Anytime I am given the opportunity to review anything from Apologia Educational Ministries I jump on it! I have never been disappointed with any of their products and this time was no exception! We received Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition. I have taught Apologia’s high school level classes, but had never used their curriculum for younger students. Astronomy is for students at the elementary level. I was very curious to see if I like their material for the younger kids as much as I do for the older ones. The verdict: I do!!! I love it! I love the way it’s written and laid out. It’s easy to follow, engaging and I’ve learned a lot! Our family does a lot with science, we are kinda that “math/science geeky family”. It’s been refreshing to learn some things that none of us had known. For example, we all knew you could hurt your eyes by looking at the sun, but do you know why? We didn’t. Do you know when your use a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun’s rays to
burn ants start a fire? This is how the lens in your eye works. It concentrates the sun’s rays to the back of your eye, the retina. Your retina does not contain nerve endings so you don’t feel that you are damaging your eye.
Here David is melting chocolate chips with the power of the sun. He did take this science experiment to the next level and started a small controlled fire. As a Cub Scout he’s always ready to help start a fire without matches. As a mom I was thoroughly impressed and equally frightened.
David (age 10) was my main student for this review. I was originally thinking that he would use the Notebooking Journal and Evie (age 5) would use the Jr. Notebooking Journal, but I changed my mind. The regular journal has more writing than the junior notebook.
David has been working in the junior notebook and I will have Allie (grade 12) work through the text and regular notebook on her own. I could have adapted each notebook to use the way I originally thought, but I decided to adapt them for David and Allie instead. I love how flexible they are and plan to purchase one or two more junior notebooks in the next few years to use with Evie and Thomas (age 4).
I love the way this curriculum is set up. There is an easy to follow schedule for each day. We used this as a guide and do the reading and most of the activities.
We have skipped some of the writing assignments right now as that is a struggle for David and I pick my battles. He’s enjoying the science lessons and the hands on activities. I am super pleased with his progress and all that he’s learned!
He made a balloon solar system. While he was learning the order of the planets, he also learned their relative size. He learned that if earth is about this size (the green balloon), then the sun is about the size of our shed. Then he could see how big the other planets were. The book also had the example that if the sun is the size of a basketball, then the earth would be the size of a peppercorn. I’ve been so pleased with all the memorable examples. We talk about what we’ve learned all the time!
We also received the cd for this curriculum. I love these for my struggling readers. This helps so much for their comprehension and allows that student to listen to the lesson without me having to read it or read it on their own. I still read David’s lessons to him right now because I’m enjoying it so much and the other kids filter in to see what we are working on.
We have many other chapters to get through and are happy to add this as a permanent addition to this year’s curriculum.
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