I wish there was such a thing as the homeschool curriculum – you know, the one that is the perfect fit for your family–a curriculum that checks off every. single. box of your must-haves and must-bes when it comes to curriculum. Even though I know the perfect curriculum doesn’t exist, I still stress myself out and
waste spend way too much time searching for that elusive curriculum–or at least a curriculum that comes close.
I’m happy to say that you won’t find me looking any further for a science curriculum (at least not for the elementary grades). I’m so thrilled that we have found the practically perfect one for us in Apologia’s Young Explorer Series!
Apologia’s Young Explorer Series contains seven different courses geared towards kids in grades K-6, with each one suggested to be completed in one school year.
So why do we love Apologia’s elementary science so much?
We are Christians, so it is important for us to find curriculum that aligns with our beliefs. Apologia teaches that God created the universe and everything in it, and throughout each course, God is glorified and proclaimed as Creator at every opportunity.
I Can Incorporate Multiple Ages
Another thing that is important to me when choosing a curriculum is being able to teach several of my children with the same curriculum. We have seven children ranging in age from 12 down to 2, so the more kids I can teach at once, the better! Apologia’s Young Explorer Series is suggested for grades K-6, so currently, I am teaching my four oldest kids all with one course.
Complementing Notebooking Journals
I like to incorporate notebooking into our homeschooling whenever possible, and Apologia makes that super easy for me to do for science. Apologia offers a notebooking journal for each of the seven elementary courses.
The notebooking journal provides a place to keep and organize all of the notebooking activities from the textbook, a place to answer the review questions, and a place to record the scientific data from the experiments and projects . The notebooking journal also has, for each lesson, a place for the student to write down any “Fascinating Facts” they learn, a vocabulary crossword puzzle, a full-color minibook(s) to complete, a scripture copywork page (in both print and cursive), as well as suggestions for books and further study.
Notebooking journals are available in two levels – one level for upper elementary and a ‘junior’ level for the lower elementary grades.
At first I wasn’t so sure about the immersion approach that Apologia takes, but it soon grew on me, and I quickly understood the benefits. Instead of having my kids learn a little of this and a little of that in their science courses, they learn about one topic and focus on that for the entire year. It’s about quality, not quantity with Apologia. By studying topics more in depth, my kids are more likely to remember the information we covered. Plus it offers more opportunities for further exploration–which usually means fun activities and field trips.
Apologia is very easy to use. If you purchase the notebooking journal, there is a handy schedule in the front that you can follow; it is broken down for you to cover science 2 days per week, but you can easily modify it if you’d like to do more or less science each week.
There is also a convenient supply list in each textbook broken down so you can see what supplies you need for each lesson. And if you want to make life even easier for yourself, you can purchase science kits online with practically all the supplies you will need for the entire course (These are not sold by Apologia, but these kits are made specifically for the Apologia courses). Some of these kits can be a little pricey depending on how many supplies are needed, but for me, sometimes the expense is justified depending on the season of life we are in (new baby, moving, etc…).
Don’t judge a book by its cover! Yes, the Young Explorer Series courses are textbooks, but they are packed full of a variety of activities, experiments, and projects. There are actually so many activities in them that we can’t even do them all – we pick and choose which ones appeal to us. Each lesson ends with a fun project and/or experiment. Each lesson also has notebooking activities and a number of ‘Try This!’ activities sprinkled throughout to break up and reinforce the learning.
I can wholeheartedly say that I have no desire to look for a different elementary science curriculum because Apologia checks off so many boxes for us. We love Apologia!
Now if only I could write a post like this about grammar!