Curriculum Review: Apologia Exploring Creation Series

Concept: Through the use of text, journaling notebooks, and lab activities, Apologia Exploring Creation Series exposes elementary-ages students to Astronomy, Zoology, Anatomy, Physics, and Botany.

How It Works: Textbook reading is broken up into easy to manage sections and lesson plans are laid out for two 60 minute lessons each week. Lessons include reading, lab activities, and notebooking pages to allow students deeper understanding of the given topic. In student notebooking journals, students have the opportunity to write down facts they have learned, illustrate topics, and make books displaying newfound knowledge. Lab activities help students apply book knowledge to practical activities.

How We Used It: We used these lessons across grade levels and specifically taught Astronomy, Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day (Zoology 2), and Anatomy & Physiology. We actually did three 60 minute lessons each week, covering the same materials the curriculum plans attempt to cover in two days a week. We found that the extra time was needed for the kids to do the activities. On a given day, we read the textbook and did 2-3 activities relating to what we read.

Concerns: The materials and notebooking journal can be too advanced for younger elementary kids. There are now junior notebooking journals available, which I think would help when teaching across grade levels with younger elementary students. Anatomy & Physiology was laid out somewhat differently than the others we used in the series, and we did not prefer its style.

Recommendation: I recommend the Apologia Exploring Creation Science Series by Jeannie Fullbright. Our kids thoroughly enjoyed learning science with these materials and it was fairly easy to teach across grade levels. If you choose to do the lessons only two days per week, allowing up to 90 minutes to complete the lesson would be necessary. I highly recommend purchasing the lab kits available from CBD.com. These kits have the needed supplies for lab activities, broken down by lesson, and even include general supplies like paper and colored pencils.

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