Monday, July 22, 2019

Apologia's General Science (Review)

 Today we are reviewing Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition from Apologia. This is a curriculum meant to prepare middle school students more for high school-- but of course, you can have your child work at what level they are capable of doing. So if your student is more advance, then they can complete this as well. In this review, I will review the tests, the solutions, the book, and the student notebook. However, there is an audio disc component to it as well as the online component, if you should choose to use it. 

I have to be honest that I have reviewed apologia before and not liked a particular curriculum I was reviewing before. However, I'm always up for a good challenge in reviewing something new even if it's from the same company and it doesn't always necessarily me all of the ideals I have. 


Last time one of my chief complaints was that they relied more heavily on less science-based facts and made more about the creationist perspective. To me, this lacked credibility to me & therefore I was a little reluctant to review this but I also saw potential and I'm glad that I was open to reviewing this. 

It looks like they took some of what I said to heart about sticking to the facts more and separating out the two, which as a mom and a teacher is very important to me. 

 So I'm going to go from each book and kind of share what I like and don't like about each of them and how we were able to integrate it. 

 For the test booklet, I was really happy that they provided a test booklet separate from the answer book.  some companies don't do this and it makes it harder as a parent and teacher because you just have to be extra vigilant if you get what I'm saying. Haha. 

I also really liked that the tests do not have an insane amount of questions there's about usually 10. Minus a question to about the creation perspective, there is often really good thinking questions as well as the knowing answer questions which are really important when it comes to science because you want to build critical thinking skills as if the student was making a hypothesis themselves. 

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And to show a little bit of how old school I am I actually like the feel of the paper to it feels like the paper I used to take a test on so I actually appreciate that. 

 Where they can improve upon for the test is that they don't give enough space to leave answers so be prepared to have an extra piece of paper to be able to write down the answers for those questions needing longer answers. 

For the solutions, I appreciate that the book is a little bit harder and sturdier than the test booklet itself. It breaks it down by giving the test first and ensuring the test with the solutions on it. 

 For the science book, it is a heavy-duty book like what we had when we were in middle school and high school.  this book is heavy-duty as in that it has more than 400 pages and more than 14 modules which is basically like units essentially. 

In the table of contents, you can see that each module doesn't necessarily have separate chapters but it's broken down into different sections which I like as a teacher because you can adjust accordingly to what your child needs for each module. This means that if your child struggles say in earth science unit of geology and palaeontology then they can take a slower time to go through that module and additionally go online to find other resources that they can use. In fact, there's even a code that you get that comes in the book to be able to access online resources for apologia to further their knowledge and you have to do some lessons online. 


 On the other hand if you have a child who really digs meteorology and oceanography in earth science module then they might sit down and do the entire module in a day and I'm going to have to admit that would be me because I love my weather that would sit down to this all in a day and just have fun with it but I might travel in another unit and it might take me a week to get through that one. And that is really the beauty of the way they have set this up. 

 The the concepts are brought up in each of the modules are of high-level thinking and some of them more than I've seen in other units and other curriculums and I actually appreciate that because I think I'm to give kids less credit than they deserve for being able to challenge themselves with bigger ideas and linking them to what they are learning. 

 The pages feel great and very colourful the figures are grey the what to do sections are great the tips on note-taking are great. 

And like I said before the way that they did the equation perspective I really appreciate that in this book they made a separate then rest of the unit which again gives it a heck of a lot more validity especially when you have children you who you don't know where they're at in the path of believing even on a basic Faith level let alone if they believe the creation perspective. Well as another student may believe in it and they still get just as much out of it. However I will say that there was a unit where that perspective was very strong and I think it it is linked again to the other particular my head reviewed and it was just not on the same way thankfully but again I appreciate that they separated out better what is science-based in which creation base and I think that including them both is great because that's what their goal is with his curriculum but to be able to provide as separate but equally important to them perspectives.  and that's important because it provides a higher level of thinking and again not every kid in every household can't believe the same thing and for me as a parent, I need to respect that. 

For the student workbook, I like the feel of the pages the bounding is great and it's over 500 pages long.  needless to say, it's a lot of science. Haha. 

 In the back in the appendix, there are resources such as a lab report checklist that I think is really cool to include. 

  I like that they provide lab results page as well as taking the data notes. Some of the pages I still feel that you would need another piece of paper to write on because some of them provide very little space for what you actually need to write on so you either we need another piece of paper or you could even, in theory, do it on Google Docs or online. 

For some of the word Pages there is some of the creationist perspective or pages but you can do but you do not have to do if your child does not feel inclined to do those if that is something that they don't believe but I do love that they have your worldview is part of it which means that you can kind of say what your worldview is on it and take what you're learning in a little bit more deeper without having it be from a creation perspective. That definitely earned my respect. 

Something I'm also a big proponent of is doing stuff like vocabulary and a little bit of writing and interpreting different subjects into one and this curriculum does do a great job of doing that. 

I am looking forward to finishing this up with my children for school next year, (just means we started a little earlier) and again taking out the things that one child might be okay within the other may not be okay with and utilizing the program to its full potential because I feel like there's a lot of good things in here are even if I don't 100 per cent agree with everything. In fact, I think that is important and ironically teaches children to be able to learn to come up with their own hypotheses and questions and I think that's really important both on a science level of philosophical level but also a great life lesson.  

I think a good number of families are going to be pleased with the way that this curriculum is. 


Check out the review from the rest of the crew by clicking below! 
Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. {Apologia Reviews}

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