For our science portion of homeschooling, we have chosen a curriculum published by the Apologia Educational Ministries. Apologia Science has wonderful, creation-based science curricula from kindergarten through high school. We’ve tried several different approaches to science, and I can say that this is by far the best we’ve used. While I haven’t personally gotten my hands on the middle school/high school level textbooks, I have researched, held, looked through and loved all of their elementary texts, so I know we will use these at least through 6th grade. They currently have 6 different textbooks: Exploring Creation with Astronomy, Exploring Creation with Botany, Exploring Creation with Zoology 1, Exploring Creation with Zoology 2, Exploring Creation with Zoology 3, and the one we are using, Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Biology is coming soon! One of the best parts about these is that they each are for K-6, so you can choose whichever one your child is interested in at the time, or use the same one with all of your children at the same time so you aren’t teaching 3 different science lessons a day. They do this by providing different workbook levels that work alongside the text, therefore creating workable challenges for students on the curve from K-6.
The experiments are fabulous. Every lesson (each lesson takes about 2-3 weeks to get through, and each textbook has roughly 14 lessons) has one major experiment at the end and several “try this” experiments that you work on as you make your way through the lesson. For the first lesson, Jackson learned all about the history of anatomy (fascinating stuff!) and about cells and cell anatomy. His major experiment at the end was to create an edible cell, which may have been the highlight of his year! All the candies you see represent different parts of the cell (nucleus, gogi bodies, lysosomes, mitochondria, etc), and the cell cytoplasm is a gelatin concoction.
Lesson 2 was the Skeletal System. Jackson learned all about what our bones do, why we need them, the technical names of his major bones, joints, and everything in between. His major experiment for this lesson is to remove the calcium from bones to see what happens! We finished this lesson a week or two ago, but I just got my hands on chicken bones tonight, so I’ll have to update you on what happens! He is currently on The Muscular System, and his major experiment is to grow more muscles by working the muscles in his hand! How cool is that?
One of my favorite parts of the curriculum are the Scientific Notebooking Journals that come with each textbook. They are full of activities, mini-books (tiny books that he puts together with information he has learned), puzzles, etc that reinforce what he is learning in his textbook. It gives us a physical copy of all his work and experiments, and a place to keep pictures. I’ll have to take pictures of some of the stuff he is making in his notebook, including his Personal Person Project, where he is building on a body of himself as he works through the lessons and learns about all his major systems.
Jackson begs to do science every single day, now. The best part? I love it, too. I am learning right alongside him, and even I get excited to open up the book and get started on our lessons for the day! Anyone who has ever taught their child at home knows this truth: you have to love what you are using and teaching, otherwise you won’t do it. We are absolutely thrilled with Apologia, and I cannot recommend it enough if you are searching for a new science approach! Check them out at Apologia.com!