Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Apologia ~ A Review

Apologia Educational Ministries  is the leader in creation-based science curriculums. Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition  is just one of the many science curriculums available for students Kinder-12th grade. 

Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition 
Psalm 19:1 states: "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands." While most of our young children hear about God's creation often times we focus on His creation here on earth. This is the perfect course to expose elementary age children to details surrounding God's creation of the heavens which include: the stars, planets, and everything in space. This year long course covers 14 lessons which include:
  • What is Astronomy?
  • The Sun
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Earth
  • The Moon
  • Mars
  • Space Rocks
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • Kuiper Belt and the Dwarf Planets
  • Stars, Galaxies, and Space Travel
I used this curriculum with my 3rd and 5th grade children. Having them both use the same curriculum was great. I chose to take turns reading the text with my 3rd grader so that we could talk about what she had questions about along the way. My 5th grader read the text on her own and we discussed in more detail things that intrigued her. 

I love how Apologia references scripture throughout always pointing back to God. Throughout the textbook your student will come across blue boxes entitled, think about this. These are great stopping points in the text to spark up great discussions with your child. One example:

C.S. Lewis was a very influential writer. He once said, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else         (1944). As you read through this lesson, you will gain to understand what he meant.             

Each lesson begins with a blue box entitled, wisdom from above. One example is:

There is order to our universe, and once you start to understand that order, science will not be a class,  but rather a means to recognize your Creator's signature throughout creation.     

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine  nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that       they are without  excuse.  ~ Romans 1:20                                                                                           

My 5th grader has already worked through many of the Apologia elementary level science curriculum and has really enjoyed it. This was my 3rd graders first complete science curriculum. She was excited about having a "real" textbook to read from. As a parent and educator I know that what my children are learning through Apologia is grounded in truth. All 6 of my children have used, or are currently using Apologia for science. 

Throughout the lessons your child will get to experience hands-on activities. At the end of each lesson is a simple but comprehensive summary entitled, What Do You Remember?.

The textbook is full of amazing artwork, pictures, artifacts, NASA pictures, and drawings. 

I learned some facts about the sun that I didn't already know. Did you know that "the color of the sun is actually all the colors of the rainbow! So the sun is red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet." I guess we never really quit learning. 

All of the answers to the What Do You Remember questions at the end of each lesson are included in the back of the textbook. In the Appendix you will also find a Supply List for all of the items that you will need in each lesson. 

Astronomy Audio CD
Some students learn best by listening to a lesson instead of reading it. With the audio CD your student can listen to the written text work for word as it is written. With 6 children I have found that some of them excelled and understood the text much better when listening to it being read as they followed along in the text. My 20 year old actually used audio CD's throughout her years of using Apologia Science. For young children that are still getting the hang of reading listening to the text being read while they follow along is a great option! There were days when I just didn't have time to sit with my 3rd grader. She reads well but gets bogged down when reading from a textbook. This was a great alternative for her. 

Astronomy Jr. Notebooking Journal 

The junior notebooking journal was created specifically for younger students in grades K-2nd/3rd. Specifically this journal has:
  • coloring
  • wider lines for writing
  • easier vocabulary
  • less writing
  • activities geared for younger students
I used this journal with my 3rd grade daughter. The set-up of the jr. journal was perfect. She was able to work through the pages without frustration. It was a perfect complement to the textbook. 

Astronomy Notebooking Journal 

Both notebooking journals have the pages broken down into daily assignments. I really loved this! 

My 5th grader has used Apologia's Notebooking Journals with many of the other Apologia elementary level science courses. My daughter said, "The journal is kind of fun considering it is schoolwork. The stuff in the journal helps to reinforce what I learned when reading. It also gives me the freedom to be creative too." 

One of the activities was to make a model of the solar system. We have severe latex allergies in our house so we had to modify the activity which called for using balloons. Instead, I found a really neat printable solar system project online. They got to color the planets so that was fun. 

Apologia's science curriculum is most definitely top notch. I would highly recommend this particular curriculum. 

To read more reviews click here

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