Apologia General Science users – a question about labs

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  • missceegee

    DD12 is using the 2nd edition and the Student notebook. We like the notebook overall, but it has space for formal lab reports for every experiment (even those which are more simple demonstrations like 1.4 – mapping planet paths). I’m thinking I will have dd simply narrate some and complete formal lab reports on some, but I’m wondering if anyone has a list of which would be best as which. It seems like overkill to have ALL require formal lab reports.

    I’m having difficulty with sleep and fuzzy thinking at the moment so I’m not confident in my ability to sort it all out.

    We’re also using the schedule in the front of the student nb which is ok, but I’m open to other options. Dd has 4 days a week to work on this subject.



    Rachel White

    I’m sorry, Christie; I wish I could help you. My son doesn’t start until mid-Oct. to the beginning of Nov. without the student notebook; I’m also designing his schedule for 5 days a week.

    Hopefully, someone who is past this stage will be able to assist you.


    I wish I could help Christie.  We did this and only did lab reports for ones that were really labs.  The others we just narrated.  But I no longer have the book, so I couldn’t tell you which specific activities to do what with.


    Ok. At least I’m on the right track! I’ll try to sort through it this weekend and I’ll share my thoughts. In the meantime, if someone has done it already, please pipe up!

    Module one is a doozy and a big change for dd from our previous science. Lets just say she’s very thankful that she doesn’t use all textbooks! She greatly prefers reading and narrations.

    Rachel White

    I noticed while creating the schedule for my son regarding Mod. 1, that I’m very thankful he’s listened to Jonathan Park for all these years, over and over. He’s heard a lot of these scientist’s names and terms via these recordings.


    Makayla is doing this one too. We didn’t get the student notebook. Instead we printed the free schedule on Donna Young called A Detailed Lesson Plan by Becca. It’s on this page: http://donnayoung.org/apologia/general-schedule2.htm

    It divides everything into days, tells her what to read, look at onn the CD, or labs to do, has places to write answers or definitions, has lab sheets as needed, etc. So basically a notebook. With this Makayla is able to do science 4 days a week and not need me to tell her what to do each day. Module One is actually 11 days, so it has taken her 3 weeks (she finishes it tomorrow). Most of the modules are 8 days. Mod 1 just had so much stuffed in it that they spread it out.

    It has been eye-opening for Makayla. She’s not a textbook fan either and can’t believe this is what most subjects are taught with in school. However, she and I are talking about what she reads a lot, she asks questions when she doesn’t understand something or has an opinion on it, she narrates. We haven’t decided how to handle the tests yet. I think I’m going to give her the option to do they orally or written. We’ll see. She’s also probably going to make index cards for all these scientists to review over the next few weeks just because they threw so many at you in one module. That’s up to her.

    Have you tried having you DD do the On Your Own questions and others orally? She might like that to break up the textbook-y feel.


    Tristan – thanks for sharing. I like the stream-lined nature of that plan. It’s very clear laid out that way. Very similar to the purchased nb, but with more clarity. The nb has some neat diagrams and charts and such, but in module 2, in addition to the oyo and study guide and summary pages, there are 6 or so more nb pages to fill in. Seems like this could be accomplished with narration. Hmmm. Going to compare some more tonight.


    Hi missceegee,

    I don’t know if this would help any, but what I did with the Apologia Biology and Physical Science is I had my daughter read and narrate the modules. I broke up the modules and spread them out over 2-3 weeks. So the daily readings were shorter. I also picked and chose from the labs. We didn’t do them all. I had her keep a lab notebook for the labs she did and I had her follow a format for the lab reports in her lab notebook. I don’t know about the labs for General Science specifically, but I would think you could just pick and choose a few labs to do formal lab reports.

    We just did Experiment 1.4.  I know what you mean, it is not a typical lab. I have no great words of wisdom here since it is the first time I have done it.  

    I have a question – we don’t have the Student Notebook – can someone tell me about it? 

    I have realized a couple things as we have been doing this first module:

    1. This is really our first textbook course (apart from a couple very momentary lapses of sanity that I quickly got over!), and to all those naysayers (who I listened to hense my momentary lapses of sanity) – HA! My son really has been learning more than I ever imagined. I am absolutely astounded by my sons knowledge which leads me to my second point…

    2. Today I gave us the freedom to take more than the prescribed year to do this course. After ex. 1.4 we got to Galileo and “on your Own 1.9) and got not much further.  My sons says, “you know, the author is covering alot of scientist very quickly and he is doing a pretty good job summarizing then, but …” and he launches into first Galileo and then other scientists and how there was so much more to them and we spent at least the next hour (probably more we lost track of time) digging out books he’s read, and following rabbit trails and discussing scientists and it was beautiful.  I thanked God for the real learning that has happened far away from boring textbooks and that what I knew, in my heart, about how real knowledge is aquired, actually has a name: Charlotte Mason.

    I treasure the learning that happens in these rabbit trails and I don’t want to miss out on that. Ds is in 7th grade, and we can start counting High School Science credits in 8th grade, and we only need 3 years of HS science to graduate, so if it takes us longer than a year to do General Science, or the next three science courses, intead of stressing ds and myself out about getting it all in in a year, I will just treasure the process of learning that happens even if it takes us longer to get through everything.  

    Okay, that seemed like a huge rabbit trail, but my point is, don’t get bogged down in the details of how to do the lab reports or if you will get it all done the “right” way (b/c there is ALOT in the course!) instead, enjoy the process and dd will too. 

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