Are you ready.
Dawson and I hate Apologia!
I know! The shame!
I have heard nothing but good things about it, so we purchased Exploring Creation with Biology, with the companion cd and slide set.
I poured over other blogs, read suggestions, came up with a doable schedule.
We started with Module 14 so that we would actually have leaves to do the leaf study. Dawson trudged through the reading and assignments and experiments. He even attempted to have a good attitude about it.
Then I had him do the Study Guide to prepare for the test. And I told him he could take this first test as an open-book so that he could see how the Study Guide related to the test.
And then when I looked at the test this morning and saw that the test really had nothing to do with the Study Guide, I busted. And he busted. He said, "That study guide was a waste of time!" Now, I know it wasn't. It was an intense review. But he didn't get anything out of it. He was looking for answers to put on a piece of paper to prepare for a test. (Isn't that one of my biggest complaints about public school?)
I realized what has been bothering me these past couple of weeks. It's a big, 'ol boring textbook with lots of complicated language and lots of impossible-to-answer On Your Own questions and a Study Guide that is basically worthless (unless just used as a review) and a test that Dawson was going to not do well at, because he was preparing for the test by answering the questions on the Study Guide. He was bored and frustrated and could care less about doing those lessons everyday. That's why he put it off until the very last thing of the day and then was teary-eyed the entire time he was working on it.
I mean no disrespect to the geniuses at Apologia. I get the reasons behind why it's set up the way it is. But for Dawson, it doesn't work. He is not science and math bent. He is a Language Arts, History, Fine Arts buff. If I just sat back and let him learn science this way, he would eventually implode.
Now, some kids may do great with this type of curriculum. But the reasons above are the reasons Dawson didn't do well in school. These are the reasons he didn't enjoy learning. All the Apologia curriculum is, is a Creation-based textbook. And if I was satisfied with him doing textbook science, I would have just left him in public school. He needs to learn it in a way that he can feel it, smell it, touch it, draw it, and not all of that after he's done everything required in an ordinary textbook.
Yes, I am being controversial here. Sorry if I am stepping on anyone's toes.
So, I did what I do in these circumstances. I researched a good "Living" curriculum that someone else has already developed (for probably the same reasons I wanted to), with a couple of base books (that have excellent reviews), Living books, videos, experiments, etc. She has done it, prepared it, and provided it at no cost.
I got on our school's website and printed off the PASS objectives for Biology in High School in the State of Oklahoma and saw that this curriculum I am choosing teaches TONS more than the PASS objectives require.
So, I have hope.
And so Biology has been put on the back-burner until our main book comes in at the library. Then we'll get started.
Dawson was really excited about this new way of learning Biology (and completely relieved). That knot in my stomach instantly disintegrated.
I'll let you know how it goes!