Bigger science or Apologia Astronomy

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Bigger science or Apologia Astronomy

Post by joyfulheart » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:57 pm

I cant decide between the two for my 3rd grader son about to use Bigger.

Or, maybe even doing my own thing going with his interests-- electricity, slime, etc... (LOL)

Any thoughts from experienced mommies????


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Post by 6timeboymom » Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:18 pm

I'm going to use the HOD science packs with my boys. I think it's easier that way-just go with the flow, no getting extra stuff out, not using more then one teacher's guide...etc..
I am thinking of Apologia for my soon to be high schooler, though. I love the content.

I did have a good friend say she didn't care for the elementary apologia simply because it was too much of the same subject-i.e. the astronomy was too much astronomy without a change in topics, etc. kwim?
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Post by blessedmomof4 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:29 am

I don't have any experience with Apologia for elementaries, but I can tell you I'm using the Bigger science pack with my 3rd and 4th grader and Carrie's lessons as written, and it's a blast :) The girls and I are really enjoying it, and they are learning a lot. They especially love science notebooking, their notebooks are going to be a nice record and keepsake of this school year.
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Post by water2wine » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:13 pm

I think the Science is great in Bigger and I would not skip it. If you felt you wanted more than I would maybe add the Apologia but do it on a slower pace. I think it can normally be done in a half year so maybe stretch it out over a year and add it if you really want more. I like a lot of science so that is what I would do. But I also love the science in HOD so I would not skip it. :D HTH

Just a little disclaimer...I am a more is more kind of schooler so I am always adding something. And that is not for everyone. :lol:
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Post by eazbnsmom » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:00 pm

I dont have any experience with bigger science, although I really would like to check out the one small square books, but I can speak for Apologia.

We do use the elementary Apologia science....we did Astronomy in 3rd grade last year and we just started doing "Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day" a couple of weeks ago. My daughter really enjoys them and you dont have use them for a whole year, I spent a half year on astronomy and then did geology, and we will only be using "Swimming" for a half year as well. I think whichever you choose to go with would be fine....and also depends a lot on your child as well.

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Post by Carrie » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:40 pm

joyful heart,

I am, of course, very biased! :shock: But, I will give you a little background to point out a few of the differences between the elementary Apologia science and the science in "Bigger...". We actually did use elementary Apologia Astronomy with my oldest son when he was a third grader (along with the complete kit for experiments) and had mixed emotions about it. My oldest son is an avid reader with an excellent vocabulary. Yet, he wasn't enthralled with the style of the Apologia Astronomy. It still felt somewhat textbookish as opposed to being truly living. We also discovered that it really needed to be read aloud to be best enjoyed, and I was struggling to add in yet another read-aloud. From a curriculum standpoint, I also wasn't sure we wanted to devote half of a year to astronomy either. In the long run, we have discovered that changing science topics more often keeps my kiddos interests better. :D

So, when it came time to write the science for "Bigger...", we really wanted to go from the Charlotte-Mason science perspective. We wanted "Bigger..." to move kiddos toward being able to read their science on their own and then narrate or follow-up with experiments or notebooking/sketching exercises. We also wanted to make sure the science books were truly living in that they read narratively, like a story, but still contained in-depth looks at various science topics. Last, we wanted to loosely link the science study to the history to allow for natural connections to be made. For example, we study the seashore when reading about Columbus, study the woods when reading about Daniel Boone, study birds when reading about John Audubon and so on.

In closing, I will say that other than using real books (that are living) the elementary Apologia series seems to be the closest you can get to a Charlotte-Mason style science education. For that reason, it fulfills a definite need in the science area. Many, many families use and love the series, and author Jeanie Fulbright is a treasure to the homeschool community! I just wanted to point out some differences in approach and say that you are more than welcome to add whatever fits your family best! :wink:


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Post by my3sons » Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:20 pm

Hi! We really like the science in Bigger..., and I agree with the good advice of the other moms here. I think you would really be missing out if you don't do it! It has such a nice tie-in to the history theme, and as another mom already mentioned, the notebooking is just a really neat compilation of the science activities and experiments. It is definitely something that my ds tries to do his very best work with, and it is one of the first things he shows my dh when he gets home.

I especially appreciate the scientific methods that are introduced. I'll try to give you an example of one here:

1. There is a question (i.e. How does the sugary tree sap help keep the tree from freezing?)

2. Then, children need to share their guesses either orally or if it's a notebooking day, they write it down. (This I think is very important - the idea of making guesses BEFORE doing the experiment. My son has begun to think much more scientifically because of this.)

3. Then, you do a simple experiment (i.e. Put water in two cups. Put sugar in one of them. Stick them in the freezer. Check an hour later.) Meanwhile, children draw the procedure if it's a notebooking day.

4. Last, is the Conclusion. (i.e. Children check cups. Notice the water/sugar mixture didn't freeze solid like the water only cup did. Last, write a conclusion about whether the initial guess was correct and why, or why not. The Key Idea always gives a clear answer, and we often copy a portion of that in our Conclusion as well (i.e. The sugary tree sap acts like antifreeze to keep the tree from freezing during the winter months.)

This method has been a wonderful teaching tool for my ds, and has gotten him thinking about predictions rather than just outcomes. Also, the tie-in to the history just totally reinforces the science concepts. I think you'd love it! Hope this gives you a neat picture in your head of how the science goes!

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Post by Kathleen » Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:28 pm

Loved the sneak peak into the science in Bigger! I am so looking forward to starting this this summer or fall. :D

Carrie - I love your thorough explanations of why you chose what you did for the curriculum. They have been very helpful for me - in this post and others. (Don't let your sisters talk you into skimping. :wink: )

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Garret - 13 Res2Ref
Asa - 8 Bigger
Quinn - 7 Bigger

Halle - 4 LHTH

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Post by Carrie » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:37 pm

So glad it helped! :D I still tend to go overlong with the details, but at least you all are kind enough to put up with my long-winded descriptions! :lol:


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Post by MamaMary » Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:40 am

Hi Joyfulheart, (great username)

I don't think you can go wrong with either. So it's not a right or wrong answer but which is better for you?

We absolutely ADORE All levels of HOD's science. First of all, it only takes approx 15-20 mins on notebooking days. Some days it's just reading, some days you have a simple experiment. But what I love is it is not overly time consuming. HOWEVER, your children will start to think like a scientist.

As you read the information you will ask questions and then give feedback, the next day you might do an experiment and ask them, "How do you think this is going to turn out?" "why"?

Then they notebook it and just keeps solidifying what they've learned. It makes them feel as though they own the material. I will share two entries from my oldest sons science notebook. He is using "BIGGER"...,

Low Tide/High Tide

Why heavier sinks and lighter floats
Mary, Mama to 4 amazing sons and wife to one incredible husband! Come check us out on the blog:

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