April 17, 2018

Exploring the Human Anatomy and Physiology with Apologia {Curriculum Review}

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology from Apologia ~review
Our #1 hands down favorite science curriculum to use in our homeschool is anything from Apologia. They are a best selling publishing company for a reason! Every single science curriculum we have done has been exceptional--and this last year, I even ordered one to do for the 2017-2018 school year--Chemistry and Physics. For the last several weeks however, we have been reviewing a different area of science Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology, yet another in the amazing line up from Apologia!

About the Product

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology is a curriculum from Apologia designed to introduce students to the human body and how it works. Not only will they go through and in depth study of the different body systems, but will also learn how the body WORKS and uses those
systems on a day to day basis over the course of 14 lessons. Over the course of the lessons, your child will also be able to enjoy fun experiments like learning their blood type, building an edible cell, testing the bacteria content of their home, and even building a stethoscope.

The Human Anatomy and Physiology curriculum contains:

*Student Notebooking Journal (grades 4+)
*Junior Student Notebooking Journal (Grades K-3)
*MP3 Audio CD

While they aren't all required to complete the program successfully, it is recommended to at least use the text book with the age appropriate notebooking journal. By using the junior OR regular notebooking journals, this curriculum would be for any elementary grade K-6. At this time the curriculum is only available separately.

The MP3 Audio CD is a nice bonus to have for those who would be able to work through this independently, following along with the CD as the text is being read.

Our Thoughts On The Product

Because of the ages of the boys, we were generously given the ENTIRE four piece set to review. This allowed each boy to have a notebooking journal which was grade appropriate as well as having the MP3 CD as backup in case I wasn't able to do the reading aloud (our preferred method of style). The boys weren't too excited about this at first--but as they flipped through the book, the became eager to get started.

We have a lot of experience with Apologia, so the first thing I knew to do was to print off the copy of the suggested lesson plan. This gives me great guidance for knowing how much to read during our science days, and what assignments to do from the notebooking journal and/or the day's experiments. The lesson plan is scheduled for doing science two days a week. After I looked over the lesson plan and compared it to the book, I discovered the lessons were VERY involved each day with many pages of reading. Because of this, I ended up splitting some of the single days into a week's worth of lessons---I just couldn't read that much in one sitting and it meant doing a lot more work--which the boys weren't totally thrilled with. If I had done the entire day's work I would say it could take about an 60-90 minutes or so, depending on whether or not there were experiments to go with the day's readings. Some days I leave time for a full day's worth of science work, but usually I give it 45 minutes or so. This typically allows for us to get through a good chunk of readings, working in the notebooking journal, and do any "try this" experiments.

If this is your first time learning about Apologia, let me break it down for you how it works. There are readings and illustrations--typically about 3-4 pages per section. Within that section there is usually a "try this" which is a small experiment of some kind. Scattered through the section are bolded vocabulary words and definitions. As the reading is occurring, your student would be taking notes in their notebooking journal. There are pages designated and reserved for each lesson--including pages for taking notes. Also included in the notebooking journal are additional activities--crosswords to practice vocabulary, word match-ups, puzzles, drawing spaces, minibooks, scripture copywork, and more. These journals are invaluable to helping keep track of the what your child is learning. As I mentioned above there are two versions of the journal--one for older elementary students, and one for primary level students. They each include grade appropriate activities. They are a major asset to completing this course and also a great way to record your use of the curriculum. There aren't tests and quizzes, but instead places to document what you learn and your experiments. At the end of each lesson there is a larger experiment of some kind. Lesson 1 had us creating an edible cell to reinforce our understanding of the cell parts. Lesson 2 had us analyzing a chicken bone to review what we learned about the skeletal system. Lesson 3 will have us "growing muscle". Some of the experiments are projects instead. Lesson 4 for example has you design a digestion theme park! I have found that these end of unit projects/experiments definitely provide everything you need to make sure your students have learned their lesson well.
Using Jello and different pieces and shapes of Candy, we made an edible cell!

Let's talk experiments.
Labeling and weighing our apple slices
for our mummification experiment
There are MANY smaller experiments throughout the book. These are labelled as "try this" within each chapter and usually introduce a concept to be covered in the lesson. Some are simple and require only your body--others are actual lab experiments--like using slices of apples to demonstrate the best mummification ingredients. Most of them use supplies that you probably have around the house, but sometimes you do need to round up some extra ones. Then as I mentioned above, there is usually a larger experiment at the end of each lesson. You can find all the supplies you need for the experiments in the text book at the beginning. This makes it easy to collect all your gear before you actually do the lessons.

THIS time however, I decided to go a step easier. I discovered that there are science kits available which perfectly correspond to many of the Apologia science curriculum. I splurged and bought us the one for our Anatomy and Physiology book. I was thrilled to discover that it contained EVERY item I needed for not only the big experiments but the smaller "Try this" ones too! And they are in Ziploc bags clearly labelled by LESSON. So when I need Lesson 2, I grab the bag and it lists everything included AND tells me what things I will need to grab myself. It also lets me know if I need to save an item. This was a FANTASTIC addition to our review AND it meant that we could do EVERY experiment because I didn't have to worry about not having what I needed. (I would encourage Apologia to stock these science kits themselves because they are WONDERFUL!)

As of this review, we have completed 4 weeks of lessons, but we actually have done it over SIX weeks because there were a couple days that had a LOT of material that I chose to space out. Typically, if you follow the lesson plan, you will spend two weeks on each lesson doing material twice a week IF you do everything for assigned for the days. The curriculum is designed to be completed within a year.

What do the boys say? Oh they LOVE this curriculum. They have enjoyed learning about their cells, and their bones. Now that we've learned many of major bones in the skeletal system, they can each name of 5 different bones, identify the longest bones and smallest bones in the body, and can tell you how many vertebrate we have. They also have learned about the cell parts--including the major organelles and their jobs. We've learned about the early scientists like the Ancient Egyptians, Socrates, and Aristotle and their contributions to modern medicine. They are eager to move on to the our next lesson--The Muscular System!
Getting the Personal Person Project set up

Added bones to the Personal Person Project

The transparencies for other body systems for us to add as they are learned.

Now, I will say--my oldest prefers doing the notes and copywork, over having to do the minibooks and crossword puzzles. My youngest however, likes doing everything--especially the cut n paste minibooks. There are times I let them work together and put just ONE minibook together instead of two separate ones. But we've learned what works best for each one of them and the notebooking journal allows us to explore that.
He'd rather do crosswords than mini-books

He'd rather do the minibooks

Here are some more photos of our review...

Recording notes from his lesson

Using his new Skeletal System Vocabulary

Writing the jobs of the different Organelles in his minibook

We will definitely be continuing to do this science curriculum. We may use it over the summer--or we may save it to finish when the year starts fresh this fall. Both boys have given it two thumbs up though, which is fantastic for me! One of the #1 reasons I personally love Apologia is that I can teach both boys at the same time with grade appropriate work. This steamlines my day significantly!

Finally, I will add that I greatly appreciate having the MP3 Audio CD to go with this curriculum, as this item lets me get the boys set up--but allows me to work on something different. It will read them the text so they can still do their assignments. I don't use it often, but I am glad I have it when I need it.
As one additional bit of information--I wouldn't just let my oldest read the text on his own to then work on. It DOES still have a lot of science terminology in it, and ideally, it is for a read aloud. This is another reason having the CD is useful if you cannot spend time doing the reading yourself. I also would add that I think completing one of these Young Explorer's science curriculum would 100% meet any middle school requirements---especially if your child records their information in the notebooking journal.

This is a science curriculum based on God as the Creator, which means there is scripture written into the text and everything in the text is from a Christian worldview. I wouldn't recommend this curriculum to anyone who doesn't believe in an Intelligent Designer.

Want to Know More?

Over the last several weeks, we have been reviewing Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology from Apologia. We have thoroughly been enjoying this curriculum! Make sure you visit other crew members to see how they have been using the product and their opinions on this best selling science curriculum!
Apologia - Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Reviews

Apologia remains my #1 pick for anything related to science and I continue to enjoy using the Young Explorer's science series they have created! We can add Human Anatomy and Physiology to our winner list!

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