Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition ~ REVIEW


One of my all time favorite companies to review products from is Apologia.  And this time I get to share with you the newest addition to their amazing award-winning line of homeschool science curriculum, Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition.   This specific course was designed to help middle school students transition in their homeschool work from the elementary level to seventh grade.  Even though Kaden is a little behind overall in his school he is very much ahead of the game when it comes to Math and Science, so I knew this would be a perfect fit for us.  
He has already completed all of their Elementary courses and we were actually going to start on the this specific course next year after our year in the rv.  But, as soon as I saw they had this new edition I jumped on it and Kaden is really happy I did.  Let me share more about the course, what we love about it, how we used it and how to connect with Apologia today.

Like I've said before we love all things from Apologia.  We have every course they offer from Elementary through Highschool.  And Mahala has already called dibs on having them for her own children to use.  She went from not really liking Science to falling in love with it and literally is now working towards a Science based career in Marine Biology.  This specific course was her first Apologia experience and I'm thrilled to be able to review this 3rd edition.  This course has been rewritten to help walk students from the teacher-led elementary sciences to a more independent learning style that's expected from high school sciences.  There have been some major changes to encompass a little of all different areas of Science.

I received the Whole Basic Set which included:
Textbook (hardcover)
Student Notebook (spiral bound)
Solutions and Test Manual
Set of Test Pages (included with manual)
Take a look Here to see a beautiful Sample.

The General Science curriculum includes 14 modules:

1. The History of Science~Search for the Truth
2. Scientific Inquiry and the Scientific Method
3. Documenting and Interpreting Experimental Results
4. Scientific Analysis and History
5. Earth Science~Astronomy
6. Earth Science~Geology and Paleontology
7. Earth Science~Meteorology and Oceanography
8. General Chemistry
9. General Physics
10. Life Science
11. General Biology
12. Marine Science
13. Environmental Science
14. Science and Creation

The Student Notebook truly makes this program soar to heights we have never experienced with other curriculums before.  It allows the student to make the year of learning theirs.  It's their place to jot down what they learned, experiment notations, questions and document their learning journey.  

In the front is a simple to use schedule that makes even the worse planner successful at staying on top of assignments.  I decided to let Kaden take charge more here.  He noticed right away that this was a big difference then the Elementary courses.  Nicely noted though was how it still looked familiar.  The colored pages, the writing prompts and questions and even somewhat the layout.  We did like how there were places peppered though out that encouraged you to think about your experience so far or from what you just learned about.  I feel very strongly that reflection is a huge part of true learning.  Kaden enjoyed filling out the lab reports and of course the experiments.  

So, how did we use this course?  Well, since we are moving, selling and downsizing into an RV honestly we only worked 2-3 days a week.  It's designed for 4 days a week and that is totally doable in a normal situation.  That said we are still rocking module 3 and I'm pretty proud of ourselves...I mean Kaden. :)  Basically on Apologia days he grabs his book and notebook and heads to read and work through the questions.  I'm still right there with him, mainly because he gets overwhelmed even in calm settings and needs to be reminded to take a break.  As for experiments, I have him tell me a day or so ahead so that we have the things ready.  Or I have him in charge of collecting what we need and he makes sure to include me.  Ok, I'll be honest he has done a few things without my knowledge, at least until I walk in and see food coloring smeared all over the table.  :) 

Also, when he is answering questions he sometimes will do it orally with me instead of writing them.  But, I have found he will write more in these notebooks then in random workbooks.  I also have him complete the study guide 100% on his own, obviously he can go back and reference the book and notebook for help and then we use the test booklet and orally go through it.  The tests are so short, to Kaden's surprise he enjoyed them and was pretty relieved because it's straight from the book.  This is wonderful for kids on the spectrum. :) 
What did we think?  This course is simple to use, it's creation based, amazingly easy to read because of the conversational style it is written in.  All of my children have stated it's like talking and learning from a really smart friend.  It's relatable and even in the beginning when it talks about Science from the past you still are rope in because of the interactive questions and activities peppered within the modules.  For example in module 1 we learned about spontaneous generation.  And in the "think about this" section explained how wrong reasoning can lead to wrong Science.  Kaden was able to apply that to his own life.  Just because something happens before a discovery, doesn't mean it caused what you discovered.  Also making hasty conclusions can blow up in your face.  
We have also found a few of the Creation Connection areas so far. 

Kaden's favorite extras were the Explore More sections because they were like tidbits of extra info and offered an opportunity for him to do smaller, less involved experiments that he could conduct on his own.  Like taking polls, simple water projects, even making a refracting telescope with a lamp, 2 magnifying glasses and paper.  Ok, maybe some harder ones too, like a robotic hand out of straws, string and tape.  But, for him they were doable without me running to the store and all that. 

The On Your Own sections were perfect for us to discus together and do further research if needed.  Most of the time Kaden would bring it up at dinner to talk it over with Dad to get his thoughts.

Will we continue this course?  Of course, we are looking forward to the Astronomy section and have plans to make a sundial next week.  There is something for all learners here, there is a lot of reading involved.  If your child struggles with that or is more audial, Apologia offers a MP3 CD, check out a sample Here.  There is a lot of info and if you have a sensory issue, simply using a sheet of paper could help with the distraction of the paragraphs or photos on the next page.  This program is totally worth it to make a few modifications to it.  The quality and degree of knowledge packed within is off the charts.  Mahala has been more prepared then most students her age as she peruses her Science career and we all agree it's because of Apologia Sciences.  I'm thankful to have found this company and be able to give my kids the ability to dive as deep as they want in the world of Science, but still be tethered to the Creator and the truth.

Make sure you head over and see what other homeschool families thought about Apologia and their new updated course.  And also go connect with them on social media.

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. {Apologia Reviews}   
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