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Monday, November 4, 2013

Apologia's Exploring Creation with Chemistry & Physics TOS Review

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I was sent the following three products for review from Apologia Educational Ministries:

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This homeschool science curriculum is recommended for grades K - 6'th. 

About the Textbook -

This is the newest science textbook and journal from Apologia.  First, I want to tell you about the textbook.  It is a very nice, hard cover book containing 280 colorful pages.

This book uses the Charlotte Mason style of teaching.  It explains the concepts with detailed examples within each lesson.  Throughout each and every lesson, there are several "Try This!" sections.  (Lesson one has 10 of these sections.)  They are experiments/activities for the student(s) to do.  The are clearly marked in light blue boxes and explain everything needed for that experiment.  

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The "Try This!" sections physically show what the lesson is teaching your child(ren).  For example, the picture below we have learned about atoms, elements, molecules, and compounds.  It teaches us that 2 'nice' atoms mixed together could make a huge reaction.  When those atoms are by themselves, they are 'nice', quiet atoms.  

Here is an example of our favorite "Try This!" so far.

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In this experiment, we needed the following list of things (which again, are basic household products we already had).

Safety goggles 
small empty soda (or water) bottle
1 tbs. yeast
4 tbs. warm water
1/2 cup of dishwashing liquid
food coloring (my son chose blue)
a cup
a stirring spoon
a deep-sided dish
hydrogen peroxide
safety gloves (which we didn't use for this one)

We stirred the yeast and warm water in a cup and set aside.  We then poured the dishwashing liquid in the bottle.  My son put about 5 drops of blue food coloring in the bottle.  Then he put on his safety glasses and poured the yeast/water mixure in and wow!  It overflowed really fast!

Then of course he played in the bubbles -

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These experiments require things that you pretty much have in your household already.  You also, do not have to do each and every one.  

Every one of these "Try This!" that he completed, I had him fill out a 'Scientific Data Sheet'.  I got this sheet from one of Apologia's other wonderful science books.  They give permission to copy it and reuse it in your home.  This is what the sheet looks like.

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This Scientific Data sheet above is from another experiment.  Here is a picture below of that particular experiment.  My son just read about density in this lesson.

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At the end of each lesson, there is a 'What do you remember section.  This is a few questions that you can ask your child(ren) to make sure they grasped and understood what was taught in the lesson.  (The answers are in the back of the book for your convenience.)  Then it has an experiment / project for your child to do.  It will list all the things needed as well as step by step instructions on how to do it.  This experiment / project is a 'bigger' version of the 'Try This!' sections.

About the Notebooking Journal & the Jr. Notebooking Journal -

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The notebooking journals (both) are spiral notebooks containing over 237 + pages.  Located in the back of each book are the activity cut-out pages.  These go along with the notebooking journal assignments throughout the spiral notebook.  These activities go along with the lesson within the hardcover textbook.  Some of the activities are crossword puzzles, full color mini books, copywork, etc.  

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I want to make note that we received BOTH the Notebooking Journal and the Jr. Notebooking Journal.  We only used the Jr. Notebooking Journal though.  I found that they were very similar so we only did the work in the one.  The Jr. Notebooking Journal had some coloring pages that the other journal did not.  The Notebooking Journal had some questions and answer instead of the coloring pages as seen below.

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Another small difference in the Notebooking Journals were that the crossword puzzle was a bit more extensive than the other (Jr.) as seen below.  (The Jr. Journal is on the left.)

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Because we only used the one notebook, some lucky homeschooling relative may receive the unused one as a Christmas gift..... wink. :)  The only reason why we chose the Jr. Notebooking Journal instead of the other, honestly, was because it arrived first.  I would say that the Jr. Notebooking Journal would normally be for the younger grades and the other for higher elementary grades.  But like I mentioned, they are very similar in my opinion.

Inside the Notebooking Journals there is a Daily Schedule. 

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You do not have to follow this schedule, it is just a guideline to keep you on track throughout the schoolyear.  If you follow this schedule, you'll be doing this science program 2 days per week for 28 weeks.

Here is one of the projects my son did.  He had to create a 'flap' type book.  He wrote the definitions of each word under the flap.  Then he glued it in the proper place in the journal.

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What We Thought -

My 10 year old son used this several times per week.  We have always loved Apologia!  It is so homeschool friendly and fun.  You can choose to do one full day a week of science or several days per week.  The experiments are very exciting and fun.  Apologia always stresses the importance of safety.  That is why they always recommend safety goggles and gloves on so many of their projects.  It is a good habit to get into.  I have three boys (the other 2 are older) and we have always used Apologia for several reasons and one being that we love the hands on experience in the learning process.  My boys learn so much when they are actually doing a hands-on activity on what they are learning about.  My older son is using the Apologia's Marine Biology text right now and he loves it!

Apologia offers K - 6, Junior and Senior high science curriculum. They even have Bible curriculum.  Click HERE to view all the worldview (Biblical) books offered.  It is so important to our family that the curriculum we choose is a true, Christian, and BIBLICAL perspective and this is another reason why we just LOVE Apologia!  

For a full list of what is offered click HERE.  

I also want to mention a few things.  These Notebooking Journals are all optional.  You do not need these in order to do the hardcovered textbook.  You can create your own notebook or omit it all together.  It basically reinforces all the concepts that are taught in the text. 

Another thing to mention is that I am a firm believer in creative homeschooling.  Eventhough this is geared for K-6'th grade, you can easily teach it to junior and senior high school.  I think adding a report and a few essays on famous scientists or something else, would make it ideal.  That is just my opinion, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

So we give this product an A+!  We have never found an Apologia product that we didn't like!  They offer other great science textbooks with  journals as well.   Obviously we HIGHLY recommend this to all homeschool families or private school classrooms! 

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Thank you Apologia for making my boys LOVE science!

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