If you are looking for a rigorous homeschool science curriculum from a Christian worldview that doesn’t take a lot of preparation and can be done independently, Apologia is your answer!
It is important to me that my children have a college-prep education. I choose our curriculum based on rigor, accessibility, and worldview. I want the lessons to challenge my kids. I want them to be able to work independently because as a large family mom, I need to maximize my homeschooling efforts. And I want it to lead them toward Christ – not away from Him – as the answer to our every need.
Apologia is all this and more!
In fact, we have been so satisfied with Apologia as our sole Science curriculum that we have used it for over 10 years! That’s saying something for a homeschool mom who LIKES to change curriculum!
Today, I want to share with you a brand new edition of the Physical Science curriculum from Apologia. We use this in middle school and early high school after our children have taken General Science and before they take Biology.
NOTE: Physical Science is listed in the Middle School category of Apologia materials, but in many states it would count as a High School Science credit.
READ MORE >> How to Use Apologia Science with Multiple Ages
Is Apologia Science rigorous enough?
As you read this review, you will see there are many different ways to use the Apologia curriculum. But, a lot of families just want to know if their kids will be able to handle college science classes after using Apologia.
Here’s my testimony…
I have graduated 2 children from my homeschool who only used the Apologia Science curriculum. Both have taken college level science courses and received A’s in every single one. Our family is proof positive this curriculum works!
In the Physical Science Advantage Set™, you receive the softcover text, the student notebook, and the tests and solutions manual. In my opinion, this is the biggest bang for your buck because it gives you options. (That’s why I’m giving away an Advantage Set™)
How do you use the Advantage Set™ to your advantage?
- You can use the notebook to solidify what your students are learning from the text and tests.
- You can use the notebook as a way of testing your student’s knowledge of the text without using the tests themselves.
- You can use the text and tests, only using the notebook for experiments.
- And the list goes on and on…
It is important to observe your children individually and decide what will work best for them. Some kids may prefer taking a test over writing in a notebook. And some kids freeze when it comes to tests and would be better off using the notebook until they are a little older.
In our homeschool, I rarely give science tests before high school level (although I do require the children to fill out the included study guides). I prefer to use the notebooks as a gauge of how they are engaging with the information from the text.
But several years ago, I would not have even considered using the notebook portion of Apologia Science because I was unfamiliar with how it was designed and how beneficial it could be. Now that I have used it with several of my children, I have to say I would not order Apologia without buying the notebook as well!
READ MORE >> Why Notebooks are a Great Way to Learn (even for a large family!)
How We do Physical Science with Apologia
My daughter starts her science lessons by reading through everything she will need to fill out in the Notebook that day so she can be looking for it in the text as she reads. Doing this helps her to know what the main points of the lesson will be.
The Physical Science Notebook has her assignments listed for each day so I don’t have to make a lesson plan and she doesn’t have to figure it out on her own. It gives her the pages to read in the text, which experiments she will be doing (if any), and which notebooking pages she will be filling out.
She is able to easily complete her assignment for the day, and I am able to tell she is learning simply by the conversations we’ve had about her assignments.
WHAT MY DAUGHTER SAYS…
The Physical Science textbook is “interesting and engaging.” She’s not “bored or overwhelmed by the reading assignments because they are only 3-5 pages a day.”
I really like that the lesson plans are set up in a 4 day a week schedule for 34 weeks, but the lessons are not assigned to a particular day of the week. We school 4 days a week year round, so it fits well with our schedule. It also works well for families who don’t do Science every day or who do Science 5 days a week. I like it when lesson plans are super flexible like this.
What about Homeschool Science Experiments?
This review promised you could do homeschool science without mom being hands-on. Between the textbook being written in an engaging way and the notebook facilitating even more ways to capture that information, you don’t have to be the one reading, lecturing, and managing every scientific moment in your homeschool.
But can your kids do the experiments on their own too?
The Physical Science experiments are listed in the textbook and the notebook. All the needed materials and outcomes are there for your student to gather, plan, perform, and observe. There are no hard-to-find material and the experiments are laid out in an easy-to-understand way.
And best of all, the experiments allow for your child to make changes, omit ingredients and swap out for items they don’t have!
Don’t have all the materials and can’t run to the store right now? No worries! Just make a notation on the experiment pages (included in the back of the notebook) and move on! There’s that flexible plan I love so much!
By the way, I do not require all the experiments in the text. Every year, I let my kids do the experiments that interest them…until Biology.
NOTE: Because Biology is the “lab science” we use to meet state graduation requirements, I do require the dissections and other labs included in the Biology text.
Kids who are hands-on learners will get a lot out of doing the experiments included in the Physical Science text, but not every child needs this kind of hands-on learning.
Notebooking for Homeschool Science
The beauty of the Apologia Notebooks is that your child engages with the lessons beyond simply reading. Most human beings need more than a quick read through a text to retain the information. Apologia has created notebooks that help your child extract the information and remember it!
They write down vocabulary definitions, answer questions, fill in blanks, and fill out graphs and table. There are a variety of activities included in the notebook to kee your child interested and engaged.
WHAT MY DAUGHTER SAYS…
She likes the Physical Science Notebook because it “isn’t intimidating,” it helps her “learn how to take notes,” it is very “organized and visual with pictures, graphs, etc.,” and it “feels less messy” than trying to take notes on her own.
I see notebooking as a way to teach note-taking – a VERY important college-prep skill. It guides your child toward the information they need and helps them to take what they read and extrapolate the main points from the text. It is a great way to introduce your children to the concept of note-taking without long lectures and stressful lessons.