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It might be too late to post a preparation topic at this moment. However, I really want to share about science preparation of science in the beginning of a school year or semester. This semester we have a separated science program between a seven grader and a six grader. Both of them are using Apologia Science. The seventh grader should have used Exploring Creation with General Science, 2nd Edition (Textbook Only)
, but we decided to use the Exploring Creation with Physical Science since our national curriculum has included this level than the General Science. The sixth grader is using Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics (Young Explorer Series)
This year we don't want to fail like it was last year. Last year we used Exploring Creation With Botany — Young Explorer Series (Young Explorer (Apologia Educational Ministries))
. We like the knowledge a lot and we did the vocabulary, test, and lapbooking. Unfortunately, we met sone trouble when it came into hands on, experiments, and plant observation. The same case frequently happened. We were often lack of preparation. We didn't consider that the plants in our tropical country are different from the subtropical country. We missed a lot of notebooking and lapbooking activities. We missed a great number of observation and experiment. Although the materials are great, we could not get the most out of it.
From that experience, we try to prepare Science in advance. Here are some tips that you might adopt for using any science curriculum.
Plan your learning
Whatever curriculum and methods you use, it is great to plan together with children about their inquiry. Although you use a planed ready curriculum, it is better to be selective to customise children's learning and resources or materials available. I can say that because the learning speed of each child and the condition of each family are different. Match them with your calendar.
We use Apologia series that have already got plans, but we still adopt the plans to our family calendar based on the children's learning pattern and ability.
List all experiments supporting the topic
Whether you use a specific or customized curriculum, please list your experiments as early as possible. Earlier planning will prevent you to skip the experiments in the middle of the year. We usually get reluctant to look up for experiments and the materials in the middle of the year as if we loose our apetite. Adopt experiments that are suitable for your children and are suitable with your condition. Don't forget to consider the required materials. Some of the materials can be altered if they are not available.
Classify the materials
Classify the list of materials based on the store where you might get them. We classify our experiments into
- The drug store stuffs
- The electrical stuffs
- The kitchen stuffs
- The market stuffs
- The park stuffs
- The scientific stuffs
- The relative stuffs
Make a list for each of the category so that your shopping or hunting time will be much shorter and more purposeful. Some materials can be purchased in advanced and others need to be fresh. For plant observation we need to find information where we can get the desired objects.
Find the right suppliers
There are a lot of drug stores around, but not all of them can provide what you have planned. Therefore, asking others, browsing in the internet, and the phonebooks will give you more effective and efficient hunting or shopping time, energy, and money.
I prefer not to rely on our daily household stuff as we might get short of stock at the time we need the materials for experiment. In addition, our experiment activities will reduce our stock at home.
Prepare the paper (test, notebooking and lapbooking materials)
This is like what we did when we prepared for the one year notebooking activities. Science is a bit different as we need to provide some graphic organizers for experiments and research. Giving a habit to get learners writing a report of experiments will make them learn to be responsible toward their learning. It is great that we have Knowledge Box Central that provides complete supplements for all the Science Apologia series, including lapbooks and experiment reports. There are some alternative experiments for the Young Explorer's series.
We print all of the selected experiment reports to use accompanying the Apologia Science series. We put all of the paper in a three ringed binder divided with some dividers into:
- copy work taken from Apologia Science Notebooking Journal
- crossword activities taken from Apologia Science Notebooking Journal
- On Your Own pages for Exploring Creation with Physical Science which are taken from Knowledge Box Central
- Study Guide pages for Exploring Creation Young Explorer Series taken from Apologia Science Notebooking Journal
- Experiment Report Pages taken from Knowledge Box Central
- All blank test pages.
Keep the experiment materials in safe places
Pay attention to the storage where you are going to keep the experiment materials. Food materials need to be kept in a special storage so that it is not doing to be eaten up before the time we use. There are some chemical substance that needs extra attention in keeping. For instance, we need to open the bottle lead of Hydrogen Peroxide regularly so that the oxygen will be released. Be careful in keeping the chemicals as you need to keep them out of the children to prevent undesirable accidents.
Keep the stock enough
Invent some laboratory equipments can be very useful
Rather than using common kitchen glasses for mixing substances, it is better to purchase some laboratory equipment such as beaker glasses, cylinder tubes, etc. You might also need some magnets and even microscopes to get science more engaging. There are also some bundles of laboratory equipments can be purchased in Amazon to supply the Apologia Science series.