Field trips are a huge part of homeschooling life. Who doesn't love them?
The kids love getting out to explore new places and mamas love to get away and have a short break from teaching!
Apologia Educational Ministries has a fantastic note booking journal just for field trips, called the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal. This is a brand new item from them. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to give it a try.
For this review, we received a spiral bound notebook. It measures 8.5" x 11" just like a standard notebook, so it fits easily into bags. The notebook has a think, durable plastic coated cover. This is important for kids and traveling. I know we all have a few notebooks lying around the house with no cover. There are 64 pages in the book. The pages are colored and remind me of a scrapbook.
The pages are a nice heavy weight...less likely to tear. The book seems pretty durable, which is good for taking it with you on your travels. The first page is the cover page that has a spot for the student to write who the journal belongs to. After the cover page, there are some resource pages.
These pages provide some wonderful resources for mamas.
Preparing for a Field Trip Pages
These pages provide a simple check list for a field trip. It starts with the week before the trip, moves to the night before the trip, then on the way and while your are there. A great resource for busy mamas!
Field Trip Idea Pages
These 2 pages give some wonderful ideas for future filed trips. Some you may have thought of, but a few of the ideas may be something new to give a try. They even have field trip ideas broken up into areas that you may be studying. For example, if you are studying the human body, you may want to visit a hospital, a nutritionist, an eye doctor, a gym, or hold a first aid class. Witnessing an autopsy is even recommended!
Places I've Explored Pages ( your State, the United States & the World)
This section contains pages for students to record all the trips they have taken. They can record the places and dates they have visited. They act like a log book book.
For the students, there are three main sections! These sections make up most of the book. They are the pages that the students use to record all of the fun and fascinating things they will see and do.
Field Trip Pages~ Specific Pages
These pages are for the students to record their information about their field trip. They can record where they went, the date, what books they read before the trip, what they want to see and do, what they did on the trip, and something that was memorable. There are sections where they can draw a map or a picture of something they saw.
My Special Spot Pages
The pages in this section are for recording changes in a special spot to the student. It's a nature spot that can be at a park, in your back yard, a field, or the woods. The students visit their special spot 4 times a year and record how it has changed during the year. How do the seasons affect the area? This is a great way for kids to slow down and look at the world around them.
Stopping to smell the roses!
As I See It Pages
These pages are a wonderful addition to the book! They allow the students to record things they have seen through art! Some of the pages have prompts like texture, colors, and patterns. Most are blank which leaves it up to the child to create. These pages encourage the use of their imagination. I love how they add another aspect to this experience. The students can get as creative as they want!
The book also contains an extra bonus! It provides a special link and password for parents and kids to see more materials like maps, virtual field trips, field guides, museums, etc. There are too many additional resources provided to list them all!
How did we use it?
So far, we used it to record two field trips. They don't have to be big and amazing. One of our trips was just to the creek down the road. Here the kids explored the water and the surrounding area. They were looking for crayfish, fish, tadpoles, snakes, and anything else they thought was worth finding. They even tested a water filtration straw! Yup, this mama allowed them to drink water from the creek. Nope, I didn't try it. The notebook journal allowed them to record their findings and write down what they enjoyed about the hike.
We have been a little busy with finishing our school year to take too many other trips. I am looking forward to using it more this summer.
My plans for next year is to get the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal for both kids. I think it will be a great way for the kids to record their field trips. At the end of the year, they will have a amazing journal that documented their travels and adventures for the year! Having a completed journal would be an added bonus for those families during portfolio reviews.
Would I recommend it?
Yes! I really love the concept and idea behind the book. I like how it includes prompts and suggestions. They encouraged the student to start thinking and learning how to be observant. It teaches the student in a fun and easy way. It allows them to see what is around them and create a "scrapbook" of their special days. I honestly believe this book wold be great for students in grades 1st-8th grade. The younger kids can focus more on one word answers and drawing pictures. Mamas could easily add to the journal for them. As the student progresses, they can add more and more details. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see how a students abilities improve over the years?
I know my kids enjoy looking at things they did a few years ago and see how much they have improved in their writing and artistic abilities.
By creating these journals and keeping them, the kids will be creating a treasured memory! They will be able to have a look into their lives when they were young. I wish I would have had something like this when I was child. I could have recorded out trips to NYC, the beach, Colorado, family reunions, and even Disney World!
Want to learn more?
Till next time,