Do you have a favorite science curriculum? I have been using the same one for a few years now, and I really like it, but I’ve seen the Apologia Exploring Creation science curricula at a Homeschool convention, and I’ve been very curious to check it out. That is why I jumped at the chance to review Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition by Apologia Educational Ministries.
The Product: Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition
The Apologia Textbook is colorful and full of great information. The style of the writing makes you forget you are actually reading a textbook. The pictures and diagrams are vivid and interesting. This course is written from a Christian perspective, showing God’s hand and majesty in His creation. The Think About This and Do You Remember? sections prompt further thought and recall.
The Notebooking Journal targets kids grades 3 and up. The many notebooking pages allows you to decided specifically what to learn and reflect on. There are also areas to draw and be creative with how the student shows their learning. The activities outlined in the Student Text have specific areas to record what they did and what they learned. Each lesson has a verse to copy either in manuscript or cursive and a crossword using pertinent vocabulary words. Fun mini books give it a lapbook feel and allow the students to express the given information in different ways so they don’t get bored. At the end of each lesson, there is a Take It Further page that gives the students freedom to reflect on what they learned and express it however they want. The What Do You Remember? pages follow the traditional question and answer format.
Junior Notebooking Journal
The Junior Notebooking Journal targets grades kindergarten through 2nd grade. It has all the Notebooking pages, mini books, activity pages, copywork, and Take It Further pages as the Notebook Journal. It provides some helps; for example, the first letter of each word in the crossword is provided. It also replaces the What Do You Remember? questions with coloring pages.
My kindergartener used the Junior Notebooking Journal, but because she is still learning to read and write, I often had her dictate her answers, and then I would have her trace them.
You can listen to the Student text being read aloud on the audio CD. This is especially helpful if you, the teacher, need a minute to get organized.
Lessons and Course Outline
Apologia teaches Astronomy in 14 lessons or units. Each unit has 3 – 7 suggested daily assignments, including reviews and final assignments. Completing two of the daily assignments per week, this course will last the whole school year. Of course, you are free to move through the material as fast or slow as your child requires.
The course starts out answering What Is Astronomy? and then dedicates a whole lesson or unit for the sun and each of its orbiting planets, including Earth’s moon. Students then learn about the Kuiper Belt and the Dwarf planets and finally explore stars, galaxies, and space travel.
I love how both the textbook and the notebooks are jammed packed full of color. I find it grabs and holds the kids’ attention.
I love how the notebooks incorporate different types of student output: There’s notebooking, mini lap booking, crosswords and games, answering questions, coloring pages, activities, etc.
Although there are some experiments, I do wish there were more and laid out in a more formalized format following the scientific method.
This course lent itself for great field trips. Most museums have a space section and possibly a planetarium. We were able to take our learning to the museum for a hands-on experience.
We are having a blast learning about space with this curriculum! Have you used Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition? I’d love to hear about your experience below.
Till Next Time,