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Late Start: If You've Already Started Biology

The way you schedule Science Roots (SR) is critically important because the roots are directly related to the topics you study in biology. If you study the SR chapters at the same time as the corresponding Apologia Biology modules, you learn the roots and the related textbook vocabulary at roughly the same time.

Some people start the two books at the same time and keep the chapters aligned. That works great. Other people start SR the year before biology, and they use the two-year plan in the appendix. That works even better because they study fewer roots each week.

What if you've already started biology? Let's say you're at Module 3. Do you start at the beginning of SR and try to catch up, or do you dive in at Chapter 3 roots and miss the first two chapters? I recommend that you start at the chapter that matches your current biology module. If you're in Module 3, start at SR Chapter 3 and you'll study the root ecto when you learn about ectoplasm in biology. You'll study the root chloro when you learn about chloroplasts. If you would start at the beginning of SR instead, you'd always be behind and you wouldn't know the roots you needed for the current vocabulary terms.

What about the roots you miss if you skip the initial chapters? You will bump into some of them as you encounter words in subsequent chapters. Study those earlier roots as you encounter them. For example, the word ectoplasm in Chapter 3 uses plasm, a root from Chapter 2, a chapter you skipped. So study that skipped root when you bump into it. You'll catch many earlier roots that way; what about the rest? Pick them up as you have time. SR's pace slows down starting in Chapter 7. At that point you could easily bring in a few extra early roots each week, until you covered all the missed roots.

Head Start: If You Will Start Biology Next Fall

If you will start biology in less than a year, can you still use the 2-year plan (last page of the book)? YES! ANY head start will help. Even if you only complete part of the first-year list, you'll still make your biology year easier.

The first-year list covers 60 roots, and those roots are easier and more familiar than the second-year roots. If you have at least 60 school days before you start biology, schedule those 60 roots so you can finish the first-year list in time. That way when you start biology, and the harder words on the second-year list, you'll have fewer roots to study each week.

If you have less than 60 school days before you start biology, then what? Study a root per day and get as far as you can on the first-year list. Then when you start biology, quit using the first-year list. Follow the sequence of the Main List instead, but skip the roots you already covered with your "head start." At some point, you'll catch up - you'll come to the place where you quit the first-year list. From that point forward, you'll study every root on the Main List because you didn't get to them in your "head start."

This may seem confusing, but it will make more sense once you get started. Remember that the root numbers in Science Roots are keyed to the module numbers in Apologia. For example, SR Chapter 4 roots are all numbered in the 400's, and they go along with Module 4 in Apologia. SR Chapter 5 roots are all numbered in the 500's, and they go along with Module 5 in Apologia. e-mail me if this is confusing.

I recommend that you don't study more than one root per day. I believe you will not retain them as well if you go too fast. But as in so many things, you decide what will work best for you.

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