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Apologia vs. God's Design for Life


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We just finished GDL and I did not like it. We did plants first and I thought it was perfect. The beginners section seemed to be the just the right size chunk for my first grader, and all the activities with seeds and jars and looking at the plants in our yard was fun. By the time we got to animals, though, my son was advanced enough that the little beginners section just didn't seem to have enough meat to it. I felt like we raced through the whole topic of animals and only skimmed the surface. We didn't do most of the activities as they seemed silly to me. Human body didn't get much better. I am sure that whatever he learned was from the supplemental books I got from the library.

 

Originally I thought Apologia looked too narrowly focused for its young audience. But after this year, I have changed my mind. I think the depth it offers will be good, especially for somebody like my son who loves science. We are going to do Apologia's Astronomy for second grade. I can't comment on it yet, other than I read a portion of the online sample chapter to my son and he was all excited about it and repeated what he learned at the dinner table. That solidified my choice.

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We just did Apologia Zoology 2 (Creatures of the Sea) this year for second grade. The text book was intense. It definitely wasn't geared toward a second grader, but I didn't expect him to remember everything, and I certainly didn't give him tests. He did get a lot of practice learning how to take notes as I read the pages, and, we learned SO much! I really feel like science was one of our major positives this year!

 

We plan to do Apologia's astronomy next year. (And I have to admit - I heard that the book is a little bit easier to digest, and I'm looking forward to it).

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I've used both of these programs at different times.

 

God's Design:

Pros: short lessons, currently a wider spectrum of topics, more hands on activities, different levels of reading

Cons: can seem a bit dry and textbook like at times because it is written fairly concisely, there is a bit of a leap between the beginner and regular sections

 

We've been doing the Heaven & Earth series together this year. My 1st grader has loved all the hands on activities.

 

Apologia:

Pros: greater depth of coverage of each topic, not textbooky, available notebooking and lapbooking pages, active Yahoo group

Cons: fewer hands on activities, a bit too wordy at times, currently fewer topics but an earth science and chem/physics are in the works, I've personally found the terminology to be over the heads of younger kids (Astronomy would be the exception)

 

Personally, I think a lot of the Apologia books would be too much for a 4yo with the exception of maybe astronomy (I haven't personally used this one.) HTH

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Thanks for the insights - I really appreciate it - it always helps hearing what experiences others have had.

 

Of course, I'm not so worried about my 4 yo. He won't even be "officially" starting school yet, but because he is at the table with us so often I want to make sure that I consider him.

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