Over the last few weeks, my daughter has been working with Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition published by Apologia. If you are looking for middle a school science course you’ll want to give this curriculum consideration.
Way back in the year 2000, I picked up copies of the original Apologia general science and biology text books. I was impressed and they proved to be an excellent fit for our daughter and son. After a year of using those texts, our science-hating daughter decided science was cool and our college-bound son was laying an excellent foundation for the courses he would one day be taking at university.
Fast forward to 2019 (and 7 children later) we are still using Apologia’s creation-based science texts beginning in the 7th grade. The General Science set has been very helpful in transitioning our children from elementary level work to high school work. The addition of the Student Notebook makes it even more user friendly for the student and the parent/instructor.
We received the basic set for homechoolers, which included:
- Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Student Textbook (hardback)
- Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Student Notebook (spiral-bound, consumable)
- Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Solutions and Test Manual
- one student’s Test Booklet (consumable)
There are 14 modules (or chapters/units) in this text. The entire program can be finished in less than 36 weeks (a typical school year) at the rate of 4 lessons per week. Each lesson takes on average 45 minutes to complete, which is typical for a 7th grade level class. The lessons cover:
- The History of Science – Search for The Truth
- Scientific Inquiry And The Scientific Method
- Documenting And Interpreting Experimental Results
- Scientific Analysis And History
- Earth Science – Astronomy
- Earth Science – Geology And Paleontology
- Earth Science – Meteorology And Oceanography
- General Chemistry
- General Physics
- Life Science
- General Biology
- Marine Science
- Environmental Science
- Science And Creation
Right from the beginning, the author speaks directly to the student, making this a somewhat self-guided science course. Each module begins with a short intro to the topic. Students then read the Quaestio section which basically guides and encourages them to continue seeking truth in their study and research.
Along with presentation and discussion of new material, each module includes On Your Own questions/assignments. These short, thought-provoking questions appear in a dark green box to grab the student’s attention and make them slow down and process what they are learning. At the end of each module, you’ll find the answers to these questions, making it easy for students and parent/teach to get immediate feedback.
All 14 modules also include experiments to help students gain some hands-on experience as they study the different aspects of science present in throughout the text. Most of the supplies needed in this set are items we all have around the house.
There are also sections called Explore More that give your student ideas for taking their knowledge even deeper. You’ll find these in the brown/burgundy colored boxes. I think this is one of my favorite new features in this 3rd edition. I enjoy seeing my children dig deeper and apply what they are learning to a variety of situations. It really enhances their education.
You’ll also find sections called think about this and creation connection that help students ponder and consider how all this science stuff fits into our lives and lifestyles and most importantly into this world God created for us.
The Apologia science text gives you a solid, thorough science program for your middle school students, but with the Student Notebook, it really steps things up a notch. Besides the work that coordinate with the discussions, questions and experiments in the text, students are given helpful information for using their resources and parents are given helpful information for scoring assignments and figuring course grades.
Having the step-by-step lists and space on the pages to document the procedures, observations and conclusions for the experiments makes it easy for students to process all they are learning.
Hands on experiments are sprinkled throughout the module. My daughter and I enjoy working together (sometimes with her siblings just for fun!) learning all sorts of things about the world around us, this world God designed and created just for us. We recently learned first hand that fire needs oxygen to burn and that fire uses up the oxygen in our air when in a closed environment. It’s so cool to watch it all happen right before our eyes, and to see my middle schooler document her discoveries and conclusion in her notebook.
After all these years, we continue to be loyal fans and customers of Apologia with the Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition as well as the rest of their middle school and high school science resources.
See how other families from the Review Crew are using this science course in their homeschools. Just click on the image below to visit them!