Apologia Educational Ministries has been around for quite some time, and is pretty well-know in the homeschool community, since it is a popular homeschool science curriculum. I have heard nothing but good things about Apologia in the years that I’ve been a homeschooling Mom. When I was given the chance to review Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics, I seriously squealed! I’ve wanted to try Apologia for so long, but it was never really in our budget. I also received the accompanying Notebooking Journal for upper-elementary ages, as well as the Junior Notebooking Journal for younger ages. The textbook is $39, and each journal is $24.
First of all, I want to talk about the textbook. I love the textbook. It reminds me of school books growing up. It’s hardback, and was written by Jeannie Fulbright. It uses the Charlotte Mason method to teach students how God made everything in the universe. This is a Christian-based curriculum, which I totally dig! The book is approximately 280 pages, and includes a table of contents, 14 lessons, supply list, answer key, and an index. Note I said there are 14 lessons. That doesn’t sound like much, does it? Well, these are very in-depth lessons, and are quite a few pages long each. You can break them down however you want, and take as much time as you want or need to finish each lesson.
The beginning of the book contains a “how to use the book” section, which discusses notebooking acitvities, projects and experiments, the notebooking journals, and there are also some website extras. There’s also a step-by-step guide that tells you exactly how to teach your children using the textbook. I really love that you’re given a supply list, so that you can go purchase what you need for each lesson. Here are the lesson topics: Chemistry & Physics, Moving Matter, Building Blocks of Creation, Compound Chemistry, Multitude of Mixtures, Mechanics in Motion, Dynamics of Motion, Work in the World, Sounds of Energy, Light of the World, Thermal Energy, Electrifying Our World, Mysterious Magnetism, and Simple Machines. Each lesson is broken down into sections, and also has several “Try This!” activities that correspond with the lesson. The sections also help you keep track of where you last left off if you’re not following the recommended schedule. At the end of each lesson is a final review, notebooking assignments, and a fun project or experiment! There are lots of exciting things to learn about with Apologia Science!
The notebooking journals are super-cool. The upper-elementary journal is spiral-bound, over 230 pages, and like the textbook, contains a “hot to use this book” section at the beginning, but it also contains a daily schedule. WIN! Y’all know how much I dislike planning. I know it’s something I need to get better at, but here, all the work is done for you! According to the schedule, if you do your Apologia Science work 2 days a week, this book will give you 28 weeks of lessons. Each lesson is broken down into 4 days of work, but you could stretch it even further if you want to do more than 2 days of work per week. The schedule chart tell you what to read in the textbook, as well as instructions for what to work on in the journal. Each lesson in the journal starts off with coloring pages, and also contains writing space for the to jot down facts they learned in the lesson. Students can also draw pictures or diagrams to go along with their facts. There is also scripture copywork, cut-and-fold mini books, extra experiments and hands-on activities, project pages, which allow students to write what they did and learned from the textbook projects, and field trip sheets that allow you to record information about any field trips that you take that are related to chemistry and/or physics.
The junior notebooking journal is pretty similar to the regular one, but it’s geared for lower-elementary students, or those who are perhaps less articulated in their writing skills. There are more opportunities for drawing pictures of what students learned, as opposed to more writing for the older student. The junior journal also contains a review at the end of each lesson well as vocabulary crosswords. The end of the junior journals also contains a 50-question review of the whole course. This journal is a bit smaller than the regular one, at just over 200 pages, including the answer keys.
For comparison, here is a top-to-bottom comparison of the 2 journals. The top is the regular journals, and the junior is on the bottom. You can see that there is more writing space on the top one, and more drawing space on the bottom one. I love that each journal is tailored to specific needs and skill levels.
We really enjoyed this science course. Growing up, I remember Science being dull and boring and blah. You just cannot be bored with Apologia. There are so many fun and engaging activities to do while you’re learning. Learning should be fun, and with Apologia, it is! I did most of the read-alouds myself, but I did also allow Rachelle, Issac, and Ethan to read some as well. Issac and Rachelle took turns with the upper journal, while Ethan used the junior journal by himself. We did 2 days of work per week. Of course, Lucas had to get in on the experiment action, because at 5, he thinks he cannot be left behind. I didn’t get experiment pictures, because with 4 kids doing them together I was focused on them. Perhaps I’ll start a blog series soon of each lesson, and post pictures that way! We really enjoyed Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics from Apologia, and I can’t wait to dig in even more with it!
Be sure to click below to read reviews from my fellow Crew mates!