LLH’s Subject Spotlight: Science

What do you use for Homeschool Science?  There are endless options out there.  Here’s what we’re using for 4th Grade Homeschool Science.

Life, Learning, Homeschool’s Subject Spotlight: Science

We are on our third year of using Apologia Science.  We did an abbreviated run through of Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day – we started before G was finished with 1st grade.  We had zipped through BJU Science 1 because he loved science so much (and it was really easy) so I had Flying Creatures on standby for 2nd grade so we pulled it out and started.

I say “abbreviated run through” because Flying Creatures is WAY in depth (and frankly a little boring at times) and his attention span wasn’t there for it.  Learning Animal Classification was good because that helps in the future Zoology books, learning about birds was great – especially since we were doing it in the spring and we put up bird feeders in the backyard and got to observe lots of birds.  The flying reptiles section (pterosaurs) was great for a dino-loving boy.   Bats were interesting.  But the final chapters on all the flying bugs were what we just hit the highlights of.  We started it in spring of 1st grade and finished shortly before Christmas of 2nd grade.

But that was ok, because it gave us a chance to really slow down for Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day, which was a topic he was REALLY interested in.  So we took the latter half-ish of 2nd grade and all of the 3rd grade to do Swimming Creatures.  We did the ocean box, we added some extra studies/projects (especially on sharks!) and took several field trips (we love aquariums!)

My plan was to do Zoology 3: Land Creatures of the Sixth Day for 4th grade but G wanted a break in animal sciences.  He really wanted to do Astronomy.  So I said everything above to say, this year, we are using Apologia Astronomy.  I ordered the newest edition because there has been so much new information since the previous edition was printed.

So far, I, personally, have been enjoying astronomy more than zoology – just as a topic, not because one course is better than the other.

We love the format of Apologia.  We love the way the textbooks are written – easy to read and understand.  We love the notebooks that go with them.  And we love the in-depth study of one topic at a time.  (Except flying bugs, ha!)   Elementary science when I was in school was like a mad dash to throw a bunch of things at you in a year.  Parts of a plant, photosynthesis, magnetism, weather, basic chemistry, identify types of trees, birds and bugs, the end – and then start over the next year with basically the same topics without ever going very deep.

G is a deep child.  He doesn’t care for basic surface information.  That’s why Apologia works for us.

I did make one mistake when ordering our Astronomy.   I did not get the Junior Notebooking Journal.  Oops.

133432: Exploring Creation with Astronomy Junior Notebooking Journal (2nd Edition) Exploring Creation with Astronomy Junior Notebooking Journal (2nd Edition)

We are making it work, but make sure you know the difference and know which one you need.

133435: Exploring Creation with Astronomy Notebooking Journal (2nd Edition) Exploring Creation with Astronomy Notebooking Journal (2nd Edition)

Are You Prepared for the Solar Eclipse on August 21?

This has become quite the anticipated event!  The must see of the year!  And to be honest, nothing makes me giddier as a homeschool mom than to be able to witness something like this!  What an educational opportunity!  It works out perfectly that we are doing Apologia Astronomy this year anyway (picked before I even knew about the eclipse – it was G’s request for science this year.  And Chapter 2 is on the sun!  So it plays right in to our schedule!)

Are YOU Prepared for the Solar Eclipse on August 21?
Viewing tips and homeschool helps for the Solar Eclipse
Homeschool Activities for the Solar Eclipse:
Solar Eclipse Viewing Tips:
Tip #1 – Know what a solar eclipse is.

From Wikipedia:

As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks (“occults”) the Sun. This can happen only at new moon when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth in an alignment referred to as syzygy. In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon. In partial and annular eclipses, only part of the Sun is obscured.

See more about a Solar Eclipse.
Tip #2 – Know when to look based on where you are located!

Space.com has a great guide to the solar eclipse so you can look up where the best viewing spots are, when you need to be watching and what you can expect to see (not every where in the US will be able to see the total eclipse, but a partial eclipse is great too!)

Tip #3 – Be Prepared!   Safety first!

The most important thing to note about the solar eclipse is that you MUST have eclipse viewing glasses to safely view any portion of the eclipse.   (Except when totality occurs if you are in the totality zone.  Then you can take them off until totality is over.)

There are several ways to make a pinhole viewer for looking at the sun that can be used during the eclipse.  It’s actually one of the activities in Apologia Astronomy and we just made one this week.  We’ll still use out eclipse glasses during the eclipse but if a pinhole viewer is all you have, it’s a good option!