Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Apologia's Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition Review

I am going to admit to you that I have never been a huge fan of health curriculum.  The same old "brush your teeth, get enough sleep, and don't forget to use deodorant" gets old and redundant year after year, and quite frankly seems a bit silly to me.  But of course, when Apologia Educational Ministries came out with their new high school curriculum, Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition by Doctor Laura Chase, I was intrigued.  It is Apologia so I figured it had to be worth looking into.  I was right!

We received the Health and Nutrition Basic Set to review which includes the textbook and student notebook. Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition is a 441 page hard back text book full of full color illustrations.  It is composed of 15 Modules and is intended for a full year study of health and nutrition.  Each module is broken into sections divided by On Your Own questions, which are meant to help review what the student just read.  The answers to the On Your Own questions are supplied at the end of each module.  Sprinkled throughout the reading are Think About This sections that delve in a little deeper with fun or interesting facts.  Think of them as commercial breaks.  You will also find Projects, (think of them as the "experiments") throughout the readings, allowing the student to think about or even work out the information they are learning.

Modules include-
  • Who Am I and Why Does Health 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 accompanying student notebook is loaded with amazing stuff and is an integral part of this program.  You can purchase additional student notebooks if you have more than one student using the program. Each module has a place for note taking, places where the book module questions can be answered, places to complete the projects, and study guides to fill out for test preparation.  Exams for each module are found in the back of the student notebook, and the answers can be accessed from the books extra site.  Most important in my opinion is the Suggested Daily Schedule found in the student notebook.  Assignments are listed to be completed three days a week for 32 weeks.  This includes the readings, On Your Own sections, projects, study guides and exams.  If you decide to work though the program daily, it can be completed in a semester.

Apologia also offers a free activity book, Whole-Health: God's Design for Your Body, Mind, and Soul, that you can download to enhance your learning.

Please note- Apologia is a Christian based vendor.  Because health can address some hot topics, this is one of the many things I appreciate about this curriculum.  From their FAQs concerning this program-

We have worked hard to provide information in both medical and Christian terms so that
controversy may be minimal. We do not openly support any one main view because we recognize
that each family has the right to decide what is right for its family members.

How We Used It and What We Thought-
Ok, I still may think most health curriculum is a bit silly, but not this one!  WOW! Because of our recent cross country move and crazy transition we are only three weeks in, none the less it is still a WOW! I am impressed, and yes, we are still currently using this as a high school health credit for Salem, my 16 year old 11th grader.  It is well laid out and easy for him to follow alone, so he just checks the suggested schedule and completes the assignments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

Taking notes is something fairly new to my son, so I am thrilled that the student notebook has a dedicated space for that, and he is thrilled that all other work can be done in the same notebook.  Organization is important to him and so not having multiple composition books for one subject makes him happy.

I love that Apologia chose to begin the study with intriguing subject matter and projects that would appeal to a teenager.  One of the first things discussed is personalities and then you take a temperament test.  This we did together, as it asks to have someone confirm your results. We were so interested in Salem's results that we decided the whole family should take the test.  Trust me when I say it can prompt some pretty interesting family discussions!

While we are clearly not at the end of this study, I do want to address the last chapter on Reproduction for just a moment.  Let me be clear in saying this is intended for a mature teen.  Reproduction is discussed honestly and with pictures of the male and female reproduction systems.  Virginity, pornography and STDs are also discussed.  This may be a chapter you choose to work through with your teenager if you are uncomfortable with them doing it alone.

Also from their FAQs-

We also want to make sure that parents are aware that we respectfully cover other issues such
as drug abuse, pornography, and the act of marriage. We live in a culture polluted by sexual
dysfunction. It is our intent to tell the truth to teens about the beauty of married sex, the developing
baby, and being parents. We want to warn them about the dalliance into immodesty, pornography,
and casual sexual activity. This is why we have stated that mature students should take this course.
Parents have every right, and we support their decision, to skip certain materials in the book. 

I did think I could use this curriculum with both of my boys at one time since our second son is a 6th grader and reads at a high level.  That being said, we did the first week together, reading out loud, and then chose to allow our 11th grader to continue without his younger brother.  While I have no doubt the younger brother would have gotten some things out of the information, much of it was over his head.  It is because of that and some of the material in The Gift of Reproduction module, that I recommend you sticking with this program for your high schoolers only.  

Honestly, it is no surprise to me that we love and will continue to use Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition for the rest of the school year.  Apologia Educational Ministries is a wonderful homeschooling resource and has never let us down!

Health and Nutrition Basic Set {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}
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