You know, when I think of homeschool science programs, particularly those that are aimed at the early elementary age, I don't typically think of Chemistry or Physics. However, that is exactly the kind of science that we have had the privilege to introduce to our daughters this month. Thanks to a very favorite company of mine, Apologia Educational Ministries , we have had a blast reviewing both the physical book, Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics , and it's companion, the Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Junior Notebooking Journal .
Honestly, when I excitedly told the girls what we would be receiving and studying, their initial response was, "Chemistry?!" in a somewhat apprehensive tone. It sounded complicated and grown up to them. Then we got the awaited package in the mail, and I unveiled these beautiful books. The girls looked through the notebooking jornal, and quickly decided that this would be pretty cool after all.
We kind of jumped right in, but I will mention that it is a good idea to peruse the first few lessons before you actually begin, as of course you're doing all the time anyway, right homeschool parents? ;) Because, there are a LOT of science experiments and activities throughout the lessons, which is so very totally great! However, you'll want to make sure that you have any and all necessary materials to complete these. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me go back a little and start by telling you what you'll find in this wonderful homeschool science curriculum .
This course is designed to take you through the school year, with 14 lessons that will be divided so that you work on them 2 days a week. Of course, this is just the schedule as suggested in the notebooking journal. You can work at your own pace to adjust to your needs. We usually do twice a week, but there is a lot of reading and activities, so occasionally, we add an extra day of it in our schedule.
The text book is lovely, hardcover, brightly colored and generally high in quality. Built to last. :) These are the lessons you'll cover:
*Chemistry and Physics Matter
*Building Blocks of Creation
*Multitude of Mixtures
*Mechanics in Motion
*Dynamics of Motion
*Work in the World
*Sound of Energy
*Light of the World
*Electrifying Our World
I love the text, because it speaks right to the child, in easy to understand vocabulary. The beginning of a lesson starts with reading, for our family it is me reading aloud. When we finish a specified section, the kids "narrate" what they learned from the text. I can see if they're tracking by doing this, and explain any parts that were confusing for them. Then we'll do the "Try This!" that is featured frequently throughout a lesson. These are games, activities, and/or experiments that are a hands on way to get the lesson across. This book has a lot of these to do, and they are fun! The girls love them!
Sometimes what we'll do is wait until after my husband gets home from work, and do these activities in the evening, so he can do them with us, as he gets a kick out of them too.
Let me show you a few of our experiments:
These pictures show what happens when you place an egg in fresh water versus salty water- a lesson in buoyancy. As you can see, they enjoyed themselves :)
Here, we fashioned boats out of aluminum foil, and floated them in water. The girls took turns placing as many pennies as they could without sinking them. We got up to 40 pennies on one of them.
This one was so cool- we made lava lamps! The effect is kind of lost with the picture, but it was cool!
Your students will be working through their journal along with the textbook. The beautiful thing about Apologia is, they are so organized, and the scheduling is done for you. There is a schedule at the beginning of the journal, and lists the activities for each day. The journal is the hands on part of the curriculum, and this one is filled with coloring pages, crossword puzzles, fun fact pages, where your child will write out what they are learning, mini books to cut out and paste in the pages, copywork, and I know I'm leaving out some things. By the end of the year, you have a science portfolio. And the book is just so nice- a thick, spiral bound notebook, very colorful and inviting.
How about a look inside?
We've used Apologia before, and have always been pleased with the quality, the text, the activities, and the teacher's suggestions that they provide. In my opinion, the price is well worth all that you receive. And most importantly, my girls are learning, and enjoying the process as well. When my daughter and I are just having a random conversation, and she compares an experience that she has had when swimming, and then compares it with the concept of buoyancy, and does so accurately, from the lesson we recently completed, I know she gets it, and that is just a great feeling.
This is a fabulous resource, and I really hope you check out the links below, and explore your options!
Apologia Educational Ministries
Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics - Book
Ages: K-6th Grade
Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Junior Notebooking Journal
Ages: Early Elementary
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