I had already purchased the Notebooking Jr. for my Kindergartener and was concerned that the content was too novice for my 6th and 4th grader so I went ahead and purchased this as well. I should not have. There is nothing in this that is not covered in the Jr. edition. The only difference is that the summary questions that are asked in the book at the end of each concept are written for the student to answer in this book. So, if you are teaching a range of levels I would go with the Jr. edition for the coloring pages and have the older students write the questions on a separate sheet.
I really enjoy having the journal along with the textbook. It keeps my kids notes from each lesson, neat crosswords, extra activities, mini books, and space for extra projects altogether. It also include a "Take It Further" section with book suggestions and other activities you can do.
Up to this point in our homeschooling journey, I haven't completed any lapbooks with my student. Today at co-op was the first time he ever made one. I really, really like the concept, but in reality we can cover the material and complete experiments without individual lapbooks for each "mini-topic". THIS Notebooking Journal is GREAT! Most everything another parent might have a lapbook for is made readily available in this. There are plenty of spaces for journaling, crossword puzzles, copywork, experiment records and ideas, and in the back appendix the materials can be found to complete a lapbooking activity to be glued in the appropriate spot in their Notebooking Journal. It's fun for the students and makes life a lot easier and more manageable for mom. =)
This is the second "Exploring Creation" book we have used and we think they're wonderful. My grade 6 daughter enjoys reading the textbook and doing some of the notebooking activities. I like the way it recommends not doing everything, but instead, letting your child choose the activities they would like to do. It might seem wasteful not to use the whole journal, but it's huge and has many great activities/projects to choose from. I think it's a good value.
The notebooking journal is great to help reinforce what is being learned in the textbook. The main difference between this journal and the junior version is there are no coloring pages like in the junior book and there is lots more writing with review quizzes. This journal comes with the same lesson plan/schedule suggestion as the junior.