Discovering Design with Earth Science Set

(3 customer reviews)


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Recorded Classes are available for this subject. The classes are taught by Mrs. McKeeman. There are two recordings per chapter of the the textbook.

This laboratory-based earth science course can be used for either eighth or ninth grade.  Most homeschooled students should be ready for it in eighth grade, but privately- and publicly-schooled students will be more comfortable with it in ninth grade.  It covers the general properties of the earth’s geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere.  Students learn about all the sections of the geosphere (such as core, mantle, crust, etc.) and then they study each in more detail.  When studying the earth’s crust, they learn about minerals, rocks, and the rock cycle.  Plate tectonics is then covered, which leads to a discussion of seismic waves, earthquakes, and volcanoes.  Students then learn about fossils and how both uniformitarians and catastrophists interpret those fossils as well as the sedimentary rocks in which they are found.  A discussion that compares uniformitarianism and catastrophism follows, in which the strengths and weaknesses of each view are covered.

After that, the hydrosphere is discussed.  Students first learn the properties of water such as polarity, the ability to hydrogen bond, and heat capacity.  That leads to a discussion of the hydrologic cycle and residence time.  Students then learn about the waves, currents, and tides in the ocean.  They then move on to the ice reservoirs on the earth and then the freshwater reservoirs.  Water in the air is the last part of the hydrosphere that is covered.  The atmosphere is then discussed, including the composition of air, the sections of the atmosphere, temperature gradients, and pollutants.  This leads to a discussion of weather.  The course ends with two chapters on space, one that covers the solar system and one that covers the universe as a whole.

There are roughly 55 hours of laboratory instruction in the course.  A kit that contains specific minerals, rocks, and fossils allows students to do very detailed experiments related to the geosphere.  These include mineral tests, rock analyses, fossil studies, density investigations, and magnetic property explorations.  Students also get hands-on experience with waves, gases, wind, water purification, cloud formation, the Coriolis effect, precipitation, and acid/base interactions.  Please see the product resources link for contents of the kit, household items needed, and an overview of the experiments.

This product is a set consisting of both the textbook and the solutions and tests booklet containing everything the parent/teacher needs to know for the subject.

Additional information

Weight 7 lbs
Dimensions 11.5 × 8.75 × 3 in


Textbook ISBN


Textbook Format


Solutions & Tests ISBN


Solutions & Test Format


3 reviews for Discovering Design with Earth Science Set

  1. ekobelia55 (verified owner)

    My son enjoyed taking this course. He thought the tests were too challenging, but he found the reading easy to understand and felt that he learned a lot. He doesn’t naturally prefer to do experiments but found the ones in this book to be manageable and interesting.

  2. Laura V.

    I co-taught a group of homeschool students (including two of my own children) through this study this year. I read the book along with them and learned SO much! I thoroughly enjoyed this course. We did many of the experiments in class together as a group, which made it a lot of fun. I was never very strong in science growing up, so I feel like I’m learning to love and appreciate science and God’s creation so much more now as I learn alongside my own children. The one thing I’d want someone to be aware of is that Dr. Wile presents the two ideas of uniformitarianism and catastrophism and does not explicitly say which way he believes is the correct view. He explains how both views can be held by people who claim to be Christians, although I know that some Christians may disagree with this idea. I personally hold a catastrophist (young earth creationist) view, but I found it helpful to understand the other side’s arguments so I could have a more informed conversation with someone who believes differently than I do.

  3. Fan C.

    This book and the associated experiments are excellent; my middle schooler and high schooler learned so much and the material helped them to think critically. Meeting with several other homeschoolers to discuss the chapter and do the experiments was thoroughly enjoyable. I’m grateful to God for such a wonderful resource for our kids, and for Dr. Wile’s interesting and balanced way of presenting information and tackling controversial subjects like the age of the earth and global warming.
    Also, the links available through Berean Builders website were fantastic and provided very interesting and helpful supplemental information.

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Text table of contents
Text sample
Lab supply list
Lab supply list by chapter
Experiment Overview
Student Workbook(also available from retailers spiral bound)
Scope and Sequence