Young Explorer Series
Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day
This is the book my girls used for Science for the fist semester of the 2012/13 school year. This book was so well laid out that I didn't need a teachers book to explain it (they took it at co-op any how). There were plenty of colorful photos, easy to read text, and exciting activities.
At the end of each lesson is a What do you remember section. The student is to review/write the answer to a few questions regarding what they learned in that lesson. Along with tracking, notebook activities, and mapping skills are fairly easy experiments. We didn't do each one, but the ones we did were simple enough and did not require a huge trip to the store (love it!)
While taking this class at co-op, the students were also challenged to make a zoo and add animals to it each week. The new animals were to be the ones they had learned about that week.
We really enjoyed learning about the animals, then taking a trip to the zoo to see them in "real life" and talking about what we had just learned. I really believe that the girls will retain so much more information from this class than any other.
Along with the text book, you can also get a note booking journal. I got a jr journal for my 4th grader, but would not do it again. It would be fine for a student who really does not like to write or for a younger child, but there were too many coloring pages.
My older daughter (5th grade) had a regular journal. There are pages to color small pictures of what you learned about, and write info about the creature, mini books and penmanship practice as well.
In co-op we did the entire book in one semester. That was way too fast. If you spend an entire year and really enjoy the book, you will get a lot out of it, and retain the information. As with all home schooling - you only get out of it, what you put into it.