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Astronomy Notebooking Journal for Exploring Creation with Astronomy Review by Kate Kessler

Young Explorer Series
By Jeannie Fulbright
Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.
1106 Meridian Plaza Suite 220
Anderson, IN 46016 US
1 (888) 524-4724

The Astronomy Notebooking Journal for Apologia's Exploring Creation with Astronomy textbook is a wonderful addition to the Young Explorer Series curriculum. Notebooking is an excellent way to help your students reinforce what they have read in the textbook via hands-on, written, and creative learning methods.

The 158 page spiral bound notebook begins with a suggested schedule that breaks down the notebook and textbook into 28 weeks with two days of instruction per week. This, of course, is optional. The following list of activities and assignments are included for every one of the book's fourteen chapters: Fascinating Facts, Review Questions, Notebook Assignments, Activities and Projects, Scripture Copywork, Vocabulary Crosswords, specific Project Pages, Cut and Fold Miniature Books, and a Take it Further section. There are also two Field Trip Sheets for recording possible trips to a planetarium or space museum or any astronomy-related location. Fascinating Facts sheets are all similar in format with a title that matches the subject of the chapter in the book at the top and empty boxes with lines for your student. These can be used for drawings or definitions or whatever you or your student chooses. The review questions are all based upon the reading for the lesson. Samples of the questions for the chapter on the sun are: "How many earths would fit inside the sun?" "What is the solar system?" "What is the difference between revolving and rotating?" "What are sunspots and how do they affect the earth?"

Notebook Assignments, Activities and Projects are based upon the suggested assignments at the back of every chapter in Exploring Creation with Astronomy. In the Notebooking Journal you will find pages with lines or open space for drawing and will be used if you choose to do the written or drawing assignments. One of my favorite portions of the Journal are the Scripture Copywork pages. The same scripture is written in both manuscript and cursive font for your child to choose. "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands." Psalm 19:1 is an example of the wonderful astronomy-related verses your child will learn.

Vocabulary Crosswords are just that--crossword puzzles based on the vocabulary in the lesson. Project Pages are there for your student to use to write about what he did or learned from the variety of projects and experiments found in the textbook. You can take pictures of the completed projects and tape them into the Journal. The Cut and Fold Miniature Books are one of the neatest parts of the Journal. While the Journal is black and white, the Miniature Books are 61 extra pages of full color cut-and-make books on a host of different subjects in the book. You will find things like a Jupiter Shutter Book, Solar System Review Wheel, Space Rocks Layered Book, Venus Volcano, and a Space Travel Lift and Look book. "The Take it Further assignments are designed to give your student additional ideas and activities that might enhance his studies..." These kinds of things might be an experiment, a different kind of hands-on activity, or further "research and living book titles, as well as audio and video resources." This will be handy for your library list!

There is a 50 page final review in the back of the book. You can use this as a final test or an open-book review. The solutions to the Vocabulary Crosswords and the answers to the final review are also included in the book. You can remove them at your discretion. The Astronomy Notebooking Journal was creatively made to be used with Exploring Creation with Astronomy and will make the curriculum come alive for your child.

Product review by Kate Kessler, Product Reviews Manager, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2010