After five years in school, will homeschooling be a fit for our family? Walk with us as we try to find out!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why Apologia?

I'm in the midst of sharing the reasoning behind our curriculum choices as promised in this post.  
First post in this series- Why Tapestry of Grace? 
Second post- Why Math-U-See?

Each summer, we  do something to keep learning.  This year, we are working through Volume 1 of Story of the World.  For the past two summers, we worked through Five in a Row.  (If you have kids between the ages of 4 and 8, I highly recommend Five in a Row for a fun and easy way to expose them to great literature tied to fun, learning activities!)   Before I decided on Five in a Row two years ago, I considered working through a science book with the boys in the summer.  Several homeschooling friends I knew were using the Apologia series for science.  I bought the first book in the series, Exploring Creation with Astronomy,  but quickly realized it was too far above the comprehension level of TS2, who was only 5 at the time.  It's been waiting patiently in the attic for such a time as this :)

I did do some research on other science curricula such as the Christian Kids Explore series and NOEO.  It just made sense in the end to at least try what we had already first.  The Apologia series is a beautifully photographed and written curriculum, it is well researched and can span the levels of TS1 and TS2.  It is simple enough to do twice a week- one day for the reading and narration* and the other for a hands on activity or experiment.  The best part?  Dad is going to teach it!  

(* "In simple terms, narration is telling back in your own words what you just read or heard. It’s a wonderful evaluation tool that requires much thinking and assimilating on the student’s part. Narration can be done in many ways..."  For more information about narration and a list of suggestions, visit Simply Charlotte Mason.)

When I purchased the Apologia curriculum two years ago, I also purchased their Notebooking Journal.  It has templates for written narrations and other activities to do in response to the readings.  I still have not decided whether we will use this journal next or simply require the boys to respond to the readings with a written or oral narration.  Tom and I have to sit down with the curriculum and make these decisions in the next few weeks.  Since part of our mission in our homeschool experiment is to give our children more time, I am leaning toward just covering the basics and letting them lead us into deeper exploration of the material, as they are interested.  

So, any thoughts?  Have you used Apologia for science?  Or do you love another curriculum?  Or do you think I'm just plumb crazy for homeschooling at all? 

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