I am excited to share my review of Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by Apologia with you today, but first I want to give you a little back story. When I first started homeschooling almost six years ago I started with a ‘box’ curriculum. I figured out pretty quickly that it was not working for us and started creating my own science curriculum. Part of our studies that year included a study of the planets and a family member suggested that I check out Apologia’s Astronomy book as a resource. The children loved it and we ended up using it for the entire semester instead of just the month that we had planned on spending on astronomy. We have been using Apologia ever since. We have enjoyed each book that we tried and Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology is no exception.
Apologia sent us the text, Junior Notebooking Journal, Notebooking Journal, and the MP3 CD. When it came in the mail, the children were thrilled to be able to ‘un-box’ their new goodies. My husband has more of a science background than I do and enjoys anatomy so we decided to do this science in the evenings as a family to allow him the opportunity to participate. We all gathered in the living room and my husband would read aloud a section or two of the text and then we would discuss what he had read.
As we went through we did many of the “try this” activities that are included. These are one of my many favorite parts of the curriculum because they provide hands on activities that are quick and easy and often need little to no advance preparation. For example, in the second lesson where we were learning about bones of them simply had the children hit a table with their hands and then hit the table with a cushion between their hands and the table. This helped to demonstrate the cushioning effect of cartilage between the bones.
There are also more in depth experiments at the end of the lessons and in the Notebooking Journals. The first lesson focuses on cells and the end project was making an edible cell using Jell-O and candy. That was certainly a hit with my kids. There are looking forward to some of the other experiments such as testing for Vitamin C and making a stethoscope.
While we did the reading and experiments together, the children worked through their notebooking journals on their own. My 6th grader used the regular Notebooking Journal and my daughter who is 4th/5th grade used the Junior Notebooking Journal. There are some activities and pages that are very similar but the Notebooking Journal is more involved. For example, in lesson one some of the pages are the same but the Junior Notebooking Journal has several coloring pages (which work great for keeping little hands busy while I read) and an extra ‘lapbooking’ style page. The Notebooking Journal has a crossword puzzle and review questions that are not in the Junior Notebooking Journal.
Did I tell you how much I love having the CD that goes along with this text? There are so many wonderful ways to incorporate it in our lessons. Sometimes we use the CDs to listen on the road. This is a great way to get some school done even on those busy days when we aren’t home. Also, my son loves to listen to audio books before bed and he can just put it into his CD player and listen to it, giving him a nice review of what we have learned so far. Since we do science together I have not used it to help a struggling reader, but I know several families that will allow the child to listen to the CD while they follow along in the book. The CD is the book read aloud word for word so this is a great support for struggling readers.
In case you couldn’t tell, we absolutely recommend this product. The science is in-depth and thorough but full of fun and easy hands on projects to make it all stick. You do need to know that it is written from a Christian creationist standpoint. This is a big positive for us and we love how it explains the role of the creator in the science, but we know that some people may wish for a different view point. While you are checking out Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology you can also take a look at the books in this elementary series.
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