Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Review: Apologia Science


Back in school, I was one of those nerdy kids that was accepted into classes such as Advanced Biology, and dearly loved it. Science has always fascinated me; not so much the experiments pertaining to dead animal parts, but rather learning about the world through careful examination and discovery. (Not to mention using all those great big scientific words in a sentence. Bonus!)


As part of my participation in the TOS Crew, we were blessed with not one, but two titles from Apologia; Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day and Exploring Creation with General Science (2nd Edition).

Apologia is renowned creation-science, homeschool textbook publisher. In fact, most homeschoolers consider them “the” choice for science and here's why; Not only do these outstanding materials fuse the elements of scientific discovery to the solid foundation of Biblical truth, but they also equip students to better defend their faith in a thoughtful manner. (Hence, the combination of apologetics and science.)

I used Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day with Ethan and Abby. At first, they were NOT keen on the whole textbook thing. In fact, there was more than one instance of shoulder-slumping and foot-dragging. (Ahem) However, their interest was soon piqued, and as their curiosity grew, so did their enjoyment.

Abby seemed most fascinated by all the new, big words (Aww...just like her Momma!). Ethan was surprised to discover that Latin was the language of choice among the scientific community. He thought it served no real purpose outside of his Latin workbook, and the occasional ill-put-together insult aimed at one of his sisters. (Nice.)

I was personally impressed by the following:
  • The text delved deeply into the study of all flying creatures, not simply touching on birds and calling it a day. In fact, as creepy as they are, the book even covers flying insects and bats; which of course, thrilled my children immensely. (Ok, one of my children…)
  • The lessons are written directly to the student, so the tone is more “conversational” as well as instructional.
  • The experiments were simple, fun, and incorporated the use of household (read: cheap!) materials.
  • Students are encouraged to keep a notebook of completed assignments. This is perfect for Charlotte Mason fans, as well as a way to make record keeping more fun.
  • Provides a year's worth of science, and can be used by multiple children within the same family.

Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day is available in hardcover for only $35. You can view a sample lesson, the Table of Contents, Introduction, Lab List and more by clicking here.

Sierra and I reviewed Exploring Creation with General Science. This two book set includes the textbook and accomanying Solutions and Tests manual. Designed for the typical 7th grader, this course aims to be "the student's first systematic introduction to the sciences."

Covering a wide range of topics such as the scientific method, designing your own experiments, geology, paleontology, human anatomy and physiology, this curriculum is sure to satisfy every state's homeschool requirements in spades!

I enjoyed the many aspects of this curriculum, especially:
  • The "On Your Own" sections. These yellow highlighted portions asked detailed questions about the current topic. Not only did the questions prevent "skimming" of the text, but they also double as language arts! Ha! (Can you say, "Answer in complete sentences"...?)
  • Study guides located at the end of each module. These really help students prepare for upcoming tests by going back over everything they just learned. (And I mean everything!)
  • And finally, the tests themselves are very thorough and cover the entire chapter. No worries about not retaining the material here!
Sierra's only complaint with the curriculum was that it was "too easy" for her. (Ahem) This is by no means to say she's extremely gifted or anything like that. It's just that she's already taken an intense, general science course before, and was therefore under-challenged. (Note to self: Purchase copy of Biology instead.)

Exploring Creation with General Science 2 book set is available for $85. (Books are also available seperately.) Sample pages can be viewed here.

For those of you looking for a computer-based approach, the course is also available on CD for only $65, or on audio CD for $15. The audio does NOT include The Solutions and Tests manual, however.

A companion CD is available (not necessary with CD version) for only $15, which includes animations and videos.

The children and I really enjoyed our introduction to Apologia. Their products are ones I will most definitely recommend to anyone! If you're looking for a creation-based approach to science, check out Apologia.net today.

We proudly give Apologia 2 thumbs up! :o)

2 comments:

Rachel said...

We used Astronomy last year and are using Flying Creatures this year. I'm awaiting Land Animals in the mail for next year. I love Apologia!

Elisha said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Sarah

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