Wednesday, November 6, 2013

TOS CREW Review- Apologia's Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics

Wouldn't you know it that my second to last review this year for TOS Crew would be my hardest to write.  There is so much I want to say and so much to show you and I do not want to lose you halfway through! There are a lot of GREAT things to share with you so hang in with me 'til the end!  I promise it will be worth it!

Remember Apologia Educational Ministries?  I have had the pleasure of reviewing their What We Believe series, Journeys of Faithfulness Bible Study, and the book I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. Love them all!
So when offered the chance to review their newest book in their Exploring Creation series, I asked if I could give it a try.  OK, I begged!  We have used the other six in this science series written for elementary age students (ideally K-6th), and I would not want to break up a set, you know!

This is what we received-

Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics is a 288 page, 14 lesson, hard bound book designed to teach your elementary age children the basics of Chemistry and Physics.  Each chapter is full of colorful pictures to engage the interests of younger children and has a ton of hand on experiments! TONS! Throughout each chapter you will find little blue boxes that say Try This!  Each Try This is a mini experiment to help further explain the concept being taught. There are 10 Try This! activities in Chapter 1 alone.  Each chapter ends with an additional project and/or experiment that seems to be a slightly more time consuming assignment.  Each chapter also ends with a What Do You Remember section for review.  The answers to these questions are at the back of the book for ease of the teacher!  Lastly, there is a Notebooking section. This section gives an additional project for your child to do, from just writing down notes of what you learned to making comic strips!

To make life easier, Apologia has created Notebooks to correspond with each of  their books and recently added the Junior Notebooks for even younger kids.  If your family is use to notebooking, this will be right up your alley.  If you have never done notebooking before, this is a great way to learn how.  There are pages for your child to take notes on with spaces for pictures as well, places to do any of  the activities listed in the textbook, crossword puzzles, scripture memory work (manuscript and cursive), and mini books to assemble.  You will also find a place to journal about all the experiments you do, lists of additional projects and recommended books and a What Do You Remember Section.  If you wish to further test your child, there is a 50 question review at the end of the journal reviewing the entire coursework.   The junior notebooks are quite similar, just on an easier level with not so many things to do.  The line spacing is somewhat bigger for beginning writers as well.
What did we think?

I am so glad you asked!  No surprise, we love this book!  Present tense, because we are still using it about four days a week.  (Yes, we ditched our initial science we had planned for the year.  I can do that- I am a homeschooling momma!) One of the bonuses for having the notebooking journals is that Apologia has a 28 week schedule in the front for your convenience.  That schedule allows for science two days a week, but we have found with all of  the experiments we usually work an extra day or two.  I was initially concerned about the subject matter- I mean, who teaches younger kids Chemistry and Physics, but this is by far our favorite book in the Exploring Creation series.   It is written so that your child can read it on their own, which is helpful when you are schooling several kids at the same time.  We do a lot of reading together around here and sometimes it is just nice to have a subject they can do on their own if needed.  I was also concerned about the experiments.  If you have followed me for any length of time you KNOW I do not particularly like experiments.  But, I am trying hard to be a good science teacher and must admit these experiments have been worth the minimal mess.  Apologia has a supply list on their website as well as in the back of the book.  You might as well start gathering supplies because your children are going to want to do every.single.experiment.  I know, because we have about done them all so far.  In no particular order, we have made bouncy balls-

Studied salt crystals-

Studied expanding gases and blown up balloons without our own breathe-

Made sorbet-

Learned about buoyancy-

And talked about Volume and density!

As you can see from the pictures, the fun and learning went beyond my 6th grader doing the course and often included the 1st grader and 10th grader, who happens to be doing Apologia's High School Chemistry this year as well.  I had planned to have my 1st grader do all of the lessons with us but the reading was over his head and he lost interest early on.  That of course, did not stop him from doing just about every experiment with us.  No one wants to miss the fun parts!  I am going to hang on to the junior notebook to use with him in another year of so.  There are so many other really fun experiments to try, so if for no other reason than that, make sure you check out my other Crew members posts by clicking on the banner below.
We did the lava lamp one and did not have great success, but I have seen some others' whose pictures are fantastic!

Why do we love it?
My husband suggested I do a top ten list for you, so here it is-

So if you are one of those people who skips down to the bottom- here is the bottom line - you NEED this program!  We love it and I know you will too!


1 comment:

  1. Great pictures especially the colored water experiment! We also find that we have to do 4 days in order to accomplish it all. Jennifer H.


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