Thursday, June 11, 2015

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal from Apologia Educational Ministries! Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2015 #hsmommas #hsreviews #homeschoolfieldtrips

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Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

 There are a few things we love in our homeschool, and Field Trips is one of them. One of the other things we love is anything from Apologia Educational Ministries. So imagine my delight when I was offered something to review that combines two of my favorite things into one!! We were given the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal from Apologia. Yippee Skippee! This is something that is great for the whole family, I can see kids as young as Kindergarten with help. Ideally Elementary and Middle School, but even my High Schoolers and my College Freshman enjoyed filling in the pages.
Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

   Our first field trip was to the new Aquarium that opened about 45 minutes away at our big indoor outlet mall. My kids had never had the opportunity to go to an aquarium locally so this was a BIG deal. We went with our homeschool co-op so we had a ton of families. I think this was our favorite field trip in the 6 years we have been homeschooling,

   What makes this even more fun is we had a "scrapbook" of sorts to capture and preserve the memories with the Field Trip Journal. There is not only a space for pictures to share the memories of your field trip but there is plenty of space to journal and document the experiences, There are places to share your child or family's "special spot", to share and sketch or write about the way they see the world and all that God has created. This is not simply a blank journal, there are spaces to share and it is ideal for multiple children or a family to share it. Let the creativity flow. Have the kids sketch what they saw on a simple nature hike, or use it to share all that happened on your most special field trips.

One of the great tips in the book is taking a virtual field trip, now this can be somewhere you want to go but do not have the ability to travel to. We however used it along with the prompts to take a virtual field trip of the aquarium before we went by going online to their website. This allowed us to make a map and plan a strategy for working our way through the aquarium so we could get the most out of our trip.

  We made notes of what the must sees were so we were sure not to miss them. This for us was crucial since we were going with a large group and it was a new attraction so the crowds were huge even without our group. We wanted to make sure we saw the touch pool so we could have some hands on experiences with starfish and sea urchins and shrimp and so much more. We also did not want to miss the HUGE sting ray exhibit or the jelly fish room that was all under black lights so that the jelly fish glow. So we plotted our strategies on our journal and then we followed the other preparation tips that were given to us for the night before our journey.

 These included things like packing a bag for the trip that included a first aid kit, do you take a first aid kit on all field trips? I know as my kids have gotten older this is something I do not always do, but with the help of our Journal this is going to change. We made a note of the rules about no food or drink allowed so we did not add that to our bag for this particular trip, but it will be helpful in the future for other trips like the zoo or a nature hike. We needed to remember our tickets since we purchased them ahead of time as well as make notes about the meeting place to find our group.

 We did not need to pack directions since although we had not been to the aquarium before but we had been to the indoor outlet mall many times. We simply needed to make note of which entrance we needed to park at and go into.

   We prepared our minds for the trip for several days before hand too, studying in depth more about the sea creatures we were going to be seeing as well as going over parts of the bible such as creation that pertained to our trip.

  We even researched about the other locations of museums and aquariums that are around the country by the same company. We have made notes about some of them in case we ever get to go on another vacation road trip.

  We made sure to pack colored pencils, pens, our journal as well as a camera and we double checked our lists. We also made a plan in case we were to get separated in the large crowd. Being that my boys are older this is not as much as issue than it is with littles, but this is definitely important nonetheless.

   Some of the other fun aspects of the journal. The first few pages are a great place to document places in the country or world where you may have already visited. We are in the process of using these to document highlights of a 21 day road trip across 16 states we took a couple years ago.

  For the Aquarium field trip we used the Specific Trip pages, there was a place for the Date, a place to share our emergency contact plan. the Map of what we wanted to see, and a place to document additional key attractions within the Aquarium. Then when we stopped for lunch after the field trip I had the kids take turns writing in the sections that were for Story of my day, and Something I never want to forget.

  My favorite sections was the Special Spot pages, there is one for each of the seasons, Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. This is a special spot amongst the wildlife, a place that is not maintained. We have the perfect spot in mind up at our campground back in the marsh. Alyx is particularly interested in this as he took Field Biology this year at a local college and has really come to appreciate and be perceptive of nature. It needs to be at least 20x20, we will need to photograph our spot and make a map of everything we see. We will then be able to look for local wildlife and tracks and we will then be able to document changes over the change of seasons. This is so exciting to us. We will document temperature and precipitation on our visits as well. Take a photograph for each season and draw out an aerial sketch and make notes of changes.

   The next section is the AS I SEE IT, thoughts and drawings pages. This will be mostly Taylor's spots as he is our resident artist. Here  Taylor will play around with reflections and shadows and patterns and textures as well as colors. He is going to use this at our Favorite Spot. He can also draw or take photos of predators and prey. Drawing in 2, 3 and 4D. The prompts for the Artist in your family are sure to spark new avenues for their artistic abilities.

   The last Gem I would like to share about the  Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal is the 2 page spread of wonderful ideas for field trips from your own backyard to anywhere in the world. There is also a wonderful online resource that goes with the journal that helps you find valuable tools to help use the book to the fullest.  I would have never thought about taking a field trip to a Water Treatment facility or the Sewer System. How about a field trip digging a deep hole, most likely in your backyard to see what lies beneath the Earth. The possibilities are truly endless and with the help of Apologia and some research and the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal, your homeschool is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

 I cannot wait to finish filling out our journal and it will be sure to make it into our homeschool days keepsake box. I am also going to display it at Alyx's Graduation party as well as on his table at our co-op's recognition night next Spring. I think this is a valuable learning tool as well as a treasured keepsake. You can get yours from Apologia Educational Ministries for just $22. I am sure you will want to get more than one while you are ordering. Once you get rolling the book will be sure to fill up quickly. I cannot wait until next school year to plan some more exciting trips. We will be sure to do some this Summer as well. I want to get our co-op excited about this journal and hopefully maybe develop a class where each child will get their own journal and we will do some type of field trip whether virtual or out on the grounds of our co-op as well as some group field trips to tie it all in. The possibilities are truly endless. All of this talking about field trips makes me want to plan another one right now. What are you waiting for? Order yours today and start making your field trip list right away, so when your journal arrives in the mail you can get to work right away!

   Be sure to click the banner below and check out all of the crew reviews for the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal!
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Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review
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