For several years I have wanted to try Apologia‘s Young Explorer Series science curriculum with at least one of my children so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to review Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. Sometimes, a homeschooling mom needs something they can open and run with. That’s exactly what I found when we opened up the goodies that came with this curriculum set.
WHAT WE RECEIVED
- Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Text Book (hardback)
- Anatomy Notebooking Journal
- Junior Anatomy Notebooking Journal
- MP3 Audio Book CD
HOW IT WORKS
The 14 chapters of this science text covers all systems of the human body for elementary students. The chapters are printed on high quality paper and include colorful illustrations. The text can be read by the student themselves or you can read the text out loud to younger (or struggling) students. The sections are short and clear, easy to understand.
The information is broken up with short activities called “Try This!” in which the child is asked to think, demonstrate, consider the material being presented. In Lesson 3, we learned about muscles so in one of the “Try This!” activities we practiced facial expressions and considered all the muscles it took to smile, frown, express surprise, etc.
The lessons also include experiments and projects that help the student discover aspects, functions, structure of the different body systems being studied.
There is a supply list at beginning of the book that is helpful. Most of the items listed were things we already have lying around. Before getting started we collected all the necessary supplies, creating a little ‘kit’ to make it easy to dive into lessons and experiments. You could also search online for pre-assembled kits if you wanted to. I like being able to jump right into a lesson without going on a hunt for supplies.
The Notebooking Journals are designed to go along with each lesson, giving student a place to document, illustrate, collect facts, etc. At the beginning, you’ll find a lesson plan laid out for you. Each lesson is scheduled for 2 days per week, giving you 28 weeks to get through the entire text. Also included are copywork pages. These use scripture that reinforce the science lessons. This journal is not required when using the text, but I highly recommend it!
I am a huge fan of lapbooks and notebooking, especially in the elementary grades. There is something about hands-on activity that makes school lessons stick with them. The Notebooking Journal lays out everything in a nice format so your child can build their own science journal as they go through the lessons. There are two available – the Junior level recommended for grades K-3 and the regular Anatomy Notebooking Journal, recommended for grades 3 and up.
The main differences in the two different notebooking journal are: there are coloring pages appropriate for young children and copywork geared for younger ages in the Junior notebooking journal. The journal for the older ages includes a bit more writing and encourages deeper consideration and fact collecting. In my opinion, either can be adapted to younger or older students. Both do an excellent job of rounding out this science curriculum.
HOW WE USED IT
I am using Exploring Creating with Human Anatomy and Physiology with my sixth grade daughter. Twice a week, usually Tuesdays and Thursdays, she follows the assigned tasks on the lesson plan pages at the beginning of her notebooking journal. It will usually include some reading, which she does on her own. The some sort of activity such as the Try This! or an experiment. Also assigned might be an activity in the journal itself, like building a human body template or a mini-book full of facts learned in the lesson.
Narration is also encouraged. My daughter works independently for much of her lesson, but she will narrate back to me what she is learning and her older brother (8th grade) works the experiments and projects with her. As she finished the day’s assignments she checks off the box – easy record keeping!
On average, her lessons take about a half hour to complete. On project day it will be longer, or when something sparks her interest she’ll spend more time. I love that the lessons are adaptable that way. I plan to have her continue at this pace. Because we began mid-year with this I will have her continue through summer, which works great for our year round homeschool schedule! If we would have started at the beginning of the school year, I may have had her work through more quickly, 3 or 4 days per week and then finishing mid-year.
Although we have not needed to us it often, the audio book available on cd mp3 format has been helpful on a few occasions when I have had to be away from or when we’ve had busy days traveling back and forth to various activities and appointments. I call her (Jeannie Fulbright, author, narrates the textbook!) my substitute teacher. So nice!
I am happy with the wide variety of quality curriculum and resource options that Apologia offers. Our family has reaped many benefits over the years using their science texts through high school and also by using supplements such as the Internship for High School Credit.
See how others are using Apologia‘s Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology in their homeschools. Just click on the image below: