Review of Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition from Apologia Educational Ministries

My kids love science, and like many their age, they also love learning about space! When Apologia Educational Ministries sent us the Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition to use in our home school, I was so excited. The kids were equally jazzed to give it a try.

This curriculum operates a lot like what you would expect from traditional consumable-type programs. There are one-time use components for each child to work with. The textbook is reusable. This kit included:
  • Student Text
  • Notebooking Journal
  • Jr. Notebooking Journal
  • Audio CD

The "Junior" Notebooking Journal was bit more simplified than the regular one. I would anticipate that you could use it with a child that wasn't a strong reader, they would just need some help. Both of the journals provided full-color activities, copywork, folding crafts, and space to write down thoughts about what the children have learned. The journals are a good balance of structure for kids who need writing prompts or who don't like to do open-ended activities and free-thinking/brainstorming type exercises.

There is no teacher book for this curriculum, as the few answers that need to be supplied for checking work is provided in the back of each of the journals. Since most of the learning and fact-checking is open-ended, it's a great way to teach astronomy in a learning environment that doesn't grade harshly or discourage delayed learners. I also really enjoyed that the two levels of journals were very similar in scope and organization, but different enough to make each level challenging for the respective age group.

We used this with our 4th and 5th grade boys who do all of their learning together. The 5th grader is actually a delayed reader, so he used the Junior journal, and the 4th grader (the younger one) is reading at a 7th or 8th grade level and used the other journal successfully. I personally loved that they could learn and review the same concepts without having my older son feel self-conscious about his obstacles. This was a confidence booster I didn't expect to have happen!

You can make astronomy a family learning activity day in and day out, with very little planning needed and pretty much all of the materials you need coming straight from the journals! (A pen or pencil, scissors, glue, and crayons or colored pencils is the complete supply list for most all of the activities included in the curriculum. It's so simple but super-engaging!)

Apologia is such a high-quality company, and I have really enjoyed using this curriculum. If you want to take your learning journey outside of the home classroom (who wouldn't?), you can use their Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal to document museum or planetarium visits that will really boost your child's interest in astronomy!

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