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Schoolhouse Review: Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics (Apologia)

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I was thrilled to be chosen to review one of Apologia’s newest homeschool science book, Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics.

Apologia Educational Ministries has a whole series for elementary age children called Young Explorer Series: Astronomy, Botany, Human Anatomy, and Zoology 1, 2, and 3.

Science has always been one of those subjects that end up at the bottom of our homeschool  ‘pile’. It seems to get pushed behind math, phonic, reading, and grammar. It’s sad because the children love science. They really enjoyed Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics because it was packed full of science experiments.

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In the first week of using Apologia’s science we had completed more science experiments than in the past few years. All of them requiring inexpensive items like corn starch, balloons, soda pop, etc.

What I received for this review:

The recommended age – K-6th. I used this with my 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade children (I purchased extra notebooks so they all had their own).

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The textbook is absolutely beautiful with full color pictures. There are 14 lessons which can take around two weeks to complete. It really depends on how much you do a day. In the back of the textbook you will find a supply list and answer key to the questions asked through out the book.

Each topic within the lesson are in a bold blue font which makes it easy to have a start and stopping point.

After reading for example Viscosity Values, there is a ‘Try This!’ experiment and sometimes a prompt for an oral narration from your students. Each lesson can be read by the parent or if you have a good reader the child can read the selected pages and come to you when done to do the experiment and/or narrate what the have learned.

At the end of each most lessons (chapter) your child will have the opportunity to:

  • Create or complete a Notebooking Activity (depending if you purchased the Notebooking Journal).
  • Final Matters~relating what you’ve learned to God the ultimate creator!
  • What Do You Remember? which are questions to help your child flesh out what he/she has learned.
  • Project or final experiment.

You don’t have to purchase a Notebooking Journal to use Exploring Creation with Chemistry and physics. For me it’s the only way we would have completed any notebooking. I’m not a notebooking kind of homeschooling mama and probably would have skipped most of the notebooking with my kids. I’m glad to have had the two provided for this review and the two that I purchased so all four children will have a completed notebook.

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I used the Notebooking Journal with Caleb and Brent. The notebooks have a 2 day per week schedule. Giving you the textbook pages to read and when to use the notebook so that’s a great feature if you are a box checker or just like having a schedule already made for you.

I usually prefer to follow schedules that are included but this time I chose not to use the one provided.

Apologia Science Each notebook lesson has What Do You Remember questions. With my kiddos we answered these together. I wrote the answer on the board and they copied it. You can also do these orally but I chose to have my kids write the answers down because one thing I want more from them is writing.

There is a two page spread for the child to write Fascinating Facts about what they are learning in corresponding lesson. There are also boxes to draw pictures too!

Crossword puzzles are included and a fun way to reinforce the vocabulary words that they will come across in their textbook.

Copywork, I love this. Each lesson has a verse to be copied and your child has a choice to either copy it in cursive or print.

Every notebook lesson has some sort of cut-and-fold mini books, pockets, or flaps. In the back of the notebook are full color fold outs and such for the child to cut and paste into the current lesson area.

The Test it Out is no ordinary test but fun way to increase your child’s knowledge with hands on activities, suggested research, and experiments.

With all the science experiments that your child will do they will also need a place to record them. The student notebooks have a section for that too (although I’d of liked more space to add pictures or drawing) called Project Pages. There is a section to write What I Did and What I Learned.

The Jr. Notebooks has coloring pages. I let Ethan and Lance color while I read from the textbook. The crossword puzzles are not has hard and the pages where the child write what they’ve learned have primary lines.

Jr. Notebook Pages

Ethan and Lance used the Jr. Notebooking pages. It was nice teaching my four younger children together. It did take us a while to complete a lesson though because the two youngest took forever to write. I know they could have done a lot orally but I want them to write, write, write. It’s one of my homeschooling goals this year. This is why I purchased extra Notebooks, to make sure everyone is writing.

The way we used Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics: I read the lessons to the kiddos. When it was noted to have the student narrate I had each child tell me what they learned. We did the experiments after the reading which the children really, really, loved.

I was really happy with using Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics because #1 my kids were excited to learn about matter, atoms, molecules, etc. In the past the children’s science learning has been about bugs, trees, and the human body, so learning about chemistry was something different.

#2 was the science experiments (Try This!). The kiddos really had a blast with all the hands on activities. We had one science experiment that was a bit messy but was really fun (pg. 33). I think it was the kids favorite because they played with it for at least an hour after our science ‘class’.

Science Fun

Most of the Try This are not so messy. My boys just had a lot of fun playing with the cornstarch and water mixture. They loved how it was both a liquid and solid. I’ll admit I had fun too!

And #3 I love hearing, “That was fun mom” when we completed a lesson. I think Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics is a winner here at Homeschooling6. We’ll continue using it this year and hopefully have some nice notebooking journals full of memories (which reminds me I need to print some of the pictures so they can glue them into their journals).

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