Creation Illustrated REVIEW

Creation Illustrated
We were recently sent two really fun unit studies from Creation Illustrated, along with access to  the magazines that cover the same topics. There are several unit study options to choose from, and for this review we were sent the Snow Unit Study and Pine Trees.
Winter 2018, Vol. 24, No. 4
These unit studies cover a wide range of topics from Bible to vocabulary, even art! There's a lot of goodness packed into these! Normally, a unit study that encompasses so much comes with a ton of printing. I was happy to discover these unit studies were each UNDER 20 pages! 
Creation Illustrated Unit Study Snow
Our Experience: 

We had full access to the corresponding magazines, so I first pulled up the one for the Snow Unit Study. And then....I promptly lost all track of time. The photos are just absolutely amazing. First, POLAR BEARS?! I LOVE POLAR BEARS! I can stand for hours at the zoo (ok, ok...my tushy is sitting on the bench...) watching the polar bears swim and play. I'm pretty sure they're my spirit animal. So naturally I was drawn to this photo. I like how it 'looks' like a physically magazine would look with shadow crease, but at the same time it messes up my pretty polar bear photo haha! No really, it has the look of a physical magazine. Turning pages is as easy as clicking in the top corner, or scrolling up and down. 

We are also huge fans of Alaska, and I'm pretty sure we are meant to live there. This....this is beauty. 


My only issue with the magazine online is that I'm not really good at adjusting the size to easily read on my computer screen. There's a handy dandy little magnifying glass button to enlarge, but then I have to scroll. It's all in my display settings.  This isn't an issue at all on any other device. 


The unit study works well with the magazine, referencing it for specifics. But there's also enough "on your own" research to go along with the unit study, that you aren't just using the magazine. 

Fall 2017, Vol. 24, No. 3

After I pulled myself away from the Winter '18 Digital Edition of Creation Illustrated, I lost myself once more in the Fall '17 Digital Edition. Mr. B got through the first couple of pages until he hit this one. And he was lost lol. He LOVES all things 2017 Eclipse! 



Just like with the winter edition, the fall edition includes great stories and amazing photos. I love how it works well with the unit study, but the unit study also has components that are standalone, too. 

We received two unit studies, but chose to focus on one. I was pretty certain we would focus on the Snow Unit Study, but to be honest we are so sick of snow we dove right into Pine Trees.

First things first, page I love how it not only names the corresponding article in the magazine, "The Enduring Pine Tree, " but it also shows a photo of the article. That way, I know exactly what to look for.


In edition to giving you the page numbers for the article, there are also other links included that reference more facts, pines by region, field guide books, videos, and more. It's so convenient to have all of the links needs to complete this unit study right here with it! 

The Study starts out with a history of the English word "PINE" where it goes all the way back to Middle English and Norse. Then you have vocabulary and spelling. The words aren't easy words. Words like Burgeon and Privations even stumped me and I had to look them up. We both had fun doing the vocabulary definitions. 

After that is a Bible Study on Pine Trees. this goes back to the history of the word as that section mentions how knowing the history of the word PINE can help as you read the KJV Bible as it was written before the 19th centure. The Bible study task asks you to look up specific verses. You are to list what the word is being used for. This made for a great critical thinking skill for Mr. B.

His favorite activity was Pine Tree Geography. Here you have 9 different types of pine trees and you must identify the region where they grow.

Identifying Pine Trees was a bit harder for him since there are little details he often overlooked. I helped him with this one, and we still enjoyed it. We laughed when he'd get the pine cones confused. 

Math is also included in this unit study, and he was excited to see the Fibonacci number! I told him how it relates to pine cones, and he was then off to look at pine cones in more detail. These math problems aren't your average problem. These require some thought and skill. "If a squirrel ran up a 56-foot pine tree at one yard per 1.5s, how long would it take for the squirrel to reach the top? Write out your equation." That's a good example. 

This study also includes Writing and Penmanship. I had Mr. B narrate to me first, and then I had him trace over my handwriting. We are working on letter sizing and word spacing. After this, your child can draw a picture of their favorite pine tree-cones and all!

Mr. B's most favorite part is the word search. We both sat together and worked on this. There are 12 words, but it took us more than a few minutes because these words are WELL hidden! Or at least they were to us! 


Here are a few photos of what he did. 





All in all, we worked on the actual unit study for about 2 weeks, but we looked over the magazine and included links/information for a couple more weeks. Intricacies of Snow, the Snow Unit Study has a very similar layout with additional links listed in the front, and vocabulary, writing, science, math, and geography all included in the study. Both unit studies claim to be on the 5th to 8th grade level, and I would say that's a fair assessment. The snow unity study includes vocabulary words such as envision, unpretentious, and graupel. The bible study asks your child to determine whether the word snow is being used literally or if it is more symbolic, and it also discusses spiritual lessons. 

We've not fully delved into the unit study on snow, yet, but so far we both really like it. The science portion is meteorologic in nature, and Mr. B was able to breeze through that due to going to my meteorology classes with me. 

This study also discusses igloos. Mr. B and I thought it would be a lot of fun to make our own igloo, so I plan to buy sugar cubes and do that. I plan to post photos once we do, as I think that would be a fun activity to go along with this study!

Again the math problems aren't easy peasy math problems. "Snow was falling at a rate of 3/4" per 30 minutes. The storm lasted for 18 1/2 hours. How many inches of snow accumulated during the storm?" is one of the easiest problems on the page.

Other activities include looking at total snowfall for different regions, comparing types of snow flakes, and another crossword puzzle. 

Creation Illustrated Unit Study Pine Trees


Overall:


Overall, I really like these. They aren't terribly time consuming, and they really cover a lot of material. The magazines are both fun, and educational, and I find them great for the whole family. They work very well with the different unit studies, and the unit studies are great. We have had a really fun time working through them. We decided to take a bit of a Spring Break, but we still worked on an activity a day since these are more fun, and not boring or stuffy. And don't forget to check out the Spring Issue



Does Creation Illustrated Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

We received the digital download. You can print and work as you want. You can choose to omit what you want, or add in more if you'd like. We enjoyed working through the whole unit, and it's not very large. Just 15-17 pages, with the answer sheets and all. You can choose to go more in depth, or less.

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

This easily covers grades 5-8. If you wanted to use it with lower, or higher, grades you could do so by focusing only on certain parts for the lower grades to use along side your 5th-8th graders, or by adding in more difficult/complex for older students.  


3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long? 

It's not boring at all, or at least we didn't think so. The additional links are interesting, and the lessons are short enough to maintain his attention throughout.    


4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

These unit studies cover multiple subjects, and they offer other topics, as well. 


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