Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Apologia


I have had the pleasure of writing several reviews of products from Apologia Educational Ministries.  We have reviewed several books from their Worldview Curriculum (What We Believe Series, I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist) and Books and Resources (Read For the Heart, Educating the Whole Hearted Child, Journeys of Faithfulness, Good Morning God.)  We have used their Science curriculum in the past, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review Zoology 3 Land Animals of the Sixth Day.

From the website, "What separates people from apes? How can a Great Dane be related to a Chihuahua? Is there evidence that people and dinosaurs lived at the same time? What should you do if you encounter a bear? How can you tell if a snake is poisonous? Come find out answers to these questions and many, many more with Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Zoology 3!"

Written for grades K-6, Zoology 3 Land Animals of the 6th Day ($39) is part of the Apologia Young Explorer Series and the 3rd book in the Zoology series.  The book is a beautiful hard cover text.  It is suggested that you complete Zoology One before taking this course.  Throughout Zoology 3, students will be taking a safari through jungles, forests, farms, deserts, and their own back yards to learn fascinating facts about the amazing land animals that God created on the 6th day.  In addition to learning through the conversational text, students will also keep a notebook of what they have learned, practice narration, and do many hands on experiments.

Zoology 3 has 14 lessons with each lesson designed to be completed in about 2 weeks.  The text uses Genesis 1:24-25 as a guide and splits the land animals into three main groups wild animals, livestock, and creatures that creep.  Lessons include:  Introduction, Carnivorous Mammals, Caniforms Continued, Feliform Carnivores, Marsupials, Primarily Primates, Rodentia and the Rest, Ungulates, Order Artiodactyla, Orders Sqamata and Rhynchocephalia, The Rest of the Reptiles and Amphibians, Dinosaurs, Arthropods of the Land, and Gastropods and Worms. .  In each of the chapters you will find the text broken up into sections to give your child a chance to narrate what they have learned.  There are also many photographs.  Each chapter has try this sections and hands on experiments.  There are also notebook activities, map it sections to mark where the animal being studied lives, and track it sections to learn each of the animals tracks.  The links to the samples below will show you the Table of Contents, and the entire 1st chapter of the text.

Zoology 3 Table of Contents

Zoology 3 Sample

To complement your study of Zoology 3, Apologia also offers The Zoology 3 Notebooking Journal. ($24) The notebooking journal is a wonderful way to keep all of your child's work in one place.  Inside the paperback, spiral bound, notebooking journal you will find:  suggested 2 day a week schedules, fascinating facts templates for writing facts and illustrations, review questions,  both print and cursive copy work, project pages, scientific speculation sheets, crosswords, mini books, field trip sheets, ideas for dissections, projects, experiments, pages to complete special notebooking assignments, lists of DVDs and books to dig deeper on a topic, final review questions, and brightly colored Map It stickers.

Zoology 3 Journal TOC

Zoology 3 Journal Sample

For younger elementary students Apologia also offers a Junior Notebooking Journal. ($24.)  In this journal the crossword and review questions have been replaced by cut and paste activities.  Coloring pages are also included and the copywork pages use the primary student writing lines.

Zoology 3 Junior Journal TOC

Zoology 3 Junior Journal Sample

I have been using Zoology 3 with my 3rd and 5th grade boys with my 1st grade and K boys tagging along as interested.  When I was in school, I hated Science.  When I started homeschooling, I wanted to find an affordable curriculum that made Science fun and interesting for the children.  We LOVE Apologia Science!  First of all (and most important to me), it is creation based and glorifies God as the Master Creator.  Instead of teaching children small pieces of information on a large variety of topics, Apologia gives them a thorough amount of information on one area of science( the Immersion Approach.)  The textbook is written in a very conversational tone and has beautiful photographs throughout the book.  My children love to just flip through the book and look at the pictures.  Children are encouraged to narrate back when they have learned and to keep a notebook of all of their work (more on the notebooking journal in a minute.)   I love how they don't just throw out a bunch of information to the student but instead the text teaches it so they can apply it to real life.  For example, Zoology 3 begins with teaching about the different careers you could enter in if studying animals interest you.  When you are studying bears, children are taught interesting information on bears but also why it is important not to feed bears in the wild and what they should do if they see a bear.  The textbook also has a course website full of resources that allow your child to dig even deeper into the areas that interest them the most.
Camouflage Experiment

There are a lot of fun hands on experiments to go along with the lessons.  The majority of the experiments use simple items that are readily found around the house making it possible to do experiments rather inexpensively.  Occasionally there are items that are harder to find or will need to be ordered separately.  Each textbook has a list of what is needed to complete the labs.  If there is a lab you do not want to do, or you cannot find the items, you can skip that experiment.  The experiments are meant to enhance the learning experience in a fun and hands on way, but if you cannot do some of the experiments, your child will still be able to learn.  After looking ahead at the experiments, my boys have been begging for a pet turtle or lizard.  but I am not sure we will be doing that yet!

Zoology 3 Lab List

You do not "have" to have the notebooking journal to use Zoology 3, but I have to tell you, it sure makes life a lot easier for mom and provides a place to store all the children's work neatly.  Keeping a science notebook is a big part of the course, and when Apologia designed their notebooking journals as a companion product to their Science curriculum, they really put a lot of thought into what a child and a mom would need.  The full color mini books are beautiful!  I love that there is an option for print or cursive copy work. I love that I do not have to worry about finding and printing anything out at all.  Everything we need is right in the journal.  When we were doing the camouflage experiment, it listed a piece of paper in the text as one of the things you needed and instructions on how to make the chart.  But, before we got started I checked the journal and it had a chart already there for us.  Yay!  It made my day when I discovered that in the back of the journal there were already animal stickers to use for the Map It project!  I thought it was a great way to teach children where each animal was found, but I dreaded having to hunt up and print out all of the different animals.  I was so thankful that Apologia had done it for me!

Map It Stickers
Our Map

My 3rd and 5th grade boys share a notebooking journal.  This might not work for everyone, but it works great for us.  My 9 year old is dyslexic and struggles with reading and writing, but loves to draw.  My older son can complete the writing (or I even do it when we answer the review questions orally) and my younger son loves to draw so he completes the illustrations.  One can do print copy work while one does cursive.  Experiments and projects they do together along with mini books.  My two younger sons listen in and participate as interested, but I am going to purchase the Junior Notebooking Journals so they can be more involved in our lessons.

Journal Page

Journal Page

I would highly recommend Zoology 3 and other Apologia Science!

To see what other Crew Mates had to say click here.


 Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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