Apologia General Science
We have used many of the Apologia science books in our home. We also go to a homeschool tutorial on Mondays and I have taught a few of the Apologia sciences there. One of them I have taught for quite a few years is their General Science. I have always taught the class using the 2nd Edition, but Apologia just gave me the wonderful opportunity to check out their new Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition.
Let me just start by saying that from the moment I opened the student notebook, I was impressed! I wanted to get that out right away. If you have used the 2nd edition in the past, the new changes are obvious.
For the purposes of this review, we received the Textbook, Student Notebook, and Solutions and Test manual. For those of you that have used the 2nd edition, I will do a comparison for each book.
First of all, the book is about 70 pages shorter than the 2nd edition. I personally love this. I’m not a big fan of fluff in textbooks.
Apologia intends for this book to be the first “serious” science book that children do. It will hopefully get them prepared for the more rigorous work they will be expected to do in high school science classes. A textbook that doesn’t drag on and on about things that are unimportant is a good thing so they don’t have to take time to read things unnecessarily.
One change that was made in this book that I am personally happy about is the exclusion of the page and a half that talks about why people that are against vaccinations are wrong. This is such a sensitive topic amongst parents right now. I do not feel like this is an appropriate topic to teach 7th graders in a science book. Their parents can teach them about vaccines, not their middle school science book. So, THANK YOU Apologia, for taking that part out of the book! I generally just skipped that part when I taught this class at our tutorial. Just as it isn’t Apologia’s place to teach it to children, it isn’t my place to teach it in our tutorial.
It still teaches the word “vaccine” as a vocabulary word. It just doesn’t go on and on about how wonderful they are or that you are wrong for not giving them to your children.
I’m also loving the graphics and layout of the textbook. There are images on almost every page that compliment the material on the page.
Less Geology!! I’m sorry… I just had to put that in bold for all of you that have used these books in the past. In the 2nd edition, there were literally 3 modules (and a half) that talks about “rocks”. My students at my tutorial were so bored by the end. It really put a damper on the class. Now, there is ONE geology chapter! I love it! And new modules were added in to make up for it… I noticed meteorology and oceanography and astronomy as two new chapters.
Thank you so much for that, Apologia!!
One thing that didn’t change, and I’m happy it didn’t, is the inclusion of a suggested lesson plan at the beginning of the student notebook. It has a checkbox in each day so your student can keep track of where they are or need to be.
There are 14 “modules” (aka chapters) in the book. If you use the suggested lesson plan it will take approximately 2 to 2 1/2 weeks to complete each module. It is based on a 4 day school week working for about 45 minutes to an hour each day. This is perfect if you are a homeschooling family that utilizes a tutorial or co-op one day a week as we do.
Changes in the student notebook abound!
Not that I didn’t like the student notebook before… but I do love the things that have changed.
In addition to the suggested lesson plan at the front of the book, there is also a box labeled “What to do” at the beginning of each section in the book.
This is a great way to help the middle schooler to become independent in their studies! You really can just give your child this text and notebook and let them learn on their own. Of course, you can also take a more hands-on approach, too. But it’s nice the curriculum is laid out in such a way that gives you options.
Solutions and Test Manual
The major change I noticed in this book is the layout. In the old book, it was arranged by type of solutions. For example, it had all of the study guides together, the tests together, and so on. Now, it is arranged my module, which I definitely like better. It was annoying in the past when I had to flip all over the manual in order to grade each separate thing. Now all I need for each module is in the same section.
Overall, I’m super impressed with the changes in all of the books.
I had actually stopped teaching this at our tutorial because I started to lose my love for the class. The excess of geology modules and the extremely slanted vaccine propaganda really turned me off. It turned off other parents as well.
These are two HUGE changes that make me want to teach the class again!
I didn’t read every word of the book, so I’m sure I’ll find more changes as we use it, but so far I’m loving the new edition of the Apologia General Science book!
I recommend you click the banner below so that you can read what other crew members have to say about the book.