Monday, April 6, 2009

Apologia Elementary- Exploring Creation with...

If you're a Christian homeschooler, chances are you've heard of Apologia. One of the most popular science publishers, Apologia delivers a scientifically sound program from a Creationist perspective.


Jeannie Fulbright authors the Elementary Science books. These are designed for grades K-6 (although I think they could be used through Grade 8 without issue) and are brightly colored, hardbound textbooks. Currently, there are five available; Astronomy (which also has an optional Notebooking Journal), Botany, Zoology 1 (Flying Creatures), Zoology 2 (Swimming Creatures), and Zoology 3 (Land Animals). Each book in the series is available for $35. Samples are available to preview on their website.

We received Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day for review. Last year, our science consisted of Exploring Creation with Botany and the corresponding lapbook from Live and Learn Press, so we were already familiar with this product.

The books are over sized, glossy, and very inviting (especially for a textbook!). It begins with an introduction to the course, with suggestions on dividing the lessons to provide thirty weeks of instruction, and ways to integrate notebooking, narrations, and experiments. A supply list is provided at the beginning of the book, listing items needed for each lesson. This is very helpful to those parents like me, who tend to just skip the experiment if the supplies are not readily available. If this is you, I would suggest putting together a supply kit at the beginning of the year with everything in one container, ready to go when needed!

The text itself is written to the student and is engaging and full of colorful illustrations. Drawing on Charlotte Mason's methodology, the students are encouraged to reinforce their learning through creative writing, projects, and drawings which they compile in a notebook throughout the year (photographing the projects are a great way to save these in the notebook as well). In the Zoology 1 book these include a nature scavenger hunt, bird mapping, building a birdhouse, making a comic strip, writing a bat script, and creating an insect zoo.

I'm not typically fond of textbooks, especially in the elementary years, but these are not dry and dull. This may be due to the author's tendency toward the philosophy of Charlotte Mason (who encouraged the reading of "living books"). Whatever the reason, I found myself enjoying Apologia's Elementary Science books and will continue to use them for our family.

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