Saturday, April 11, 2009
Science has never been a subject that I have been especially fond of. As a child I was never very interested in science texts and always found the experiments we did in class confusing. Some of them were fun, but I didn't understand the science behind them. As a homeschool mom, I have to admit, I've felt a bit inadequate and had really only dabbled in a little bit of science lessons.
However, we were introduced to the Exploring Creation series from Apologia Educational Ministries last fall. My oldest was taking a class on the text Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day and we were required to read the chapters at home each week. This spring we are using Exploring Creation with Botany at our co-op and I was also sent Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day to review. I have to tell you, I love these science books!
Truly what makes the Exploring Creation series so wonderful is the way they are written. Jeannie Fulbright is the talented author behind these books and I can't even bring myself to call them textbooks. They are so full of information with beautiful full color photos on every page, but they are written in a conversational tone which completely draws the student (and teacher!) in. If you are familiar with the Charlotte Mason method of learning than you will understand when I tell you that this is what Ms. Mason would call a 'living book'.
The Charlotte Mason influence does not stop with the way these books are written either. Students are also encouraged to spend time outdoors observing firsthand what they are learning about as well as completing projects and experiments explained in the book. They are also prompted to narrate the information with open-ended questions inserted throughout the chapters and to write information learned in science notebooks.
Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day is written with the student ages six to thirteen in mind. Because there is so much information included, I have found that my 8 year old and 7 year old are the ones who enjoy and glean the most from the Exploring Creation books. My younger ones don't mind listening to Mommy read and enjoy looking at the pictures, but they still have a hard time comprehending much of the scientific information.
Flying Creatures has 14 lessons. We usually complete one lesson a week, but you are encouraged to take as much time as your family needs to complete a lesson. The lessons don't just focus on birds, but also explore bats and flying insects as well. Like I said before, students are encouraged to keep a notebook instead of filling out answers in a workbook and each chapter ends with an experiment or project to give your children the opportunity to use the scientific method. Your book will also include a password that will allow you access to the "course website" which provides you with wonderful links for further study.
I cannot recommend the Exploring Creation series from Apologia enough. I always seem to breathe a sigh of relief when I open these books and think, "YES, this is how science should be taught!" It is interesting, engaging, thorough, and taught from a Creationist view.
You can purchase Apologia books from their website. Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day is only $35. You can read reviews of this and other Apologia books at the TOS Crew blog.
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