Thursday, August 30, 2018

Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition Basic Set by Dr. Laura Chase from Apologia Educational Ministries: A TOS Crew Review

Apologia Exploring Health and Nutrition
Health and Nutrition Basic Set from Apologia Educational Ministries

Are you ready for the NEW Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition Basic Set by Dr. Laura Chase  from Apologia Educational Ministries?  We are!  The Health and Nutrition Basic Set  is designed for your 8-12th grade students, and can be used as a full high school credit.  The Basic Set contains a hardcover text and a spiral bound Student Notebook.  Since I have 2 daughters doing this course together, I purchased an additional Student Notebook.

We have been long-time fans of  Apologia Educational Ministries!  Health and Nutrition Basic Set  did not disappoint.  The 15 module course can be completed over the course of 1 or 2 semesters, depending on your schedule.  We are working through the course to complete it in a year.  For my 10th grade student - we are counting it as a full high school health credit.  For my 8th grader, who wasn't ready to move into biology yet, we are counting it for a full year of science.  I love the versatility this course offers us!

The 15 modules cover:

  • Who Am I and Why Does Heath Matter
  • Physical Influences on Thoughts and Feelings
  • Mental and Emotional Stability
  • Interpersonal Harmony
  • Treasuring Your Senses
  • Processing Nourishment and Hydration
  • Food Science I - Macronutrients
  • Food Science II - Micronutrients
  • Let's Look At What You Eat
  • Delivering the Oxygen
  • Let's Move
  • You're Stronger Than You Look
  • At War With Infection
  • Peace in Difficult Times
  • The Gift of Reproduction

The Textbook is  full-color, high quality 441 page masterpiece written by Dr. Laura Chase.  The Student Notebook is valuable 366 spiral-bound component of the set.  You will need both to complete the course.

The text is written in a friendly, direct-to-the-student approach.  Students read the text, and answer the "On Your Own" questions in their notebooks as the read (they are encouraged to self-check their answers).  The text is filled with photographs, charts, diagrams and important words are highlighted in a different color.   It is a beautiful textbook!  Apologia's instructional support is second to none - they have truly created resources for every learning style!

A Suggested Daily Schedule is included to help your student work independently through the course.

The Student Notebook contains projects that go along with each module.  These projects bring the topics to life, and really get your student thinking.  For the first module, they studied "Who am I and why does Health matter", the projects included:

Researching the nature vs. nurture questions with a famous family

Taking a quick temperament test  -Very interesting.. my daughters have similar, but opposite temperaments!

Reflecting on their personal strengths and weaknesses - the Student Notebook becomes a personal journal for them too!

 Discovering their natural preferences. - The eye dominance test in action!

In addition to doing the course independently, my 8th grader is using this course at our co-op (I get the honor of teaching it!)  I love how this course really can be customized to meet your specific high school needs.  We had a blast in class with the projects and discussions. 

All the major body systems are discussed.  If you student has taken biology, this is great review.  If they haven't taken high school biology yet, this course will prepare them well.

 At the end of each module, your student completes a Study Guide in their notebook to review the concepts and prepare them for the Test.  The study guide and test answers are found online in the "Book Extras" section.

In addition, the Book Extras online contains extra links for every module!  You do not want to miss these.  Apologia also offers a free activity book you can request to go along with the Basic Set.  The activity book contains 21 pages of additional activities you can use like journaling, word search,  a "survivor game" for the family, additional articles and even healthy snack ideas.  

The entire course is written from a Christian perspective, and your students will be encouraged to make connections between science and creation.  We have found this to be a very personal study, and my students are getting a chance to really think about issues that effect them deeply.

The topics do cover some more sensitive topics, and although we have not gotten that far, I have read ahead.  The reproduction chapter is very tastefully done.  I would encourage you to keep reading just a module ahead of your students, because this study generates many great discussion points for you to share with them!

We are absolutely loving this curriculum!

Find Apologia Educational Ministries on Social Media

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Monday, August 27, 2018


Introducing the 2018-19 Bentz Academy!


 Middle School

 High school

Their "real" selves....

Because they still love me... they took their own first day pics for me!

Friday, August 24, 2018

2018 Dubbing

We have a family tradition... we "dub" each kid into the next grade before the school year starts.  Usually we use a Mashoonga sword, this year we upgraded to a realistic looking plastic sword.  Nothing but the best for Bentz Academy!

 Fourth Grade - Fifth Grade

Seventh Grade

Eighth Grade - Tenth Grade

Our Senior - 

Monday, August 20, 2018

There they go...

We survived drop off day... x2!  Both of them are at UMHB, good thing we have a big van!!

He's ready for this...right?

Luke gets to be in Lord Hall, a brand new dorm!!  He's a minimalist... quilt, horns, bean bag chair - he's set.

Watch out UMHB... a new style is coming your way!

I love that they are both Crusaders!

Sam is back in his apartment, and they even decorated (it only took them until Junior year!)  It feels so homey...

Friday, August 17, 2018

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn from Julie Polanco: A TOS Crew Review

Julie Polanco Books
God Schooling book

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn from Julie Polanco

Julie Polanco BooksIt's good to take some time and remind yourself of the importance of this homeschooling journey!  I've just finished reading God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn from Julie Polanco.  

The author, Julie Polanco, is a veteran homeschooling mom of four, graduating her first child in 2016 (my first graduated in 2016!).  She writes for the  The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Home Education Magazine, many trade publications, and has developed a high school botany course for

This 9 chapter book is divided into 2 parts:  Dispelling Myths and Practice.

 In the first part, Julie outlines the Biblical support for natural learning, and talks about motivation and excellence.  I was drawn in right away.  I have homeschooled for 16 years, and have seen many different approaches, and used many of them myself.  I've never actually followed an "unschooling" style schedule like the author, so I was fascinated to read her descriptions.  I found my self agreeing with many of her points!  The freedom vs. enslavement to curriculum and programming, the reliance on the Lord to direct our path, and a reminder to avoid the world's deceptive philosophies all resonated with my heart.  I didn't always agree with her points, but I find it helps me better define my beliefs when I get a chance to read a different opinion.

In the chapter - Motivation & Excellence, she describes the difference between external and internal motivation.  She makes many valid points about encouraging the internal motivation of our children to learn without external rewards, she calls them "bribes".  I may tend to disagree with her here... I have used external motivators very successfully to help train my children into developing internal motivation.  Especially in the area of instrument practice!  However, I really enjoyed reading this chapter and picking up new ideas along the way.

The second part of the book focuses on the "Practice" part of walking a path of natural learning.

Julie includes chapters for each age group - children under Eight,  ages 8-12, and teens.  No matter where you are on this journey, it is refreshing to read from someone who has "been there, done that".  She makes many statements which sound like facts, but should be taken more as generalizations from her own experience.  I have taught many children, including my own, during our co-op years.  It has taught me that there are very few hard "facts" about how children learn! Nevertheless, there are many gems of encouragement in these chapters.

The final chapters discuss how to get started, what record keeping looks like, and some common questions and answers.  

Each chapter includes a page of Study Questions you can use to discuss the book together.  This would make a great homeschool mom style book club read.  

The Bibliography is a tool for you as well!  Julie has done her research, and the book is filled with quotes from well known and respected leaders in the home education field.

I enjoyed reading this book, even if I found that I didn't always agree with every point. If you are needing some encouragement, contemplating making a change to your approach, or struggling to find the joy - you may want to pick up your own copy!  Through August 22, 2018 you can purchase the e-book for 1/2 the price on Amazon.

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn {Julie Polanco Reviews}

Find Julie Polanco on Social Media: 

Facebook: @juliepolancobooks

#hsreviews, #GodSchooling, #ChristianUnschooling, #RelaxedHomeschooling
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God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn {Julie Polanco Reviews}
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