Science for the Year: Apologia Chemistry and Physics

The girls share a few subjects: Science, World History, Bible & Character. This means we have the same lesson for both, with slightly different age-adjusted follow up activities. We've been doing this since we started homeschool, and it really does save me time. Last year for Science, we did Apologia's Exploring Creation Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. While the girls enjoyed the narration style, and the notebooking journal, we weren't able to do too many of the activities.

This year, the girls decided on Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics. Aside from the notebooking journals, I decided to get the optional lab kit off Rainbow Resource as well. It has made a big difference! While most of the materials are not uncommon, getting them all together for an experiment or activity can be tedious. With the lab kit, we are able to do a lot of the suggested activities (except the one where we had to build atom models out of M&Ms and Nerds candies--we ate the sweets and used balled up cotton and broken rubber bands instead). And of course it's more fun to see the principles you're studying live rather than just on paper.

Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics--textbook and notebooking journals

The notebooking journals come with a suggested schedule that we try to follow. Breeze has the Junior version of the journal--it has more coloring pages and less text, but the crafting activities are the same. They both enjoy the crossword and word search puzzles, and Breeze (more than Raine) likes taking down notes in the allotted space. I like the "What Do You Remember" pages in Raine's journal, because not only can we review what she's learned, but I can easily get something objectively gradable (we need at least six written, graded quizzes to keep up with our DepEd requirements). What I like most about the journals, though, are the busywork projects, like mini lapbooks. The back of the journal are pages that you can cut out and assemble, and after filling in details about what you just learned, you can attach it to the journal, like a scrapbook. It's a mixed reaction from the kids though--they like cutting and assembly, but the filling in of information, not so much (unless they're in the mood, after a particularly engaging lesson; or if I offer to write down their thoughts for them).

The textbook comes with full-color photos and several hands-on activities for each lesson.

The textbook reads like a monologue--the writer talking directly to you--which makes for not-so-boring lessons. I find that the concepts are well-explained, giving enough information without being overwhelming. Chemistry and physics were subjects that I enjoyed in high school and college, and I enjoy the review I get as I read the book out loud to the kids. That's how we've been doing Science so far--I read the pages out loud, and we pause every now and then so they can narrate back what they've learned.

One thing I need to get used to though, is how God is woven into all the lessons. I've never had any Science textbooks that does this, and it sort of feels weird to be talking about Science and about God at the same time. It's wonderful that we are able to relate God to Science, but I still have this feeling of disjointedness as I read the text out loud. I suppose as we keep on doing this, it will become more natural.

Anyway, I encourage (okay, maybe sometimes strongly persuade, Raine in particular) the girls to take down notes as I read out loud. I make it a point to repeat and spell out new vocabulary words as we go along.

Notes by Raine

Notes by Breeze

We try to do as many experiments as possible (there can be several in each lesson!) at the end of the read aloud periods. It's a great opportunity to teach the girls about the scientific method--from making hypotheses to the importance of taking down notes. After experiments, the girls work on their journals--solve puzzles, answer questions, and do their lapbook/craft activities.

Our experiment on density

Recording the results of our experiment

Some Science humor

Vocabulary crossword puzzle--one of the favorite activities

One of the lapbooking style activities

There also is some copywork that the girls can do.


I am starting to list down the curriculum for next year, and we are planning to get the Apologia set on human anatomy and physiology. We're still gauging if we can survive the entire year talking about the same topic, in depth, or if we need more variety. I'm also considering Bookshark or Sonlight Science. But for now, we're all really happy studying Chemistry and Physics.


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