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Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review by Audrey Tolle

Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.
1106 Meridian Plaza, Suite 220/340
Anderson, IN 46016

I had the pleasure of reviewing the “Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal” that is put out by Apologia Educational Ministries. It is a spiral bound 8.5” x 11” notebook that includes 10 colorful two-page entries for field trips, a “My Special Spot” section that allows a child to observe and draw their favorite place throughout the year in each season, and 17 pages to draw and reflect on the beauty of nature around them in a section titled “As I See It.” It also includes pages with tips and instructions in preparing for a field trip, field trip ideas, and a section to document where they have explored locally, in America, and in the world.

The Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal emphasizes that field trips can happen anywhere: from our back yard to around the world. One of the hopes is that it will encourage students to slow down and take in some of the everyday nature around them. It retails on the Apologia website for $22.00 and is geared for K-6th graders. Although I am sure any homeschooler could enjoy this, I would think that it has an extra appeal to homeschoolers who enjoy the Charlotte Mason or classical methods of homeschooling.

I absolutely love the Apologia products that we have used in the past, so I was excited to get my hands on this product. I gave the journal to my oldest child, age 9, to use these last few months of our school year as we have had many field trips with our co-op and as a family. He has had fun filling in the maps with all the places that we have visited in the last few years. He has sketched a bird’s nest in our patio area in the “As I See It” section and has chosen to observe our plum tree throughout the year in each season. He has filled in three field trip experiences including a farm and our local Railroad Museum, (though that field trip was not specifically tied to exploring creation.) On each Field Trip page, there is a place for a photo or drawing, a list of books that can be read about the trip, an emergency contact plan, a spot to write what they want to see or do. Then there is a spot where students can write a paragraph about the “Story of My Day:” and “Something I never want to forget:” The pages are bright and engaging and have suggestions of what they can observe and sketch.

As darling as this field trip journal is, I feel the price point of $22.00 is steep for this product. Even with the fun, colorful pages, it is still a notebook with lots of almost blank pages. Many homeschoolers have multiple children and may not choose to have this luxury if they could only afford to have it for one or two of their children and not for all of them. Although this product is a fun addition, it is not a necessity. However, now that I have seen this, I would be more inclined to purchase one for each of my children because it is all put together for me and I wouldn’t have to try and make one myself. I always have great intentions about putting notebooks like this together, but life is busy and it doesn’t always happen. So for someone who is looking for a ready-made notebook to document your yearly fieldtrips and have a fun keepsake in the process, I would highly suggest adding this fun supplement for your children.

-Product review by Audrey Tolle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August, 2016