Last year my son and I had a wonderful experience using Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day with our Homeschool Co-op. We met once per week and had a full day program beginning with prayer in the morning and consisting of three class periods during the day to include a lunch and a recess.
[tweetthis]We used @apologiaworld Flying Creatures text in our co-op with all ages and grade levels. #homeschool #science[/tweetthis]
How to use Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day in your co-op.
How your co-op should be set up depends on it’s size and purpose. Should it be set up by grade level or ability? Our co-op groups children by grade level. It’s rather large with rooms for a nursery, preschool and kindergarten and 1st & 2nd , 3rd & 4th, 5th & 6th and 7 & 8th grades together. A smaller co-op may only have one class with all ages. For this reason, Apologia Exploring Creation is a perfect choice. It can be used with children kindergarten through sixth grade with little to no adaptation. Our 7th & 8th graders did the Apologia middle school text selected for the year, in our case it was general science.
It’s typical to think that each class would be using a different “level” book. But Apologia elementary science is not a grade level approach. Instead, we used the same text with all grade levels and covered the same chapters together at home and co-op each week. There are multiple benefits to this approach:
- Families only need to buy one textbook. A notebook was purchased for each child.
- Siblings can read and study all week at home together.
- Mom has more freedom and children more independence.
- The co-op is established with a long term vision in mind.
A long term vision is important. It enables the families and children returning yearly to move through the grade levels year after year and receive new material each year just as they would at home. It also offers continuity and congruency between the teachers and all other facets of the co-op such as field trips, having guest speakers, class projects and experiments, and more!
Co-op Activities for Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.
Every teacher followed the same syllabus for the year but could teach with her own style and method and was responsible for her own lesson plans. We chose to take a gentle approach and cover one 13 chapter text for the entire 24 week year, about one chapter every 2 weeks. This gentle approach gave us the flexibility we knew we would need to accommodate snowy days and other unforeseen cancellations.
It also allowed us to do lots of hands on activities in the co-op setting with the reading assignments and notebooking being mostly done at home. For class time, we often reviewed the information presented by the text with the discussion question at the end of each chapter and then did fun hands on projects and activities! We considered these the labs for our science program.
Here a just a few of the activities we did for flying creatures:
- Insect collection
- Insect observation
- Built bird houses and feeders
- Bird watching and observation
- Bird Notebooking
- Audubon study and bird identification
- Raising Chicks in an incubator
- Graphed bird size/growth
- Measured to scale prehistoric flyers
- Field trips
- End of year presentation
At the end of the year one of the many wonderful things our co-op did was have an end of the year celebration potluck and presentation where the moms and kids could display all the things they did and learned over the last year. Above are the presentation boards the children in our class created using samples of their work.
Field trips for Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
We also had an amazing opportunity in our co-op to participate in some wonderful field trips. We offered a field trip a month. One memorable field trip for us was the Insect Zoo at K-State.
*If you’re in Kansas, check out more Homeschool Science field trips for Kansas. Details for some of the field trips above are listed in that information.
If you’d like help getting started in setting up a co-op with Apologia, I’d be happy to answer any questions I can. Leave a comment and let’s get the discussion going!!
Linked up with Apologia Homeschool Science Share and Tell– July