Sunday, November 10, 2013

Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Review

My kids love science. They thrive on experiments and hands-on projects. They long to understand how and why things work. They enjoy examining and discovering just about everything. My kids naturally are drawn to all things science. While I am pleased that they are science-minded like their daddy, I instinctively lean towards language arts and math. I am always looking to balance my passions with their interests. I was ecstatic to be chosen to review Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics from Apologia.

Apologia Educational Ministries is well-known in the homeschool realm for their science curricula and other biblical worldview products. This Christian company believes "that every educational subject in your home school can and should be taught from a biblical worldview built on the solid foundation of God’s Word and centered on Jesus Christ." It's always best to use products that reinforce your beliefs. We have loved everything we've gotten from Apologia in the past, so I was looking forward to this curriculum, as well. 

Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics ($39) is part of their Young Explorers series for K5-6th grade. This study uses the Charlotte Mason method to give students an introduction to chemistry and physics and teach how God made everything in the universe. Topics such as atoms, molecules, simple chemicals, laws and motion, electrical magnetism, and simple machines are covered. This hard cover glossy book is filled with colorful, eye-catching pictures, most of which are kids in the middle of conducting a fun experiment. Each lesson is broken into small sections that can easily be completed alone or in conjunction with another part of the lesson. The book is written directly to the student, so it's very easy for the parent to read and the child to understand. 

While my little ones (7, 5, 4) thoroughly enjoyed the how and why teaching parts of the text, their absolute favorite was all the experiments. There are dominant blue boxes marked try this! that are sprinkled throughout the book and list all the supplies and directions for completing the experiments. Directly under the box is the explanation. Most of the experiments use things that can be found around the house and can be set up and completed easily.

Along with the textbook, they offer notebooking journals ($24) to further the study and reinforce the information. These spiral-bound, consumable books are filled with fun, supplemental materials. The regular notebooking journal is for upper elementary grades and those efficient at writing. It provides a place for the student to record experiments, display artwork, and take notes. There are mini-books, crossword puzzles, and more fun activities. The junior notebooking journal is for lower elementary grades and those with limited writing skills. It has much fewer writing activities and offers big lines for the student to complete the work. This journal also includes mini-books and more experiments, but swaps the writing puzzles for coloring pages. 

This science curriculum is perfect for our family. There is so much great information given with age-appropriate language. It makes it easy for the little ones to understand and gives them a greater knowledge of God as our Master Designer. There is a sample schedule given in the front of the notebooking journal to do two lessons a week, but I found it works better for us to do shorter lessons more often. My kids rush through the rest of their studies so we can get to our science book. Jake (7) has been working with the regular journal and Alyssa (5) and Zac (4) have been using the junior edition. Each level fits perfectly where they are. Jake has always been my why? child. He truly wants to understand the hows and whys, of everything. So often, I'm not able to give him an answer without looking it up. Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics combines his love of experimenting with his longing for understanding. This will be a book that we enjoy for many years.     


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