Woohoo! It is time for my first review of this crew year and I am very excited to tell you about our experience with one of the books from the Apologia science curriculum! We have used many of their products in our homeschool over the years, and this time we got to check out their Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day text and workbook.
First impressions? As usual, the book itself is a visual masterpiece. The pictures are gorgeous, the text is well organized and easy to read, and the book itself is very well put together (i.e.: it will last for many, many years!). One thing I love about Apologia is how detailed their books are. Zoology 2 contained a wealth of information on all of the creatures that live in the water! Since we live near both the river and the beach, we find we spend a lot of time in the water, and we are fortunate to have seen dolphins, manatees, sharks and all kinds of fish up close! My 6th grade son was particularly excited to spend some time studying these creatures in depth! Zoology 2 is intended for grades K-6, and they have additional resources to use with students in the early ranges (K-2) and older (3rd-6th). As always, I think it’s nice to have a curriculum you can use with multiple ages!
Now, Zoology 2 is the second Zoology book in the Young Explorers series, and it is recommended that you study Zoology 1 first. However, we have kind of bounced around with our science (having used both the Apologia Astronomy and Human Body and Anatomy in the past), so we just started here, but we did not find it to be a problem. However, after having so much fun with this book, I am seriously considering using Zoology 1 next year.
There are 13 lessons total in this book, with topics ranging from whales to crustaceans. At the beginning, there is an introduction that takes you through each part of the lesson and explains what it is, and there is a link and password for you to access additional content specific to this course on the Apologia website! (They do this with all their science books, and it is awesome!!). The lessons are well laid out, with natural breaks for narration as well as experiments. The majority of the experiments are easy to do, using materials you probably already have, but I am amazed at how well they explain the concepts in the lesson.
For example, one of the first experiments was about the pressure the ocean’s waters exert as it gets deeper. From this experiment, using only a 2-liter bottle and a ballon, I was able to “show” my son what happens to a persons lungs as they dive deep into the ocean, and explain why divers use oxygen tanks!! And it was fun (see pictures below, and yes, my boy is still wearing his pajamas 🙂 )
A closer look:
Of course, you could easily just read and narrate the text and do the experiments (especially if you have younger children), but if you are looking for more, you could also add in one of the Notebook Journals to go with the course. Jeannie Fulbright and Apologia have created AMAZING journals that have tons of activities and questions and mini-books for you to use as you complete Zoology 2. The notebook also has a weekly schedule in the front!! This makes science so easy 🙂 I just check off each box as we go! The schedule allots for two science lessons per week, that (depending on your kids) can take from 20-40 minutes (that’s my own personal estimate from working with my 6th grade boy, when I used Apologia in the past with both of my kids, it took a little longer). With this text, we used the regular Zoology 2 Notebooking Journal, which is for older kids who don’t mind writing a little!
This notebooking journal contained space to take notes while we were reading, review questions, copywork, space to record results from experiments, vocabulary crosswords, and fabulous mini books!! We use all of the Notebooking Journals to go along with our Apologia texts, and we have never been dissatisfied with any of them!! If you have younger kids, you might want to check out the Junior Notebooking Journals. We have used these in the past when my son was younger, and he was doing science with his brother. They contain a lot of the cool stuff found in the regular journals, but with less writing. Like, you still have space to take notes, but the lines are bigger, maybe instead of a crossword there is a word search, and you still get to do the mini-books together!! These additional products lend themselves easily to using this course with children of multiple ages!
Basically, we loved everything about Exploring Creation with Zoology 2!! If you love science, you can get the notebooks, check out additional books, do all of the experiments, and have a great time! Or, if science isn’t exactly your favorite subject (like me!), Apologia makes teaching it engaging, easy and so much more fun!! The Zoology 2 text costs $39.00, and the Journals are $24.00 each. I think they are very reasonably priced for what you get. Even now, my sons will pull out the Astronomy book from our first year homeschooling and look through it. To find out more about this book and the other books available from Apologia (including samples) make sure to check out their website, here:
To see what other members of the Crew had to say about this, and the other Apologia books we got to review, click here:
**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive or negative review of the product, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.