Apologia Science {Curriculum Review}

This week, we’re celebrating our 100th day of our first year of homeschool! We were blessed to receive review copies from several homeschool companies, and now that we’re this far into our year, I want to share some reviews of the curriculum we are using! I will be posting reviews all week so stay tuned! And if you dont homeschool, I’ll be posting regular posts as well – never fear!

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Science can be a very intimidating subject to many homeschool, myself included. But when I discovered Apologia Science and the Exploring Creation series, all of that changed!

This series, written for elementary students by Jeannie Fulbright, covers all basic areas of science in a God-honoring and mom-friendly manner. It became even more student-friendly for all elementary students this year as Apologia added junior notebooks for younger students, like my kindergartener!

Year-long courses are available in Botany, Zoology 1, Zoology 2, Zoology 3, Anatomy & Physiology, and our course for this year, Astronomy.

Here are my thoughts on our experience with Apologia Astronomy so far…

Big J LOVES learning about space and the planets. Astronomy was the perfect science for us this year!

The notebooking journal {regular or junior} contains a possible layout for the year – I’ve followed it loosely in my planning, but also gone at our own pace without any problems. I like having a guide, but not a strict schedule, so this is wonderful.

There is a LOT of material for the teacher, aka me, to read to Big J in each chapter. That was rough for us at first. Big J had a hard sitting still and retaining the information, until I figured out a few things:

*The coloring pages at the beginning of each lesson are perfect for him to work on while he listens – and he is still able to answer questions at the end of each segment.

*I can break up the reading any way I want depending on his attention span – I’m being flexible.

*If something seems to in-depth or complicated, we skip that part – for now. This hasn’t happened very often, but as a kindergartener, there is some info that can wait!

The project and experiment ideas have been the amazing! Hands-on is the best way to learn science, especially for boys!

We’ve made balloon planets to hang from our ceiling…

…sculpted a mini-version of Stonehenge…

…made Venus volcanoes, shut ourselves in a dark room with a flashlight and a tennis ball to recreate the phases of the moon, melted chocolate with a magnifying glass and the sun, and many more fun things! The projects are not complicated and use mostly household items.

The junior notebooking journal is the perfect compliment to the text, with areas for Big J to write AND draw what he is learning, as well as Scripture copywork and minibooks, useful for review at the end of a chapter.

Our current activity is journaling the phases of the moon! Both boys are noticing anytime they see the moon and commenting on the current phase. Today is a full moon – lots of excitement around here!

I was never really crazy about science in general throughout my school years, but I look forward to anytime I pull out these books to work with Big J! From my experience over the last semester, I highly recommend the Exploring Creation series from Apologia!

If you would like to read more from Apologia Science author Jeannie Fulbright, check out my interview with her from earlier this year!

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Disclosure: I received a review copy of this curriculum from Apologia in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own.

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Apologia Meet & Greet Blog Hop: Interview with Jeannie Fulbright!

I am thrilled to be a part of the Apologia Meet & Greet Blog Hop going on all week long!

Apologia is an AMAZING company that has encouraged me greatly as a parent and a new homeschooler. Between parenting books, homeschooling guides and wonderful curriculum and much more, Apologia has a little something for everyone!

This week, Apologia has partnered with 12 homeschooling bloggers who are each interviewing one of 12 Apologia authors and speakers, including…

*Davis and Rachael Carman—owners of Apologia

*Zan Tyler, Elizabeth Smith from HSLDA

*Jeannie Fulbright

*David Webb—one of the authors of our popular What We Believe Series

*Clay Clarkson

*Sally Clarkson

*Sherri Seligson

*Debra Bell

*Larry Blythe from the Apologia Academy

*Sarah Clarkson

Spend the week clicking through to each so you can meet & greet the 12 Apologia authors and speakers!  Each blogger will post their Q & A interview, along with details of an awesome giveaway!

So who am I hosting?!

I had the pleasure of interviewing the beautiful Jeannie Fulbright – author of the amazing science curriculum we are using this year from Apologia!

A little more about Jeannie…

Jeannie’s heart is to strengthen homeschoolers with the tools they need to finish the race with success. She has written many articles for magazines and other publications and regularly speaks at retreats, workshops and conventions. You can access many of her encouraging articles on her website, www.jeanniefulbright.com, or subscribe to her blog at www.jeanniefulbright.com/blog.html Jeannie always makes time to answer emails and encourage homeschoolers on their journey. To contact Jeannie with questions and comments email her at: Science@jeanniefulbright.com

And our interview…

Q: Why did you choose to write science books?

Jeannie: When my son was four, he wanted to learn about space. I dutifully went to the library and got all the children’s books on space. Within the first few pages, his eyes glazed over with boredom. His sister read ahead and learned that the earth was created by a big bang billions of years ago. In frustration, I took them all back and purchased some Creation Science books on astronomy. They were all above his head. I was so sad, but then I felt a stirring in my heart to write a little Astronomy book just for my children. I was a writer (I wrote Bible studies for my church, articles for magazines and had written some unpublished books. I also had a science background, I had been a pharmacy/kinesiology major at the University of Texas at Austin.

Within weeks, I knew it was going to be a much richer book than the simple one I had planned. I felt the Lord leading me to make this available to other homeschoolers as well. I created the perfect book for our family, written in a way that I knew my kids would learn best, with engaging text, narration prompts, notebooking assignments and relevant experiments and projects. I knew other homeschoolers would enjoy how easy it was to use. Teaching science would finally be easy.

I self published the Astronomy book for about a year before Apologia found me and asked to publish the book. I was thrilled and, of course, the rest is history!

Q: Did your family, a particular teacher or some experience inspire your writing in some way?

Jeannie: I began writing as a child. My father told me from my earliest memories that I would be a writer one day. I’m just glad he was able to see his dream come true before he passed away. He was very proud, especially being a scientist himself. He was a geologist.

Q: Were your children your “guinea pigs” for your books? How do they feel about science?

My children were definitely the guinea pigs. When the book was completed, my husband would read the printed up lessons aloud to the kids while he edited them. So, they heard the book read to them when it was still in the works. Sadly, they never got to do the books the way I had written them because they had already read the book before it was in print. They are mostly all teenagers now, and strong science students.

Q: What encouragement and/or tips would you give to a homeschool mom who is not a science-lover?

Jeannie: Probably the reason you don’t love science is because of the way it was taught when you were a child. Give my books a try because I’ve heard over and over again from parents who have finally fallen in love with science after doing the courses the way mine are written. Choose the topic you or your children are most interested in learning. Just sit down and begin reading aloud – you’ll be surprised at how interesting, fascinating and fun science really is. You don’t have to do the projects or experiments to get a great science education. Science and homeschooling is about learning along with your children.

Q: Anything else you would like to share with homeschooling parents?

Jeannie: One last thing, I want to encourage you to choose science books that glorify God as Creator. Whether you use my books or other courses, imparting a strong foundation in a Biblical Worldview is vital.  Give them the tools to refute the lies that will be dangled in front of them in college and beyond. In the end, our children’s walk with God is the primary goal of homeschooling.

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So fun to hear more from the heart of an author, isn’t it?! It just makes me love her and the curriculum she wrote even more! Thank you for sharing with Jeannie!

NOW, a little something for you…

We are thrilled to partner with Apologia to give away a Young Explorer’s text and Notebooking Journal OR Jr. Notebooking Journal of your choice to one winner!

We are currently using the Astronomy text and Jr. Notebooking Journal – Big J and I both LOVE it so far! There are many subjects to choose from including zoology, botany, anatomy and more!

How to enter?

Just leave a comment with which subject you would choose {view your choices here} if you win!

Want an extra entry or two? Just share about this post on Facebook, Twitter and/or your blog and come back to tell me you did so!

This giveaway will be open until 11:59 p.m. CST Friday, August 26th! One winner will be chosen at random and notified shortly after!

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Now, click here to visit the other Meet and Greet blog entries and contests listed at the Apologia Live blog and have fun blog hopping!

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