When you are looking for a great science curriculum with a biblical worldview, it is hard to get any better than Apologia’s Exploring Creation series. They have options for elementary students as well as junior and senior high students.
For the purpose of this review, we were sent Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology suitable for kids in K – 6th grade. We were also sent the Student Notebook. Apologia has both a Student Notebook Journal, and a JR Notebook Journal for kids who may not write as well. Either notebook journal works perfect with the curriculum. Finally we were sent the Audio MP3 CD which is the author reading the entire course and can be listened to from the computer or an MP3 player.
The Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology course products include:
Hardback Textbook Retails $39.00
Student Notebook Retails $24.00
Jr. Student Notebook Retails $24.00
Audio MP3 CD Retails $29.00
This science course is designed for students in elementary grades. Apologia recommends the Hardback Textbook for grades 4-6; Student Notebook for grades 3-6; Jr. Student Notebook for grades K-2 or students who are beginning writers. The Audio MP3 can be used with any age and skill level, and it is read by the author Jeannie Fulbright.
The textbook is a big, 265 page, brightly colored, science manual. It is broken down into 14 Lesson chapters:
Introduction To Anatomy and Physiology
The Skeletal System
The Muscular System
The Digestive and Renal Systems
Health and Nutrition
The Resiratory System
Life In The Blood
The Cardiovascular System
The Nervous and Endocrine Systems
The Nervous System Extended
The Integumentary System
The Lymphatic and Immune Systems
Growth and Development
The text book recommends breaking each chapter down into manageable sections that work well for your own family. They suggest a two week schedule for each chapter, but you can adjust this to meet your own needs. Every chapter contains fun experiments and hands on projects. Through out the course, kids will learn how to conduct experiments accurately and apply the scientific method. There is a scientific method form in the front of the textbook that can be used each time your child conducts an experiment.
The curriculum places an emphasis on the child re-telling what they have learned through verbal and written prompts in both the textbook and the notebooking journal. The journal contains templates to fill in and is a great place to record what they have learned. Through out the course they will make various organs and body parts and attache them to a paper person project they have created and keep in their notebook. By the end of the course they have completed a hands on application of the human body form, organs, and systems.
Some materials are needed to complete the experiments. Many of these materials are things you likely have around the house or are easily attainable at stores and online. Apologia has provided a list of everything you need for each chapter lesson if you wish to attain the items on your own. Apologia also offers optional science kits and a Blood Typing Kit too. You can pick and choose what experiments you want to do to reinforce the lesson. They want you to be successful and offer several ways to contact the
m with questions. They also have additional website “EXTRAS” that go beyond the textbook, to help your child learn even more.
For the purpose of this review, we received the Hardback Textbook, Student Notebook, and the Audio MP3 CD
I spent some time reviewing the first two chapters before opening these with the kids. I was amazed how well the materials are put together. The textbook is colorful and easy to understand. Most important, it gives glory to God through out the whole book. I loved the Student Notebook too. It is jam packed with templates that correspond to the lessons and interesting activities.
My 6th grader was excited to “jump in” independently and read the whole chapter 1 for himself and complete the exercises in both the textbook and the student notebook. It says a lot about a product when a kid wants to learn the material on his own. It took him about an hour on three to four days to read through the entire chapter.
One of the assignments in the notebook is to draw a cell and label all of its parts. As he read the textbook, he stopped every so often and filled in his cell in his notebook with the new part he learned about.
After reading all of chapter one himself, he listened to the audio of the chapter being read with the rest of the children. The younger children are not strong readers yet and are able to benefit from either mom reading the text to them, or using the MP3 Audio of the book. What a great resource. You can read, or read and listen, or just listen. So many options to meet different needs of your students. I have one who loves to read, and one who hates to read, and these products met both of their needs.
I printed out and plan to have the younger children fill out the free JR. Notebook sample of lesson one that is available on the Apologia website. I plan to order the Jr. Notebook soon so the younger kids can work through the rest of the book together with their big brother.
Below is one example of the many experiments our kids are enjoying in this curriculum.
Experiment: Make an edible model of a cell.
Use jello to represent the structure of the cell, and various candies to represent the different parts of the cell.
Mix packet of jello according to the directions( one cup boiling water, stir in packet of jello to dissolve, add one cup cold water), but add one packet of Knox plain gelatin powder and 1 additional cup of cold water.
The kids took turns making packs of Jello. They made one bowl of lemon, and two bowls of pineapple.
Then we put this gelatin mixture into the refrigerator, and planned to let it harden overnight, but it ended up being 4 days until we got back to the project.
While we waited for our jello to harden, I had the kids take the learning a step further. I asked them to make a chart of the candies they would be using in side of their jello cells. We forgot to purchase the NERD candy, so we improvised with smarties. Here is our candy chart:
jelly beans and peanut m & m’s = mitochondria
skittles = lysosomes
now a latter = golgi body
fruit roll up = endoplasmic reticulum
smarties = ribosomes
cake sprinkles (tubeular) = centrioles
jaw breaker = nucleus
Next I had them place the candies on a paper cell model. This gave them a little extra practice before inserting the candy into the jello. It also helped the younger children visualize the candy once it went into the jello when it was harder to see.
They used a knife to make a small slit in the cell membrane to insert the candy pieces.
They really had fun with this project. This is a great hands on project to learn with.
We made three cells. Two turned out pretty good and one fell apart as the kids inserted the candies.
But none of it went to waste!
Oh no, they were not about to waist this edible science experiment. The kids jumped right in and gobbled up every drop!
Apologia curriculum is a win win at our house! We are loving this curriculum, the science projects, and fun learning adventures!
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.