Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day Review

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We have been fans of Apologia Educational Ministries since early in our homeschooling.  Science is something that I have never really felt that I learned well in school.  So I have been particularly appreciative of the quality of the information and teaching in the Apologia books.

All of my children are using Apologia science books this year.  My oldest are using Physical Science for middle school/high school.  I also just bought the notebooks that go with this.  I love these books, and I am super excited about the notebooks after seeing them. My younger girls are using the elementary Astronomy book and the accompanying notebooks.

I had the opportunity to use and review Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day and the accompanying junior notebook with my younger crew. This book is one of the Apologia science books designed for elementary students(grades K-6). The junior notebook is for younger elementary students (grades K-2 or 3) who have less developed handwriting or older students who are behind in their handwriting skills. The textbook sells for $39 at the Apologia website, and the notebook is $24 at their site.

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We began by reading the first chapter of the book which is a nice overview of what zoology is and what classification means. The junior notebook has a section in the front that details lesson plans- what to read and what notebook pages to do each day.  It is assumed that science will be done at least two days a week. The junior notebooking journal has color sheets that can be colored as the reading is being done.



After we had read the opening information in the chapter, there were some mid chapter activities including this very interesting activity involving blowing water with two straws that imitated the way a bird's wing works to provide lift.


The junior notebook also had copywork sheets with print and cursive Scripture copywork that went with the lesson.



To finish the chapter, we used a checklist from the junior notebook to do a nature scavenger hunt, looking for flying creatures and their habitats.



As a review, the notebook had a crossword puzzle using some of the terms we read about throughout the chapter. There were also some lapbooking style mini books that we made together.



There are many things I love about this book and Apologia products in general:

1. There is a very distinctly Christian, young-earth worldview.  In the Apologia books, it is an accepted fact that God created the earth in six literal days about 6000 years ago.

2. Other viewpoints are not shied away from.  Instead they are addressed and compared in light of the truth.

3. As a proponent of many Charlotte Mason ideas and educational philosophies, I find that the Apologia science books are living books.  They are not dry and simply lists of facts as many textbooks are.

4. There is so much good, quality, factual information in these books.  Some of the Christian science books I read growing up in a Christian school, basically said, "God created the world and that was that."  While I agree, there is so much more to learn.

About this course in particular:

1. We really enjoyed the projects/experiments that were given.  I have noticed that in our astronomy book, and it was true for Flying Creatures... as well.  The experiments are well laid out and easy for the parent/teacher to follow.  And best of all, the materials were easy to find around the house!

2. I love the junior notebook.  The lesson plans in the front make things simple for me.  The color sheets and copywork reinforce the lesson.  And the activity sheets and mini books review the material that has been covered and the experiments that have been done.

My only complaint or concern about this book (and about many of the Apologia books) is that the reading level is very high.  I don't know of many elementary students who could really read through this book on their own.  I read aloud and had my girls listen.  Even then, we occasionally were bogged down, and I had to offer some commentary outside of the reading in the book.  And this complaint is double-edged I believe.  The in-depth reading and the style that seems more like a "real book" than a textbook are some of the things I appreciate about the books. So, it almost seems ironic to complain about the reading level, but there it is.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

You can check out what others are saying about this book and other Apologia books at the blogs of other TOS Review Crew members.





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