If you’re looking for a God-centered, creation-based science curriculum for your elementary students, Apologia’s Young Explorers series might be the perfect fit for your family. After several years of homeschooling and trying a few different science curriculums, our family decided to give Apologia a try and we will never look back. My only regret is that we didn’t try it sooner.
Apologia Educational Ministries offers six (with another one in the making) different elementary texts in their Young Explorers series that use the “immersion approach” to engage students with the quality of topics, rather than quantity. The publisher recommends these texts for grades K-6. To enhance the learning experience, Apologia also offers two levels of complementing Notebooking Journals for each text – a Junior Notebooking Journal for the younger scientist, and a Notebooking Journal for the upper elementary explorers.
Our family has used the Young Explorers Astronomy and Anatomy & Physiology texts in the past and were recently given the opportunity to use and review the Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day text and the corresponding regular Notebooking Journal.
As you and your child learn about God’s creations of the 5th day, you will explore things such as animal classification, identifying birds, bird behavior, bird anatomy, bats, flying reptiles, insect life cycles, and butterflies. You will study these topics and many others by reading the text, conducting experiments, completing notebooking activities, doing projects, and narration prompts.
The text incorporates Charlotte Mason methodology by scattering several narration prompts throughout each lesson. This feature is helpful in determining if your child is grasping the concepts and information being taught.
The Try This! sections throughout the lessons help to break up the reading and reinforce the material with a hands-on or interactive activity. This is nice if you have an antsy child or one with a short attention span that requires more focus. These activities are quite simple and not as involved as the projects or experiments.
I was a bit unsure about whether my eight and ten year old sons were going enjoy a whole science text about flying creatures, but they have proven me wrong. Besides, what young boy wouldn’t like a science book that starts right off the bat (no pun intended) with an activity where you get to spray your brother with water (okay, it doesn’t actually tell you to spray your brother, but that’s what ended up happening at our house) and an experiment that entails flying homemade gliders around the house? My boys say this curriculum is fun, interesting, and they love the experiments. There you have it.