Apologia Physical Science
(San Diego, CA)
Product: Apologia Physical Science
Levels Used: 8th (can be used for 9th- meets high school requirements)
Dates Used: 2009 (currently)
This is my first year using Apologia science. I chose Apologia after I read their website about how the author of the book came to write it, and what he believed in. He is a home-school dad who saw a lack in a good home-school science curriculum. He writes from a Biblical perspective, and science is very important to him. He writes directly to the student, so my son is now able to do this completely on his own. I've given him a schedule of what to complete when, and give him a test about every two weeks.
We have completed the first module and are into the second. He has really enjoyed the lessons and the experiments. The experiments are done from things that are mostly found around the house, but there is a kit you can order to get the less-common items (like alum). It is very detailed on what and how to do the experiments, even mentioning to "clean everything up" after you are done. I love how independent my son is becoming.
I love how the things needed for each module is listed in the very front of the book, so I can plan ahead for the next module. It's nice to have the materials gathered ahead of time.
The information in this book is put in a way that my son can understand. There are "On Your Own" questions periodically throughout the text. The answers to the questions are at the end of each module in the text so the student can check his/her own answers. At the end of each module (which should take about 2 weeks to complete) there is a study guide that the student should try to use as a practice test. After they complete it, the parent has the answers to check it, and then it is used to study for the test. The test has the information from the study guide. My son did very well on his first test, which covered atoms & molecules, so I know he was understanding the material well. I've been impressed with the ability the writer has in explaining difficult concepts in an easy way. I already learned more about atoms and molecules than I did in my high school Chemistry class (mostly because I learned nothing from lectures & textbooks in school).
The book was more expensive than I've been spending on a single text ($65 and another $20 for the test & answer key), but I am seeing that it is worth it for such a great curriculum. It also will be able to be passed down to my other children. I did not order the supplemental CD which I heard was really good since that would have been an additional $15 (I believe) and we were limited this year to what we could spend. I still hope to get that in the near future.
Something else I did not like about this curriculum was that there was no schedule included except the suggestion that you complete one module every two weeks. I ended up spending hours making up a yearly schedule to help keep us on track. Donna Young has a schedule free on her website, though, so I did print that out and used it as a guide.
I would recommend this series to anyone, based just on my experience with this one book. It's nice to see my son interested in school again.
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