The TOS Crew’s year has officially started, and what a way to start!
Our first review is on some of Apologia Educational Ministries’ products! I and the boys were thrilled to participate! Apologia is a household name in the homeschooling community! They are a leader in the industry and publish award-winning books and curriculum for grades K-12, which include elementary science material.
For the past few weeks we have used Exploring Creation with Zoology III: Land Animals of the Sixth Day (for children grades K-6) for our science curriculum. We were asked to review both the Textbook and the Regular Notebooking Journal.
When we first got it, and the boys thumbed through the books, they were enthralled by the pictures and couldn’t wait to jump right into the lessons! That first day my oldest son said, “Mami, I am so excited about our science curriculum!” Words like these are music to a homeschool mom’s ears!
Apologia uses the immersion approach, spending a longer amount of time in a single subject (land animals). “The immersion approach is the way everyone, even you kids, learn best.” This method makes it more likely for your child to develop a love for the subject and learning in general!
Going through Exploring Creation with Zoology III you will study the subject from different angles, but more importantly, you and your child will learn to look at God’s creation as His amazing masterpiece! The text takes the child on a thrilling “safari” through jungles, forests, deserts and more! It is written in a narrative style and is simple enough to engage a 6-year-old and engaging enough for a 13-year-old. The words are dynamic, and the “safari” the child gets to go on, during their journey through the text, is captivating!
Scripture is all over the text and is linked to the material, in context! This makes God’s Word more relevant to my children and helped them understand it’s relation to the world around them! The text further engages your child and family with questions that encourage narration. Narrating is a great exercise that helps the child better assimilate the material as they look for ways to explain it in their own words.
The Notebooking Journal is optional, but is an excellent complement to the lessons in the text! It not only helps you document your child’s learning for
the year, but offers additional learning opportunities which include:
- bible verse copywork
- review Questions
- vocabulary crossword puzzles
- lapbook activities
- coloring pages
In the Notebooking Journal, each chapter has a list of recommended resources (books and DVDs). These were so much fun and were well-chosen “living books” organized by age and included fiction and non-fiction. When in Chapter 2, we ordered more than 30 books recommended for children ages 4-8! These were mostly picture books and gave us a great opportunity to include our 3-year-old in our learning adventure!
The text is organized into 14 Lessons. The recommended time to cover each lesson is 2 weeks, but this may vary with each child/family. My boys enjoyed their new science class 3 times a week:
- we read the text Mondays and Wednesdays, in the morning
- in the afternoons, for storytime, we enjoyed the books/DVDs recommended for the lesson.
- we would also do the Notebooking Journal activities in the afternoon
- each lesson has includes an experiment, which we completed on Fridays. Experiments use items easily obtainable and there are sites where you can purchase everything you need in a kit!
- To make our science reading time (the Text or the “living books”) I would have my 3 and 6-year-old work on the coloring sheets in the Notebooking Journal, to help them sit quietly.
- My boys, especially my oldest, are not too exciting about writing. When going over the “Review Questions” in the Notebooking Journal, we would have the boys stand in front of the rest of the family and take turns answering the questions! This made for fun and education family time!
At the heart of our family’s homeschool mission is to graduate Christians who have an unshakable faith in the face of a society that will not doubt challenge it! The main battleground in this effort is definitely science. I look forward to adding Apologia’s science curriculum to our homeschool as I know it will better equip me in not just educating but also discipling my kids! We have learned so much already! We, especially, have all learned that our love of science and our biblical-worldview do not have to be mutually exclusive!
If you would like to start your own “safari” and learn about the land animals created on the 6th day visit Apologia Educational Ministries’ website! The Textbook is available for $39. To further enrich your child’s learning experience, order the Notebooking Journal ($24) for children Grades 3-6. The Junior Notebooking Journal is available for children in Grades K-2! Apologia Educational Ministries provides even more resources (links to articles, files and more) that complement each lesson. Access to these are available to you at no cost, with the purchase of the Textbook!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations