And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Study the Solar System #astronomy

Apologia Educational Ministries sent us an AMAZING set to review. We received Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition, and Speedy has been so wrapped up in it. We've used Apologia in the past but with that study we only had the student text and Notebooking Journals. Apologia was so generous they sent us the student text, Jr. Notebooking Journal, Notebooking Journal, and the Audio CD. I've got to admit I was just as excited as Speedy to receive this. 
This study is an elementary level science. It includes text, written activities in the Notebooking Journals, and suggestions for hands on activities to further learning within the lessons. One thing I appreciate most about Apologia Bible and Science curriculums is that they include a suggested schedule to use the study for a typical school year. Yay for less planning! These schedules are included in the beginning of the Notebooking Journals. 

I was hoping we could use the Audio CD to listen to lessons in the car, but my vehicle is so old that it won't play an MP3 disc! However we tried the disc a few times at home, and it follows right along with the text. Speedy does not have any trouble reading the lessons on his own from the book. In the past, we've done these studies all together so I was usually the one doing the reading. I'm glad he can work a little more independently now. He turns to the schedule in the front of the Notebooking Journal for his assignment outline. In this 2nd edition, the assignments are given by section titles rather than by page numbers like they were in the past. The daily assignments are also listed by lesson rather than in a box outline like the previous Apologia Science study we did. This study has 14 lessons with just over 70 daily assignments. The lessons cover all 8 planets, the Sun, the Moon, and more. Working 2 days a week makes this study just right for a full school year's worth of Exploring Creation with Astronomy.

Since Apologia was generous enough to send us a Jr. Notebooking Journal and a Notebooking Journal, I was able to compare them both. The Jr. Notebooking Journal contains a coloring page per lesson.  Instead of a coloring page, the regular Notebooking Journal has a What Do You Remember? question page for the student to answer. The Jr. Notebooking Journal is recommended for students K-2nd/ 3rd, but if they enjoy coloring or if writing is difficult for them, then it will work for older students. The Notebooking Journal is recommended for students 3rd/4th-6th. Speedy is a 4th grader, but he has been enjoying the coloring pages. The What Do You Remember? questions are included in the text book so you can do those aloud with Jr. Notebooking Journal users. There is an answer key for those questions in the back of the text book. Both Journals include answer keys in the back. Since we had access to both we've used a little of both. As far as I can tell, the rest of the activities are identical.

On the top picture you can see the difference of the coloring page and the What Do You Remember? page.
The bottom picture shows that a regular vocabulary page is the same, but one is completed and one is not. 

So with this Science course, there are passages to read in the text book and then activities to do in whichever Journal you choose. There are also loads of hands on activities recommended. I am terrible at these. Any other mamas out there stink at those? I rarely seem to have the materials on hand at the appropriate times, and my child asked to do every single one we've encountered in the first 3 lessons. We have done most of the activities in those lessons because only 3 of them required things we didn't have ready to use! I did have to buy a pack of balloons to create the Solar System as recommended in lesson 1. Balloons never get to just "be" in my house. My kids blow them all up immediately it seems. There are Apologia Science Kit Activities included in the suggested daily schedule. Those Activity Kits will be available from Apologia at a later date. From what I hear, they will make it easier for us mamas who struggle with activity prep! The text book does include a supply list for each lesson in the back. 

Speedy's Balloon Solar System

Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd edition teaches all about our universe from a Biblical point of view. The colorful graphics and details included in the text keep it interesting. The MP3 audio CD makes it easier for younger kids who may not be up to reading long passages. The Jr. Notebooking Journal and Notebooking Journal help reinforce the information your student is studying in the text. The suggested activities will keep your tactile learners involved in the lessons. A full year of Astronomy will give your elementary student a solid basis for future science study. The suggested daily schedule means you (the teacher) will save precious planning time. If the activities in the journal or the hands on lessons require more time than you have, they can be used at your discretion. Two days a week of science feels just right for my 4th grader, and he gives this curriculum 2 thumbs up!

Find out what other Crew members thought about this Apologia study:
Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition Review

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Twitter: @apologiaworld

Are you interested in other Apologia products? Check out my previous reviews of Writers in Residence Volume 1 and The Ultimate Homeschool Planner
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