Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review of Apologia's Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

One of the most disappointing things in homeschooling has to be finding an awesome company and then realizing that their product line appears to be complete. Well, you will never have that problem with Apologia Educational Ministries. This is one company that is constantly putting out new materials, and in my never-to-be-humble opinion, they have never had a clunker. This time we get to check out the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal. Apologia hits the mark every time. How do I know? Well, through the Crew, I have reviewed several products, including the "Who Am I?" curriculum, "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist,"  "Journeys of Faithfulness," Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics, and "Flourish." On top of the reviews I have done for the Crew, I have personally bought the entire series of "Exploring Creation with..." books from Apologia, as well as the majority of the high school level science books. Clearly, Apologia has been a huge blessing to our family!

The Field Trip Journal, though, is a completely new product, not only to us, but to everyone! Apologia never rests! This journal is a gorgeous spiral-bound 32-page book. The covers are heavy and glossy, and the pages are heavy cardboard. There are pages for your child (or your family) to document places you've explored, specific field trips, special seasonal spots, and "As I See It." Additionally, the journal gives great tips on preparing for a field trip, as well as providing dozens of field trip ideas. If you're anything like me, the whole "field trip" idea can take on an almost mystical significance, but a field trip can be as simple as an outing to the amusement park or to a sports arena! For my kids, the field trip they chose to document most heavily was our trip out of state to the NCFCA speech and debate Regional competition in Edmond, OK. One thing I love about this journal is that it encourages out-of-the-box thinking.

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

I gave the Field Trip Journal to Michael and Mary-Catherine to work on. First, they filled out the front section places they had been by coloring in the states they had visited and by writing about their upcoming trip this summer (to Estes Park, CO). Then, Michael began to write a narrative of our excursion to OK a few weeks ago. Do you remember when OKC was in the news for the series of floods and tornadoes it repeatedly suffered? Yeah, we were there (very temporarily) that weekend. It made an impression on Michael especially. 

I wanted to see what the kids would do with the journal without any direction from me, so I was *very* surprised when Michael basically just used it like a journal. He didn't "follow directions," as it were, and fill in the details on the left-hand page. He just jumped right to the right-hand page and began writing the details of our trip.

That surprised me. He is my big time drawer (no, he's not a drawer; he's a draw-er). Still, I resisted the urge to tell him he had done it wrong. I did ask him what he thought all the space on the left side was for. He told me he would go back and write a list of the books he had read on the trip. Since he was talking about the novels he had read in the car, I told him not to bother :-) 

My verdict on this journal is that I really like it. I think that I will love it when we go on a road trip this summer. When we road trip, we go so many places. The fact that the kids can collaborate and document each place we visit and come out on the other side with, basically, a book of our trip is awesome. I have always just used a notebook for that purpose. For $22.00, this book is so much sturdier and such a nicer keepsake for that purpose, though. I already know that Michael and Mary-Catherine had a lot of fun working in it. They have already mentioned "saving it for going to Colorado." 

Even if you think you don't go on many field trips, I encourage you to look at the sample pages of this journal online and consider whether you could adapt it to your particular homeschool. It's a beautiful product.

To see other field trips taken and documented by other Crew members, be sure to click the banner below!

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

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