Well, I’m not a science fan, but here I am trying to decide what we are going to do about science not only for next year, but also the rest of this year.
We have CGC and have completed the first 5 units. I don’t think any of us are overly dazzeled by it. We aren’t crafty people. But right now I am planning to complete the Weather unit (though our older ds did weather in PS and isn’t thrilled about doing it “again”. I am going to think of a more focused project for him.) after Easter, followed by the Rocks unit, Plants in the first part of May and possibly insects the last part of May beginning of June. I was then planning on picking up in September with where we had left off and completing life sciences in the 2012/13 school year. That would then put our older ds in line for Apologia General Science in 7th. I am not really certain that he’ll be ready for it in 7th, though. I’ve read some posts where people have said their grade 8 student was really challenged by it.
So here is another option I am considering: Switching to Apologia Zoology for next year and possibly running the three over 2 years (grades 6 & 7 for oldest, 3 & 4 for younger) and then giving the younger his choice of the remaining Apologia courses for 5th and 6th. A friend of mine already has three of the Apologia (Astronomy and Zoology 1 & 3) and I can borrow them if I choose to go that route. I would just have to decide if I want to get the student books.
Is 1 and a half Zoology courses too much for a year? Has anyone waited until 9th for General Science? Is that really too late? I suppose we could do whichever two they are most interested in first and finish the third after the older ds moves on to General Science…
I’ve heard of people doing 2 Apologia elementary texts a yr. But I personally can’t see how:) We struggle to finish one. But I’m not very science-y. One and a half would be doable if you’re committed. In the Zoo 1 intro. it recommends taking 2 weeks per lesson….14 total lessons. It says:
“You can do reading and the notebook assignments during the first week, and you can do the experiments and data recording during the second week. If you do science 2-3 days per week, youcan read 4-6 pages a day to finish a lesson and begin the experiment. This will give you 32 weeks for the entire book. Older students can work through the book more quickly if they wish.” (I don’t know if it’s a typo., but 2 weeks per lesson should only take 28 weeks)
This pace is plenty for me. The pages can be meaty w/a lot of info. Four-six pages is a lot for us to do in a day (four would be a good day for us!) But it’s definately possible….you’d just need to be willing to do science more days per week.
I haven’t reached Gen. Science yet (next year). But 9th seems rather late to start….or did you mean Gen. Science in 8th? I have a friend who had her daughter just read Gen. Science over the summer, so that she could start Physical Science at a younger age (very rigorous homeschooler)…so that could be an option. My kids would balk at that, though:) I have another friend whose struggling to get Gen. Science done in 7th and will continue on through 8th. I think part of it hinges on if you think your child will go into a science field or not. HTH some. Blessings, Gina
P.S. Astronomy is quite a bit shorter than Zoology and could be done more quickly. Astronomy has 172 pages (and the least latin-based words…easiest to understand, I think). Dr. Wile actually e-mailed me back and rec. Astronomy as the first book to do w/younger kids for that reason (latin words). Zoology I has 230 pages. Doing 1 Zoology course and 1/2 of Astronomy per year might not be too much…just a thought:)
We are doing the Gen. Science this year (and started pretty well on time) and will not finish in this school year (my son is in 7th). The first 2 Modules are challenging but now he seems to have gotten the hang of the lingo and is enjoying the experiments, etc. (He’s not super science-y, but does enjoy Mythbusters and programs like that.) My next ds is still in Mod. 2 in Swimming Creatures and he loves that book, but it seems to be taking forever! I think it’s my lack of interest in science….it’s the most easily forgotten subject with my youngers.
Like Gina mentioned, if you are committed, you can do it!
My 12 yr old daughter would be in 6th grade by the public school calendar and she started General Science in January. She has been doing it on her own and hasn’t had any problems. She says that she enjoys it. The first unit was all history of science and scientist. She found it interesting. Also, she has enjoyed doing the experiements. My boys (10 & 11) and I have enjoyed watching when she does them.
Since people are concerned about the difficulty level, I will give a little clarification about my daughter. She was public schooled for the first 5 years of her education. She was put into the gifted program in Grade 1 and has also been a top performer (99-100th percentile on every type of standardized test). She is not a “good student,” meaning she doesn’t do well because she works hard or is a perfectionist. She does well because things come naturally to her and she is a GREAT reader. She’d really rather just study the things that are interesting to her or read books but she still does well in all subjects.
If you’re debating whether or not your child is ready for General Science, I’d consider their reading and comprhension abilities first. Also, I’d consider their interest in the material. If they aren’t fabulous readers but they are eager to do the science, their motivation would probably keep them going strong (at least for a while).
I’m not sure if that was very helpful but it’s our experience so far.
Your daughter sounds like my younger son. He is only 7, but he absorbs information like a sponge. He has ADHD, and this is our first year homeschooling, so he is struggling with narration still, but otherwise flying through skill subjects. He completed the grade 2 Math Mammoth this morning with 100% for the year. We have MUS Gamma and Delta which he could very well complete by the end of the next school year. Our older son has good comprehension, narration & reading skills, but struggles with with written work & math. Is General Science something he can get through still doing most of his narration orally? That’s the biggest reason I am considering putting it off 2 years.
We have done 1 whole Apologia Zoology III in 1 semester. Mostly we just read and discuss. My kids are 5th,6th and 7th grades – if they were younger I don’t think it would every work. We generally read 1/2 the chapter each day for 2 days per week. If you do that you can easily do I book in 1 semester.
I’m also debating Apologia General science for next year. My oldest has lots of LDs, but my 2nd child (likely college bound) will be 7th grade. I’m not sure he’s up to the chapter, test thing. I have heard of people doing General in 8th grade and skipping Physical science. Then starting biology in 9th. The usual schedule of sciences is biology in 9th, chemistry in 10th and physics in 11th. Then more adv. science in 12th if they are going into a science field. I personally wouldn’t save General for 9th grade – unless it was for my LD child who isn’t likely to be college bound and surely won’t be going into a math field.
After saying all that, I have no idea what we will do for science next year either. We have always done science together, but not sure how to do the jr. high science thing and not overwhelm my 6th grade daughter. Hope you figure it out.
I am just beginning my Apologia experience. I had other plans for the rest of this year but we are lapbooked out. So, I changed directions. I am doing Zoology 1 with my G2 (7yo boy) and G4 (10yo girl). We are in like with it. We just wrapped up 106 Days minus the space & anatomy portion of it. I got the Junior notebooks for this text. Perfect for my G2 and thought it would be a nice intro for my reluctant G4 writer who is just coming into her own. I am in love with the notebooking concept. It lends itself well to the narration process. My son is not a “colourer” but is totally enjoying colouring the non-typical-cartoony pages as I read to them. they are both engaged in the lessons and our discussions have been good. I am enjoying them chiming in with what they know and want to add to the reading. We are having a gentle yet thorough learning experience. to be honest, Apologia always intimidated me for some reason. I could come up with many excuses to pass it by… too dry, to much reading per lesson, too indepth.. (I know, sad right?) but I think I was just too lazy to figure it out.
I am sold on it and am looking forward to continuing with this curriculum. When we do Zoology 2 next, I will get my daughter the regular notebook and stay with the Junior Notebook for my son. I am seeing their learning levels being matched and I don’t think a G6 or G7 would be bored. At least that opinion is based on my children. I don’t have any experience with the General Science, sorry. But I recommend going on with your plan as listed above. I don’t think 1 1/2 Apologia would be too much for one year. I am enjoying the lesson plan given in the front of the Junior Notebook. We have a couple times done 3 sessions in a week because we wanted to, but it is lais out for 2 per week.
My children have done some lapbooking this year and not really enjoyed it as much as I thought they would. They do like their Notebooking activities much more. Maybe that is just us but I am happy that they really like it. Let us know what you end up doing
I am still on the fence. I am looking at soo many option and feeling very gratful that I still have several months to decide. With the Apologia elementary, is it pretty much self-contained? Not too much additional reading or searching for outside resources? I would love something that’s pretty much grab and go, if you know what I mean. My boys are not cut-and-paste -ap-book types, so I was surprised when I asked my older ds if he thought he might prefer finishing CGC, even spreading it out over 2 years and picking up Gen Scienc in 8th or Apologia. I think the size of the note book scared him a bit. He tends to get over whelmed easily if I show him a big, thick book. I didn’t realize that until a few months ago when he was struggling with subtraction with regrouping, but then I realized he had no problems if there were no more than three questions on a page. My younger ds has 4 years of elementary left, so I had thought we could take two for Zoology with older ds, then he could choose 2-3 more to do in grades 5 & 6. Who knows what I’ll decide. Hopefully something before Sept.!
My son is in 7th this year and is doing Gen. Science and in the beginning was strugglings. But this is the 1st textbook he has really done and alone. We do the questions orally this year and he’s doing great now. I don’t know if I would start it any earlier and I am actually moving it to 8th grade material from now on for my other children as I think 8th is a better fit overall.
Apologia Elem. is very self-contained…what I like about it! I just grab and go. Except for experiments…we do those with a friend and gather supplies at the beg. of the year so we’ll have them on hand. You can buy ready made kits to simplify. We just like to buy so everybody can be hands on. :)Gina
P.S. The only thing you really need to plan besides experiments, is notebooking. I’ve done it with and without their pre-made ones. You could either just keep a simple one, writing things down as they come. Or buy the pre-made ones. I like having the pre-made ones for ease and my kids take more pride in them, but we don’t do everything….some seems like busywork.
I know there are notebook pages you can download off the website — it’s not the whole student book, but there are lots of pages. Has anyone used just those?
We have done Apologia Astronomy and Botany. We use paper to take notes for older students and paper to draw for younger. We glued seeds and leaves to paper and labeled leaves and flowers. We just slip our work into a paper folder w/ pockets, because, honestly, the process is more important than the product. (No fancy notebooks but you may want the leaf collection to be kept especially nice.)I sometimes have them do narrations w/ me sitting next to the computer. I type their thoughts. I print it and they personalize it w/ a self-drawn picture. I have really enjoyed these 2 Apologia books thus far. We are actually doing Botany again, my son (10) seems to have a knack for plants and agriculture so a second time through is a delight. We are including my 5 year old son and he is loving it and “getting” it. (We are at a bit of a stand still right now, having to make a light house for plants…some of the activities/labs are fun but a bit intimidating. I love “momto2blessings” idea of gathering the supplies at the begining of the year and doing projects with a friend!) The suppies list is easy to follow. (F.Y.I. We live in florida where Botany can be enjoyed all year.) When we finish Botany we are going to do the flying creatures series which is 3 books long. Narrating and drawing has been a wonderful way to make this very CM and nature walks are extremely complimentary. Leaf collecting, star gazing, bird watching, marveling at God’s creation…it’s all good. Wendy
I think the Flying Creatures of the 5th Day is book 1 of Zoology, then there is Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day (book 2) and finally Land Animals of the 6th Day (book 3). Personally Botany is the one that least interests me, it’s too close to gardening — of which I am not a fan. But then we have snow from October to April, and Mosquitos the rest of the year.
I have really WANTED to like the Apolgia Elementary courses, but my children grow bored studying the same subject all year. We have used the Land Animals of the 6th day sporadically over the past 2 years. I’ll have a 4th/5th grader (he is in between imo) and a 6th grader next year. I can’t decide what to do for science. Right now I am pulling my own thing together to study several scientists, but I really do not want to do this ALL next year.
Any ideas on how to mix it up a bit while using Apologia?
I know what you mean about studying the same thing for a whole year. I think that’s a concern for our boys as well.
Would there be any way to kind of mix the 3 Zoologies together? Do part of Flying Term 1, Swimming Term 2 and Land Term 3 for a couple of years.
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