Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Exploring Creation with Astronomy (TOS Review)

Today's product review is Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition from Apologia Educational Ministries.   For this review, I received the student text, Notebooking JournalJr. Notebooking Journal and Audio CD.

In comparing the two different notebooking journals, I noticed that they both contain the same suggested daily schedule, graphics, puzzles and lapbook components.   There are really only two differences that I spotted, and I've listed those below.   We will be using the Notebooking Journal, as Lindsey is in 6th grade and doesn't need the younger version.

1) At the end of each chapter the Notebooking Journal has a "What Do You Remember" section, whereas the Jr. Notebooking Journal has a coloring pages in place of those questions.   (See the photo below, Jr. Journal at top.)

 2) At the very end of both journals is a final review.   The Jr. Notebooking Journal has fewer questions, with larger writing spaces than the Notebooking Journal.  (See photo below, Jr. Journal at top.)

This is my first time using the MP3 Audio Book.   Lindsey and I both enjoyed the way this was done.   Author Jeannie Fulbright is the orator, and she has a wonderfully pleasing voice.   The bits of background music/sound effects are very complementary without being distracting.   The Audio Book also helped Lindsey to pronounce some more difficult words, as she followed along in her text book while listening to the audio portion.

The textbook itself is beautifully done, with lots of color photos of actual space study.   Graphics and diagrams are clear and easy to understand and help solidify concepts being taught.   The front of the text book has a detailed table of contents of the 14 chapters.  Each chapter is meant to be studied over approximately two weeks.   In the back of the text book you'll find a supply list, by lesson and answers to the "What Do You Remember?" portion of the text.

During our review period, we worked through the first two lessons, "What Is Astronomy" and "The Sun".   This gave us a great overview of where we're headed in this year's science.  *Note, I had another science curriculum on schedule for this year, but we've since decided to shelf that and use Astronomy as our main science for the year.

In our first lesson we were supposed to make a model of the solar system using balloons, but since we mad a styrofoam model a couple years back, I improvised and she did a banner of the solar system instead.

The second lesson, on the Sun, was a bit longer and had more activities.   I was really impressed, and surprised by some of the information covered in this chapter, and at how well Lindsey grasped and retained the information.   The hands on activities and notebooking journal are wonderful tools.   Below you'll see Lindsey using her magnifying glass (we've since bought a better one, ahem) to use the sun to cut a chunk of butter into pieces.

Lindsey and I are both really enjoying this science curriculum.   Starting the program when we did was perfect, as we got to watch the Perseid meteor shower, and understand what we were looking at!  As always, Apologia has done a great job of combining science with scripture to produce a top of the line course.

To read by other TOS Crew members, click here.

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