We wanted to do some “casual” learning this summer while taking advantage of our zoo membership, so I contacted my friends at Apologia to see if they’d be interested in partnering with us in a social media campaign, Going to the Zoo with Apologia.
Guess what? They were!
You see, I wanted an opportunity to share our love of the Young Explorer’s Series with you all – to share why we think it’s a great resource for all families (not just homeschooling families) – and the kids wanted to study zoology this summer in coordination with our weekly-ish trips to the zoo.
I’m so excited to introduce you to the Zoology texts from Apologia – perfect for Kindergarten through 6th grade – and to share how we are using this resource this summer in our family.
Going to the Zoo
In order to get the kids excited about studying different animals this summer, we’ve taken several trips to our local zoo and another zoo close by.
We’ve even been able to meet up with friends at the zoo, and we’re planning another zoo trip with friends next week!
Apologia has three different zoology texts:
- Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
- Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day
- Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day
Our zoo doesn’t have many flying creatures or swimming creatures, so we had to make a trip to John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids to catch a glimpse of some of these animals – we’ll be sharing more about this trip next month.
Since our zoo mainly has land animals, we decided to skip around in the book order and start with the third book in the series, Land Animals of the Sixth Day.
Though the books are written with the assumption that you’ll go through them “in order,” it is possible to do them in any order you choose, and we have not felt as if we are “missing” any pertinent knowledge that might have been gained in the first two books by starting in book three.
Zoology at Home
Since we are in “summer school” (aka having a more relaxed learning environment), we aren’t “doing school” at a set time each day. Instead, we’re adding learning into our day as it fits with our routine and activities.
For example, when the Zoology books arrived, the kids could not wait to dig in, so we got them out after lunch one afternoon and started looking through them, deciding which animals we wanted to be sure to study this summer (since we’re doing a “fast study” through all three books in less than three months).
Earlier this week, the kids asked if we could take our Zoology books outside after dinner. I read aloud from the lesson we were working on in book three while the three of them played quietly on the swing set and listened. When they were done swinging, we came back inside and they sat at the table to do some of the notebooking activities that went along with the lesson we’d read.
Why I Love Apologia
I love that the Apologia Young Explorer’s series is written TO my kids, in language that they can understand. It makes it easy to hand the text to Jenny and ask her to read aloud to David if I’m otherwise occupied with Chris.
I also love that the texts are able to “stand alone” as a non-fiction piece of literature. It’s a great way for kids to learn more about the science topics that interest them – this is why I think these books are great for homeschooling and non-homeschooling families alike. You don’t have to use these books in a “school” setting – they are perfect for family reading time and/or self-study. While each lesson does have an activity at the end to help kids cement the concepts they’ve studied, they are optional and not prerequisite for moving ahead in the material.
The fact that Apologia is written from a biblical worldview is just icing on the cake. I love that I can hand my kids any book in the Young Explorer’s series and know that they are learning truths about the world around them based on the Word of God.
All Summer Long
We’ll be Going to the Zoo with Apologia all summer long:
- I’ll be sharing highlights from our zoo trips and zoology studies here on the blog each month.
- I’ll be sharing “in the moment” photos and updates on my social media platforms with the hashtag “#zooApologia”.
- I’ll be hosting a giveaway each month, getting the Zoology texts into your hands.
- AND, I’ll be hosting a Twitter party in July with lots of great giveaways from Apologia!
It’s going to be a summer packed with #ZooApologia fun, and we’d love you to join in by tagging your zoo photo and updates with the #ZooApologia hashtag on social media!