade/age

Price: $39.00 for set

Still not sure? The wonderful people at Berean Builders have a Sample Download, so you can experience a little of this curriculum before you buy it.

Disclaimer:  I was given a copy of Science in the Beginning in exchange for my honest review of this product.  No compensation of any kind has been received.

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  1. #1 by Mama on February 8, 2014 - 1:01 pm

    I have heard so many good things about this curriculum! I’m also really excited about his upcoming ancient history curriculum!

  2. #2 by Wendy Pierce on February 8, 2014 - 1:13 pm

    What I like best about homeschooling is having my kids with me always and being able to make God the center of our “school.” I have been looking at this series for a little while now. I really like the concept, particularly, the historical aspect of the books that will follow this one.

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