Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy
My Favorite Elementary Grade Science Curriculum
Many years ago, when I was still very new to homeschooling, Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy was recommended to me by a close friend. She mentioned how easy it is to teach for grades 1-6 and how it introduces science in a gentle, yet thorough way. Most of all, she mentioned, the Biblical perspective it would give. I was making plans for my son’s first-grade year and wanted something more than I had been using. I was thrilled by her recommendation. Not only is it all those things that she mentioned to me, but it is also fantastic to incorporate into a Charlotte Mason style education! I was hooked. My son absolutely fell in love with not only this book but the study of the astronomy as a whole. Still, today, as he enters sixth grade, he will tell anyone who asks, that he wants to work in the field of astronomy in some capacity when he is grown.
Through the years he has asked to see the textbook again, even to just look at the pictures. You would not believe how much he retained from that one year of science. As you can imagine, I was thrilled to get to do this review today of Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition.
Apologia sent us the following items:
- Student Text
- Notebooking Journal
- Jr. Notebooking Journal
- Audio CD
The student text is written in a way that is conversational but not childish. It is written to be read either by or directly to the student. All of my kids have enjoyed this time around reading through Exploring Creation with Astronomy. As I read to them, I have them “tell it back to me” as I do with other reading texts. I find the way the student text is written very helpful because periodically a question or two will be written on the page to help the student remember or refresh their knowledge of that particular subject. This is extremely helpful if you are new to this style of learning. It is really helpful in getting your child actively engaged in listening and reviewing the information. They don’t need to be quizzed on the subject with a myriad of questions if they are consistently narrating the passages, their minds will retain it. If you ask them to narrate and they can not remember the content, then it is helpful to refresh their minds either by re-reading or going over key passages.
I love that we were able to try out both of the journals which are written for this course. In the beginning of the notebooking journals, it breaks down the student text and the journals into days to be used. This makes it extremely easy to know how much to read and what pages and exercises to do each day!
The notebooking journal is meant to be used starting in either 3rd or 4th grade (most likely this depends on your child’s handwriting ability) up through the 6th grade. The Junior Notebooking Journal is geared towards grades K-2nd or 3rd. The lined paper which is for writing or copywork is larger and dotted for early elementary aged students in the junior journal. My 4th-grade daughter is using the regular journal this year and my Kindergartner is using the junior journal. The journals are packed with fun activities, copywork, and helpful resources to keep track of their written narrations or other info they want to remember.
I love that there are multiple activities are included in the notebooking journal. In addition the copywork (in both cursive and print), crosswords, coloring pages, pages to write about your science experiments, diagrams (fill in the blank spaces) for watching the moon and meteor showers, multiple matchbooks and mini books that are performed for you. Just cut, glue and fill in the info! Both journals are very similar except for the handwriting pages being geared toward particular age ranges.
The Audio CD is a new addition for us. We hadn’t previously used this and it is a huge help. It is simply the student text being read by the author directly to the student. It is on an MP3 Audio CD and so I loaded it on the computer to listen to. I think it would be easy to upload to multiple devices such as your tablet or Kindle so that your students can listen on their own or in the car.
We absolutely adore this curriculum. I don’t think you can go wrong with adding this to your curriculum line up for any of your elementary aged students. From the way the student text is written right to the children, to the Biblical perspective and their awesome notebooking journals and audio CDs. This is a full program that is also intriguing and FUN!
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