Choosing a high school science curriculum can be a daunting task. There are so many options to sift through and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. When it came time to choose a curriculum this year, we settled on an old favorite, Apologia Science. It was the very first science curriculum we chose as beginning homeschoolers and years later it’s only fitting that we choose Apologia Physical Science for high school.
As each of my children has reached the high school stage of education, I’ve felt a slight panic. Each time I think it will get better — that somehow I have this all figured out. And yet, the panic still comes.
As homeschool parents, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to not fail our children and that often begins with their education. But, over the years, I’ve discovered a few things.
First, I can’t possibly fail them, because this is their education, not mine. This is a partnership. They need to be as invested as I am, if not more. They should be helping to make decisions on what subjects to study and what curriculum to use.
And, second, finding a good curriculum can make a difference in the stress levels in our home. Apologia Science has been there with us since the first year we started homeschooling. We were so excited to study swimming creatures that year. All of us learned so much and then we finished up our year with a trip to the estuaries to learn with a hands-on experience. So, this year we continued our tradition and added Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Physical Science to our homeschool.
What is Apologia Science?
Apologia is a Christian-based curriculum company. Their science programs are for elementary through high school. We have used several of their science curriculums including Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures, Exploring Creation with Anatomy & Physiology, Exploring Creation with Biology, and this course, Exploring Creation with Physical Science.
These courses are very detailed and thorough. For middle school and high school students, most of the work can be done independently with guidance from their parents. Each course comes with notebooking journals, audio CDs, and other resources depending on the topic.
Choosing a Beginning High School Science Curriculum – Apologia’s Physical Science
Technically, Apologia designates its Physical Science curriculum as a transitional course or one that would move students from elementary to high school. Some would consider this a middle school course, but our umbrella school considers Physical Science a high school level course for freshmen. So, we are using it as our first high school science class.
The Physical Science course includes topics in basic science, chemistry, Earth science, and Physics. This course is fabulous at teaching the student the basics of lab reports and experiments.
Apologia Physical Science Student Notebook
Because it is a transitional course, the Student Notebook is broken down into daily lesson plans for your student to follow. It also includes questions for the students to answer as they work through the text and assignments before each lesson.
Online Class Option
If your student prefers to interact with other students, Apologia now offers an online class option. With Apologia’s Online Academy, students can interact live with an instructor in a structured virtual classroom.
Is Apologia for Your Student?
Honestly, this depends on what you are looking for in a science curriculum. So, let’s walk through a few essential areas.
Do you require a secular worldview?
If you are looking for a science curriculum with a secular worldview, then Apologia is not for you. It is a Christian curriculum with a strong focus on creation science. Bible verses and references to God and the Bible are included in all of the curricula. However, it does not teach doctrine so you can use this curriculum regardless of your Christian affiliation.
Does your student like to read?
My kids like to read, so they read the texts themselves. However, when they were younger, and I was reading aloud to them, I didn’t care for all the reading. Eventually, my throat gave out. Apologia has been introducing audio CDs to their curriculum, and I’m so excited. Now, those who don’t care to read can listen to the text instead.
Is your child a fan of science?
If you have a science lover, then this curriculum is excellent. From the elementary curriculum on through high school, the texts are detailed and very informative. It doesn’t talk down to children but realizes that even young children can understand science topics. This is probably my favorite thing – I felt I was learning right along with the kids. It explains concepts thoroughly so kids can be inspired to want to learn more.
Do you need a lesson plan prepared for you?
A lesson plan for each course is laid out in the student work journal. I’ve found that I need to alter lesson plans in some ways to fit our schedule. This plan is laid out in a way that makes it easy to skip some things or spread them out over a few days.
Are you looking for a college-prep science curriculum?
If you just want to fill high school requirements, then these high school courses may not be for you. These courses are college-prep classes (and rival some of my college classes). Each course takes a deep dive into the subject material, so the student has a thorough understanding of each topic.
Does your student like to do hands-on exploration?
Each module (or chapter) has hands-on activities for your student. From a “Try This!” where your child does a mini-experiment, to a larger experiment at the end of the chapter. My daughter really enjoys this hands-on learning, and though we don’t always get to do every experiment, there are plenty included.
Want to try out Apologia Science?
I, personally, never buy a curriculum without being able to see it beforehand. Apologia offers free previews of each of their texts. Just go to Apologia.com, choose the subject area, choose the curriculum, and then click on the VIEW & LISTEN TO SAMPLES tab. You’ve got nothing to lose.
Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…
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