Monday, June 8, 2015

Apologia ~ Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal

I had the opportunity to review Apologia Educational Ministries new book Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal. Everyone enjoys field trips and Apologia comes alongside by provided a fun journal to record your adventures.

As a family, we do a lot of fun activities but never really take the time to create physical memories in the form of a book or journal. My kiddos liked the idea of a journal and were excited to put tickets, programs, and fun mementos into the book. 

For those that feel a bit overwhelmed by undertaking a "field trip", Apologia has helped by providing many help pages including:
  • Preparing For A Field Trip
  • Called Off The Beaten Path
  • Field Trip Ideas
  • How To Use The "Field Trip" Pages
  • How To Use "My Special Spot" Pages
  • How To Use "As I See It" Pages
The guide provides many different field trip ideas to help you get started. Suggestions range from taking a first aid class, to camping, or off the beaten path adventures. Whether your budget is small or large, there are great ideas for any family wishing to explore the world around them both near and far. 

Field trips do not always have to cost money. We had fun feeding deer and watching baby fawns follow their mothers out in the country. My kiddos had fun fishing along the bayou. Our trip to the gulf was so much fun as we searched for seashells, built sandcastles, splashed in the ocean and walked along the beachfront. 

One of my favorite sections in the journal is, My Special Spot. In this section your child is able to express themselves through something in nature that is meaningful and special to them. Everyone has his own idea of where his special outdoor spot would be. I challenged my children to choose two spots, one local and one that they have always wished to travel to. With regards to their local special spot, I cannot wait for them to watch how it changes throughout the year. This is definitely a field trip idea that would not have crossed my mind. For this particular field trip they suggest:
  • picking a small spot so that detail does not get lost
  • take photos of your spot
  • draw a picture of your spot
  • note everything included in your spot
  • look for what creatures may frequent your spot
  • notice changes throughout the year
Apologia provides four pages for you to chronicle your special spot. There is a page for each season of the year.  

Megan, age 9
Megan's local special spot is a big oak tree in our front yard. She loves to climb up into the tree and read, think, get away, and just relax. 
When asked where her special spot would be that she has never physically been to but has seen in books, movies, or television, she said, "I think it would be really fun to go into the Rainforest and see all of the exotic birds, insects and animals that live there. It would be fun to see all of the different stuff that grows there and what the flowers smell like. It would be fun to experience the rain falling in the Rainforest too."

Karis, age 12
Karis's local special spot would definitely have to be a local creek bed area. She and her sibling love going to the creek and exploring. When asked where her special spot would be that she has never physically been to she said, "Exploring the ocean and all of the sea creatures, corral reefs and fish. She said that the ocean is kind of one of the most mysterious places in her mind because it is hidden from the naked eye."

With all of the crazy storms in Texas lately, we had quite the adventure as we daily witnessed a nearby lake. The lake rose to never before seen levels. After several days of torrential amounts of rain we went to walk alongside the lake. One section of the lake has a waterfall like area and the water was flowing like roaring rapids. As we walked along the path and over the bridge, the water sprayed, leaving a steady mist of water in the air. In the four years we have lived by the lake we have never seen it rise to these historic levels. Not only was this a fun experience but it also naturally turned into talk about storms, flooding, thunder and lightening, ect.. 

Virtual Field Trips

This summer my 19 year old daughter will be going on her first, out of the country, mission trip. She will be traveling to Guatemala so we decided to learn a bit more about the country by taking a virtual tour. Here are some interesting facts that we learned:
  • Guatemala means, "land of the trees".
  • The country is divided into three parts: sparsely populated northern plains, the volcanic and largely populated central highlands, and the agricultural Pacific lowlands.
  • Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products grown in Guatemala. 
  • Guatemala is the size of Tennessee 

Daddy will be going to Greece for part of the summer to photograph ancient biblical manuscripts so we decided to take a virtual tour of Greece to get an idea of where he will be. We learned some interesting facts about Greece such as:
  • Greece is about the size of Alabama.
  • According to Greek Mythology, Athena and Poseidon agreed that the one who gave the city the greatest gift would be the guardian of the city. Poseidon's gift was water and Athena's was an olive tree. The other gods deemed Athena's gift more valuable. 
  • 80% of Greece is mountainous 
  • Greece is composed of almost 2,000 islands.
  • The first Olympic Games were held in 776 B.C.
  • Greek has been spoken for almost 3000 years, making it one of the oldest languages in Europe.
  • Greece's highest elevation is Mount Olympus at 9,750 ft., and its lowest elevation is the Mediterranean Sea at sea level. 

Our Field Trip Experiences

Texas Ranger's Baseball Game
There is something about the nostalgia of "the game" that is exhilarating. The crack of the bat, the singing of the national anthem, peanuts and hotdogs, cheering, the music and lights,
and the sea of your teams color throughout the stands creates a team atmosphere.

Dance Recital
Four of my daughters take dance. Recital time is the final culmination of
a year of dedicated practice. While the day gets long, it is so much
fun to see them preform. Special memories are made and remembered from past 
years of dance study.

Feeding Deer
The kiddo's grandparents live on an acreage with lots of trees and a bayou 
at the end of their property. There are always deer walking around. This 
time of the year is quite special because baby fawns are being born. Some of the deer
will eat out of your hand while others wait for you to put deer feed
down and then walk away. It was so incredibly precious to watch the fawns follow their mothers. 

Fun at the Ocean
Technically, we were at the Gulf of Mexico. We had so much fun building sand 
castles, looking for shells, splashing in the water and body surfing.  

My kiddos tried their hand at fishing along the bayou behind their 
grandparent's house. By the end of the day, they had caught a handful of fish. The weather was beautiful. Even the mosquitoes came out to play!!! 

Fun time at the aquarium looking at amazing fish, turtles,
and live sea plants. 

White Rock Lake
With the flooding in Texas lately our local lake has been
a huge attraction. 

Apologia always adds in extra fun by providing "book extras". With a password provided in the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal you can access an extensive list of field trips ideas and extras that Apologia has put together:
  • Field Trip Ideas and Searches
  • Maps
  • Field Guides and Identification Resources
  • Natural History Museums
  • Science Museums
  • Children's Museums 
  • Aquariums and Zoos
  • National Parks
  • State Parks
  • Botany
  • Animals
  • Earth Science
  • Aeronautics and Space
  • Human Body/Biology
  • Chemistry/Physics
  • History/Government
  • Community/Municipal 
  • Business and Industry
  • Culture
  • Art Journaling 

To read more reviews click HERE.

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