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Apologia Science Curriculum, Reviews, and Tips

Michele Meleen
Parents helping their kids with a school project at home

The Apologia science curriculum is one of the more popular science curriculums on the homeschooling market. Specifically coming from a young-earth creationist worldview, Apologia science provides clear text from a Christian viewpoint. Apologia science comes in a variety of formats that make science easy, even for those who fear teaching science.

Apologia Science Overview

Curricula available from Apologia are Christ-centered and made for homeschooling students. The company claims their science curriculum had been voted the number one choice of homeschooling families for 12 years and has won over 75 awards. They offer science curricula for elementary school, middle school, and high school students. Each science curriculum you choose from Apologia features a Christian creationist viewpoint. It is designed for student self-teaching and family reading with younger kids. The main goal of Apologia is to give people the tools to defend their faith and have a biblically sound approach to all thoughts.

Apologia Science for Elementary

The Apologia elementary grades science curriculum is called the Young Explorer's Program. Each text book is presented in a topical manner, so it is an unusual program in that it takes a full year to study just one subject as opposed to the typical spiral approach where students study different aspects of science throughout a year. This science curriculum for grades K to 6 is written by Jeannie Fulbright. It's mix of experiments, homeschool notebooking, and hands-on activities sprinkled with deeper scientific concepts.

Elementary Science Topics From Apologia

Each of the offered courses can be completed in 28 weeks with lessons two days per week. Kids can choose any topic to start with.

  • Astronomy
  • Botany
  • Chemistry and Physics
  • Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
  • Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day
  • Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day
Watching stars together at night using a telescope

Apologia Science Curriculum for Junior High

The proposed schedule for the Apologia middle school curriculum is one hour per day, five days per week. These lessons are targeted at grades seven and eight.

Exploring Creation With General Science

The first book in the middle school curriculum centers on general science topics that are broken down into 14 modules and intended for seventh graders. The book begins with scientists throughout history and ends with information from modern-day scientists. Students will learn about what science is, how it relates to God, and how to use the scientific method. There is a large focus on learning to read and report data.

Exploring Creation With Physical Science

Intended for eighth graders, the physical science textbook covers topics like measurements, weather, Newton's laws, the solar system, and introductions to both physics and chemistry. There are 16 modules in the textbook and each has a corresponding experiment.

Apologia Science Curriculum High School

Apologia's high school curricula are designed to meet or exceed high school standards. Students can choose to stick with the basic courses or explore advanced science courses. All courses are intended as college-prep resources for students in grades nine to twelve. There are 16 modules in each book with a proposed schedule of one hour per day, five days per week. Much of the material was originally written by Dr. Jay Wile.

High School Science Courses From Apologia

Students are meant to take the courses in this order:

  • Biology: Covers topics like classification, biochemistry, cellular biology, molecular and Mendelian genetics, evolution, and ecosystems with lab options.
  • Health and Nutrition: Explores physical, spiritual, mental, and social concepts related to a healthy lifestyle and serves as a high school health class.
  • Chemistry: Algebra 1 is a prerequisite, and this curriculum includes advanced labs that require real science equipment.
  • Physics: Geometry is a prerequisite, and this curriculum covers topics like motion, energy, magnetism, and optics.
  • Marine Biology: Intended as an elective-type course in the senior year, topic covered include ocean geography, marine plants and animals, and human impacts on oceans.
  • Advanced Biology: This very difficult upper-level course covers things like human anatomy and physiology.
  • Advanced Physics: Students extend physics knowledge and learn about kinematics, thermal physics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics among other topics.
  • Advanced Chemistry: This course includes studies on thermodynamics, atomic structure, and molecular geometry among other topics.
Father and sons using microscope during science lesson

Apologia Science Materials and Resources

With Apologia, parents and students have choices. Whether you want to use just the traditional textbook, or go for a full online course at the Apologia Academy, you can rest assured that there is something available for your science course needs.

Apologia Science Book Extras

Most of the individual curricula from Apologia come with a few standard materials. Textbooks alone cost around $40 while sets curriculum sets can run up to around $300.

  • Textbook: Each features illustrations and "On Your Own" questions to help get the students thinking. Each module has a study guide so you can be sure that your students understand the work they've done.
  • Student Notebook: This features graphic illustrations of concepts, note-taking prompts, module tests, and answer keys.
  • Instructional Video: This gives you the option of having lessons guided by an expert.

Apologia Optional Materials

While they're not required for most courses, Apologia also sells a variety of materials that will enhance science lessons.

  • MP3 versions of courses
  • Course CD-ROMs
  • Homeschool science kits
  • Science equipment

Apologia Academy

Kids who prefer learning from an instructor can try Apologia Academy science classes. Each course is taught online by a qualified instructor for a little under $600, or $84 per week. Students will need to be available at the time the class is offered and have access to high-speed Internet.

Parents help son with distance learning

Tips for Using Apologia

While each family and student should set their own schedule for using Apologia, there are some tips that can help make lessons more successful.

  • If you've got a few elementary homeschoolers, start them all on the same curriculum and work through it together.
  • Choose the materials that work best with your child's learning style.
  • Give younger kids the choice of which curriculum to start with so they are excited about it from the start.
  • Read through all the introductory text with your child, then make sure you have all the required materials on hand before starting lessons.
  • Use the student notebooks as a record-keeping resource to show your child's progress and achievements.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Apologia Science

It's hard to distinguish which features of the Apologia science curricula are advantages and which are disadvantages because the answer really depends on your child's learning style and personality. Take a look at some of the best and worst features and decide for your family, which are advantages and which are disadvantages.

  • The elementary curriculum is written by topic so a child can dive into one subject for the whole year. Some kids like this, while others would get bored.
  • The texts are extremely thorough, which can be enjoyable or overwhelming. Reviewer Cathy Duffy suggests "The books are written at a reading level well beyond that of children in the primary grades."
  • The curricula are based on a biblical, creationist viewpoint of science.
  • The notebook journals are a must, says reviewer by Carmen L. who notes, "The Notebooking Journal makes the program," because "there are a good number of activities and resources."
  • Each curriculum is totally customizable to your family and your child, which can be a blessing or frustrating as you try to figure out on your own what the best way to use it is.
  • Dr. Wile shares what he sees as a disadvantage, that the elementary books are "designed for the family to sit together and read aloud. There are some hands-on activities, but they are not the focus of each book."
  • Each curriculum is reading-focused.
  • The blogger behind The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling shares that she likes how "It is designed with the idea that the student is on his or her own with the course."
Frustrated boy being home schooled

Apologia Curriculum Customers

Based on the explanations of the curricula and reviews, it's easy to see how families with students looking for a Christian science curriculum can benefit from Apologia. Kids who are great with self-directed work will get the most out of the courses. Students who don't read well, prefer more multi-media presentations, thrive with interactive lessons, and need an available teacher for questions may not like Apologia.

Purchasing Apologia Curriculum

As with any curriculum, you should explore a variety of science curricula before choosing the one that best fits your belief system and your child's learning style. If you are looking to purchase new curriculum, you can visit homeschool suppliers such as Christian Book Distributors or visit the official Apologia website.

Apologia Science Curriculum, Reviews, and Tips