Thursday, April 9, 2009

Apologia Zoology 1

I was so happy to receive Apologia Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day in the mail. I knew that Apologia was sending me something, but I was unsure what it was until it came in the mail. I am familiar with Apologia’s material since we have done General Science, Physical Science, Biology and Advanced Biology (Anatomy). And I use the term ‘we’ very, very loosely. I helped my kids get the hang of General Science, being that it was the first textbookie thing my kids had come in contact with. Once they had the hang of it, it was pretty much all them. I graded the study questions and gave tests and occasionally helped them study for tests, but as for teaching, Apologia did that for me. Oh Happy Day!

I definitely had nothing to do with the Advanced Biology my Highschooler is doing now. He is studying words I don’t believe I’ve ever heard before. I am so pleased with this particular course of study, because my son is planning to go in the Health Science field (that’s the masculine term for nursing, FYI) and what he is learning in this course will directly benefit him in his chosen field.

Even though I am familiar with most of Apologia’s work, we have never used any of the elementary material. Personally, my theory on science in elementary school is that it should be fun and relational and observational (is that a word?). It should not be from a textbook. Students should watch documentaries about the planets and make models, they should observe the caterpillar and draw it and identify it. They should look up fish on the internet and the birds that come into our yard in their bird books. Science should not come from a textbook in the early grades.

So, imagine my surprise to receive this early elementary textbook and actually like it! This is not your mama’s textbook. There are projects and experiments, suggestion for narration and notebooking exerscizes, and it’s all done from a creationist standpoint. The book itself has wonderful pictures and is written in a very engaging way. It is not the dry stuff of the textbooks of yore. One of my favorite things is the list of items the student needs for each chapter broken down by lesson at the front of the book. This is VERY handy.

I did a few chapters with my daughters (ages 10 & 11) to get a feel for the curriculum to be able to review it for you. However, I have decided to pick it up in the Fall and do the complete course. My girls really enjoyed this book and so did I.

I have done a little research on how I am going to implement it fully next year and have found a wealth of information and various extras that can be added on like book lists, lapbook ideas, schedules, and extra experiments. I was amazed at how many people have loved this curriculum and have done some wonderful things with it.

I can’t wait for next school year to dive fully into it!

Happy Homeschooling

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