Monday, November 4, 2013

Schoolhouse Review: Exploring Creation With Chemistry & Physics

My daughter, who happens to have Down syndrome, absolutely loves science.  I think it is because she loves exploring the world around her through experimentation in a way in which she can visually see what she is learning.  With that in mind you can see why we were eager to review Apologia Educational Ministries curriculum Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics!

You may remember how thrilled we were with one of their other products, Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology that we used at the start of the year.  Well, Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics was definitely on that same level.  I love how they have a solid scientific foundation presented in a way that supports the Word of God.  In fact they begin by telling the student that chemistry and physics are "the sciences God created to make everything around you operate as it does"   The rest of the lessons help you explore the world God made through the scientific principles that He created and used!

That has to be my favorite part of this curriculum.  God is not an afterthought or something held distant.  He is referred to often throughout the book. The entire concept is to help us learn about God's creation so that terminology is used often.  We learn that "crystals are curious compounds in creation" and that while earth is not made of magnetite "God did make it with a lot of iron." In the book you constantly discover the handiwork of God using science.  They are in unison just as they should be, for as they say in the textbook science is how God made the world work!

The book is written in a conversational style that sounds as if the author is speaking right to you.  I think that makes it much more interesting.  Gess will even enjoy reading it on her own.  In fact I have found her doing that a time or two. 

Its not just how it is written that makes the book so incredible to me.  It is the amount of hands on and interactive learning they add that make it so memorable.  After all, what good is learning something if you can't remember it? 

As I mentioned, Gess has special needs so she sometimes struggles learning new things so using hands on activities is a major plus for us.  When Gess hears it is time for science she gets excited and is ready to get her hands dirty and her mind challenged, especially when we are using something from Apologia Educational Ministries.

Each chapter in the book has some Try This segments that are activities to do to help you better understand the concept you just read about.  Chapter 1 had 10 of them so that was thrilling!  These activities can be something as simple as finding rocks with geometric shapes or something more complex like an actual experiment.

Here was a fun one that Gess did to learn about buoyancy.  She made her ocean water blue by using food coloring and then made a boat out of foil.  Then she started adding her treasure to the boat noting that the coins would sink if they were not inside the boat.

Then we were challenged to make the boat sink.  It took quite a few coins to do that.

At the end of each chapter there is an experiment or project that is more involved than most of the Try This segments.  At the end of chapter 1 we made a lava lamp.  It was fun, but we had an accident or two making it so Gess says it was messy.

While you will find most of the items you need for these activities and experiments are things you have around the house they have made it easy to make sure you are fully prepared by providing a supply list for each chapter.  You will find this list at the end of the book.

The Notebooking Journals that they offer with these books are a great supplement.  I love that they offer them in both a Junior and Regular version.  We decided to take the Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Junior Notebooking Journal.

There are many activities that you can do in your journal.  Some of the content is left up to you.  They provide pages that are not exactly blank but allow you to fill it in with your own findings.  Gess often uses those to define words.  After all, vocabulary words are in bold print so that is obviously something she knows she is supposed to remember!

Then some of the activities have specific instructions.  There are puzzles, coloring pages, copy work, and places to write about your projects listing what you did and what you learned from them.  There are also some hands on activities there as well.  Here is Gess working on vocabulary words.  Instead of writing them out she glued them together leaving flaps so she could test herself when done.

They also have some small mini books you can make for each chapter but we didn't do those because you have to write really small in them and that is a struggle for Gess.  Besides there is so much to do in both the book and journal that we hardly get all of them done anyway.  One thing is for sure, there is never a dull moment and Gess absolutely loves Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics!  I know I love it too!

Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics is for children ages 6 to 13.
The Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Textbook is $39.00
You may choose which Notebooking Journal to use depending on the age and ability of the child.
The Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Junior Notebooking Journal is $24.00
The Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Notebooking Journal is $24.00

To learn more about Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics from Apologia Educational Ministries visit their website or see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about it by clicking on the banner below.


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1 comment:

Beth said...

That looks like a great resource. Kylie loves science. I have not done much for her this year because my books are in storage. I know she is missing it.


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