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Apologia question.... cross post from K-8

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My 7th grade son is loving the Apologia General Science book. He is reading through it very quickly. He is not following my general lesson plan for each module. He has not done the study guide nor tests for each module. He has done a few of the experiments, but not written any lab reports.


I took the book away from him until I could orally test him before letting him continue the book. On Tuesday I found that he had taken the book off my shelf and was reading it again.


Part of me is, "Yeah! Love to learn!" and part of me is, "Wait, wait! I need grades! You need to take tests!!"


I think I am going to let him go ahead and just enjoy reading the book. But what next? I think it would be boring for him to go back and do study guides and tests after that. I don't want him to be bored.


I don't want him to get the Physical Science book.... he would just read through that in a few months time too.


Maybe I could get another curriculum for written assignments. But what?

Maybe we could check out library books?

Maybe I could get a workbook from the teacher supply store?

Maybe I could do IEW style writing assignments for grades?


He reads and retains very well. But I need written assignments to grade for our umbrella program.


All four of my kids have loved reading the Apologia books. But they HATE writing lab reports, doing the study guides, and doing the tests. One is now in college, next is doing Conceptual Chemistry, and I only have two still going through Apologia. I'm tempted to just let these youngest two just read these books and find other ways to grade.


What would you do?


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It's too bad that the umbrella school requires grades for 7th grade. I think it's awesome that he's so interested and wants to keep reading! If I had to give grades, I would take the book back, just for a few minutes :lol:, and have him orally do the study guide and review section of one chapter at a time, and then have him do the test. Once he understands any answers he gets wrong on the study guide and review questions, he should do very well on the test. Maybe do this just one day a week, or two if he wants to go through it faster.


I would strongly recommend that he do some of the labs. We didn't do General Science, but from what I understand, it lays the foundation for learning what's needed in doing future labs - lots of measuring and recording findings and all. Maybe let him choose one lab per chapter to do. These should be a lot of fun for him since he obviously likes science. :)


When he finishes the General Science, I don't see any reason why he can't move onto the Physical Science book. But personally I would require that he answer all the questions for each section, preferably in writing, and take the tests. That one can be counted as a high school course, and he should be dotting his i's and crossing his t's in prep for the other high school science texts. You may want to check on the math required for that text though. If he needs to wait until next year, I'd fill out the year with science boos from the library - of his choosing. :)


These are just my thoughts, you know what would be best for your son. :)


ETA: I just saw that you wrote that he needs written assignments for the umbrella school. In that case, I'd just require that he write the answers to either the review or study sections - can't remember the specific names, and have him take the tests. Sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do. :tongue_smilie:

Edited by Teachin'Mine
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All four of my kids have loved reading the Apologia books. But they HATE writing lab reports, doing the study guides, and doing the tests.


Well, I don't think lab reports are critical for a 7th grader. Could you base your grade on other factors? Have him narrate or outline a chapter? Have him research and write about some of the scientists highlighted in General Science? Have him do some extra projects? One of mine loved setting the experiment and then demonstrating it for our family, along with an explanation.



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That is what I love MOST about Apologia. It is FUN to read!!! My oldest son loves to read through it too.


My oldest read through Mod 1, loved it, said he was ready for the test, and promptly failed it. And the first one is a multiple choice, matching test. :glare:


So I went back through the module with him teaching him how to take notes and read for retention. I didn't realize he needed help here until that first test. He's a bookworm. He reads everything. He reads constantly. His narrations always sounded good to me. (of course I hadn't read most of his reading books) This was his first official textbook course. It wasn't going well. ;) But I think I got him on the right track now.


He still enjoys Apologia a lot. He's in the Physical Science book this year. I didn't require lab reports last year because he balked a little. But I am requiring them this year. His first couple of reports showed me that he didn't KNOW how to do it. He couldn't distinguish between observations and evaluations. So I had to walk him through the first couple so that he understood the process and the thinking that's supposed to go behind the process.


The Physical Science adds math into the equation so even if your son is not a pen and paper fan and can retain, recall, and explain concepts without writing anything down I think the math in Physical would start slowing him down at least somewhat.

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I'd have him do the tests to check for retention. My youngest can read through any science book and says he understands, but when it comes time to put pencil to paper... his understanding wasn't as deep as he thought.


NOW he knows how to read for a true understanding - and he still loves science.


The tests will give you grades you need (and let him go back and redo those he doesn't truly understand - this is 7th grade, after all, a learning "how" to study grade). Once he knows HOW to study, then if he chooses not to and gets a bad grade, that's different.

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I was having a very similar problem. And I was debating the same ideas in my head -- promote a love of science towards the future or promote studying/testing skills for the future.


I decided to just focus on the love of science in our science readings, and promote the testing skills elsewhere. We've read several scientist biographies, and never did I find one who was motivated by science textbooks, tests, or worksheets. I didn't want to give up the interest my son had even if it wasn't huge on the technical details.


I have told my ds he must "do" something with what he reads, or it will not be retained with long-term brain connections. I've had ds "do" several things, but I don't have the requirements you describe. For example, besides reading & discussion, (1) he types up vocab pages, (2) he writes up very short summaries of videos we watch, and (3) he does a separate lab program.


Just one way,


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