Homeschool Science for Elementary Grades

Apologia’s Young Explorer Series by Jeannie Fulbright

Homeschool Science for Elementary Grades - Apologia's Young Explorer Series

The books in this award-winning homeschool science series were written for the elementary school child. The content can be simply understood by a kindergarten student, but it can also be comprehended and enjoyed through the sixth grade. Through this series, homeschool students will become true scientists as they observe nature, participate in experiments, and document all that they learn.


Where do you start the series?

You start wherever you can capture your child’s imagination.  The goal is to let your child’s curiosity lead and learning will happen naturally. There is a reason our elementary series is called The Young Explorers Series.  Our curriculum is designed to feed your child’s curiosity, not lead it.


The textbooks in the Young Explorer Series can be used in any of the K-6th grades because of the substance of the series:

  • It is in the elementary year that a solid science foundation is created.
  • The goal is to create a safe environment where students can learn to love learning about creation.
  • The child’s developmental stage will determine how much material they comprehend.
  • Each textbook instills in the child the wonder of science and the method of further exploring science concepts
  • The ability to be as simple or complex as desired

Overview of Overview of Apologia’s Elementary Science for Homeschool Use

In order to create a curriculum that can be customized to fit different learning styles and homeschool philosophies, Apologia considers the following core truths:

  • Children have an inborn love of learning and are highly motivated. That innate sense of wonder about ourselves and our universe should never cease throughout our lifetimes.
  • Children have their own strengths and weaknesses, manifesting in a unique combination of multiple intelligences.
  • Children process information with a unique combination of learning styles and needs.
  • Children can learn at their own pace when natural curiosity is nurtured.
  • We invite you to explore our K-6th grade Young Explorer Series for an elementary science curriculum in your homeschool. These unique courses can be completed in as little as twenty-eight weeks if you do science two days per week.  They are also flexible enough so that they can be adapted to fit your homeschool’s goals. The Young Explorer Series covers the following science topics, they are listed below in alphabetical order:


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    We LOVED Exploring Creation with Botany this past year when our children were in Kindergarten, first grade, and third grade. I love that I was able to use it across multiple grade levels and adapt the textbook to their level. I also used the Junior Notebooking Journal. . . exceptional!

    We just received my son’s first Apologia books—Exploring Creation with Zoology 2 textbook and Junior Notebooking Journal.  My husband and I are blown away by the quality of the text and journal. We will definitely be purchasing apologia in future years and recommending it to all our friends!

    We did Exploring Creation with Astronomy our first year with Apologia. Last year we used Zoology 1, and we are moving on to Zoology 2. I don’t even look at any other science curriculum!

    My favorite thing about Apologia Science is that it points to God our Creator. The notebooking journals are an awesome way for our kids to process and show, in their own way, what they are learning.

    What Makes Apologia’s Elementary Homeschool Science Unique?

    • Written In a Conversational Tone. Following a Charlotte Mason approach, we develop a conversation with students. Apologia texts are written directly to the student and explore the world God made using engaging conversational-style text. The text and illustrations engage young learners and pull them into the subject so that the subject matter comes alive.
    • Immersion in a Science Topic. Some curriculum developers promote the spiral approach to education. Students are exposed over and over again to minute amounts of a variety of science topics. Each year sees the same material, most of it review, some of it new, none of it complete.  This method assumes that the young child is unable to understand scientific truths.
      With Apologia, children are given an in-depth exposure into each science topic; we call that immersion. We give the child an opportunity to develop a love for that subject.  We also show the student that God has created an orderly world that works very similarly throughout all subjects of science.
    • Charlotte Mason Approach. Throughout our textbooks, students are asked to retell or narrate the information they just studied. This helps students assimilate the information in their minds. The act of verbalizing in their own words propels students forward in their ability to effectively and clearly communicate the information to others. It serves to lock the information in their own words, in their own understanding, in their own minds. Students can’t orally explain a topic to someone else if they don’t understand it.
    • Hands-On Projects, Activities, and Experiment Additionally, every lesson in our elementary textbooks contains hands-on projects, activities, and experiments to bring concepts to your student’s level of comprehension. There are no dry disconnected facts taught in a spiraling fashion from one grade to the next. Instead, with Apologia science, students study, in great detail, a subject area of interest.

    Where to Start with the Young Explorer Series

    You start wherever you can capture your child’s imagination.  The goal is to let your child’s curiosity lead and learning will happen naturally. There is a reason our elementary series is called The Young Explorers Series.  Our curriculum is designed to feed your child’s curiosity, not lead it.

    We invite you to explore our K-6th grade Young Explorer Series. These unique courses can be completed in as little as twenty-eight weeks if you do science two days per week.  They are also flexible enough so that they can be adapted to fit your homeschool’s goals. The Young Explorer Series covers the following courses, listed in alphabetical order:

    These unique courses:

    • Are written directly to the student
    • Explore the world God made using engaging, conversational-style text
    • Contain many hands-on demonstrations, projects and experiments help students understand the concept learned with a hands-on demonstration
    • Are created in the Charlotte Mason style

    Through this series, students will become true scientists as they observe nature, participate in experiments, and document all that they learn.

    Homeschool Science for Elementary Grades - Apologia's Young Explorer Series

    Books in the Young Explorer Series

    Here is a brief synopsis of each course Apologia has available in their elementary science curriculum for homeschool. This list is in alphabetical order:

    Anatomy and Physiology

    From head to toe, Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology is a personal encounter with God’s design for the human body. Your child will take a fantastic voyage through the skeletal, muscular, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, immune, and nervous systems. They will study nutrition, health, and embryology to see what makes each of us a unique creation of God.

    Goose-bump-inducing projects for this course include creating an edible cell from Jell-O, testing bacteria content around the house, discovering your child’s blood type, and even building a stethoscope!


    Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition, launches your child’s mind on an educational journey to explore God’s incredible universe. It begins with a tour of our solar system, including the sun, planets, and asteroid belt. Then we set off across the stars and galaxies as they reveal the marvels and might of our loving Creator.

    During this course, your child will build a model of our solar system, simulate the use of radar to reveal a hidden landscape, construct a working telescope, create an astrometer to measure the brightness of a star, and even launch a working rocket!


    Exploring Creation with Botany cultivates an appreciation for nature with a study of the many different kinds of plants in God’s creation. This course will nurture an understanding of nature’s processes, including how plants grow from seeds, the reproductive process, the way plants make their food, and how God designed plants to acquire and distribute water and nutrients.

    During this course, your child will create make a “light hut” in which to grow plants, dissect a bean seed, observe the germination process, measure transpiration, and produce keepsake paintings with the assistance of nature.

    Chemistry and Physics

    With Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics, from atoms and molecules to the laws of motion and thermodynamics, this amazing course will introduce your child to the properties of matter and the basic building blocks of life. Your family will bond over this exploration of God’s design for the universe as you investigate states of matter, energy in its many forms, magnetism, and simple machines.

    Dynamic projects for this course include mixing materials to make a bouncy ball and creating a smoke bomb. Your child will also build a solar oven, a working periscope, and a miniature motor!

    Zoology 1

    Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day lets your child’s imagination soar with this fascinating study of birds, bats, and flying insects. Your young zoologist will investigate the dynamics of flight, learn classification skills, keep a field journal, and explore how the design we see in flying creatures points us toward our Creator.

    High-flying projects for this course include building a bird feeder, working with nesting materials, and even bringing a flying insect “back from the dead!”

    Zoology 2

    Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day dives right into an underwater adventure! This course makes a big splash with kids, as they meet whales and dolphins, spy on seals and manatees, and explore the depths of God’s creation with sea turtles, snakes, and salamanders. Your child will also uncover the hidden world of crustaceans, sea snails, clams, and soft-bodied friends like the octopus, squid, and nautilus. From the microscopic to the massive, no reef is left unexplored!

    Wild and wet projects for this course include using blubber as an insulator and exploring how whales can hear underwater sounds from miles away.

    Zoology 3

    Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day makes every day an adventure as you take your child on a safari through jungles, deserts, forests, and farms—without ever leaving your backyard! During this course, your child will examine and enjoy the incredible variety of enchanting creatures God made to inhabit the earth.

    Powerful projects for this course include playing predator to colored candies that hide in camouflage, acting like a primate to judge depth perception, discovering why giraffes have high blood pressure, identifying animal tracks, dissecting owl pellets and identifying the owl’s last meal, and much more!


    If your child is an auditory learner or you enjoy listening to homeschool resources while driving to activities, then the MP3 CD audiobooks are perfect for your busy homeschool family. Young Explorer author Jeannie Fulbright reads the full text of the course to your child.

    How to Use Notebooking with Elementary Science in Your Homeschool

    It is in the elementary years that a solid science foundation is created. The goal is to create a safe environment where students can learn to love learning about creation. The child’s developmental stage will determine how much material they comprehend. The notebooking journals and junior notebooking journals were created to help your student get the most out of our curriculum.

    Our notebooking journals were designed to facilitate retention and provide documentation of your student’s education. The unique personal written and artistic expressions incorporate both sides of the brain.  In addition, Notebooking is flexible and allows for multilevel learning. A twelve-year-old student may write an essay and make an elaborate illustration, while a six-year-old may write one sentence with a stick-figure drawing.

    Keeping a scientific notebook has always been standard scientific practice.

    • Notebooks are a way to record experiences, observations, and thoughts.
    • Notebooks actively engage students in the scientific process.
    • Notebooks provide a written history that students can reference as they explore new subject areas.
    • Experiences and observations will be recorded and organized.

    Students can review their notes to create opinions and draw conclusions about the way their world works.

    Elementary Science for Homeschool - Apologia's Young Explorer Series

    What Is Inside a Notebooking Journal?


    • All notebooking journals come with suggested lesson plans that you can modify to fit your student’s needs. These plans help schedule the reading and activities through the school year. Move at a pace that works well with your homeschool curriculum and schedule.
    • All notebooking journals have space to record activities and projects found in the textbook. Fun graphics and imaginative designs inspire your child’s thought and creativity. If your child struggles with writing, they can illustrate their answers in the sections provided for drawing. Writing lines are provided where they can write their answers or dictate them to you.
    • Every lesson has narrative review questions for children to express what they’ve learned. Your older children can use these pages to express what they’ve learned in their own words while building composition skills. Younger students can color the pictures in the junior notebooking journal as they orally review their lessons with their parents.
    • Crosswords and other activities provided in the notebooking journals are a fun way to reinforce scientific terminology
    • Scripture Copy Work in every lesson helps with handwriting while hiding God’s words in their hearts.
    • Full-color, lapbook-style miniature books that highlight key concepts from the book build on the hands-on/minds-on approach. The cut-and-fold design is ideal for students who benefit from a more hands-on approach.
    • Spiral binding that makes each journal remarkably easy to use.


    When Do You Choose a Junior Notebooking Journal?


    • Junior notebooks are designed for younger students who are still developing basic writing skills.
    • Junior notebooks have easier crossword puzzles and activities.
    • Junior notebooks have two coloring pages per lesson.

    In the end, your regular or junior notebooking journal will be a book your child has written about their science journey and a keepsake!

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    How Do I Actually Use the Young Explorer Series?

    A Step-By-Step Guide to Using Apologia’s Homeschool Science for Elementary Grades:

    1. Let your child choose the topic to study.  Each title is self-contained and can be done in any order. Spend some time browsing our topics and see which one captures your student’s interest. The goals in elementary science should be to grow closer to God, to make learning a joy, and to build a strong foundation for future studies. There is no separate teacher’s guide because all of the information you need is contained in the textbook and notebook.
    2. Scan the supply list included in each title to see what you need for the activities listed in each lesson you are going to do. Always check the supply list for each lesson in advance so you’ll have everything you need.
    3. Begin by reading the lesson to your students. Older students may read the lesson themselves. You can also choose to purchase an audio version of the text.
    4. Narration prompts throughout the lesson ask students to tell or narrate what they have learned up to that point. Feel free to go beyond the prompts and always encourage your child to explain things in his or her own words.
    5. If a particular lesson captures your child’s imagination, please visit the Book Extra site that comes with each title and has additional online links that you can explore together.
    6. Activities give students a hands-on model to demonstrate a point made in that section of the book. Ideally, the project should be done right then. However, don’t be discouraged if you do not have the materials. You can always go back and do the project later. In fact, we give you so many options that you can feel free to pick and choose which activities best fit your family’s schedule.
    7. Unless you are following the suggested schedule in the notebooking journal, continue reading until you feel a natural break is at hand. Each family will differ in the amount of reading done in each session. Some families become extremely engrossed and want to read an entire lesson. Most families read a quarter to half the lesson at one time; there are many natural stopping points within each lesson. This flexibility allows you to complete the book in a year in the way that works best for your family.
    8. When you end for the day, ask your students to orally tell you what they learned. If you wish them to do so, they may spend a few minutes recording their learning in their notebooking journal.
    9. At the end of each lesson, the “What Do You Remember?” section provides specific questions to ask your students to prompt their memories about the lesson. Don’t expect young children to be able to answer most of these, and don’t expect older children to answer all of them. However, this is a great time to discuss what they learned and remind them of what they may have forgotten. It’s also a wonderful way to review all that they have comprehended.
    10. If students have not yet written down the fascinating facts they learned throughout the lesson, they should do so at the end of the lesson. The “Fascinating Facts” pages of the notebooking journal provide a place for students to write down what they enjoyed or want to remember from the book. There are no right answers. Don’t require students to record every detail of the lesson or write down what you want them to remember. Let them decide what they thought was interesting and important and express their own learning as they see fit. This gives them autonomy and keeps science fun. For nonwriters or slow writers, you can write what they tell you.
    11. Don’t pressure your students or feel discouraged if they can’t remember anything. If they struggle to recount their learning, you can encourage them with questions. Eventually, through patience and encouragement, they will be able to remember what they learned and accurately recount it in writing.
    12. The notebooking journal includes other activities your student might also enjoy, such as vocabulary work in the form of crossword puzzles, copy work, and full-color lapbook-style mini-books they can put together.

    Using Apologia’s Elementary Science In Your Homeschool Alongside Our Middle and High School Science Courses

    If you are teaching at multiple levels, you may want to download our guide for how to use an elementary course alongside a high school or middle school Apologia science course.

    Receive the Free Called to Explore Creation Activity e-Book, The How to Write a Lab Report e-Book, and The Guide to Apologia Science


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