Apologia Astronomy 2nd Edition Review

Over the course of our 12 years of homeschooling, we've switched up the curriculum we've used for different subjects. Except one. We have been huge fans of Apologia Educational Ministries science curriculum and have used it from our elementary years all the way through to high school. We've gone through almost all the books they have to offer except one, Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition which we recently had the chance to review.

I was told that they recently updated this textbook and notebooking journals but since I never got to try out the first edition, I can't speak for the exact changes. 
We received:
  • Student Text which is a hard cover book with 216 pages
  • Notebooking Journal for grades 3/4-6
  • Jr. Notebooking journal for grades K-2/3
  • Audio CD which reads the book out loud to the student

The beginning of the student text lists all the lessons and then breaks down the content that is covered in each lesson along with the corresponding page number. The book then goes on to explain how to best maximize it's use for the student. There are activities and experiments listed throughout the book. In fact, Apologia recently came out with a science kit that you can purchase that contains all the non-perishable supplies to complete each experiment listed in the book. There are also 21 experiments in the book that can only be completed by purchasing this kit (but those aren't necessary to complete the curriculum).

There is also a course website with a password that gives you access to even more information and websites to go along with each lesson. There are animations, star gazing charts and literally a wealth of info to go along with the student text.

They also suggest at the beginning of the book that you can also use their Field Trip Journal (that we reviewed last year) to document any places you go on a field trip that may coincide with the student text.

Click on photo to enlarge

Almost every page of the student text contains colorful, real photos which we found kept our attention while reading through the book. Activities are listed throughout the book in a separate blue box making them stand apart from the reading text. There are also "think about this" dark blue boxes throughout the book of added ideas and questions to further engage with the student to dig a little deeper into what they are learning.

While I can't compare the 2 editions, I CAN compare this 2nd edition to the other science books in the Exploring Creation series. This edition of the astronomy book clearly breaks up each chapter by having a full page with a photo stating what chapter it is. Also on the top of each page throughout the entire book, there is a "tab" that lists what chapter you are currently in. All the updates make it much easier to read the book.

My son looked through the book & wanted to do the experiment to make a cloud found in chapter 11.

Since I have a new Kindergartner this year, I mainly did the review with her as my other children are too old for this series. So we focused on the Jr. Notebooking Journal. The first thing that I noticed that was different in the updated notebooking journal was the breakdown of each lesson and the daily schedule. In the other versions of the notebooking journal, the schedules were listed close together which made it hard to break into bite size lessons.

In the updated schedule, each of the 14 lessons are broken down into 71 daily assignment chunks with a check off box next to it. Each assignment tells you what you need to read (which is in green), which section of the notebooking journal to complete (in blue) as well as what activities to complete. The other biggest difference we noticed in the updated journal is that we no longer have to go to the back of the book to find the cutouts that go with each lesson. If there are activities to cut out they are now placed in order with each lesson! This is a wonderful change!

There are still sections for the student to write facts, copywork of Bible verses and even basic crossword puzzles (for the Jr notebook, the regular notebook has more advanced ones). The Jr notebook contain pages for the student to color. Both the regular and Jr Notebooking Journal contain 336 pages that are spiral bound. The Jr notebook has the 3 lines for early writers. There is a bit more written work in the regular notebook journal. If you are using both journals for 2 students, the page numbers align the same. This is one thing that we enjoyed about the Exploring Creation series is that we can use the same text for multiple grades at one time!

A photo of what the audio screen looks like on my computer

This was our first time having the audio CD to go along with the text and we really enjoyed it. Since my Kindergartner isn't able to read this level of text yet, we would sit down to listen as we followed along in the book. The person reading the book was enjoyable to listen to.

Because Olivia is still a beginning writer, we did more of the written work orally. Her favorite part of the notebooking journal was the coloring pages! I'm sure as we dive deeper this school year, she will pick up the pace and complete more of the writing pages as she gets better with writing.

Previous Apologia Science reviews:

Connect with Apologia at:
Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition Review
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