I was pretty thrilled when I was given the opportunity to use and review curriculum from Apologia Educational Ministries, since I’ve always heard such good things about Apologia. We received the Apologia Young Explorer Series Zoology1 Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day textbook and Junior Zoology1 Notebooking Journal for Creatures of the Fifth Day.
Selena was not as thrilled as I was, especially with the Journal. She did however read quite a bit from the textbook. She did color one picture in the Journal, but after that she refused to even have it brought off the shelf. With that said I set out to see just what information we could just pull from the textbook. As we started to discover just what Zoology is and what a Zoologist does, Selena decided to ask about all the other type of scientists, so a list compiled with definitions from Zoologists, Biologists, to Dermatologists. I guess she was more into increasing her vocabulary and learning what each new term meant so she could use them appropriately in sentences. However, she did point out that the very first Zoologist was Adam, since God commanded him to name all the animals.
I attempted to move on from there into the Bird section, which has some really neat experiments about how birds fly as well as looking at airplanes. When I set out one day to build the airplanes they had in their book, Selena quickly rejected it and went into folding all sorts of paper airplanes, discovering which designs would fly and which ones would not.
Just as I was about to give up on moving any further with the textbook Selena discovered a very interesting find in the barn.
A swallow’s nest. She was completely over taken by it’s presence in the barn and began to ask questions about how did the birds get it up there? Why would they build their nest over where the horses eat? What type of bird built this nest? I guess you know I was in pursuit to help her discover the answers. With textbook in hand we jumped ahead and found the chapter on nests. We quickly found a picture of a nest just like this one, and learned not only what type of bird built this nest, but also how that bird did so. Selena looked at that section in the text book throughout the day, but still would not allow the Journal to come off the shelf.
My Thoughts: I like the material and how it is presented in the textbook. The material covers Zoology, how they classify animals, birds, insects, homes of flying creatures, and their habits. Truly there is so much more to discover in the pages of this textbook. I also like the format of the Journal, though I expected the Junior Journal to not have as much writing in it, since it is designed for the beginning writer. I really see this book remaining on my resource shelf for future reference, and see it getting a lot more use come Spring and Summer then this time of year. The recommended age group for this curriculum is K-6th grade. Just keep in mind that with this large of a grade span, you will probably find much of the material overwhelming for the younger age group so be prepared to break it down appropriately for them. I feel strongly that a 5th and 6th grader will probably get more out of the textbook then a younger child, but it can easily be modified by you the parent/teacher for the younger student.
I feel this curriculum would be great for any homeschooler, especially those who enjoy absorbing themselves with information from a textbook form. For those like Selena this does lead to a great resource book to go to for quick answers, though we still ended up researching much more information from the computer. Truly one has to take into consideration the learning style of their child. The Journal is very nicely done, and follows the text very well. There would be many ways of using the Journal with the beginning writer, by even having them do it orally and you write their answers down.
I do recommend Apologia as a great science curriculum. In the Zoology Series you can choose from Flying Creatures, Swimming Creatures, and Land Animals. You can purchase their books and notebooks from their website. The textbook costs $39.00 and the Journals cost $24.00. They also offer textbooks and journals for Anatomy, Botany, and Astronomy. You will also find great material to get you through High School.
I was provided this product free for review. I was not compensated in anyway the opinions above are my honest opinions.