Saturday, November 9, 2013

Apologia Chemistry and Physics Review - Homeschool Science Has Never Been So Fun

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Apologia Educational Ministries is one of the leading homeschool science curriculum's on the market!  They publish K-12 Creation-based science curriculum, worldview curriculum for ages six to fourteen and practical and inspirational books about homeschooling. They also offer refreshing retreats for moms, and online classes through Apologia Academy. Have you ever tried a resource from Apologia?

A moms review: 
Well this is my last review for the year for the TOS Crew, but don't worry I hope to back next year with more great reviews for you. I was thrilled to find out that my last review of the year for the crew would be the NEWEST science curriculum by Apologia, Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics. This textbook is part of the Young Explorers Series which also includes Botany, Zoology  Astronomy and Anatomy & Physiology. And once again is written by the fabulous Jeannie Fulbright!

The members of the Apologia family are some of the most amazing people you will ever meet. This Summer during the 7+ homeschool conventions I attended I had the pleasure of meeting some of their newest sales team members. One of the things they kept talking to me and others about was their newest science title which was being released very soon. That title was of course the Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics book. I figured since it was about Chemistry and Physics it would not be something I could utilize with my 6 and 7 year old, but they soon cleared that up and informed me it was just like their Zoology books, which we were already utilizing. Yup this book is also designed for children in K-6th!

So for the last 6 weeks we have been having a blast learning all about atoms, molecules and matter. I have been utilizing the textbook and journal 2 times a week with my 6 and 7 year old.

There are 279 pages and 13 lessons in the Creation based Chemistry and Physics book. Everything from atoms to simple machines is covered in this book. The hardback book has a beautiful, brightly colored cover, which will immediately capture your children's interest. The text throughout the book is easy to read and is written in a narrative style. There are also fabulous, full colored illustrations and photographs! The book follows a Charlotte Mason, immersion approach, which I love. In the front of the book is are simple step-by-step recommendations for using the curriculum. And in the back of the book there are answers to the narrative questions...perfect for us moms who don't know it all.

Lessons covered in Chemistry and Physics:
-Chemistry and Physics Matter
-Moving Matter
-Building Blocks of Creation
-Compound Chemistry
-Multitude of Mixtures
-Mechanics in Motion
-Dynamics of Motion
-Work in the World
-Sound of Energy 
-Light of the World
-Thermal Energy
-Electrifying Our World
-Mysterious Magnetism
-Simple Machines

We started at the very beginning of the textbook and having been working our way through, utilizing the lesson plan in the Junior Notebooking Journal.  However because this is a topic that is very new to my children we have been moving much slower than the recommended schedule and it has been taking about 3 weeks to cover one lesson (rather than 2). So far we have only finished a little over 2 lessons.

But that is the great thing about these books, they are so versatile and you can use them however they best suite your family's needs.

Each lesson follows pretty much the same pattern: 
-Several pages of text with "Try This" experiments spaced throughout. The "Try This" areas are indicted in blue and are a great stopping point for short attention spans. Longer lessons may have a fewer "Try This" sections. These can be anything from quick experiments to games to field trips!
-A "What do your remember?" question. This is basically a wrap up where you will ask your children several discussion questions.
-A "Notebooking Activities" reminder section. There is a also a recommended project for older students.
-A final "Project" or "Experiment" section where children will get to have a little more hands on fun exploring Chemistry and Physics.

Our Apologia lessons took about 1 hr to complete and we did them 2 times a week. We followed the recommended schedule in the notebooking journal very closely, but as I mentioned above we had to spread our lessons out over about 3 weeks rather than 2. On the off days we would utilize the other recommended resources which are indicated in the Junior Notebooking Journal as well as the Apologia Book Extras Website (password required, which is in the textbook). Some of the additional recommendations include:  book recommendations, DVD suggestions, websites, games, videos and more!

Both kids loved the hands on science experiments. All of the experiments were super simple and really helped reinforce the lessons. The experiments also help them become familiar with how the scientific method works.

Yesterday we attended a science workshop at our local library and the topic was, "States of Matter." I was thrilled when my children's hands popped up to answer questions. 6 weeks ago they would not have been able to answer any questions on liquids, solids or gases. But they showed yesterday that what we have been learning from the Exploring Creation With Chemistry and Physics book was indeed sinking in!

There are two journal options Junior Notebooking Journal (K - 3rd grade) and the Regular Notebooking Journal (3rd - 6th grade). We received 2 Junior Notebooking Journals for this review and Rowyn was tickled to have his very own journal (when we reviewed the Swimming Creatures book they had to share). I cannot stress enough how fabulous the journal is, it really is a must! It's only $24.00 and worth every penny! At the end your child will have a fabulous journal keepsake where they have recorded all of the information that they learned. It is something that they can review and look at over and over again. The journals make lesson planning super easy for you. They also help your child retain the terms and subject matter from the lessons. The Junior Notebooking Journal is perfect for children with limited writing skills. The writing lines are primary writing lines (a dashed line between two solid lines). There are lots of large spaces for drawing which my daughter was very excited about. The journals are a great complement to the already wonderful textbook.

 photo juniornotebookingjournal_zpsa179a078.png

What's in the Junior Journal:

-A detailed schedule for parents to follow. This schedule uses a two day a week plan making it very flexible especially for the busy homeschool family.
-Coloring pages with scripture (I had the kids color while I read from the textbook). 
-Various templates where children can draw and/or record the facts they have learned. If your children are young like mine they can dictate the various facts and you can write them down. However I will say that my daughter who dislikes writing was eager to write in the pretty notebook.
-Key vocab word activities which include puzzle piece cut out, vocabulary matching activity, crosswords, vocabulary stories, animal identification and more.
-Scripture copywork for handwriting practice (choose from print or cursive or both). The scriptures in the Junior Journal are shorter than Regular Journal and the font is larger. This is a great way to not only memorize scripture but also teach spelling, grammar and handwriting.
-Pages to record projects and experiments. My kids really enjoyed giving their hypothesis for the various experiments.
-Paste pages where children can display the beautiful, colorful lapbook mini books that they assemble. These are included in the back of the journal.
-Book and DVD suggestions are provided after each lesson. These resources nicely complement your studies. 
-More experiment and project ideas.

My children loved all of the activities. Both of my anti writing children loved writing down their thoughts and ideas on the journal pages.  There is no need to have additional supplemental worksheets, books, etc.

To determine which journal your child needs ask your self this question, "Does my child feel comfortable writing paragraphs?" If not the Junior Journal is the way to go!

Additional supplies?
Various supplies will be needed to complete the experiments. Many of the items are things you probably already have laying around. The few things we did need I was able to pick up at the Dollar Store or Grocery Store. I love that there is a section in the back of the book which gives a detailed breakdown of what you will need for each lesson. There is also a great lab pdf on the Apologia website which also lists everything you will need.

So what about that lesson plan?
As an un-planner I can say that I truly appreciate the lesson plan. It has everything laid out for you to complete over 26 weeks. But it is still very flexible and you can easily adjust it to fit your needs. Because of the nice 2 day a week format it makes it a perfect curriculum for busy homeschool families.

FREE stuff:
Be sure to visit the Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics journal and textbook pages to view samples of the book, samples of the journal and a table of contents.

Wrap up:
I highly recommend this science textbook and any of the other fabulous Apologia resources. It is a fabulous curriculum for all ages and learning styles. It is very versatile and can be easily adapted to fit every homeschool family. And most importantly it is a blast! Your children will learn, be engaged and ask for more!

Gwyns review (7 yrs old):
I really liked the science experiments. They were lots of fun. I really liked layering all the liquids to learn about density. I can't wait for mommy to read more!

Links to follow:
-Apologia Website
-Apologia Facebook
-Apologia Twitter

Where to buy:

The Chemistry and Physics book is $39.00 and can be ordered on the Apologia website. The Notebooking Journals Regular Notebooking Journal or Junior Notebooking Journal are $24.00.

Click here for more Apologia reviews from the The Schoolhouse Review Crew.

1 comment:

Rebecca Brandt said...

We absolutely LOVE the Chemistry/Physics from Apologia. This is a fantastic review, Kathy!

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