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How do I know which elementary science book to get?
Your question has no straight forward answer as it is very dependant on where you as a family are at and what is appropriate for each individual.
All the science books are truly wonderful and an incredible tool to have in our hands to impart God as our Creator and at the same time educate the children with a broad knowledge of science.
To give you some guidelines. Dr. Jay’s Science in the Beginning is broad strokes, aimed at elementary years. It is a parent resource whereby the parent is doing the lessons, reading-aloud, doing the activities from this book while following the theme of, ‘the days of creation’. While going through the lessons from Science in the Beginning with your children you may discover that they are specifically interested in astronomy, because the lessons in the book have brought their awareness to the universe. So then perhaps you would like to get a more in-depth book on astronomy, namely the Apologia Young Explorers Astronomy book. Perhaps you, or an aunt/friend, is expecting a baby therefore the Apologia Young Explorers Human Anatomy and Physiology book would be valuable. This may have nothing to do with an interest being sparked through Science in the Beginning lessons, but has more to do with meeting your families specific needs. Yet another example of how to choose which science book to get could be that while doing the Patience unit in KONOS you may find the Young Explorers Botany book to be a useful resource.
Lastly, many families are now getting whichever topic in the Young Explorers series appeals to each individual child’s interest and they also get the workbook for that specific title, so that their children can work through the Young Explorers text books and workbooks independently. This is yet another way to make use of this wonderful resource.
The order of the elementary science books is irrelevant, because it is more about topics of interest and where your families interests lie, however the higher level Apologia Sciences follow a very specific order.
Please take time to watch the video productions on the overview of the Apologia Science books and Dr Jay Wiles Science through history series. These go into greater depth and explanation on this topic.