Science can be a tricky subject to cover, particularly when it comes to Christian education. Finding a curriculum that doesn't completely disregard the creator of all things can be equally as challenging. So, I was excited about the opportunity to review Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology by Apologia. It has been a welcome addition to our science curriculum!
Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology is part of the Young Explorer Series from Apologia. This particular set comes with a textbook, a notebooking journal (also available in "junior" version), and an MP3 Audio Book. I had the opportunity to take a look at the entire set and what it has to offer.
The curriculum is broken down into 14 lessons that are covered over a suggested period of 28 weeks. I say suggested because they do offer a "suggested schedule" that you can follow if you so choose. The schedule in the curriculum suggests using it twice a week. However, you can go as fast or as slow as suits your family.
Anatomy and Physiology Textbook
There are lots of pictures and illustrations to accompany the text. This is very helpful for my daughter who is very much a visual learner. Throughout each lesson you'll find several "Try This" sections. These are little activities that correlate with the text. I found these to be very useful because it allows your student to stop, reflect, and apply the information they just learned.
Each lesson closes out with a project or experiment. At the front of the textbook you can actually find a supply list of all the supplies needed for each lesson. This is super helpful because it's all in one spot and it allows you to plan ahead...which I'm grateful for!
Human Anatomy Notebooking Journal
Accompanying the textbook is the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Notebooking Journal. Throughout the textbook, you'll find references to the NJ or notebooking journal. This journal was created to help complete the assignments that are covered in the book and is intended for grades 3 and up.
While the journal is not required, I do think it's worth getting. Not only does it have all the activities ready for you, but there are extra activities that you don't get outside of the journal that are really useful. For example, scripture copy work, crossword puzzles, and "More to Explore" suggestions (activity and resources to enhance and expand on what they've learned).
One of the activites my daughter finds really neat is the personal person project. You start by cutting out a body and attaching a photo of your student. As you go through the text and learn about the different organs and systems, you add them to your person. We're still working through ours but, by the end, you have a fully built person with all the working parts and systems.
It's really neat to get to see each system individually and to see how intricate the human body actually is. Whew! It's a great reminder of just how AWESOME the God we serve is!
Junior Human Anatomy Notebooking Journal
The Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Junior Notebooking Journal is simplified version of the notebooking journal mentioned above. It's intended for students in Kindergarten up to 3rd grade and is the one I used with my 2nd grader.
The general makeup is the same for the most part. The activities have just been modified to accomodate younger students. One of the things you'll find in this version that isn't in the other version is coloring pages. My daughter enjoyed coloring while I read to her from the textbook.
You'll still find scripture copy work but the verses are shortened in the junior version. You also will NOT find the "What Do You Remember?" section in the junior notebooking journal. This is a section in the advanced version that asks questions to help the student recall the information that was read. I think this really helps when it comes to retaining details. For younger students, they'll be asked periodically throughout the textbook to recall what they just learned.
MP3 Audio Book
Prior to this review, I fancied myself somewhat of a decent out-loud reader...then I listened to the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CD. Honestly, my expectations weren't too high of a textbook audio cd. You know those audio scripture reading that are super monotone and almost robotic-like? That's what I envisioned this audio cd sounding like.
I'm pleased to report...I was wrong! The narrator (and author of the aforementioned books) is actually very engaging and admittedly pleasant to listen to. I was concerned that the audio version of the textbook wouldn't keep my daughters attention, but alas, it kept her attention better than I did! Now I see my reading left something to be desired lol.
But, nonetheless, I'm really glad that Apologia offers the audio version of the textbook. At one point, I had lost my voice and speaking was difficult. Even more so reading from a textbook. I just popped in the audio cd and voila'! I was able to spare my voice and still complete our lesson for that week =)
Check out more Apologia reviews here!
Overall, I think the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology set is a solid curriculum. I really appreciate the fact that the author consistently brings focus back to where is should be...on the creator of all our inner and outer workings! Yes, the human body is amazing and can do amazing things, but we must acknowledge the creator of such amazing-ness!
As for the material itself, I think Apologia did a great job at balancing information with application. The textbook does give A LOT of information. But the author was consistent in breaking to assess the rentention of information along the way. The activities are engaging and do a great job at helping students to understand the human body and how it works. I'm actually looking forward to checking out other material from the Young Explorer Series!
What's your favorite part of teaching anatomy and physiology? Share with me in the comments below!
Until next time, Be encouraged!
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Hi there! My name is Brittany..help meet to T.J. and mom to 5 little blessings. My passion lies in helping other women to see their value through the eyes of their creator. Be Encouraged...YOU are a Good Thing!