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Exploring Creation With Botany

Exploring Creation With Botany

Young Explorer Series
by Jeannie Fulbright
Hardcover, 176 pages
Current Retail Price: $39.00

For a review of Apologia Science, please click here.

To understand more about the Young Explorer series, please click here for full review.

Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. is proud to present the second book in its Young Explorer Series. This elementary-level science curriculum uses the Charlotte Mason methodology to give elementary school students an introduction to the incredible world of plants.

The book begins with a lesson on the nature of botany and the process of classifying plants. It then discusses the development of plants from seeds, the reproduction processes in plants, the way plants make their food, how plants get their water and nutrients, and how water and nutrients are distributed throughout the different plant structures. Students are then given some in-depth information about specific types of plants such as trees, ferns, and mosses.

As you might expect from a book that uses the Charlotte Mason approach, the student notebook is emphasized in every lesson. Students are told to make illustrations for each lesson and are given notebook assignments to reinforce what they have learned. Notebook assignments include collecting plants from the categories that are being studied, labeling the parts of a flower, making a "comic book" story of the life of a flower, making bark rubbings, and identifying leaves.

The activities and projects use easy-to-find household items and truly make the lessons come alive! They include making a "light hut" in which to grow plants, dissection of a bean seed, growing seeds in plastic bags to watch the germination process, making a leaf skeleton, observing how plants grow towards light, measuring transpiration, forcing bulbs to grow out of season, and forcing pine cones to open and close.

Most importantly, of course, a creationist world view is stressed throughout. Time and time again, God is glorified as the Master Creator of all that the students are studying. In addition, sections entitled "Creation Confirmation" provide evidence for young-earth creationism in the context of the topic that the students are studying.

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  Yes, Botany Is Fun!
ReNae of ND, 2/24/2011
I purchased all of the Exploring Creation Young Explorer Series, but I must admit at the time I was not looking forward to Botany. I couldn't wait to start Swimming Creatures and Astronomy, but the study of plants was not high on my list. And then we began the course and I was amazed! I don't know how it was accomplished, but my children and I had a blast and we (and yes WE) learned so much. The lessons and projects were both informative and enjoyable. By the end of this course your student will not only be able to discuss and even show adults the difference between a monocot and dicot (and so much more); but they will be able to articulate clearly why they as Christians believe in a young earth and will even have the facts to back up that belief.

One drawback I could foresee in this course is tackling this during the winter. Many lessons and projects require live plants, leaves, moss, lichen, ferns, flowers etc. and these may be hard to come by; also, the children learned so much more by being able to go outside and find what was being discussed in the book. Speaking from experience the book can be completed during the summer by just spending a 1/2 hour or so a few days per week.

I also believe this book can be used with children as young as kindergarten up through 6th grade. The information covered is engaging and fun, but an older student can delve further with the projects and can learn so much more. With all the information covered, projects, pictures, etc. I consider "Exploring Creation with Botany" to be the best book of the series. Please consider buying and have some fun studying plants - we did.
  Considering the Lilies
Tracy Fabel of Oregon, 10/16/2008
Undoubtedly, this is the absolute best science curriculum I have ever used in the elementary ages. Its first selling point is how utterly easy it is to use. With essentially no effort on my part, I grabbed the book about twice a week and began to read. Immediately, my three children—ages 11, 9 and 7—listened with interest to a subject that they frankly had not wanted to study at the beginning of the year.

Once or twice in each chapter, they wrote narration pages, drawing and summarizing what they had learned. If desired, Apologia's website has free, printable notebook pages that you can use for this purpose. The hand-on projects that came with every chapter were easy to set up and do—although I must admit that my "anti-green" thumb made some of our growing projects absolutely fail. Regardless, the children still learned in the process.

Unless you purchase a supply kit (available online), you will need to collect some nature objects over the summer for study. Also, our climate made some nature activities impossible and we either skipped these or put them off for better weather.

Warning: this curriculum also details flower and moss reproduction, which can make some mothers nervous as the terminology so closely mirrors human reproduction. However, I found this to be the perfect starting point to some great private discussion. I have only heard one mother dislike this book when using it with entirely little children, as some of the information gets quite technical. This is part of its beauty, however, as the higher information keeps the older student interested. If you have children like mine, spread out throughout elementary school, I think you will be well-pleased with this program.