Do you have hands-on learners in your homeschool? I know that we do, and so I am always on the look out for curriculum that allows my learners to get busy with their hands. Our family was recently picked to review the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology curriculum by Apologia. I was a little skeptical because this is a book curriculum, and my kids seem to prefer the online platform. We were pleasantly surprised! Because of the amount of hands-on activities that were included, my son didn’t even miss the computer.
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Apologia got it’s start in the early 1990’s with a science professor and a homeschool co-op. Since then it has grown to cover creation based science with many courses and covers grades k-12. Their mission is to help parents educate their children as well as disciple their children to defend their faith.
Overview of Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology
As I mentioned this is a book-based curriculum. This does include a CD of the textbook, which I thought was a nice touch. Please keep in mind that this is an MP3 audio CD, and may not play in all CD players. It did play well for us in our computer though. There are two books that are included – a textbook and a workbook journal.
The textbook is colorful with lots of pictures and diagrams. The reading level is fairly easy, but may challenge younger students. This is where the CD is nice to have. It may help some students learn the pronunciation of the anatomy terms. Every few pages, there is an activity to aid in the learning. This is where the hands-on learning comes in. Most of the activities are easy enough for students to do with minimal adult assistance, and typically the necessary items can be found around the house.
The recommended age for this curriculum is grades 3-8, however, it could be modified to work for other grades as well. If you would like to use this for a high school student, you would need to add more. It does a great job of providing an overview, but does not go as in depth for high school. If you were to use this for a student younger than about 3rd grade, you may want to do the hands-on activities and read the textbook to them. Our 6th grader loves this curriculum and it works perfectly for him.
How We Used Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology
My family loves science, as it is a more hands on subject. As I mentioned earlier, my son was a little disappointed that this is a book curriculum. He loves computer games and internet based learning. However, it did not take him very long to fall in love with this curriculum. He was very excited at all of the experiments and fun activities.
We were able to complete the entire first unit, in the several weeks of the review. We took more than the recommended time so that we had a chance to complete most of the activities. The first chapter begins with a brief history that covers early Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans. We learned about what early humans understood about the human body, which was pretty entertaining considering the knowledge we have today. However, we were amazed by some of the things that early man did know like how the Egyptians performed some surgeries and the Hebrews had knowledge of germs.
Eventually the reader is brought into the life of the human cell. The curriculum does a very nice job of relating something that cannot be seen by the naked eye with every day things. For example, the book used a city wall to describe the job of the cell membrane. It really helped my son to more fully understand how the cell functions and how God thought of every tiny little detail.
As he read through the text, he also entered into his journal. It was kind of like having a scientific field journal that he could jot down notes about his findings just like the real scientists do. This is not a blank journal by any means. Instead, it has fun activities such as crosswords, and areas to fill in fun facts. As you can see below, there is a page for him to draw a cell.
The Cell Activity
As I mentioned, my son loved the hands on activities. His most favorite was making an edible model of the human cell. Using household ingredients such as candy and Jello, he was able to make a 3D model which when he was done, he could eat. Below are some photos of this fun activity.
Thoughts From Our Family
Seth (age 12)
“I really like how they use examples to describe parts of your body as something that you can relate to. I also like the hands on activities that you can do so that you can remember your knowledge more while its still fun to do.”
“I love that this is not a computer-based curriculum. While my boys would differ on that, I think that way too muchh as gone the way of computer. There is something about being able to open a book, look at the pictures, and read the information that still makes things stick so much better. Like my son, I too really enjoyed the learning activities. It was really fun and refreshing to get to see him so excited and active with his learning. He looked like he was having more fun than learning, but he now knows a lot about the cell.”
Review Crew Thoughts
You don’t have to take our word for it though. There are many families on the Review Crew who have also been working hard to bring you a great review. I highly recommend checking them out! You can do that simply by clicking the link below.