February 13, 2013

Blood and Guts and Apologia Science

Sometimes I feel like we've accomplished so little in school and it takes some looking back to remind myself that yes, we've done a lot! Science is a hard subject for me to teach and it can feel like such a chore so it's easy to scrimp in the science area.  This year though, I feel like we've learned a lot so far.  We're using Apologia's Human Anatomy & Physiology.  I tried using Apologia's Botany last year, but it overwhelmed me and I stopped using it.  But this year, a wise homeschool mama friend advised me that I don't have to cover ever page of every chapter...it was fine to pick and choose. So I have and it's worked great.
Here's what we've covered so far this year...
I've taken the 14 chapters in the book, picked the 8 that I most wanted to cover and we're spending about a month on each of those chapters.  First we covered DNA and cells.  DNA was a little over their (and my) heads, but that's ok.  If they see a DNA strand, they'll know what it is and that works for me.  We covered cells more in depth and learned all the different parts and what the parts do.
We made several models...

They thought they'd be good to eat.  They weren't. So grosssss! But great visual aids.  Each candy represented a different part of the cells and the Jello was the cytoplasm that held it all together.

We also made mini pizzas and the toppings were the parts of the cell. This was really fun...and was actually good to eat :)

There are SO many great resources out there, but sometimes I find myself getting stretched too thin if I try to use it all.  So we've basically been using the Apologia text, a few extra books here and there, and The Body Book.  We are making their models and adding them to our "body" after every system we study. This has been a GREAT visual aid for us! 

I've choses a few extra books and this Magic School Bus movie to add on for extra reinforcement.  I am figuring out if I add too much I don't get to any of it.
Our lastest unit is on Blood and the Cardiovascular System.  These are two different chapters in the book and I would normally take a month for each, but we're trying to get as much done before April as we can.  We usually do Science two days a week and History two days a week.
We've been reading about blood this week. I found some great printable on pinterest.  You can check out my Science Board for some of my resources. We talked about the parts of your blood and made a model with corn syrup, jelly beans, sprinkles, and a mint! So fun!!

There's almost always more than one way to use a good resource, like Apologia Science.  I think if I would have tried to cover all 14 chapters in a year I would have been overwhelmed again, but breaking it up into units has been perfect for us.  I think we'll give botany another go next year.  Apologia also offers science kits for each of their books so you can have all the supplies ready on hand. I think we'll do that too.
So that's science lately...blood and guts. Mmmmm, time for lunch yet?? :)

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Christi said...

We've used the Astronomy - and honestly, it overwhelmed me too! We will be doing anatomy next year. Which units did you decide to use?

Your models look like fun! Those things are definitely what makes it fun for my boys!

Kate@StillRoomToGrow said...

Science would overwhelm me too. This looks fun though. You amaze me, seriously how do you do it all, I would love to hear a post about that. Great Job Mrs. H!

Kelly said...

What cool learning aids! Pinning!

Christy @ MCH PHOTOGRAPHY said...

yay heres to making learning fun, I would have paid attention in your class.. :)

Gotta love the magic school bus

Farmgirl Paints said...

wish you were my teacher. this all looks like too much fun!

Christina said...

All of that scares me a little but it looks like you did a great job! My little first grader is learning about living things vs. non-living things right now and painting pictures to go along with the lessons! For now, I'll forget this scary post until she is a bit older hehe

Blissful Blooms said...

Thanks for calling me wise- hee hee.
It was so fun to see your pictures- we did most of those last year too- except for that blood one- so cool!! Oh- and DNA- it was WAY over our heads!
You truly are an amazing teacher! And I'm thankful to call you my friend!

thetwistedruffle said...

we're doing apologia astronomy this year, but i'm lucky because the kids are taking the class at co-op too. so, they've done all sorts of fun experiments from the book. it takes a little of the pressure off of me.

i love seeing your experiments...they look fun! maybe i should do some here too!

Flor said...

oh my gosh, you are amazing. i don't know how you and other mothers who homeschool do it.

i wish i was able to but i'm not a very good 'teacher :( i know it would overwhelm me and cause stress on my family.

well, at least i can live my homeschooling dreams through you :)

Barbara said...

Wish I was in your class, what fun!

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

you make me want to homeschool like no one else.

and the magic school bus brings back fun memories. oh to be a kid again! : )

jhatwig said...

This is my first time commenting on your blog! I have to say I love it and read it regularly. Your post today reminded me of why I chose to home school my kindergartener, for the freedom and creativity that it allows ! Over the last two days I have been met with a lot of opposition for my choice, and am really surprised by how rude people can be. Do you have any advice or coping mechanisms you care to share? The topic of socialization is starting to sound like nails on a chalkboard to me ;)

Mandy said...

we will be doing aplolgia astronomy next year! amazon occassionally has the complete set of Magic schoolbus for $24! my kids have, unfortunately, leanred more science from that than form me ;)

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Seriously just got report cards yesterday and was like, "that's IT... Im homeschooling again." (We're not... I was just mad.) They aren't doing history or science... it's all kind of melded together under the umbrella of mathematics and literature. Whatever.


Great job, Alicia.


Between You and Me said...

I love Apologia Science!!!
We studied Human Anatomy last year and loved it!

I take what I can from each chapter, too. It's overwhelming to try and cover it all. Science is not my thing...grateful for this program!

love when you share about your homeschool!

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

You are seriously the best homeschooling mom ever! Your kids will have such awesome memories of this time in their lives.

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