Tag Archives: Lapbooking

Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics . . . A T.O.S. Review

If you are looking for a hands on, Charlotte Mason Style Homeschool Science Curriculum with a definite Christian world view, you will certainly find it in Exploring Creation With Chemistry And Physics, written by Jeanie Fulbright and published by Apologia. This curriculum is written for children anywhere from kindergarten through grade six, and is perfect, in my opinion, for working together as a group, even in a multi-age group.

As reviewers, we were allowed to select any two of the notebooking journals which go along with the text book. Because I had hopes that at least one of my kids (“The Artist”) would be able to use the Regular Notebooking Journal, I asked for it . . .

Along with a copy of the Junior Notebooking Journal.

Because of a mistake in shipping, I actually received two of the Junior Notebooking Journals. Apologia was kind enough to replace the missing journals for those of us who received the wrong ones, and ESPECIALLY kind enough to allow us to keep the wrong ones! In the meanwhile, I was able to acquire two more Junior Notebooking Journals from other reviewers. 🙂 As it happened, this turned out to be a real blessing, because although “The Artist” probably CAN handle the regular Notebooking Journal, he definitely preferred the Jr. one.

The Notebooking Journals are very similar, but the Junior Notebooking Journal actually has a lot more in it for someone who likes art, and the Regular Notebooking Journal has significantly more writing to do, something “The Artist” gets balky about if he has to do it with handwriting as opposed to using the computer.

One of the best things about the Apologia is that when we use it as a read-aloud (and we do!), the text is very easy to understand, and there are plenty of good quality color pictures to go along with the text.

Spread throughout each chapter (Lesson) are boxes with the heading “Try This!”. It may be a small experiment, a game, or something else, but it always goes right along with what is being taught in that section. Some of the “Try This!” sections we have done are:

The 20 Questions Game, which teaches the skill of being able to describe the properties of matter.

Figuring out the volume of a small rock using the method discovered by Archimedes . . .

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during which we discovered that this small rock from our yard came in at about 50 cubic centimeters.

We began learning about density using two eggs, two glasses of warm water, and one half cup of salt . . .

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We learned more about mass, volume and density by seeing whether different objects would sink or float in a bowl of water . . .

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And we also did one other “Try This” to learn about buoyancy. The idea was to build a foil boat, put it into our “ocean” of warm salt water . . .
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then begin adding pennies (pirate treasure) to see how many it took to make the boat sink . . .
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In case you were wondering, it took 56 pennies!

In the main text-book “Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics“, there are 14 lessons. The breakdown of the lesson plans are in the Notebooking Journal and the Junior Notebooking Journal, with the suggested pace of two days per week, doing one lesson per week. As usual, we are slowing this down quite a bit, in order that all of my children can really get as much as possible out of this curriculum. I think that’s one of the best things about homeschooling, the fact that we can go at our own pace, tweaking here and there as needed to accommodate the various special needs my kids have.

There are also a multitude of lapbook style things in both of the Notebooking Journals for the student to cut out, fill in, and then glue to the appropriate page of their notebook. We are just getting ready to begin one of them, in fact!

There are vocabulary activities, such as crossword puzzles, word find puzzles, match-up sheets, vocabulary puzzle pieces, etc, and, should you need them, the answers are all in the back of the Notebooking Journal!

Here are just a couple of pictures from our Notebooking Journals:

From the Junior Notebooking Journal, you can see that my kids are not carbon copies of one another when it comes to coloring!
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Here is the one picture I managed to get of “The Artist” beginning a crossword puzzle in the regular Notebooking Journal, before going back to the Junior Notebooking Journal, which he very much prefers! 🙂
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Apologia is a good fit for my family, and we will continue to use it, but with one small adjustment in addition to slowing the pace down quite a bit. The only other change I will make is that when they have a copywork page with a Bible verse, I will be having them use our King James Bible, rather than the version used in the curriculum. As my regular readers are aware, that is my one pet peeve with Christian homeschool curriculum, it is mostly written using other versions these days. I would love it if this were offered with the option of being published using the King James Version for those of us who will use no other version of the Bible. In the meantime, I guess I will just continue to adjust for that by typing the verses out from the King James Bible and then adhering them to the Notebooking Journal over the other version.

The Textbook “Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics” by Jeanie Fulbright can be found here at the cost of $39.00.

The “Chemistry and Physics Notebooking Journal for Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics” can be found here for $24.00.

The “Junior Chemistry and Physics Notebooking Journal for Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics” is available here for $24.00.

My children and I are very much enjoying this Homeschool Science Curriculum, and I hope you will, too!

To find out what other Schoolhouse Review Crew members thought of “Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics“, please click on the graphic below!
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Filed under Apologia, Christian faith, education, family, home education, homeschool products, Homeschool Science Curriculum, homeschooling, Kids, Lapbooking, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, special needs education, TOS Post, TOS Review

“A Trip to the Library” (In the Hands of a Child Lapbook Review for T.O.S.

I must confess, my kids and I have had previous (a long time ago) experience with the company In The Hands Of A Child“, and had even at one time, had a Super Membership that I purchased when attending a mega-curriculum fair back in Michigan. However, back then, I found many of the Project Packs to be too much for my kids, so we haven’t done any from In The Hands of a Child for quite some time. As you’ll see from my review, I was pleasantly surprised at how much better they did with a Project Pack from this company now than they did several years ago!

In The Hands Of A Child was created and is still run, by a pair of home-schooling moms. You can read about them here. Whenever possible, if I am buying materials for my home-schooling, I do prefer to support fellow home-schoolers, and this is a good one to support, for sure!

When given the list of products to choose from, I chose the Project Pack A Trip To The Library, because when we lived in Michigan, my kids loved going to the library, and even after being here in NM for a year now, we had not yet even found our local library branch, let alone gotten library cards, so I thought this would be a good incentive to get that off of the “to do” list!


The Project Pack A Trip To The Library is written for students in grades K – 3, and is available right now for $5.00! The regular price is $10.00.

I received a download of this Project Pack, which is the format I prefer, as I can then use it for more than one of my children, and can also save it for use in later years.

When you think about A Trip To The Library, you may be just thinking about getting there, letting your kids choose some books,, a story-time hour if your kids are little, and going on home, but as your children will learn while doing this Project Pack, there is a lot of information about the library that they are capable of understanding.

From the website:

“With this unit study you will be able to teach your early elementary classroom about the library. Libraries have a lot of books, but they also have a lot of other information and resources. Teach your students about the types of libraries, common areas inside a library, library rules, how to find a book, librarians, book classification systems, the parts of a book, and more. Make your lesson planning easy with the Trip to the Library Curriculum from In the Hands of a Child. This pack includes a 5-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 11 Hands-On Activities PLUS 6 Fun Extension Activities, and a 7-page Research Guide to complete a project all about the library!”

You may even download a sample here.

I knew my children would enjoy doing this, because over the past few years as their skills have improved, we have added in more and more lap-booking materials to our educational experience. I am a scrap-booker/card maker, and my kids watch me, and like to take whatever materials I end up not using to create on their own, so it was fun for them to do the cutting, putting together, and laying things out in their file folder books we made.

Here are “The Puzzler”, “The Batman” & “Mr. Loquacious” gluing the definitions to their vocabulary words, which we then put together with brads from my scrap-booking stash . . .


and here is “The Artist” working on his . . .


We made quite a mess, with all of the cutting! I decided to just let it all fall to the floor and clean it up at the end of each session. This is just a SMALL part of the mess . . . it grew and grew!


As I mentioned above, one of the main reasons I chose this particular Project Pack was to use it as an incentive to get moving on finding the library here in our new city, and get library cards. So, one day while we were in the middle of working on A Trip To The Library, since I had some errands to run that morning, we decided to just include a trip to OUR library, once I had searched it on Google so I could use the gps on my phone to get us there (as my husband is fond of saying, I am completely geographically challenged!).

Once we found that there was a branch of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library fairly close to our home, we decided to go on our way home from the errands. What I planned as a QUICK stop turned into a couple of hours, but that was OK, the boys had fun, and we all have our new library cards now. 🙂

Here are the boys, signing their new library cards . . .

“The Batman”

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“The Artist”

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“Mr. Loquacious”

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“The Puzzler”

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All four of the boys working intently on their layouts . . .


Here is part of the inside of a finished Project Pack . . .


. . . and the other part of the inside is here . . .


You can see in the first example above, the boys added the pictures of themselves signing their new library cards. We had also saved all of the little extra illustrations in the Project Pack print out, and they used them to decorate the empty spaces in their file folder books. In this case, it helped with covering the manufacturer’s printed material that was showing on the insides of the folders.

I took all four of their brand new library cards and scattered them onto the copier part of my printer to make a picture for the covers of their file folder books, and then used a cute font I have to make a title for them. This is how we decided it should look . . .


And here are all four boys showing off their finished Project Packs!


We did not need to purchase anything extra at all to do this, and you probably won’t, either. I always have a box of file folders on hand. For each file folder book, we took two file folders and folded each into the middle, making it gate-fold into the center. Then, we attached the two together with double-sided tape, which I also keep on hand for various projects. I could not find the brads I had bought at an office supply store the last time we did a lap-book, so I let them use the ones I had in my scrap-booking stash. Of course, we already had on hand pencils, glue sticks, colored pencils & a stapler, so we were good to go!

My kids and I think you should give Project Packs from In The Hands Of A Child a try. They really are a fun, hands on way to learn about a topic, and this company has a TON of topics for you to use! In The Hands Of A Child regularly offers free Project Packs here, so you can even try before you buy!

There is an ever-growing list of their units here, and it ranges from pre-school all the way through the 12th grade, in differing styles from lap-book Project Packs to Note-booking Packages.

Way back at the beginning of this review, I mentioned having had a Super Membership at one time. A Super Membership is a good value, in my opinion. It includes two free Project Packs each month that you are a member, plus 15% off all e-book lap-book units and $10.00 off of the price on custom ordered units. It’s a good deal!

There is a newsletter you can sign up for here, to receive the latest updates, money-saving deals and free tips.

In The Hands Of A Child also has their own blog which you may find helpful as a home-schooling parent.

I do recommend the company In The Hands Of A Child, and not just for home-schoolers, either! They make fine supplemental packages for kids in public or private school, as well as fun, hands-on educational projects for summer vacation or any time your kids would be interested in learning more about a given topic. But when it comes to home-schooling, you really could just about build a whole year curriculum from Project Packs written by In The Hands Of A Child! Take a look at their curriculum page, and just see if they don’t have pretty much any topic you (or your kids!) would like to cover, and you’ll see that learning doesn’t have to be drudgery. It can be fun, hands-on, and relatively inexpensive!

Now that my kids are better able to handle these projects, I absolutely plan to delve back into my stock-pile of downloaded Project Packs from many years ago. I think they will be much more able to do them now, and we do enjoy it when we can learn about a variety of topics in a hands-on, fun way! 🙂

My fellow crew members reviewed a variety of products from “In The Hands of a Child” . . . please click below to discover their thoughts!


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Home School in the Woods . . . a TOS Review

My kids have enjoyed learning with lapbooks ever since we discovered them several years ago, so when I got the chance to review a lapbook package from Home School in the Woods, I grabbed for it!

Home School in the Woods has long been well-known for their Timeline figure sets, Timeline Notebook and Olde World Style Map Sets, but I have to say that judging by the one we got for our review, they have also really hit the mark with “ready to go” lapbooking! Amy Pak and her family do live in the woods, and because she didn’t care for the thought of teaching history, she decided to use timelines. Eventually falling in love with the topic, she began to create timeline figures that are realistic. You can read more about Amy Pak and her family here.

We had to choose between:

Hands-on History Lap-Pak: The 20th Century in America

Great Empires


Hands-on History Activity Pak: Composers

I decided that I really wanted to focus on American History with this one, so we chose to request the Hands-on History Lap Pak: The 20th Century in America.

Because I thought it might be beyond the capabilities of my other three children at this time, I decided to have “The Artist” be the student this time around, deciding with him that he could “do” the Lap-Pak projects and create the lapbook, and we would, at a later time, use his finished product as an educational tool for everyone. Once he got started doing the projects, he decided that they were a lot of fun, and he was learning cool, creative things (like learning how to make a pop-up card because of one of the first few projects), and really went with it, with MUCH more enthusiasm than I’ve seen for other educational endeavors. 🙂

For this review, I received the Hand-on History Lap-Pak: The 20th Century in America as a download product. In my download were files for the following:

Booklet directions
Introduction and lists of additional resources that can be added for deeper study
Project assembly directions
Lapbook assembly directions
Reading text pages, to either print as a booklet or on 8 1/2 x 11 paper for a notebook
Lapbook project masters

The download version of Hands-on History: The 20th Century in America is available for $21.95, or you can purchase it on a CD for $22.95. Since I personally am not skilled in the art of waiting (my personal motto appears to be “instant gratification takes too long”), if I were purchasing this or any other downloadable vs. CD product for our home-schooling, I would most likely always choose the downloadable version. 🙂

This download gives you a very complete unit study, which touches on so very many important historical events, movements, topics, and/or people. You can use the lists of additional resources, and take a much longer time with this unit by “digging deeper” into each subject, or you can do the entire thing “as is”, because everything, and I do mean everything, that you need is included.

Here is our “project center”, all printed out and kept neatly in a three-ring binder and in the actual file folder we would ultimately use for the lapbook, until each page was needed (the only “extra” in the photo is the colorful booklet tucked into the binder pocket. This is a list of the missionaries supported by our church, because we decided to use it for the Modern Missionaries project) . . .


“The Artist” really enjoyed the “putting together” aspect of the projects, but often needed to be reminded to read the text first, and then to go back to the text for his research, so he would know what sort of information to write into each project. In fact, we discovered while assembling the final lapbook that he had completely skipped reading the text and writing information into the project on music, so after completely finishing the assembly, he went back and read that portion of the text, and wrote in the information needed. 🙂

Here are some photos of “The Artist” working on individual projects for the lapbook . . .





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And here is a photo of the completed individual projects, waiting to be put into the assembled lapbook . . .

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Really, we liked all of the individual projects, although he had a problem with the project for “Slang Terminology”, because the pocket as printed out and assembled was not large enough to hold all of the printed cards and still be able to be adhered to the lapbook. “The Artist” worked around that by making a separate backing out of the same color of cardstock, so that there would be something to adhere! The only other issue in my opinion, was with the Modern Missionaries project. It is a beautiful little booklet when completed, but it is really beginning to bother me more and more that Christian home education companies seem to be completely disregarding the use of the 1611 King James Version of the Bible when there are Bible verses used. I’m usually having to measure the area and print out the KJV version, hoping that it won’t look like a bad patch job (which, of course, it usually does). I realize that the King James Version has fallen out of favor in a lot of circles, but there are still an awful lot of us who use it exclusively, and would appreciate having it included as an alternative option in the print outs. Other than these two things, we are VERY pleased with this lapbook, both the building of it and the completed product! “The Artist” is excited about the plan to use it later on as an educational tool, adding in the resources for “digging deeper”, and learning as much as we can from it. 🙂

Here are photos of “The Artist” proudly showing off his completed Lap-Pak . . .

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Didn’t he do a great job? After discussing it further, we’ve decided we might like to also do the Hands-on History Activity Pak: Composers, and eventually the Great Empires, because “The Artist” so enjoyed putting together the Hands-on History Lap-Pak: The 20th Century in America.

We enjoyed this product, and I think you might, as well!

To see what other Schoolhouse Review Crew members thought of this and other products from Home School in the Woods, please click below . . .


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