Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy is a Bible based science curriculum for elementary students.

Strengths:
The book begins with a general discussion of astronomy and then covers each planet as well as the sun, the moon, space rocks, stars and galaxies, and space travel.  The information is very detailed, yet explained simply enough for anyone to understand.  The book has fourteen lessons and each takes about two weeks to complete.  You will read information and have your child narrate or write what he or she has learned for the day.  Answers to discussion questions are provided in the back of the book.

The book is full of astronomy projects and experiments.  You will create a model of a hurricane as an example of what the Great Red Spot on Jupiter may look like, make a model of Mercury, and build a model space station, as well as other exciting, hands-on projects.  Most of these are at the end of the lessons.  Your child is encouraged to complete various assignments and keep them in a notebook.  By the time you complete the book, your child will have an impressive notebook to look  back on.  It’s a terrific record of what has been learned.

The front of the book provides a list of materials needed for each lesson.  Most are things you have around the house and the others are easily obtained.  You are also given a password to the apologia website.  This password gives you access to even more information.  The web site will give you dates of astronomical events so you know what you will see in the night sky where you are.  It will also provide links to other web sites with interesting photos and information.

This book is easily used in a multi-age setting.  Most of the assignments and activities can be done at any age, though some will require more guidance for younger children.  Occasionally, the book will have an assignment for younger children and one for older.   Even these assignments are similar and don’t create any additional work for the parent.

With all the reading, notebook assignments, narration, and projects, you will learn an incredible amount about astronomy.  Spending an entire school year on the subject allows you and your students to explore the topic thoroughly and become very knowledgeable in this area.

Like all Apologia Science books, this book is written from a creationist point of view.  The author repeatedly provides evidence of God as creator throughout the text.

Weaknesses:
While each lesson takes about two weeks, there are no specific lesson plans in the astronomy book.  This does create a little more work for the parent, but also allows for flexibility.  You can decide how much information to cover and how many days each week to study science.   Your child will be required to do quite a bit of writing.  If they are young, they will narrate, and you will write.  This is a big change if you or your child are accustomed to fill in the blank and matching type exercises.

Recommendations:
I highly recommend this course.  If you have been using a more traditional science text, it may take a little while to feel comfortable with the Apologia science curriculum.  It is less structured than a typical classroom science course, and yet, my children have learned more and enjoyed science more than the  when we used the more traditional curriculum.  I used this with my first grade daughter and my fifth grade son at the same time.  This truly is a multi-age curriculum.

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