Ever feel like you'd like to add some pizzaz to your field trips? How about actually keeping track of the field trips you go on, seasonal changes in a local spot, or personal expressions of creation observations? Apologia Educational Ministries has come out with a pretty snazzy product to assist you in that endeavor! Oh how we wish that the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal existed when we took our cross-country road trip in 2006!
Now, I will be upfront and say that I was excited about this review item, because my youngest's field trip record is rather slim. This is due *mostly* to our acquisition of a lovely retired service dog. She has put a major cramp in my homeschooling style~ because she can't be left home alone, and she also can't go to most field trip locations. ARGH! What's a homeschool mom to do?
Well, we've had to be creative, and I'm afraid that for the purposes of this review, we were once again not able to go on a "traditional" field trip (I had plans, but between baseball and the weather... well, let's just say we're looking forward to more free time, and good weather for some of the animal friendly, or "Mom and Youngest" options out there).
Here is where the Field Trip Journal comes in. Yes~ there are FABULOUS pages for specific, planned, LOCATION field trips (ie: Museum, Nature Preserve, National Park, Historic Site). These will, as mentioned above, get filled in a little more slowly in our journal... But there are also a number of pages that are more open-ended, and less structured.
|Fabulous field trip pages~ *not true to size, and some are not to scale|
Included near the front of the journal are a couple of pages with nine to twelve field trip suggestions in ten specific categories (that's over 100 field trip ideas, folks!). I'm showing the most general suggestions, to give you a feel for it, but many of the other ideas are unique and creative (Could you find lists like this elsewhere? Probably~ but not packaged quite as nicely).
- Plants: Arboretum
- Animals: Animal Shelter
- Earth: Water's Edge
- Space/Aviation: Local Airport
- Human Body: Dentist's Office
- History & Govt': City Hall
- Municipal: Police Dept
- Business: Bakery
- Culture: Art Museum
- Other: Camping
The point here is that you can find a field trip anywhere, even in your own back yard, or up the street! What a relief! :D Apologia has also included one of their "Book Extras" codes for those who purchase the journal. This brings you to a page on Apologia's site filled with loads of field trip advice and suggestions. What a fantastic resource this is.
My Eldest is quite taken with this Journal~ the feel of the pages (they are sturdy and smooth to the hand), the graphics "I love the lettering, Mom! They are all so different." (they speak to her scrap-booky heart), and her favorite pages ~ the open-ended, creative pages (As I See It), where she can doodle and draw... :) Here is a portion of one of the As I See It Pages~ Eldest sketched a flower she saw in Guatemala on her Missions Trip (How's that for an International Field Trip?). The photo doesn't show the whole page, but I anticipate if becoming a "Flora I've Seen" page for her.
This will most likely become a "Family" book, with various people contributing, as we explore God's Creation all around us. It's clearly great for the artistic child, and I believe that the Middlest "Nature Boy" will benefit from the "My Special Spot" pages, while Youngest will get in a few traditional field trips, as dog, schedules and weather allow.
I think this journal has the potential to earn an honored place in the homeschool book/travel bag of many families (Don't forget the colored pencils~ if you have a polaroid camera, that would be a plus too!).
- Company: Apologia Educational Ministries
- Product: Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal
- Ages: multi-age
- Price: $22.00