Planning and Remembering Special Field Trips With the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

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One of the things I have loved most about homeschooling after my experiences as a classroom teacher is that field trips are so much better. We don't have to have months of planning. We don't need a dozen chaperones. We can go just as a family or with a group of friends. It's so much more flexible...and more enjoyable. So I was delighted to see and be able to review an awesome journal for recording special field trip memories from a homeschool publisher that I already really appreciate.

We received the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal from Apologia Educational Ministries. This journal is a spiral bound notebook that can be used by one child or the whole family. It sells for $22 on the Apologia site.

A review of the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal from Apologia

Apologia Educational Ministries is perhaps best known for their homeschool science and worldview curricula. We've reviewed materials from both of these. The Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal is a little different because it isn't a curriculum. But it does fall under the Elementary Science branch on their website because what better way to appreciate God's creation than through enjoying it in person with a field trip?

What is the Field Trip Journal?

The journal is a spiral bound notebook. It contains nine different sections: information about preparing for a field trip, some ideas for your next field trip, maps to mark places you've explored together, instructions for the "Specific Trip" pages, pages to record information about specific trips, instructions for the "My Special Spot" pages, pages on which to record changes in a specific spot throughout the year, instructions for using "As I See It" pages, and the As I See It pages that allow kids to record with thoughts and pictures their own abstract documentation of an event.
There are some general pages in the front for recording in a list places you've visited in your own state, in the United States, and in the world. The Specific Trip pages are each a two page spread and have more information, including a place for a map of the area visited, an emergency contact plan, a book list, a photo or drawing, the story of the day, and something to never forget. The My Special Spot pages encourage kids to choose a favorite spot and then observe it throughout the year. Each season has it's own two page spread where you can record a picture of the area, the date, temperature, and rainfall, and a map drawing of what was found on that spot in that season. The As I See It pages are mostly blank and are for the user to draw or jot down thoughts that document a personal experience. Some of these pages have prompts and some are totally blank.

I am a former scrapbooker, so the very look of the journal appeals to me. There are plenty of blank spaces for writing and drawing. But there are also some backgrounds and embellishments to enhance the pages.

How can the journal be used?

The journal can be used by one child or as a family. We chose to use the one journal as a whole family. My younger children- ages 9 and 11- were the two most interested in it, so I let them take turns entering in information. I think that the activity of journaling about an event will appeal to some kids more than others. Although I didn't have my oldest participate in this family journal, I think she would like her own because she enjoys recording events when she can do it for herself instead of part of a group.
We had a few smaller field trips during the time we were using the journal- a trip to our historic downtown area to the library, the children's museum, and a brand new park; a trip to a local state park; and a trip to a local indoor waterpark to celebrate the end of school. We got out the journal before the trip and talked about what we were going to do. None of our trips required lengthy planning, but we talked about things we liked or hoped to be able to do on the trip. I had the younger girls take turns writing down the information. At the end of the trip, we pulled the journal out again and the girls took turns writing down what we did and drawing a photo for the photo box.
The younger girls enjoyed writing and drawing, and I liked that we were keeping a record of some of the fun places we went. Even these smaller trips are good memories, and I love the journal because it gives us a place to save those. I also appreciate the flexibility of the journal. Although there are instruction pages, there aren't any set in stone rules for using this resource. My girls liked the drawing parts better, and neither like to write a long record of events. So they focused more on drawing and wrote a little. If my older daughter had her own, she would enjoy writing about our events because she likes to write. The journal is flexible enough to use as they each enjoy.



And all the extras...

As with many Apologia resources, there is a website and a password included in the front of the Field Trip Journal. This leads to an "extras" page that is an awesome resource. You can find articles and field trip searches and maps and ideas and museum listings and state park listings and much much more. It's an awesome extra resource page, and I love that Apologia includes these.

The bottom line...

I've yet to be disappointed in any resource from Apologia. This is another great one. It's visually appealing, flexible to use, and just plain fun for me and for the kids. You can find the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal at the Apologia Educational Ministries site for $22. It's grouped with elementary resources but can definitely be used by the whole family. You can also find Apologia on social media here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld/timeline
Twitter: https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/apologia/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125




Crew Disclaimer

Other Crew reviewers checked out the Field Trip Journal, so click the banner to see what they thought.


Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review



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