Curriculum Review: Apologia Educational Ministries Resource

Today I get to review something fun from Apologia Educational Ministries: their Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal. We received in the mail this beautiful, 64 page, spiral-bound book made just for researching, exploring, and recording our journeys as we home school our children. Apologia makes it a point to highlight that anything can be a learning experience and worth recording. A trip to the pet store or bakery can be educational if you plan it out and make it a fun learning trip. You don’t have to take a trip to Rome to learn, but they do list Rome in their ideas for field trips. Perhaps one day; I can only dream.

Apologia

     Anyway, back from from dreamland…we used this book to record two field trips and the third is pending going into the journal. If you don’t think of trips with your kids as field trips, now is the time to start looking at them that way! My kids love it when I say we are going on a field trip. It sounds exciting, doesn’t it? It’s all about the verbiage.

We went to Chase Field, where the Diamondbacks baseball team plays, and took a behind-the-scenes tour before going to a game; we went to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix after I scored a culture pass at the library (2 free tickets); we went to San Tan Regional Mountain and watched the reptile feeding where they also gave a great talk on reptiles of the Sonoran Desert. I also consider local walks to be mini-field trips if they have a purpose: we have walked the block to collect as many kinds of leaves as possible, gone on a “listening walk” where you point out sounds, but try to be as quiet as possible, and we have tried to spot as many animals as we can on the walk to the grocery store. The possibilities are vast, and they bring fresh excitement into the school day.

Apologia

About the Field Trip Journal

It is a well-made, thick-paged book that can hang with my crew and the beatings we tend to give books despite my efforts at keeping things orderly. In fact, we brought it in the car on the hour-long drive into Phoenix so the boys could work on it while we drove. I found it beneath a stack of stuff when we got back, still pristine. That’s saying something! I am not worried about the cover getting torn (unless a feisty little boy is really trying to rip it in half), or the pages on the inside bleeding through when someone inevitably uses black marker instead of pencil. The inside pages are thick card stock and made for holding drawings, mementos, ticket stubs, beautifully penned memoirs, or the giant, awkward, precious sentences of a little one just learning to write his letters.

I had my boys record their field trips in the book as a story about our day, photos we took at a photo booth, drawn pictures, and maps or ticket stubs if we had them. It will be really fun to look back through this book in the future. Those awkward letters I was referring to before, totally in there, and they are completely adorable. I love it!

Although I wouldn’t normally buy something like this, I really enjoyed using it! I often have to really focus my curriculum dollars on core subjects because I don’t have a ton of funds. However, after using this, I am considering whether it would be a good thing to do every year. If we record every trip we take, we will have a great scrapbook at the end of the year that I didn’t have to make by myself. That is a win, folks! I cannot be the only one who has great aspirations to record every moment of my kids’ lives only to realize that I just don’t have time for it. Something like this is worth the money to me. I know it will last, and it will contain the kids’ drawings, notes, and photos in it.

Apologia also offers online extras with this book, which is a cool bonus. Overall, this book far exceeded my expectations, and it is something we are going to continue using throughout the year. Both of the boys are contributing different bits to it, and I love that there are places to draw, stick photos, and tell stories. To end, here are some pictures of the kids’ field trip pages:

Chase Field

Our Chase Field experience.

Children's Museum of Phoenix

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix trip.
If you want to hear how other people used this resource from Apologia, please click the banner below to visit other Review Crew members’ websites. We all come from different backgrounds and have different-sized families, so there is great diversity in how we school our children. They are a great bunch of ladies, so please check out their reviews as well.

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*This post originally appeared on BlogHer June of 2015.*

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