The 2013 Schoolhouse Review Crew year has started out strong with an amazing review opportunity from Apologia Educational Ministries. Me and the kids are reviewing Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day from their Elementary Science series, by Jeannie Fulbright, for grades K-6. In addition to the text, we were also provided the junior notebooking journal.
The text for the third book in the Zoology series will lead you on a safari, all around the world, exploring the land animals that God created on the sixth day. Lions and tigers and bears - Oh My! I couldn't resist that. Really though there are animals covered all the way from the tiniest of spiders to the huge T-Rex in the 266 pages of this hardcover text.
Purchase price: $39.00
To go along with the text, there are two spiral-bound notebooking journals available. The junior for the younger elementary kids or kids with limited writing ability, which is the one shown here. The other one is for the older elementary kids and requires more writing. In the journals are the sample lesson guide, notebooking pages, coloring pages, mini books for the kids to complete, experiment notes, and much more. You can see samples of both notebooks on Apologia's website.
Purchase price: $24.00 for either version
After receiving our books, we dug in. Well first I did a bit of browsing to see what it all entailed. The text is written to the student in a conversational style. My kids are five and six, so I would be doing the reading aloud for them. In the beginning of the book there is an intro section, which discusses the layout of the 14 lessons as well as a supply list for the experiments/activities for each. Most of the supplies are things you either already have around the house or can get them at easily at your local store. Other than gathering the supplies for the experiments/activities, this is an open and go curriculum.
The suggested time for each lesson is two weeks, which can be adjusted as you see fit for the age/interest of your kid(s). Each lesson follows pretty much the same format: the text of the lesson with occasional "try me" sections scattered about, followed by What do you remember?, Map It!, Track It!, Notebooking activities, and an experiment or activity.
Now let's look at the Junior Notebooking Journal. It too has a repeating format for each lesson with variety added into the lessons by way of mini books and vocabulary pages.The layout goes like this: two coloring pages, fascinating facts, copywork pages (one print/one cursive), vocabulary pages, minibook, Explore More, project page, and scientific speculation sheet for experiments. The Explore More page is nice to have. It has extra activities for the kids to do and also a DVD and Book Suggestions list, which is so much easier than coming up with my own.
|Camouflage Experiment in action.|
On the first day the kids color the picture from the journal as I read from the text. I get interrupted a million times because the kids would have questions or want to add in things they already knew about some of the information. I am not saying this to complain. I am saying this because that is what is intended by the way the text is written. Remember earlier I said it was written in a conversational style? It pulls the kids in with questions and having them relate prior knowledge to the things they are learning. What a great teaching style. The more engaged we keep them, the more they are going to retain. After they are done coloring they choose a notebooking page (I have many generic ones they use) and start drawing and writing about the things they have learned.
The following days, they either worked on notebooking pages, or minibook construction while I read. We did the vocabulary page together out loud since it was a fill in the blank type of page. And I did the scribing on the vocabulary minbook with the answers given to me by the kids after another day of reading and notebooking.
I explained about the Map It! section and the Track It! booklet that we were going to create to keep a log of the animal tracks that we study and also ones that we find on our own. There are pages in the back of the journal to create the track it book.
To finish off our lesson we did the experiment on camouflaged animals. You can see them working hard in the picture above. This shows the mood they were in while working on it.
Here is the collection of pages from Lesson 1.
Once we hit Lesson 2, I quickly realized that we should have gone over animal classification to some extent before doing this lesson. The Zoology 1 book does classification in its first lesson so I am going to go back and do that one before moving on with lesson 3. Apologia's website has a sample of the first lesson of each book available to view if you would be interested in seeing them. The Zoology books do not need to be done in order, but they will miss out on the classification in the first book. You could also just discuss it as you go through the text.
~My thoughts and opinions~
I really like the immersion approach to science that is used in Apologia's science series. It fits will with our classical method of homeschooling and would also fit well with any other method. Narration and notebooking are a perfect fit for us and those are the high points of this curriculum. One of my other favorites from a time saving perspective are the Explore More pages in the journal. I really appreciate not having to do all of the leg work to further our studies and dig deeper. Apologia has provided a rigorous, biblically sound resource to teach our children about God's amazing creation within the pages of Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day. It is engaging and fun for the kids and all the while they are learning. You can't beat that.
Click below to read more reviews of Apologia's Elementary Science Series.
As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.