Monday, April 16, 2018

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by Apologia ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

This week's first review comes from one of my very favorite companies! I have reviewed for them before, and used their products on my own and they never disappoint. If you are part of the homeschool community then it's highly likely that you will be familiar with them too! We have been using the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by Apologia for the last few weeks and we are loving it!

Science is one of Gav's favorite subjects because he loves learning about all of the different branches of it, but he also loves to do experiments. Apologia is one of my favorite companies to use for a science curriculum because it's all Christian based with a lot of easy and fun experiments to do along with it. The Young Explorer Series by Apologia is geared towards elementary aged kids, but I am using it for Gav who is in 7th grade. It is great for any homeschool type learning, but does follow a Charlotte Mason approach.

I want to start this review off by talking about what we received for the review. Apologia was very generous in what they sent us to look over and talk about, and I want to make sure that I give you a good picture of each one.

  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Text - This is a beautiful 265 page hard bound book that is full of colorful pictures to go with each lesson. The book is the perfect size as it's big enough to see the print clearly and have a good look at the pictures, but also not so big that it becomes bulky and cumbersome. It brings your student on a journey of learning about the human body and talks about everything from cells and the muscular system to the growth and development of a baby. 
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Junior Notebooking Journal - This beautiful spiral bound consumable journal is made specifically to go right alongside the text, and is geared towards the younger students who have limited handwriting skills. The journal includes everything you need for the assignments such as many coloring pages, science experiments, full-color mini books, and so much more. 
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Notebooking Journal - Like the Junior Notebooking journal it is also spiral bound and consumable, but it is geared for the kids that are older and a little more independent. Again, this journal provides your student with everything needed to complete the assignments in the text. It can serve as an actual journal for your student to record what they've learned and what experiments they are working on. It also has full color mini-books, scripture copywork, project pages, and more. One of my favorite things about these journals is that Apologia has included a two day schedule for you so that you can easily know what to do each week. This is perfect for a mom like me who needs that all laid out for her. Gav likes it too that he can just flip to that page in the journal and know what he's going to be doing for the week.
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CD - I think having this CD is a fantastic addition to this curriculum. You could use it in several different ways. It could work as a read aloud so that you and your student can follow along in the text. You could listen to it in the car while running around doing errands and then do the assignments in the Notebooking Journal at home. If you're not using the journals, then it's just a great CD to listen to. There are many ways to incorporate it into your school. 

So we have been using this curriculum for a few weeks and it has fit right into our school day. We are following the two day a week schedule, but you could easily adapt this to a three or more day a week schedule. I love how everything is laid right out for you including the page numbers.

So on Wednesdays and Thursdays, which we have decided are our science days, we start with our reading in the textbook. Most of the time we take turns reading, and then Gav will go back and write down what's he learned in his journal, and/or important things that he needs to know. Here's a sample of the bright, vibrant, and colorful pictures the book offers.

The textbook also includes the "Try This" projects and also the different experiments or activities to go along with the each lesson. The "Try This" part is fun little experiments that don't take much at all. Like this one was showing how a magnifying glass works by putting a drop of water over a word and the student can see how it appears larger.

We did another fun experiment that used apples and different types of salt to see which salt worked better at preserving the apples after learning about how the Ancient Egyptians preserved bodies. Gav was given instructions to measure out different salts including table salt, Epsom salt, and/or baking soda. Some were used alone and some were mixed in different ratios.

The instructions were to take an apple and cut it into 8 pieces that were close to the same size. Have 8 individual cups ready to record your information such as the cup number, what salt or salt mixture went into the cup, and the weight of the apple slices in the cup. After each slice of apple was weighed on a kitchen scale, he put it into the respective cup, and covered it with the salt. The 8th cup was the control apple with no salt or anything in it. Then we had to wait 7 days to get our results!

After waiting our 7 day period, we were excited to see what the results were! He carefully took each cup and fished out the funky piece of apple. In some cases the apple was worse off than others. Obviously the control apple was nasty and moldy.

He dusted each piece of apple off and weighed it to see the difference in moisture, and how well it preserved the piece. Some of them lost a good amount of moisture, but were still pretty nasty. He found that the apples that were covered in table salt or half table salt, were the ones that preserved the best! You can tell by the look on his face that some of them were pretty gross.

All of the experiments are easy and use household items like above. You definitely don't have to use all of them, but they are fun for the kids and not hard to do. The ingredients are easy to find and very inexpensive.

I want to talk a little bit more about the journals. You don't have to purchase the journals to use the curriculum, but take my word, you want to! It just makes the entire course complete for me. It is so well made and put together that it's worth every penny for it. Just the fact that you don't have to worry about printing anything out will make your life easier. If it calls for a lap book, it's right there in the back already done for you in bright vibrant colors. Here's some samples of the work Gav has done in his journal. He is using the one for the older students.

The picture above is of the cell mini book. The cell spins and tells you the definitions of some of the words in that chapter.

So what do we think of this curriculum? Well it's beyond amazing! I think it fits into any homeschool easily whether you follow a Charlotte Mason approach or not. The instructions for the curriculum are clear and easy to understand, and we all know as busy homeschooling mamas that that is important. The fact that it is from a Christian perspective is perfect for our family.

Gav has already learned so much from just the short time he's been working on Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by Apologia, and we love it!

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