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Homeschool Science: Master Books Review

When my big kids were still just little we took a pretty relaxed approach to homeschool science.  Mostly we watched educational shows and read interesting books to go along with them.  As we approached middle school I wanted something a bit more formal, but I didn’t want something that would create a ton of work for me!  That year we saw the Master Books booth at the Oceanetwork homeschool conference and I saw their God’s Design series.  We decided to give it a while and now, four years later, we’ve continued to use and love this series!

My review of the Master Books curriculum God's Design series for our homeschool science books after 4 years of using it.


We’ve spent four years working our way through the God’s Design series and I’ve found a lot of stuff that we just plain love.

Varied Topics

The God’s Design series from Master Books offers four separate years of homeschool science.  Within each of those books they cover three subjects.


Our first year we did God’s Design: Life which is basically an introductory biology course.  It covers botany, human anatomy, and zoology.  Our favorite part was learning unusual things about plants.  For example, did you know that raspberries and strawberries are NOT berries, but tomatoes and cucumbers are?  I think I learned about as much as the kids did from this book!

Heaven & Earth

Up next was God’s Design: Heaven and Earth when we studied meteorology, astronomy, and geology.   Since our family has a personal connection to NASA we really enjoyed getting to read more about the agency and their work for space exploration.  Each book also  has special features about important people and events tied to science and there was an awesome one about Sir Ernest Shackleton in Heaven and Earth.

Physical World

If your child is more into building and designing things, give God’s Design: Physical World a try.  My LEGO-obsessed son loved this book the most.  Your kids will get to learn all about how and why things move, the science of how energy works, and about how (and why) important inventions were created.  My kids loved hearing what had inspired people throughout history to create new things.  I loved how they got to see that perseverance paid off in the lives of inventors.

Chemistry & Ecology

We’re spending our final year in the God’s Design: Chemistry & Ecology book.  I kind of wish we had started with this book only because there are some great introductory concepts for science.  It covers things like matter, atoms, and molecules as well as ecology.  My animal-loving son has absolutely adored the study of ecology.  We’ve learned about different animals (some of them rather unusual) as well as different ecosystems like The Amazon Rainforest.  It’s inspired some great conversations that have tied into things we have studied in other subjects, like how greed has caused people to make choices that hurt others or the planet.  There is also a great section on the chemistry of food that might inspire your kids to get into the kitchen!


The God’s Design series is a homeschool science curriculum designed for grades 3-8.  While that is technically the age/grade range listed by the company, it’s adaptable enough to work well with even very young children.  My youngest chid has sat in on the lessons with us since she was about 3 years old!  She hasn’t always paid complete attention (I didn’t expect her to), but she’s still learned from it.  I read the lessons to the kids during lunch.  While she still wanders off before the end of the lesson most days, she is learning.  The curriculum also comes with a workbook full of worksheets, projects, etc.  The teacher’s guide will show you which questions and assignments are designed for which grade levels.  If that’s not your thing, it’s easy enough to just skip it.  That’s what we’ve done for most of the time.


Nothing is perfect.  Every single thing in life has both pros and cons.  Overall we have loved our time with the God’s Design series, but there have been a few that we didn’t quite like.


There are experiments and projects sprinkled throughout the God’s Design series.  I know that this is standard for homeschool science.  There are probably some of you who will even be thrilled to hear this.  That’s just not me.  Experiments mean finding special ingredients and supplies, figuring out what we’re supposed to do, and finding the time and space to do them.  Nope.  Hard pass.  I really didn’t want to do them but felt like I was *supposed* to.  I had to keep reminding myself that I had nothing to feel guilty about.  Remember, we are in charge, not the curriculum.  If something in the God’s Design books don’t work for you, feel free to skip it!


Obviously I knew that these books would be written from a Christian worldview.  It was even on the list of things I wanted in a science curriculum.  I didn’t want to have to ‘edit’ what was in our books or spend a bunch of time explaining how this or that goes against what the Bible teaches us.  So I intentionally chose to buy a science curriculum written from a Christian worldview.  That said, at times the inclusion of faith in these books felt a bit forced.  Occasionally it was even what I would call a bit ‘preachy’.  Don’t get me wrong.  It wasn’t awful or a deal breaker, but sometimes it just felt like a bit too much or out of place to me.

Try God’s Design for Your Homeschool Science

You guys know I’ll always be honest with you when I review a curriculum.  I’ll never try to sell you on something I wouldn’t want to use with my own kids.   I would definitely recommend the God’s Design series from Master Books.  After nearly 4 full years, and using all of the books in the series, we still find it enjoyable and and easily adaptable.  Overall I would say it’s absolutely worth buying.




This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Erika
    Question: Are these science curriculums a “one and done” deal? Like can I purchase a unit and use it for all of my children (maybe even for more than one year) or are there individual notebooks, etc. that I need to buy for each child?
    1. heather
      Great question! The main textbook can be reused, and if you use the student workbook you could have your kids write their answers separately or give them aloud if you wanted to avoid rebuying anyting. Otherwise the only thing you'd need to buy again would be the student workbook.

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