Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
Apologia makes a series of science textbooks that I only wish I had had when I was in school! Of course, since they are creation-based, they wouldn't have been allowed in public school.
Apologia's tag line is: Live, Learn, and Defend the Faith. They help with learning with their informative, comprehensive textbooks and with "defending the faith" by presenting the evidence for creation.
We used Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day by Jeannie Fulbright, a book in the Young Explorer series. Not only is this a thorough and easy-to-read textbook, it's interesting!
Apologia makes science fun by writing in an engaging, enthusiastic style geared specifically for the elementary age range. They emphasize the excitement of discovery and taking a closer look at God's creation in the real world.
There are hands-on experiments and projects throughout the text that bring the facts to life. The book ties in nicely with the Charlotte Mason philosophy of homeschooling -- students keep a notebook and are encouraged to go outside and actually observe real subjects in nature.
It's easy to adjust the lessons to different ages because of the notebooking aspect. Older students can create more detailed notes while younger ones might just draw pictures with some labeling.
My daughter (age 7) has requested this book for her read-aloud times recently. She has learned and retained the information, relaying it to us and her grandparents. (Hint: this is the narration component of Charlotte Mason!) She even likes to skim through it just to look at the pictures, which are numerous and detailed. It's not merely a picture book, though -- it is a meaty, in-depth study of insects, birds, and bats. She has even learned scientific classification and Latin names.
She and my husband built a birdhouse together according to the instructions in Lesson 5: Nesting. They had a great time and she will enjoy watching and identifying the birds that come to visit. It's so great to have a science program that the whole family enjoys!
One thing I appreciate as the teacher -- there is a complete list of necessary supplies for each lesson's experiment/project so there are no last minute surprises. I can easily gather everything and have it on hand when needed. They are generally common household items, too.
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