New from Apologia! Elementary Science Series! This wonderful book uses the classical and Charlotte Mason methodology to give elementary school students an introduction to our solar system and the universe that contains it. Narration and notebooking are used to encourage critical thinking, logical ordering, retention, and record keeping. Each lesson in the book is organized with a narrative, some notebook work, an activity, and a project. Although designed to be read by the parent to elementary students of various grade levels, it is possible for students with a 4th-grade reading level to read this book on their own.
The book begins with a lesson on the nature of astronomy, and then it covers the major structures of our solar system. Starting with the sun and working towards Pluto, the student will learn details about all nine planets (or is it eight? - your student will have to decide) in the solar system. Along the way, the student will also learn about earth's moon, the asteroid belt, and the Kuiper belt. After that, the student will move outside our solar system and learn about the stars and galaxies that make up God's incredible universe. Finally, the student will learn about space travel and what it takes to be an astronaut!
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 making a mnemonic phrase to remember the order of the planets in the solar system, making a comic strip called "A Day on Venus," making a advertisement to sell the earth, and writing a play about the discovery of Uranus.
The activities and projects use easy-to-find household items and truly make the lessons come alive! They include making a solar eclipse, making craters like those found on Mercury, simulating the use of radar to determine hidden landscape, keeping track of the phases of the moon, making a telescope, making fog, and making an astrometer to measure the brightness of a star.
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.
They recommend that you spend the entire year covering this book, devoting approximately two sessions per week to the course. The sessions will be something like 30 minutes to an hour, depending on exactly what you are doing on that day. Of course, if you want to cover the book in less than a year, you will simply have to devote more time to it.
For grades K-6.