Monday, February 11, 2013

TOS Review: Apologia Zoology 3 Land Animals of the 6th Day

Last fall I started to look into the Montessori Elementary Albums and learned about the Great Lessons.  Now, if you don't know about Montessori, the Great Lessons are a (IMO) fairy tale type story to explain how the earth came about.  For once, I was not loving the Montessori lessons.

This sent me off with a very important mission:  To find a curricula that teaches how the earth and animals were created exactly how the Bible explains it.  My biggest criteria is curricula that teaches that humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time.

My children have had very little contact with dinosaurs.  We have very few books that talk about them, and we have very few dinosaur toys.  This is because I have purposely avoided books that mention 'millions of years ago.'  Literally, if they are a book for children and contain that sentence-out the door they go.  I just don't want to have to backtrack in the area of explaining how some people think the earth was created until my children have a FIRM understanding of Biblical Creation.

So, when we were offered the chance to review Apologia's science books, I was pretty much begging for Zoology 3-Land Animals of the 6th Day.  The one where they talk about dinosaurs and people living at the same time.  Yay! To be fair, the book only has about one chapter on dinosaurs, but I wanted a curricula that came from a Biblical Creation and Worldview.  I am happy to report I think I have found it!

We were sent for review a copy of the Zoology 3 Textbook Exploring Creation with Land Animals of the Sixth Day and the Zoology 3 Junior Notebooking Journal.

Eager to get started with our new science, I read through the first chapter online since it is the sample chapter available on the Apologia website.  You can read by choosing Zoology 3 from the list on this page.  As soon as the book arrived, it was added into our daily schedule.  The Notebooking Journal includes a really nice suggested schedule for completing the work.  I appreciated having a guide for my lesson planning.  They suggest 2 lesson periods a week.  We found it was better for us to have science 3 days a week, but to do a little less on each day.

The Zoology 3 book is beautiful!  Vivid photos, easy to turn pages, easy to read font.  The content for us was perfect-just enough to keep Mustang interested, not so much that she was overwhelmed.  I do think this is because we spread out our lessons a bit, though.  Some days, the suggested lesson plans had a lot of reading.

At the end of each lesson, there are 5 sections that are usually part of the chapter.

  • What Do You Remember?  asks the student to recall information from the reading.  
  • Map It!  has students place animals on a map to show where they are from.  
  • Track It!  {in most of the lessons} students match footprints to animals and their habitats.  
  • Notebook Activities, really these are throughout the chapter and not just at the end.  
  • Experiment, of course this is the best part-hands on learning to help internalize the lesson. {Mustang's working on an experiment above}.

The entire first chapter of the Junior Notebooking Journal is also available online for you to see.  Choose the link that says Junior Journal Sample on this page.  Because the Apologia Science books are adaptable for grades K-6, Apologia has designed two notebooks.  We chose the Junior Journal since Mustang is in about 2nd grade.

The journal is also well laid out.  It is spiral bound, which is really nice for writing, coloring, and gluing into the book.  I love that, at the end of our lessons we will have a nice record of Mustang's learning that she can look back at and use to help remind her of what she learned.

Probably my favorite part of the lessons is that every few pages, Mustang was asked to verbalize what had just been read.  The book also provides statistics on how much more one retains if students have to talk about their learning.

Well, actually, my real favorite is the part where there are Bible verses to back up statements, and that Creation is taught not as a theory, but as fact.

Apologia's Zoology 3 Land Animals of the Sixth Day has certainly been well received here.  We already have plans to move on to Botany or Astronomy when we are done with Zoology 3 (and then we will probably come back and get Zoology 1, 2).  I guess we have plans to try them all!  I highly recommend you join us!  I will add, that the suggested age is K-6 and while Charger is in Kindergarten, I would not have used this book for him.  Mustang is a 7 year old 1st/2nd grader, who is a good reader (3rd/4th), and is currently interested in animals.  For her, this is an excellent fit.

Zoology 3 Land Animals of the Sixth Day Textbook retails for $39.00.
Zoology 3 Land Animals of the Sixth Day Junior Notebooking Journal retails for $24.00.
Zoology 3 Land Animals of the Sixth Day Notebooking Journal {also available, but not reviewed} for $24.00.  They are all available from the Apologia website.  

Now, Apologia Science was a great fit for us, but I know one size does not fit all.  Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew and see what other families thought!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Happy Schooling and God Bless,

Disclaimer:  As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, we received a copy of  Zoology 3 textbook and Junior Notebook Journal.  We agreed to use the program in our home and write this review.  All opinions expressed are our own.  We were not compensated in any other way.  I am disclosing this as part of the FTC regulations.


Debbie said...

Great review. I am so glad that you found a science that is perfect.

Lisa said...

Awesome! I'm so glad to read your review, especially since I have a 7 year old daughter who is very interested in animals! Finding a science curriculum that is Creation based and talks of dinosaurs and people living together is perfect.

Under the Sky said...

Thanks so much for your review! Great work!!


Bess said...

I share your concerns and haven't thought about what we're going to do yet. We have a another year or two age wise. Thank you for the review as it gives me something to seriously consider.