The following post is from contributing writer Roan of Joyful Johnsons.
In our homeschool, I begin using Apologia Science textbooks in the 7th grade. We begin with General Science, and then work our way through Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Physics. Over the last 5 years, I have determined the best way of organizing the material for our homeschool.
How to Organize Apologia Science
1. Buy a 5 subject spiral bound notebook for each child. We use only 4 of the sections, but I have not found 4 subject notebooks.
- Section 1 is for writing vocabulary words and definitions.
- Section 2 is for writing the answers to the “On Your Own” questions.
- Section 3 is for writing the answers to the end of each chapter study guides.
- Section 4 is for writing lab reports.
2. Before beginning your school year, make a copy of each test and each study guide’s answers. I take my Solutions Manual to our local office supply store and have the binding cut off and the pages 3-hole punched. Having the book like this makes it so much easier to copy. Then, I assemble two binders for my use.
- Binder 1 includes the entire Solutions Manual. I usually have two students in two separate Apologia science courses, so I create dividers, label them with the course names, and place the Solutions Manuals behind the correct divider. I also create sub-tabs within each Solutions Manual. These include Study Guide Answers, Tests, Test Answers, and some of the courses have a section called Extra Practice Problems.
- Binder 2 includes my copies of the study guide answers for each course we are studying that year. Again, I create dividers, and place the study guide answers in their proper place.
3. At the end of each module, after my child has completed the study guide questions, I get my copy of the study guide answers and review his answers. He makes any corrections. I take a highlighter and highlight on the copy of the study guide answers any important concepts that I want to make sure he studies.
I then look at the module test, and highlight (on the study guide answers) any further questions and answers that I think he needs to especially review. Sometimes he or I will make extra notes to explain some items on the study guide. The study guide answer pages then serve as a tool for the child to prepare for the test.
4. After the child has completed the test, I place the study guide answers back into Binder 2 for use with the next child taking the course.
One more thing I do to help organize our Apologia Science tests and other tests as well is to create for each child a Test Binder. This binder has two main dividers: Tests to Take and Tests Taken. Behind each divider are sub-tabs, one for each subject. I just labeled mine “Science” and “Math” for those subjects so I would not have to make a new tab each year as their courses changed names.
This test binder also has a tab to store “Papers Written”. Again, a general term for all writing assignments. At the end of the year I have all of the child’s tests in one location. This makes it very easy to average their grades.
Roan is the homeschooling mother of 5 children. She currently has children in grades 2,4,9,11, and one in college (whom she is no longer homeschooling!) You can read about both her high school and elementary homeschool adventures at her personal blog, Joyful Johnsons.
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