Elementary Homeschool Science Curriculum FAQs

What’s the difference between the Notebooking Journal and Junior Notebooking Journal?

Junior Notebooking Journals are designed for teaching homeschool science to children who are still developing basic writing skills, typically ages 5–9. The Junior Notebooking Journals include two coloring pages per unit, and primary-ruled lines for copy work.

Is there support available for the Young Explorer Series?

We want to make using our homeschool science curriculum easy and convenient. Book extras, additional online resources for each of the Young Explorer titles, are available at the Apologia website. Passwords to access these materials can be found inside each textbook. The book extras provide students with more information and videos that take learning to a deeper level.

What ages can use the Young Explorer Series?

Our homeschool science curriculum for elementary school covers ages 5 to 12. The books in this series are written for elementary-school-age children. The content can be understood by a kindergartener, but it can also be thoroughly enjoyed by a sixth-grader. These young explorers will become true scientists by observing nature, participating in experiments, and documenting what they learn.

I have an elementary-aged student and a middle school student, and they enjoy working together. Are the Young Explorer texts challenging enough to use with my older child?

These are wonderful books, but teen students need to move up to more challenging homeschool curriculum, especially in science. That doesn’t mean your students can’t keep learning together. Science experiments and activities are fun at any age, and a big benefit of homeschooling is that your older student can help explain concepts to the younger child.

I can’t decide which to do first. Should we complete your science curriculum in a particular order?

No, and that’s the beauty of the Apologia Young Explorer Series. It is a very flexible science curriculum. We recommend you begin with the topic you and your students believe to be most interesting right now. Astronomy, Botany, Zoology 1, Zoology 2, and Zoology 3 feature content that’s easily understood by younger students. We recommend enlisting your child’s help in picking out the specific textbook and then choosing the Junior Notebooking Journal if you are teaching younger elementary students. Chemistry & Physics and Anatomy & Physiology delve into more complicated subject matter and are best used with older elementary students. However, these science books can also be used with younger students in your homeschool, and Junior Notebooking Journals are available for these titles. You can download the first lesson of each title to explore them in more depth before choosing.

Can I use the Notebooking Journal and Junior Notebooking Journal with older and younger children at the same time in my homeschool? Is the content similar enough?

Yes, the two can be used together. The Junior Notebooking Journal includes the same mini-books and covers the same topics, but activities that require more writing have been replaced with coloring pages. The Junior Notebooking Journal is for students who are not quite ready to write in full paragraphs and are still mastering the art of handwriting. The lines are primary lines, and the vocabulary work is more hands-on. You can compare the journals and decide which is right for your child by downloading sample chapters at the Apologia website.

Do the Young Explorer books cover a full year or just a semester?

That’s entirely up to you and your homeschool planning! Some students jump right in and immerse themselves in the subject, while other students enjoy a more deliberate pace. Each title in the curriculum is designed to be flexible for adapting to your child’s unique learning style and your family’s schedule. Spending a year with a specific topic will allow for maximum retention, while spending only a half year on each title will allow you to complete more books in the series before you begin middle school science in your homeschool.

Is there a lesson plan to tell us what to do each day?

A recommended schedule is provided inside every Notebooking Journal to help you incorporate science into your overall homeschool plan for the year. However, the series is designed to be flexible and can be adapted to your child’s unique learning style and your family’s homeschool schedule. Our lesson plan is only a guideline to help you plan for your child’s pace of learning. If your child enjoys studying science, you can easily incorporate more science days into your homeschool plan.

Will I need to supplement the Young Explorer Series with other materials?

In an effort to provide your child with the best learning experience with our science curriculum, we do recommend the companion Notebooking Journals, which are designed to help students learn how to document their work. Each title also has a unique website with a wealth of information and links to explore topics in greater depth.

Do I need to purchase a lab kit to complete the experiments in the Young Explorer Series?

All experiments and activities utilize common household items. However, we also sell lab kits designed to work with all of our homeschool science courses, and you may find these helpful in saving time to gather materials.