Apologia Year End Round Up

I’ve been a fan of Apologia’s science curriculum for quite a while now. I’ve used several of their books over the years. I’ve also been privileged to hear Davis and Rachel Carman- Apologia’s owners- speak at a homeschool convention a few years ago. I’m very pleased to be participating in this Apologia Year End Round Up because I’ve loved what we’ve done with Apologia this year, and I am excited to see what others have used and enjoyed.

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All of my kids used Apologia for science this year. I’ll begin with the little girls.

Ashlyne and Rachel and I used Apologia’s Exploring Creation With Astronomy this year.

At the homeschool convention last spring I discovered the wonderful notebooking journals that go with the Apologia Young Explorer series. I purchased the junior notebooks for both girls. That turned out to be a wonderful thing.

The notebook gives a detailed lesson plan of what to cover in the book and notebook each day, planning for two days a week. That was very helpful for me.

We have had a really fun year learning about all of the planets, the sun, comets, stars, and galaxies. We took a break at the beginning of the this year- about February- to do an astronomy lapbook /notebook from Journey to Learning. It was a product that I was reviewing, but it tied in very well with what we were learning in Apologia.

Some of the best things:

1.  Rachel always loves the fun facts part of the notebook. While I read the chapters, the notebook has color sheets and fun facts to fill in. Rachel especially loves filling in those fun facts and reading them aloud.

2. I love that the Apologia books don’t “dumb down” the reading for younger children. The reading is still pretty deep and involved- even for the young ones. 
3. I love that even in these younger grade books, there is plenty of explanation about why evolutionists believe what they do and why we as creationists can explain what happened from our worldview also.

4. I really like that experiments and demonstrations are laid out well and included in the notebooks. This was a demonstration of the size of the planets in relation to each other.

The older kids both began the year with Exploring Creation With Physical Science.  The reading is very weighty in these middle school/high school level courses. Last year when we used Exploring Creation With General Science, I did the reading aloud. This year I assigned the reading to Kathryne and Charles independently. I began by using the plans that Donna Young has for the Apologia science books. I also used the printable lab reports from her site.

Charles was immediately swamped with the reading. It was just overwhelming for him. I considered for quite a while what I should do. I contemplated just reading it aloud for him, but this seemed too time consuming. I contemplated buying the audio CDs so he could listen to the material being read by someone else, but he didn’t like that idea. I ended up buying a different physical science book for him.
We used that for a few months, but it was soooo easy. It swung the opposite way on the pendulum. Around Christmas time, I discovered that a notebook had been published for the physical science book. I saw a sample and thought it would be the answers to our problems. I purchased two- because Kathryne wanted one even though she wasn’t having trouble.

This was the answer to our problems. It breaks the reading down into bite sized sections. It has graphic organizers and other visuals to organize the information. It has space to answer the On Your Own questions. And it has blank lab reports for each experiment, so that the kids are learning the proper way to write up lab reports.

As we head into summer, no one is quite finished with science. My plan is:
Ashlyne, Rachel, and I are continuing through the astronomy book. We are almost through and are very much enjoying it, so I am going to have them complete the notebooks.

Charles is less than half way through with the physical science book because I had him start over. He is a year or more ahead already, so I am going to have him pick up where he left off in the fall and complete physical science for hi 8th grade year.

Kathryne is very close to the end of physical science and has elected to at least finish all of the reading in the book. I’m not sure I’ll make her take the test for the last couple of modules because I’m not counting this as a high school credit.
For next year, Kathryne will be doing Exploring Creation With Biology; Charles will finish physical science, and Ashlyne and Rachel will be using Exploring Creation With Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.

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