April 9, 2009

Apologia Science (Review)

I am excited to tell you about the science books offered from Apologia. I received Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day by Jeannie K. Fulbright. Here is a blurb from Apologia's website about their curriculum:

Apologia provides fun and challenging K-12 creation-based science curriculum specifically designed for the home school. Written by a former university professor and homeschool parent, our courses provide college-preparatory science in a way that is both clear and challenging. Our texts are readable, easy to understand, and full of engaging experiments that can be performed at home. We even provide a FREE help line to answer any questions or problems you may encounter and a money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.

The textbooks from Apologia are completely different from any I've ever seen. I have to admit that I am not a textbook teacher. When I taught in the public school system, I worked with students who had learning disabilities and we never even cracked open a formal textbook when they were with me. I moved on to a private school and taught 2nd grade, where we mostly concentrated on unit studies to cover science and social studies. I now almost bristle at the thought of using a textbook, but Apologia has changed my opinion (at least about their textbooks!).

Ms. Fulbright has done an outstanding job of writing the elementary science books in a conversational style, fully engaging the reader in the subject matter. The pictures in the book are incredible, giving you a full-color, close-up view of tons of flying creatures. The Zoology 1 book covers everything from birds & bats to dinosaurs & insects!! Interspersed in each lesson are wonderful projects, experiments, notebooking activities, and opportunities for narration (where the student is asked to retell the information she just studied). Most homeschoolers will recognize these methods from the Charlotte Mason approach to teaching children.

The elementary books take the immersion approach to learning science. This means that the child will focus on one subject each year so that she can more easily retain the information she has learned. Being immersed in one field of science helps your child develop a love for the subject being studied and helps him think more critically about his environment.

A list of all of the items needed for each lesson is included in the introduction of the Zoology book. Most of these items are common household items that are readily available, which is a big plus because you won't be spending a lot of extra money on supplies! There are book extras on the Apologia website that can be accessed using a password found in the textbook. The resources found here are amazing! There are notebook pages and flash cards you can print out to use as you go along. So many links are included for each chapter that will help you expand each topic even more!

The most wonderful component of Apologia curriculum is its biblical foundation. Each textbook is written from a Christian perspective - such a rare find in the science field! Scripture is woven seamlessly throughout the lessons and your student is constantly reminded of God's artistry in creating each and every creature.

The elementary books are geared towards grades K-6. I would have to say that most of the material covered (at least in the Zoology 1 book) is a bit above the Kindergarten (and possibly 1st grade) level. After reading over the book, I decided not to use it with Ella for now. She is still a bit leery of me reading books that don't sound like stories to her, so I'm going to wait until she can fully enjoy what she's hearing. As I've read through the other TOS Crew reviews, I've found that older elementary students love to read the science books on their own! I don't know of any other textbooks that appeal to children that way! I can't wait until Ella can read on her own and discover the treasures awaiting her in these science books.

Apologia's elementary science books are extremely affordable! Each book is only $35.00 (which includes the resources on the website). Apologia also offers curriculum for the upper grades as well as CD-ROMs, audio CDs, and lab equipment. Please go over to the Apologia website to check out samples of each book!

Don't forget to check the TOS Crew blog to find reviews from other members of the Crew by clicking HERE!

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