Logos Science has created serious lab kits that can be used along with popular textbooks for junior and senior high science courses. Lab kits correlate directly with selected courses from BJU Press, A Beka Book, and Apologia, and might well be used alongside other courses. Logos Science kits are available for Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Each kit can be used with a number of courses. For example, the Physical Science kit includes correlation with BJU Press's Physical Science courses, both fourth and fifth editions; A Beka Book's Matter and Motion and Science of the Physical Creation; and Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science (second edition) and Exploring Creation with Physical Science (second edition).
A “coordination” folder that comes with each kit, shows exactly which experiments to use along with each chapter, even listing the page number in each text where the topic illustrated by the experiment is taught. Correlations are often shown for both the newest and previous editions of a particular text.
Logos Science kits are written from a Christian point of view and support a Creationist perspective. In addition, a devotional commentary based on one or more scripture verses is included within each experiment.
The lab experiences are challenging enough to be considered college prep level. Experiments include measurements and mathematical calculations appropriate for the level of each course.
Experiments begin with a list of goals, a list of materials from the kit that will be used, and a list of other items that will be needed. Then a multi-paragraph "introduction" explains the science concept under investigation. The devotional comes next. This is followed by step-by-step procedures for the experiment. Students will record information as directed in the manual, generally writing observations, calculations, analyses, and conclusions in response to questions or prompts in the lab manual.
Each kit includes its own lab manual and answer key, so you will not need to use those from the publisher when they are printed as books separate from the textbook. You can accommodate up to five students (performing each experiment one time) with resources in all of the kits except those for Life Science and Biology—only one of each dissection specimen is included. Refill kits are available with additional resources if you need them. You are allowed to photocopy only the response pages from the lab manual, but I think it would be much better for each student to have his or her own manual so that they can read the introduction and devotionals themselves.
Kits include lab equipment such as graduated cylinders, funnels, spring scales, and beakers as well as chemicals, preserved dissection specimens, batteries, washers, string, thermometers, and other resources that you will need. However, you will still have to supply a microscope plus other items such as a chicken bone, plant material, baking soda, cardboard, bowls, tape, cardboard, and paper towels. Of course, required items vary from kit to kit. On the Logos Science web site you can see lists of both the kit contents and items needed for each course.
Kits are designed to make the lab portion of courses much more practical for homeschoolers, co-op groups, and small Christian schools, and they do this very well. For example, when I reviewed BJU Press’ Physical Science course, I saw that their lab manual and experiments were clearly designed for a classroom set up and would, in some cases, be almost impossible for homeschooling families to use. On the other hand, the Logos Science kit is much more practical and easy to use.
While most kits contain chemicals, they do not contain concentrated acids or bases—chemicals are already diluted and ready to use. This also means that disposal won’t be an issue since the low concentrations will not be dangerous for ordinary disposal. Nevertheless, students should always wear goggles and follow safety procedures when completing experiments. Safety procedures are at the beginning of each lab manual.
BJU Press Exclusive Kits
Logos Science now produces a separate line of kits that are designed exclusively for BJU Press courses. These kits use the BJU Press lab manuals and answer keys but add an Addendum. The Addendum for each lab kit helps parents and schools adapt the experiments to situations with minimal or no lab classroom. While a few experiments in the lab manuals will be skipped entirely because they are either too expensive or too impractical without a full lab setup, many experiments are adapted to use equipment in the kit and lower concentrations of chemicals for safety reasons. Using these exclusive kits provides lab activities that align more tightly with each course and provide more comprehensive lab experience.
You can reprint pages from the addendum for students as needed. Physical science and Physics kits include enough resources for three students. For Chemistry, Earth Science, Life Science, and Biology kits you will need a refill set for each additional student.
BJU Press lists the exclusive Logos Science kits as a recommended option for homeschoolers on their website–selling these kits themselves–since they know that they will be much more suitable for those situations.
In summary, Logos Science kits provide appropriately challenging lab experiences while making the process easy for even inexperienced homeschooling parents. These kits should be an excellent solution for homeschooling families.