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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
Review by Virginia Knowles at http://www.startwellhomeschool.blogspot.com/
Text and Journal by Jeannie Fulbright and Brooke Ryan, M.D., Published by Apologia

Dear friends,



I'm so excited about Jeannie Fulbright's newest elementary science book, Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology! I have to say this may be her best book yet -- and that's saying a lot since we love her other ones, too! My son Micah fell in love with birds after completing the Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day book in the co-op classes we were in last year.


We just began our new school year on Monday. We're actually off to a terrific start, and I credit much of this to the fact that my kids love this new science curriculum and beg to do it first each morning! The hardcover text and the stiff cover spiral bound Notebooking Journal are fascinating, quite complete, and visually appealing. I am inspired by the Creation Confirmation sections liberally sprinkled throughout each lesson. About the Christian emphasis, Jeannie shares, "I had a chance to share the gospel message in Lesson 7 when discussing the attributes of blood. I was also blessed to share my heart in the last lesson, encouraging the children that they are unique, special creations by God - known by Him, and given a special plan and purpose, which God prepared in advance for them. It ends with encouragement to grow in their walk with God and spiritual maturity as their bodies grow in physical maturity."

The Exploring Creation series features the Charlotte Mason approach to education with an effective mix of reading, oral narration, notebooking (writing, drawing, etc.), and hands-on activities for grades K-6. The immersion approach is also used, since one main subject is studied in-depth all year so the children can gain a thorough understanding of the subject instead of just tiny factoids. For example, the Human Anatomy and Physiology volume, co-authored with Brooke Ryan, M.D., has 265 pages and 14 lessons covering all major body systems except the reproductive system. (There is a chapter on Growth and Development which covers prenatal growth and genetics, but not how the baby got there in the first place, if you know what I mean... This shows sensitivity for the emotional maturity level of young children. Parents can cover this topic separately if they wish.) The recommended pace for this book is doing science two days per week and covering a lesson every two weeks, for a total of 28 weeks. However, you can go faster or slower. We are finishing the entire first lesson in one week since the kids are excited about it, but we'll generally follow the regular pace for the rest of the year.

I am already in awe about how much I am personally learning about anatomy. I'm not much of a science person in the first place, so I'm relieved that the whole package is so well-laid out and easy to use. The Notebooking Journal is optional, but I highly recommend it since it makes everything so simple and fun with pages for the student to write and draw about what he or she has learned, as well as vocabulary crosswords, diagrams to fill in, "What Do You Remember?" questions, Scripture copy work in manuscript and cursive, and so much more. In the back of this Notebooking Journal, you will find full-color cut-out pages for fact wheels, mini books (in a variety of styles like tabs, flaps, matchbooks). etc. There are even two transparent plastic pages illustrated with body systems for the on-going Personal Person project. In the front of the Journal, you will find a recommended lesson schedule for the year. For those who can't afford to buy the Journal, a selection of its pages will be available on the Apologia web site later on. You can already find downloadable Journal pages for her other books there. But I do really recommend buying the journals for each of your children. (They are not reproducible.) They will make lesson planning so much easier for you, and they are excellent and durable keepsakes.

Another bit of good news is that for the first time, a Junior Notebooking Journal will be available a little later this summer. Jeannie kindly sent me a PDF of some sample pages so we could get started with them, and I know this Journal is going to make a huge difference for my second grader. He's already having a blast with his pages. In addition to many of the same features as the regular journal, it has simplified activities, coloring pages, and copy work selections. I asked Jeannie how parents should decide which level of journal to use for each child. She replied, "There is not a suggested age range for the two journals, rather a suggested abilities guideline. If a child is writing with proficiency, the regular journal is recommended. For the child that is still mastering the basics of handwriting and is not a proficient writer, the Junior Journal is recommended. My oldest child could have done the regular journal in second grade with ease. My boys could not have done the regular journal until fifth grade. So, it's really an abilities question, rather than an age question. All things being equal, I would say in a typical situation, the Junior Journal would be great for K - 3rd and the regular journal for 4th - 8th grade."


Near the end of each chapter you will find a "What Do You Remember?" section with several questions to use for simple oral narration. (There is a place in the Journal to record these, too, if you wish.) When I was flipping through the book, I found sample answers for these questions on pages 253-257. I'm just making sure you see these, because they will make the process easier for you as a teacher! I also like the fact that at various places in each chapter, there are blue words indicating natural places for a quick oral narration on what the student has heard so far. With Jeannie's conversational style and creative explanations, you will be amazed at how much they can understand. Here is one small example about your conchae. Never heard of it? Neither had I! Well, let's learn from the book! "As the air travels up your noise, it hits your conchae (kong' kee). Have you ever seen a conch shell? Well, that's what your conchae is named after. That's because a conch shell passage has twists and turns, just like the passages formed by the conchae in your nasal cavity. God has a special reason for creating your nasal cavity this way. Your conchae interrupt the air flow, making it travel like a twisting roller coaster -- going this way and that way, slamming against the mucus in the nasal cavity to make sure dust is removed. Sounds fun, doesn't it? As the air hits the walls of your noise, it also gets heated by the warm tissue found there!" (This text is accompanied by a very helpful diagram!)


The first lesson, which is an introduction to the human body, talks about how different historical cultures approached anatomy, from the Egyptians who dissected and mummified dead bodies, up through how Robert Hooke developed the microscope well enough to see cells. (Did you know that he borrowed the science word "cell" from monastery cells, because that is what cork cells looked like?) This historical backgrund transitions into a lesson on the anatomy of a cell with all of its organelles. The human cell is compared to a small city, with the membrane "gatekeeper" that guards the boundaries, mitochondria "power plants" that burn fuel, lysosome "policemen" who conquer invading enemies, endoplasmic reticulum "mailmen" and "garbage collectors" who deliver supplies and carry away trash, golgi body "grocery stores" that deliver food, centriole "mothers" who reproduce themselves, and the nucleus "government" that directs all of the organalles in their duties. This analogy made the material very engaging and easy to understand for the kids and for me! They had a lot of fun drawing and labeling each organelle in their Notebooking Journals.

I also love the hands-on projects in this text. My kids are already drooling at the thought of the cell model we will make out of Jello and candies later this week. (Note: After I wrote this post, we did make the cell model. Lots of fun! See left for the picture of our yummy creation. If you want a healthier version, I'm sure you could make the various kinds of organelles out of fresh fruit instead of Skittles, Twizzlers, Nerds, etc.) Like the cell model for the first lesson, each chapter has a substantial but not overwhelming experiment or project at the end, such as analyzing a chicken bone for the skeleton lesson. Some of these experiments will require you to obtain supplies that you might not already have around the house, such as a small amount of 2% iodine solution to test fruits for vitamin C content in the nutrition lesson. A complete master list of necessary supplies, organized by lesson, is conveniently located on page 15-17 of the text. In addition to the major projects, there are also multiple simple "Try This!" activities in each chapter, such as trying to talk without moving your tongue, and then your lips, and then your jaw.


One other thing I love about this book is that it is so practical! It gives kids tips on how to take care of their own bodies, such as how to treat a wound, choose healthy foods, avoid heat exhaustion, the dangers of smoking, etc. It also teaches them about the signs of a heart attack so they can get help if someone they know might be having one. This could save a life!



Jeannie told me, "This was one of my favorite books to write. Though it was a longer process in the making, being the first book I produced under the new leadership at Apologia, I believe it is the finest of all my books. I'm really excited about its potential to influence children in their faith as they learn about the amazing design of their own bodies."

When I asked her to share about the new owners of Apologia, she replied, "Davis and Rachael Carman are exactly who I would have chosen to be my publishers and to carry Apologia into the new era of homeschooling, growing the business with Christ honoring products and a vision to fortify the homeschool community. They are a godsend to me. It would take pages for me to describe all the ways they have blessed me and my family, as well as Apologia. I could not do these two people justice in a short paragraph. I recommend everyone try to get to an Apologia Live conference and get to know this couple first hand to get a glimpse of their godly love for the homeschool community and for God's people. They are genuine and nothing short of a gift from God to the homeschool community. I believe their vision for Apologia is straight from the Lord and I look forward to seeing how God will use this company to bless, encourage and build up the homeschool community."

What a blessing! It would be really fun to go to one of Apologia's live inspirational conferences for home school moms in Baltimore, Chicago or Atlanta. I think Sally Clarkson, who is also an Apologia author, will be speaking at the one in Chicago in October. Read more at http://www.apologiaonline.com/live/index.asp

Click here to read more about the Carman family, as well as other Apologia authors and speakers.


I could go on and on about why I love this book. For now, I'll just say how thrilled I am that I chose this as our core elementary science curriculum for the year. I have a bunch of supplementary books about the human body on my shelves, but this text and notebooking journal will tie everything together in an way which will make our science education SO much more effective. If your kids haven't learned much about the human body yet, why not this year?


You can order the text and journals from any of these sites:


The author: http://www.jeanniefulbright.com/  
While you're at her site, sign up to receive Jeannie's inspirational home schooling newsletters!
Click here to see web pages for Human Anatomy and PhysiologyText Book and Notebooking Journal

The publisher: http://www.apologia.com/
At this site, you can access the table of contents, sample modules, lab list.
Click here to see web pages for Human Anatomy and Physiology Text Book and Notebooking Journal.

A discount supplier: Christian Book Distributors
At this site, you can access the table of contents and see pages from the books.
Human Anatomy and Physiology text
Click here to see web pages for Human Anatomy and Physiology Text Book and Notebooking Journal


~~~~

If you have used this curriculum, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Blessings,
Virginia Knowles
http://www.startwellhomeschool.blogspot.com/

10 comments:

  1. If you are going to home school you children you should at least get them a real science book and none of this creationism stuff. They are gonna be years behind when they get to the real world

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ Anonymous ... there is possibly more accurate science involved in creation science, and there are great experiments/projects included in this curriculum. Children who use these programs are equal to or ahead of their ps peers, using this curriculum. Darwinism is very flawed... please do some independent studying of your own, without the public school indoctrination interference. I too was ps indoctrinated, and have since re-educated myself.

      Delete
  2. What a wonderful review of this text! I was searching for answers to a few questions I had before I made a final decision to use it for our homeschool and I'm so glad I found your blog and this great post. Can't wait to start using it!

    I'm now your newest follower too! :)
    Lisa xoxo
    http://RaisingFutureLeaders.blogspot.com

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