This post, Capturing Memories with the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal ($22 retail), was made possible with the chance to review Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal from Apologia Educational Ministries as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. We are Apologia affiliates and the links leading to Apologia may result in a small commission for our family.
Even before we were officially homeschoolers, our family enjoyed what could be considered field trips. We went to the zoo and enjoyed our membership at the Natural History Museum in Cleveland where the boys could fly through seeing favorites while Mr. O could take his time actually looking at the exhibits. Field trips were one aspect of our family’s past-time pursuits and it easily translated into our homeschool approach. What we did not do well is helping the boys create memory books of their experiences.
What is the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal?
If you have been homeschooling for a while, you have probably heard the Apologia name in conversation. Several of my homeschooling friends use the science curriculum from them. I’ve also reviewed a variety of their products in the past, some of which are focused more on me as the homeschool mom than being material to teach my students.
Working under the premise that “real life encounters” can help to create life-long memories as well as solidify a base of knowledge, Apologia has launched the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal. This spiral bound book is meant to be used and well loved as the child enters information, draws pictures, or tacks in mementos from their adventures.
Before you even get to the pages used to record those adventures, author Racheal Yunis shares some tips on preparing for a field trip as well as a 2 page chart offering suggestions of field trips for a variety of subjects. In the midst of that chart, you’ll find information on accessing book extras on the Apologia website which really broadens the scope of possible field trips including some that can be done virtually.
The Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal contains a variety of pages. “Places I’ve Explored” are 2 page spreads for your state, the United States, and the world. This provides a format to keep a laundry list of locations visited as well as the date. Ten “Specific Trip” 2 page spreads both has a section for pre-planning what they want to experience as well as a chance to tell their story of the trip including things they never want to forget. There is also a spot for a drawing or photo to immortalize the trip.
“My Special Spot” 2 page spreads are focused for each season of the year and a way to record observations of the natural world. Finally, “As I See It” pages allow the child to document an experience with their imagination fully engaged. This section isn’t meant to be formal or structured, but rather an artistic expression of things seen on a field trip.
Putting the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal to Use
With my eldest son graduating from high school this past month, I have to admit we have not done many field trips during the review period. We do have a LOT of travel experiences planned for the summer and I suspect this journal will be seeing some serious action. What we did for part of the review period was to go through what we have done in the past years and add to the journal with the idea it will be a record for the family with a primary focus on our youngest son.
Each summer, we have taken at least a few trips in this great state of Alaska which we currently call home. Some place are close by (e.g. visiting Talkeetna) and others were weekend long trips (e.g. Valdez over Labor Day weekend.) There are even some states where we have gone to visit family and take in some local sights as well. We’ve had a blast looking a photos from each trip as we’ve entered dates and locations on our “Places I’ve Explored” pages.
I would definitely recommend this for anyone wanting a way for their child to create a permanent record of the field trips and other travel they have done. I have a strong DIY gene compliments of my dad, but there are times when I have to admit it is easier to use something already pulled together for me than create it from scratch. While I could ‘scrapbook’ our field trips in a paper format for the boys, it wouldn’t provide a way for them to put their own spin on it. And, that is what makes the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal shine. You might find that each child wants there own or that one journal only lasts you for a year (if you do a lot of field trips!)
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the Apologia Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review post on the Schoolhouse Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this and other self-paced courses.