I love being outdoors but I am not an outdoors person. Does that make sense? Whenever we spend the day outside, I feel like its one more day wasted. (Bad homeschool momma ~ that is some stinking thinking) Anyway, Apologia Educational Ministries has a great new resource for this very thing! Introducing, the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal, and we were more than happy to have the opportunity to review it. 😀
For our review, we received spiral-bound workbook with a very nice plastic covering. The pages are all full-color, and as I was perusing this initially, I really was inspired to scrapbook. Thats what these pages remind me of, really! The book, pages and all, is quite thick and sturdy which is great since most of what we do in this area is outside, of course. In the time since we have received this book, it has held up so very well – being shared by three children ranging from age 3 to age 9, this is a really big deal for us.
This book is divided into a couple different sections:
- Preparing for a Field Trip–Very helpful hints on how to make the experience a powerful one for learning. These things can be pretty overwhelming right? This really helps break it down, making it simple and less stressful.
- Ideas–There is a password to an online “extras” section on their website, where you can find lots of awesome maps, great ideas for creative journaling andlots more ideas for some great field trips.
- Places I’ve explored–This page is just for listing places you’ve visited in your state, around the United States, and places you’ve explored around the world. There is a seperate page for each of these.
- Field Trip Pages–These are good for recording inspiration, details of experiences, anything that they want to remember. We included some narration activities too; if there is reading to be done in relation to studies and places, why not jot down handy details here? There are even pages with charts for recording location, date, temperature, and rainfall.
- My Special Spot–This is a wildlife spot study. Here you can sketch, take field notes, paste photos here even. If you have a special spot draw it or post an image of it here.
- Thoughts and Drawings as I See It–How do they see things? It is all so very different through their eyes. Here they can really be inspired, they can share their thoughts and perceptions. This is a great creative, doodling page.
I really appreciated all of the charts included in this book for field trips, things that are “Off the Beaten Path” “from your own backyard to half way around to the world.” This was very eye opening for me I have to admit. I admit that sometimes we don’t see all that is in front of us and this really helped me to see things in another way. Ah the fun and exciting learning opportunities right in our backyard (not to mention down the street!).
We got lost for a time in all ideas that were provided from: plants and animals, earth, space, and the human body as well as some great ways to learn a bit more about social studies like government, and history and the culture of the area itself. This even inspired some mapping and business/economics learning with my oldest son who is 9.
Unfortunately the weather here in Wisconsin has not been so nice as of late. But when the weather allows, we do try to spend out time outdoors whether in our own backyard or going for walks and bike rides in the area. We also have a microscope, which was a stelar reslae shop find, that my boys love to use. So this encourages them to seek out things to view, and then draw what they see. They are encouraged to keep their own nature journal in addition to this, where they can tape or glue leaves, pinecones, flower petals as they find them.
One of the neat things my oldest son chose to do was relive some of his old experiences such as a couple trips to Missouri, a very old camping trip in the Wisconsin Dells, visits to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Mackinaw Island. Some of this he was able to do with things he has kept through the years others, and some things we will have to get copies of for him to paste into his book (photographs mostly of family trips). He is big on rock collecting, and seashells right now – for this I encouraged him to sketch these things on the pages within.
Once again, Apologia has brought an awesome an inspiring tool to us homeschoolers! The Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal is a fun and simple way for kids to explore and learn. It encourages children to be creative and curious, to get out of doors and see all the fun ways they can lern and grow. Being in the process of developing a homeschool group for our church, its especially helpful, all the ideas and online materials that are provided for trips out and about. I’m definitely looking forward to using this more through the summer as our family gets out and about more, visits with a lovely young lady from Spain and enjoys some trips with our homeschool friends!
What a blessing Apologia is! ❤