Apologia Botany - Lesson 1

Friday, January 16, 2015

I don't normally like to switch things around mid-year, but we made some science changes. I have loved that MFW ECC studies the biomes and animals of the world, but Silas wasn't connecting with the chosen science book. We studied animals and biomes last year, and I think we could both use a break. I thought it might be a good change of pace to do a botany study. The winters are long here, and I thought it would be fun to look forward to the coming spring learning about plant life.

Enter Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany :) I own all of the Apologia Elementary science books as I have picked them up cheaply at used curriculum sales. I wish I had given Apologia a chance earlier. When I first began researching homeschool science Apologia just looked like a textbook. It wasn't until Aedan used the land animals book in HOD CtC last year that I realized this was such a great series. He loved that book more than any science books we had done. I think the conversational style of writing really helped him to understand better what was being communicated.

The first thing we learned about was Taxonomy. As you can see everything is NOT awesome at our house as far as Legos are concerned. My boys put together sets a few times and they end up in our box of un-awesome. That's ok for us. They create some pretty awesome original creations!

We were supposed to do a shoe sorting activity dividing them into Kingdom, Phylum, Class and Order. I decided instead of dragging all our shoes out we would use Legos!

 Kingdom Accessories

Kingdom Mini Figures

Kingdom Leaves

Next we learned about vascular plants and how leaves have a midrib.

Silas drew his leaf.

Next we learned about non-vascular plants.

We learned how non-vascular plants get water even though they don't have tubes to carry it.

In order to illustrate this we poured green water on the counter.

Silas looks really excited about this doesn't he? Ha! He actually thought this was pretty cool.

Non-Vascular plants absorb water like a paper towel would soak up a spill.

We also learned about Angiosperms (seed container plants like flowers) and Gymnosperms (uncovered seed plants like conifers) and Seedless Vascular plants (like ferns.)

Our project was to construct a Light Hut to grow plants in. We took a box and lined it with aluminum foil and added a light.

We planted basil, chamomile and lemon balm. This is where I hope you don't see my black thumb revealed.

Since I was starting this program mid-year I went ahead and splurged on a science kit. I have to say I'm pretty sure I will do this in the future if it is an option. I usually hunt around for supplies all summer. By the time I would have bought seeds, peat moss, light bulb, plug, box, etc. I would have already paid the price of this kit. Putting together all of science this week was a breeze because of this box of goodies. Thanks so much for checking in with us :) I hope to share our coming weeks in science. I hope we have some plants growing by next time!


  1. Exciting! I will be following this portion of your posts closely. The only Apologia Elementary texts that I do not own is Botany and the new chemistry and physics. I've often considered subbing some of the science in HOD. I'm honestly not sure. It's easy to hand the Preparing guide to my kids and say, "have at it" but beyond the Constellations I'm not sure how much they've retained from Bigger and Preparing. Do you think you would keep science as written in CTC or would you perhaps use the Zoology book and then move on to another Apologia book? We will be using it as 10 and 11 yr olds

  2. Hi Tami <3

    It's funny you asked this question. I have been discussing this question with another HOD mom :) I've been thinking a LOT about science for the past month. We will return to HOD for Preparing next year and I'm trying to decide what I will add for the next few years. I absolutely love HOD's science approach, but science is both of my kiddos' cup of tea.

    We are on our 3rd lesson for Botany, and I'm so glad we added it! I will blog lesson 2 this week sometime. As I said in this post, I had no idea my kids would connect so much with these books. I wish I had used them from the very beginning. I wish I had went ahead and added to MFW ECC this year as I had suspicions it wasn't going to work as is.

    I will likely add Science in the Beginning to Preparing. I really want to cover Apologia Human Anatomy at some point, but when I asked Silas which looked better to him for next year, he chose SitB. It is written by the author of the Apologia middle school books. It will be a good sweep of science as Preparing is a good sweep of human history.

    For CtC, I'm thinking I will allow him to do all the science independently as scheduled, but use Human Anatomy the second half of the year. I feel animals through Bigger, ECC, Preparing (OSS books) and Land animals will be covered thoroughly. Birds, plants and human body are covered so briefly in CtC. I would really like to cover it a little more in depth.

    RtR felt lighter than CtC as far as science has gone. I need to think of what I might add to it (if I add anything.) Our early weeks in RtR were super short. I should probably be happy about that and call it a day, but I felt maybe a little more science wouldn't hurt anyone. I won't torture you anymore with the rest of the guides. Ha :P

    I have obviously thought a little too much about this! So to answer your question finally...I am thinking of using an additional Apologia book after land animals for CtC. There are 15-20 additional weeks after land animals is over, so I'm thinking you could fit most of the book in. I think I counted about 60 readings which would amount to about 3 days of Apologia per week after land animals.

    Did I lose you!? LOL! I might like books :)

  3. Thanks Tara! Nope. You did not loose me. I've played around with adding Flying Creatures or Human Anatomy next year with CtC and Botany with Res to Ref. I'd love to begin botany this year (half way through Preparing) but with a baby due any day I'm afraid of committing to something that I will end up not really committing to. Oi! We shall see eh?

  4. If you're pretty sure you will order the kit in the future, it must be worth it! I love the kits that come with Sonlight, but they are not organized by lessons and we often have stuff left over and I wonder what I was supposed to do with it. Fun to read your posts! I read every one, but usually from my phone and it won't let me comment from my phone. So happy to see you sharing regularly!

  5. I totally feel like it was worth the cost. Normally I don't mind searching around for stuff, but in this case I didn't have it in me. The harder to find items you have to buy in large quantities cost more, and then you have a bunch left over. A time and money saver IMO :)

  6. I am considering MFW for my third grader but it's the science that is holding me back. I don't want to spend that much on a curriculum and not use all of it. We love apologia. I am not sure it is worth the cost of I don't plan to use the science. What are your thoughts?

    1. We used MFW ECC and subbed this science because the one scheduled didn't work for us. The main heart of the curriculum though really was everything else. It was worth it to us to sub what didn't work and keep what did. MFW has a great resale value. You get back a lot of what you spent if you re-sell it. We loved this year if MFW and really enjoyed Apologia Botany as well :)

  7. Hi,

    Just wondering which lab kit you used. Was it from Apologia or another company? Would you recommend it's use for a coop?


    1. https://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php?id=048423&subject=Science/11&category=Apologia+Elementary+Science+Kits/7308 This is the kit that I used. I feel like it always saves time and money to go ahead and invest in these kits. As far as a co-op situation - There wouldn't be enough materials to pass around for that many kids, but there would be enough to demonstrate the activity once.


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