Enter Apologia's "Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology" book, journal & mp3's. Arlene is a hands-on and auditory learner, so just reading a typical science textbook with lots of chapter questions was boring with a capital B. While this book by Jeannie Fulbright is geared towards 4th-6th graders, we have found it to be excellent for 7th grade as well. It pairs quite well with what we are studying this semester at Classical Conversations (human body systems.) So well, in fact, that one of the other Moms in our CC group said she had pulled it out to review with her daughter who had used the book last year. Great minds think alike.
The textbook (dare I call it that, it isn't boring like a lot of other textbooks,) is great by itself, but even better when you pair it with the notebooking journal. Arlene used the regular journal. If you're wanting to use the book with children of differing ages, there is also the option of the "junior notebooking journal" geared for the younger ones. Some of the obvious differences between the two are that the Jr journal has the copywork in manuscript instead of cursive, and a lot more "coloring" activities instead of "write what you remember" activities.
Every two or three pages throughout the text you will either find a "Try This" activity, or an Experiment at the end of the lesson (chapter.) Arlene assured me that she did NOT need to do the 'Analyzing a Chicken Bone' experiment at the end of chapter two. In her defense, we had just spent the past week cooking & deboning chickens-LOL!
The mp3 Audio Book is an added bonus for auditory learners, or just reviewing again what you have covered. If your child is not a strong reader, they may prefer to listen to the text before writing anything in their journals. It is divided up with a track for each section, so it is easy to listen, pause, write or draw, and then listen again.
Let me put the prices in perspective. The textbook is $39. A fair price for a solid book that can be reused with multiple children. Both the regular and junior notebooking journals sell for $24 each. While they aren't required for use with the textbook, they DO greatly enhance retention. Since Arlene likes to draw a lot, having a notebooking journal has really helped her stay focused without being distracted. The mp3 Audio Book is $29. While it is easy enough to listen to from your computer, it is also easy to download to an mp3 player [then your highly-distractable child can stay in their science world while you work on something else (like maybe math) with another child.] Sometimes the money spent is not only an investment in the child, but in Mom's stress level as well.
The mummification of the apple in the beginning of chapter one was funny to me. Although it gave Arlene a great idea of 'preserving,' I think she would have rather just eaten the apples. (It DID look weird!)
The edible cell project at the end of Chapter 1 was our favorite one so far. We had to adjust it some because I was going to be gone at work the following day (and I don't think Arlene trusted Daddy with her candy.) So instead of waiting a day & cutting out the areas for the cell parts, Arlene timed the jello as it was setting & shoved the pieces in as it started to harden. It probably would have been prettier if done over two days, but Arlene was able to use it to identify the cell parts to Daddy's satisfaction. (Yes, I know it called for yellow jello, but we already had orange!)
The edible cell just after hardening
The 'cell' waiting to be disected and shared!
No more boring science class. Just a lot of fun learning around here with Apologia!
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