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Last year, I needed my 2nd grader to do at least part of his science independently as I juggled three different students in three different science courses and a toddler. (We normally try to combine science, but it was not practical last year.) He loved doing Apologia’s Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day.
So, this year I decided to let him pick another book from the Apologia elementary series and use the same type of setup. Last year, my son chose to do Apologia’s Swimming Creatures of the fifth day because he loves the beach. This year he chose Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day because he enjoys looking at birds and studying insects during our nature study time.
Apologia’s Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day Audiobook
My son loves audiobooks and has great auditory comprehension, so I wanted to stick with a book that he could do via audio. This also allows my four-year-old to listen and learn as he is interested.
So, we purchased the audio version of the text to go along with the hardback version. Then my son can listen on his kindle while he follows along in the text or sometimes he colors or works on a notebooking page.
The audiobook allows him to do science in the car while we travel or listen to the information again if he doesn’t remember something. Often he is listening while I am cooking lunch or folding clothes.
We usually use Apologia’s notebooking journals when we do these courses, but we decided it would be too much with my son’s reading difficulties. So, I found some other resources that we could use to complement the text.
Other Flying Creatures Resources
Chalk Pastel Art Lessons
We always love Nana’s chalk pastel art lessons, and she has some excellent, easy-to-follow lessons that fit perfectly with Flying Creatures. These are fun for my son and help tie together what he is learning. I have gone in and picked out bird and insect pictures to fit with each chapter. Then I organized it on my Trello board to help me remember which lessons went well with which chapters.
You can purchase individual courses or the You Are An Artist Clubhouse, which is our favorite because we have access to everything and he can pick and choose different projects each week.
My son is just getting comfortable with writing, and I am using notebooking pages to work on his writing while recording what he is learning in science. I have made a collection of one or two notebooking pages per chapter, and he writes a sentence or two after he listens to the chapter. Then he can draw a picture of what he wrote about. (There are a huge variety of different pages to choose from for each topic, depending on the child’s level.)
My son would do nature study every day if time allowed, and he spends hours outside most days. We have set up multiple birdhouses and bird feeders to allow him a good first-hand view of the birds in our area.
We are also using the bird and insect resources that are included in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. Their courses provide information, hands-on ideas, follow-up suggestions, and more. There are also some great printables included to help record what they are seeing and learning.
I love being able to give him such a hands-on approach to his learning.
I am so excited about all of the field trip opportunities that go along with flying creatures. There is a wonderful bird park that is just a few hours from our home. We are planning a field trip there this fall to see a wide variety of birds. You can even feed the flamingos!
In addition, our state zoo and aquariums both have some bird exhibits, and since our family has an aquarium membership, we can get into both of those for free!
Our state science museum has a wonderful butterfly garden and insect exhibits to get a close-up look at different insects.
Finally, we love hiking and nature walks so we will look for birds in various state and local parks as we hike.
Even if you do not have a local bird park, I encourage you to look around at various local science centers, zoos, etc, to see what they have to offer.
Burgess Bird Book
Last year, we used many Suzanne Tate’s Nature Series books to study swimming creatures. She also has a few bird books, so we will use those this year. However, our primary extra text for this year will be the Burgess Bird Book. The Burgess book uses fun and engaging stories to teach children about various birds. I purchased the illustrated kindle edition for less than $1 and also used an audible credit for the audio version. This will allow my son to follow along and see the bird pictures as he listens to the audio.
Finally, do not underestimate a trip to the library for some picture books to go along with each chapter. I have been going online about a week before we get to a lesson and searching our library system for books about the topic. Then, I simply put them on hold and pick them up the next time we go to the library.
This week we enjoyed several great books on birds that helped me include my four-year-old in our studies.
The flexibility of homeschooling is so important, and what works one year might not work the next year. For our family, this semi-independent study of Apologia is a great way for my son to be able to do much of his science independently while still giving us time together.
We love Apologia for its biblical worldview, thorough content coverage, and flexibility to use this program in a way that works best for our family! We are excited about our study of birds and other flying creatures. I would love to hear what other resources you enjoy for this program. Share ideas in the comments!
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