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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Schoolhouse Crew Review: Exploring Creation With Astronomy, 2nd Edition

When I first started homeschooling, Exploring Creation With Astronomy was the very first book I ever used from Apologia Educational Ministries.  My oldest daughter and I enjoyed our study of astronomy and our family went on to use many other science books and other products from Apologia.  I had not had an opportunity to use the Astronomy book again with the rest of my children. My boys especially love the stars and the planets and when I saw that Apologia had released Exploring Creation With Astronomy, 2nd Edition, I jumped at the opportunity to review it.  We received:

Exploring Creation With Astronomy, 2nd Edition Textbook
Exploring Creation With Astronomy, 2nd Edition Notebooking Journal
Exploring Creation With Astronomy, 2nd Edition Junior Notebooking Journal
Exploring Creation With Astronomy, 2nd Edition Audio CD

Exploring Creation With Astronomy ,2nd Edition was written by Jeannie Fulbright with the help of NASA Engineer Damian Ludwiczak.  It is part of Apologia's Young Explorer Series for grades K-6 and uses reading, narration, copywork, notebooking, and lots of hands on activities to help your students retain what they have learned. The lessons are Bible based and give glory to God. There are 14 lessons in the book including:

What is Astronomy
The Sun
The Moon
Space Rocks
Kuiper Belt and the Dwarf Planets
Stars, Galaxies, and Space Travel

The textbook is a 216 page hardcover book.  In it are all of the lessons that need to be read, hands on activities for each lesson, and "What Do You Remember?" review questions.  The book has full color illustrations, Bible verses, and "Think About It" sections.

There are two different types of Notebooking Journals to accompany the text. The regular notebooking journal is for around grades 3-6.  The junior journals are for beginning writers around grades K-3.  Both journals are spiral bound and 336 pages.  The journals have a suggested daily schedule inside.  They also have sections for recording:  Fascinating Facts and Personal Reflections, Scripture Copywork, Activity Documentation, Vocabulary Review, Taking It Further, What Do You Remember?, and Final Review.  They also have mini books for each lesson and a place to keep them in your journal.  The biggest difference between the regular and the junior journal is the types of lines that they write on (the junior journal has the dashed lines), the difficulty of the crossword activities, and the junior journals have coloring pages instead of What Do You Remember? questions.

The Audio CD contains the entire textbook read aloud by Jeannie Fulbright.  It is an MP3 CD and you will need an MP3 compatible CD player or computer to be able to play it.

I have been using Exploring Creation With Astronomy 2nd Edition with my 5,7,9 and 11 year olds.  I have been reading aloud to them from the textbook.  My 7 year old has been using the junior notebooking journal and my 11 year old has been using the regular notebooking journal.  We have completed the hands on activities together and have also listened to the audio CD.

I wish that I still had a copy of the older edition so I could fully compare the two in this review, but I do not.  The biggest difference in the editions is that this new one is in full color and it is a beautiful book!  I just love the illustrations and the layout of the book.  It is broken down into very digestible chunks and the amount of reading is not at all overwhelming.  The notebooking journals have your suggested schedule that can be adapted to suit your needs.  They have color coordinated the assignments: green means textbook reading, blue means notebook sections, and brown are for additional activities that can be found in the Apologia Science Kit.  The science kit is something new that has separate hands on activities and instructions that are not included in the textbook.

Some children learn best by hearing, others by reading, and others by doing.  The Apologia Young Explorer Science Series is designed to suit children with all types of learning styles.  I have noticed that my children learn science concepts best by doing hands on activities. There is a good variety of activities in the textbook and many of them only require easy to find items.  Most importantly, they have been fun!

Making a balloon solar system

 Using the power of the sun to melt butter

Learning about revolving and rotating
 Learning about eclipse

The journals were not around when I used the first edition of the book, but we have used them along with the other science books.  I love that they offer two different levels of the journals.  They also are set up so you can truly make it your own.  There are places to draw, write, and include pictures.  We love the mini books.  I also love the scripture copywork and that it is in both print and cursive in both journals.

The Audio CD is a great resource for auditory learners or homeschoolers who are learning on the go.  I love that it includes the whole book and Jeannie Fulbright has a very pleasant speaking voice that it interesting to listen to.

Even though the book in the Young Explorer Series all say K-6th, I ordinarily would say that they better suit 3rd and up if children are learning on their own and not tagging along with older siblings simply because of the amount of reading. But this Astronomy course could definitely be used and enjoyed by those in the younger age range.  The book is broken up very well for those in the younger audience.

We have not had an opportunity to see the new science kit, but the activities sound very interesting.  I did see that it is now available if you would like to check it out click here.

Exploring Creation With Astronomy, 2nd Edition is a hit with this family! We have reviewed many products from Apologia such as Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics, Exploring Creation With Zoology 3 Land Animals of the 6th Day, and Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal.

To see what my Crew Mates have to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

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