My kids have used the Apologia Land, Sea, and Flying creatures books mainly as part of their reading time for school. I occasionally have them narrate about what they read. That’s it.
Since ds will be starting 7th, I’ll probably have him move to the General Science book but was wondering if I should also get the accompanying Notebook that goes along with it. Or is narration (oral/written) enough?SParticipant
Oh, so glad you asked this. We’re in the same spot. I’ll be watching for everyone’s replies.Karen SmithModerator
Of course it is your choice, but we recommend that you do not use the notebooks for Apologia’s middle school and high school courses. They are not necessary to complete the courses and contain a lot of unnecessary work.
Bless your heart! That’s what I was hoping to hear. 🙂 lol
So do you just require narrations or is there some other form of accountability?heathermaParticipant
Wish I had read Karen’s advice Last fall!
We tried to do both with our 6th grader and do the labs at co op.
The notebook, tests, lab reports etc was Way too much for my struggling writer. As well as a lot of it being what I consider busy work.
My ds was able to do most of the reading on his own- a few times I read aloud, he enjoyed discussion at co op with experiments/projects. After a while finally gave up on the notebook and testing. Tried for narration, but it is not written well to be able to narrate from (tidbits vs. really making connections, so I got tidbit narrations). Had I made vocab cards/matching games etc and worked more together at it I’m sure he would have gotten more out of it, as well as waiting till the recommended 8th grade!
In the end just discovered it wasn’t a fit for me, or for this child that year. So finished co op class and moved on to something else for our final term so he could experience hope and still like Science.
If I had to do it over and had to use it, I’d maybe use the book as a spine and add in a few living books on areas of interest and only do the labs that interested. Work together on vocab. Do tests orally or use as a springboard for discussions.
Thank you for sharing your experience Heatherma. I have actually found the same tid-bit type narrations from my children after reading the books. I suppose it’s just the nature of information.
I’m curious, what did you change to after Apologia?2Corin57Participant
@Karen Smith (or anyone else!) – do you recommend the notebook for the elementary years or no?Karen SmithModerator
I have only briefly looked through the notebooks for the elementary books a long time ago. If I recall correctly, they contained a lot of what I would call busywork. If I was using Apologia to teach elementary age children, I would not use them. And, that’s a big if. 🙂 I used living books on a variety of science topics, instead of a textbook, to teach elementary science.
Any science textbook will be more difficult to narrate because of the nature of the information given. I know that Apologia has updated some of the books, so I’m not sure what original questions from Dr. Wile they have kept, but the On Your Own questions are usually designed to get your child to think about the material covered in each section. You can use the On Your Own questions as a guide to discuss the material learned instead of asking for a narration.
I used the middle school/high school Apologia science courses as written to give my children the experience of how to get information from a less living book and to help them learn how to study for tests, a necessary skill if they chose to continue their education at a college.TristanParticipant
I’ll put in a different opinion and share my reasons 😉
We do use the notebook beginning with high school. Our reasons are pretty simple:
1. It gives a schedule that breaks the course down into daily assignments. This makes is easy for my teen to be pretty much independent with reasonable chunks of work already divided up.
2. It collects her answers to the on your own and other questions into one place, with the question directly above the answer, making for easy review.
3. We use it as a tool – which means we ignore the tests, adjust the schedule when we need to, and she gets to work on lab reports with the printed page structure there to guide her. Again, it makes my job easier.
There are many good ways to do science – this just happens to be the one that works for us when we use Apologia. This fall we’re not using it so we don’t have the support of a student notebook. (Makayla (11th) will be doing the new chemistry course by Jay Wile, which does include a suggested schedule in the back of the book, but there isn’t a student notebook available.)
For younger kids we haven’t used the student notebook. We do the elementary books as a group, I read aloud, they narrate orally or with drawings, we do experiments together. In junior high age they can narrate in writing too.
This fall we’re not doing Apologia at all. My 7th and under crew will be doing a literature based science I’m creating based on resources we already own. (That will be the 7th, 6th, 4th, 3rd, 1st, K, with 2 preschoolers tagging along and a baby joining us in Jan.) We’ll do some experiments too.heathermaParticipant
A lot of people love Apologia but it wasn’t for us right now. I could see maybe in Highschool to experience how to glean from a textbook…
WhitneyA – We finished up the year with AiG’s Inventions and Technology book (the old student one) which I already owned and just had 12 yr old ds read it on his own, narrate and make models and explain them to me, as he was inspired to. They were pretty incredible and it was right where his interests are right now.
My 10 yr old ds finished a couple AiG books last year reading on his own and narrating, occasionally doing an activity/experiment. Now he is finishing a neat book I found called Talking to Fireflies, Shrinking the Moon. Very Good book, lots of inspiration there for him to run out and try things, lots to narrate.
We will be using Sabbath Mood Homeschool’s guides next year. They are quite affordable, seem written to the student so they can still be independent in science (I’ll then have a 2 yr old and a newborn to take care of too!), some notes done on their own, labs etc but seems much more doable for where my kids are at right now. (working on some processing issues/dysgraphia..). After studying it over, I figured out what books my library had (so I’m only buying a few plus the guides) and what we could do together as a family read aloud/experiments etc.
Doing Astronomy activities and a read aloud together in the Fall with the guides and individual assigned reading done at their levels. Middle-schooler also does a day of Biology once a week for 2 yrs. For Spring, I created my own lit based intro to chemistry for my 5th and 7th grader with experiments, books (read aloud Jean Henre Fabres’ The Wonder Book of Chemistry) and videos online.
I’d be happy to email you the word doc where I have it written down better/more details.BenitaParticipant
I think it depends on each individual student. We use the living books from SCM recommendations and some from AO for science, but I usually work my children through a few of the Apologia books. Some have done the notebooks, some have not. Myoldest daughter has used the notebook for Apologia’s Advanced Human Biology. I has helped her to organize the information and to study for tests. These are skills I think can be quite helpful for traditional college classes later on. Another daughter took her own notes and created her own notebook for Apologia’s Human Anatomy and Physiology in 7th grade. But, her younger sister read that book in 4th grade and did the elementary notebook and loved it. So… as I said, I believe it really depends on what works for each individual child. Isn’t that one of the beauties of home schooling? We can pick an choose resources each year for each child and customize for them what works!
I do think you make an excellent point – it really does depend on the individual needs and style of each student. 🙂
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