“Mom, this is the yummiest science experiment I’ve ever done!” my son said excitedly as we finished creating an edible cell. Yes, you heard me right. We created a model of a cell using Jell-O and candy. After all the cooking and stirring and splicing and insertion of ribosomes and lysosomes and a mitochondrion and let us not forget the jawbreaker nucleus — he got to eat his science experiment. How fun is that?
The new Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology science curriculum by Jeannie Fulbright of Apologia Educational Ministries is a wonderfully thorough study from a creation science perspective for grades 4-6. We received the text ($39), the regular notebooking journal ($24), and the audio mp3 file ($29). The mp3 file is a full reading of the text so we put that on my son’s iPod and he uses it on days when he would rather listen then read. We started with a brief history of the study of anatomy including a section on mummification and the Ancient Egyptians. By the end of the book we will have studied all of the major body systems and even built a little paper doll type model of those systems in our Notebooking Journal one organ set at a time. Since I jump in to help with all of the experiments, I find myself reading along in the text to keep up.
“Oooo, this is disgusting. This makes me think about mummification in a whole new light.” my son announced after we “mummified” an apple for three weeks in a special mixture. Oops, we were supposed to open the baggie after one week but we all got really sick and our science experiment got a bit delayed! It didn’t matter though, because the end result was pretty amazing. And the “control apple” was absolutely gross.
Although my son is thrilled with the experiments, I think what excites me most about the Apologia curriculum is the Anatomy Notebooking Journal. Each journal comes in two levels — a junior level for students who aren’t writing well yet and a regular journal with more writing involved. We chose the regular journal. He completes journaling assignments directly in this beautiful notebook, but he also gets to draw, color, and personalize his notebook.
In addition, each chapter has several foldable lapbook style projects he can create and glue into the journal. These are pre-printed in the back in full color with room for him to write answers inside. Since he loves lapbooks, this is a perfect fit for him with just enough writing to stretch him academically and just enough hands-on creating to get him excited about science.
The notebooking journal also has a recommended schedule in the front which details exactly how to finish each lesson over a two week period covering textbook reading assignments, experiments, and journaling assignments. This schedule and pace has been perfect for us as it allows my son to know exactly what he needs to do and when.
My Bottom Line: Not only are we using the Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology set with my eleven-year-old son, we are also using the Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day book and Junior Notebooking Journal with my nine-year-old daughter. This science curriculum is fun and hands-on but the text is also very meaty and informative. It is something we look forward to every day and is a perfect fit for our family.