Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Exploring Creation: Land Animals

We are into our third year of studying the Exploring Creation series for elementary level Science.  Within this series are three Zoology courses and that we are working through.  Two years ago, we studied Flying Creatures.  Last year, Swimming Creatures.  This year, it's Land Animals and we continue to be impressed by this curriculum.

The textbooks can be used alone, but for the first two years we studied them, I printed out the FREE workbook pages that can be downloaded easily from their website (click on "Course Notebook").  But last year, I noticed that they began making up their own notebooks and selling them as another option.  Not only that, but they offer a junior notebook as well.  I am planning on getting a junior version for Sadie next year.  The printable notebook pages follow the pre-made notebook closely, but there are a couple things that are left out.

The pre-made notebook is very well-made and designed.  Each chapter starts out with pages your student can work on while you read aloud the text.  There is ample space for them to write down some fun facts as well as places for them to draw pictures while they listen.  Following those pages are activity pages that include all sorts of things, some unique to each chapter, but all include scripture copywork (both in manuscript and cursive), a crossword puzzle, experiment speculation page, review questions, a page for their "lapbook" type booklet, etc.

As you can tell, we hadn't corrected spelling yet.

At the back of the notebook for Land Animals are the extras- the pages (in color) for the "lapbook" booklets, the pages they use to make their tracking booklet (so they can recognize different animal tracks), and, Sam's favorite, the stickers.  After we finish a chapter, Sam places the stickers of the animals we studied in that chapter onto our large world map (not included).

There are lesson plans put together for me in a neat chart that shows me which pages to read and which activities to have him do each time we do science.  It's laid out expecting that you'll choose to do Science two days a week for 28 weeks which means we'll finish Science before everything else (Sonlight goes 36 weeks).  This also allows for breaks during especially busy weeks.

I love the way these books read in such a conversational way and regularly address the views of evolution and present the reasons why creationists disagree with their claims.  I feel it is preparing Sam (and the rest of us) to think more critically when we hear secular scientists views on things that would otherwise intimidate me.

Now the big decision.   Do we study Botany next year or Anatomy?  So many choices:-).

I wrote this review because we love this curriculum.  I was not asked to do this nor was I given anything by the fine Apologia folks.
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  1. I'd say botany since you have a little one in the mix too who is probably catching some things... or will be next year anyway. :) Such a fun looking science curriculum!

  2. It's our first year using this curric too. We're doing the Flying Creatures book. LOVE IT!
    Been "snooping" on your blog for awhile too. LOVE your canning/gardening posts and your homeschooling posts. Thank you!

  3. Hi
    This post came at the perfect time for me! I am a teacher turned SAHM since my husband and I have adopted 8 children, 7 over the last year. I love homeschool but this year we moved into an area with a better school system so we gave it a try. Little by little I am bringing them back home. As I sat here wondering how I will homeschool 8 in grades 1-10, I started reading your post. We are also waiting to hear back about our offer on a big ole farm house on 7 acres that we hope will become our family home. I love your blog. Thank you for sharing part of your life with us.

  4. Hi Jane,
    We've been using this series and we started with the Botany and loved it. I suggest it because it's a bit easier to study than anatomy (generally speaking) and if they understand the aspects of botany, they'll probably have an easier time with anatomy. We're doing flying creatures and about to move into Land Animals next. Thanks for all your tips on the extras. I don't think I've made full use of them and you've encouraged me to do so!


  6. We are doing botany now and it is so much fun! I highly recommend it!


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