Topic | Highschool science CM style with apologia? How do you do it?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  blue j 6 years, 11 months ago.

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  • Okay so I am trying to go back to CM style of schooling. (which I never fully left but definately a lot less in the last 2 years)

    With 9 children ages 13.5 and under it is a challenge to say the least and I will have a lot questions in the next bit to cement the thoughts that are whirling in my head and keeping my in too much thought.  My head and chest hurts.  I tend to be a very passionate person in things and want to get it to work.  I deep think.

    Anyway for the highschool science – using ,apologia, the highschool stuff.  Now I know it is written in conversational style to the students but lets face it — the questions and tons of them are not CM style.  Honestly does anyone else think it is way to overwhelming for the students. 

    I mean I did all three sciences in school and I remember all the questions and hated doing them.  And yes I passed everything for the tests but could not tell you much afterward. 

    My oldest started general last year and started out doing the reading – the own your own question – then the chapters end questions(in which I bought premade lap books from a site – so they did not have to write out each question again, just cut out the fancy little books and fill in the answer) Wow, how does he actually think they should write out the question and the answer for everyone.  Then they did the fill in the blanks at the back, the labs and then the test.  This lasted all of 4 modules.  And this is for my child that is very knowledge based and picks up on detail easily.  He began to not like it and that was even with the fun lap book and on your own questions written for you. 

    He found himself just reading lightly for the 1st through because he knew he would have to go through again for the questions and was taking sosooooso long to do.  No way are you getting through the program in 1 year, let alone the other sciences and any of his extra ones before graduating.

    So I got him just to read, then do the labs and the on your own and said that was good.

    So now start a new year and this is my thought on how to do it CM style.  Does anyone else?  Do we honestly have to subject our children to all the questions and tests, how does this fit living and narration.  Charlotte was not about all these questions.  SO my thought is have them read through the text while listening to it on the audio. Therefore they see if on the paper but get to also hear it, especially for my second son who is joinging my first son this year and those big words will loose him.  Then so far still doing the on your own questions but some just answering orally.  Then what I plan to do is have them watch the course that they have just read, on the live DVD video you can get now(mine is still in the mail on its way).  Now they are seeing it visually and they can now relate and say yes I remember reading that.  And supposedly there is suppose to be notes to take with the video all laid out for you.  I of course have not seen them but thought I would get them to do the study notes with the video.  And then do any labs. 

    So in summary

    1st read text following along with audio – doing the own your own questions as they come unless the study note taking covers that as well then skip the on your own.

    2nd watch the DVD course taught and take the study notes that come with if they are good and not overwhelming.

    Do labs as they come.

    Lastly have them give a short narration from their notes back.  Using one of those devices that they talk into and changes their works to printed material.  Put these narrations in their notebook. With 9 little ones and more to come I just can not listen to everyones narration and look very intereted each time for the 9th or more time in the day and still keep the rest of the house going.  So I think a program like this would be a life saver plus they see their oral work become written work and might encourage them to narrate with more detail and life and it would be a keepsake.  They then every once in a while could use some of this as copy work.  Also every once in a while once they are older I would ask some to be written narration but my boys are not ready for that yet.   

    Maybe after some practice with “The Write Course”  ;O)

    So your thoughts if you stuck with me this long.  But this is such a serious subject but I want it to be fun and worth learning not a drag.  Honestly who remembers all the vocabs and details but endless questions.

    thoughts thanks. 

    Doug Smith

    I’ll let others comment on the science specifics, but you might be interested in this article we posted a while back in our CM Myths series: CM Myth #3: Charlotte Mason Did Not Use Any Textbooks.


    I’m with you on this.  We’ve had the same struggle.  What a drag…my kids had come to dread science.  We decided to do a complete change this year and ditch the Apologia for a while anyway.  I’m afraid to share what we’re doing b/c I haven’t proved it yet…we’re just getting started.  But you’re not alone in your feelings.  They are excellent books I feel sure – and Dr. Wile really knows his stuff.  But it seems like too much detail and too deep until they have a reason to need or want it – and my kids don’t have that yet (like Sonya said – they need a hook to hang it on).  So, we’re going light on the info side (for now) and heavy on the activity side with a program called e-science.  I’m hoping to learn how to foster curiosity and a desire to know (isn’t that what science is really about?) and maybe create my own plan using Janice Van Cleave’s books for the experiments/activities after gaining confidence with this for a few months.  Maybe someday we’ll go back to Apologia…but right now we need a change…something to bring the joy of learning back to science.

    But I think your plan sounds worth a try.  You’re kids will be the best test!




    I agree that most middle school and high school science is not really CM styled. I am fighting the Apologia trend until the last minute. We’re sixth grade and still holding out. I am not sure what we will do in high school. We’ll probably cave in and make the modifications as you’ve outlined. What you’re doing sounds good to me! Keep it up!

    Michele Barmore

    We had the same problem also with the older Apologia.  So far my 2 oldest were not heading into the science field, bout I wanted them to have the basics. So we just went through the younger Apologia books(Fulbright) and read and narrated + once a week they had to draw and label about the subject.

    This has worked so far–my 10 yo wants to go into the science field –he just naturally reads any science book he can get his hands on then loves to tell about it. He loves to draw and label also – he said that helps him. As far as HS for him – we will just keep giving him science books to read narrte and draw. We all dislike experiments for some reason, but that is ok — I went into a science field without ever having dissected a thing in HS : )



    blue j

    We have used the Apologia for all of our high school kids/ years – 2 have graduated and 2 are using it at this point + 1 in grade school yet).  Here is what we have done to with Apologia:

    1. I have actually read to the kids and had them narrate back to me as we read. I would have them work through the OYO questions separately and then go over the answer.  BTW – you don’t want to get in the habit of skipping this because the higher science skills *WILL* require this — for instance when they go over equations and conversions.

    2. I have chosen books to complement what the kiddos are reading in their science.  For instance, my 16 yo is doing Chemistry this year and has read The Mystery of the Periodic Table, Crucibles, and another book that I can’t think of off the top of my head… I will have her reading some others as she goes along.  My 13 yo is doing the same thing with books that correlate to the topics she’s doing in her general science.  Some of these I found while looking at the schedules on here, while others came up as I looked through books on Amazon.

    3. I do have the kids take the test so that they are comfortable relating information in that format.  However, I have a couple that I know would freeze up if they didn’t meet up with this type of assessment in a comfortable environment… and they will have to do this if they head off to college.  I simple keep the rest of the assessments CM friendly. 🙂  I have also been known to orally give exams if I feel moved to do so which immediately changes them to CM friendly as I word the questions in a CM manner.

    HTH is some way,


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