Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition from Apologia: A TOS Crew Review

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition from Apologia

I am so excited to introduce you to the Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition from Apologia!  We have been using the Textbook, Student Notebook, and Solutions and Test Packet.

First, I have to say, I absolutely LOVE the General Science course.  I've even taught it for several years at our Co-op.  I think it's the perfect transition from elementary science into higher level sciences, and my children all look forward to getting to do it. It's designed for students in 7th grade, I've had my students take it anywhere from 6th-8th grade, depending on their reading ability.   I was excited to see a new edition, but found myself wondering, "Is it worth it to buy another edition...I only have 2 more students to use it"  Let me answer that -YES!

I want to explain why.  First, starting with the Textbook.  This textbook is beautiful!  The course is written by Sherri Seligson (author of Apologia's Marine Biology).  The visual appeal of this textbook is vastly improved from the 2nd edition.  Full color, many more images, the text is even slightly larger.  All this to say, I really like the design improvements. 

The content is also significantly upgraded.  The 3rd edition has 14 modules (instead of 16).  I thought you may like to see a side-by-side comparison of what topics are included:

2nd Edition:
  1. Brief History of Science
  2. Scientific Inquiry
  3. How to Analyze and Interpret Experiments
  4. Science, Applied Science and Technology
  5. The History of Life – Archaeology, Geology, and Paleontology
  6. Foundations of Geology
  7. The Fossil Record
  8. Uniformitarianism and Catastrophism
  9. What is Life?
  10. Classifying Life
  11. The Human Body: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (Bones, Muscles, Skin
  12. Energy and Life
  13. The Human Digestive System
  14. The Human Respiratory and Circulatory Systems
  15. The Human Lymphatic, Endocrine and Urinary Systems
  16. The Human Nervous System

3rd Edition:

  1. A 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 Text features several key components to encourage active reading.  First, the On Your Own questions.  These are highlighted, and the student stops to answer these questions.  They are not designed to be graded, but are comprehension checks as they read.  

 The text also included Explore More sections.  This is a new feature in this edition.  These sections included a quick and easy hands-on demonstration for the student to do that illustrated what they are reading and learning.

Think about this sections offer extra insight and challenge the student to make connections.  All the definitions are highlighted in bold and a different color, helping students identify them quickly as they read.

Experiments are included for every module.  The experiments use readily accessible supplies, and are written so the student can complete them independently. But, they are so much fun - you will want to join in.

The experiments are varied from the 2nd edition as well.  I like that I saw familiar, effective experiments from the older version.  But, they have also added new, better experiments too.  Experiment 1.1 - Density in Nature is a great example of how Apologia has improved this course.  2nd edition had a much more complicated experiment for this topic - requiring more supplies, and time to complete (and honestly, it made a mess)  3rd edition's experiment was much simpler, but demonstrated the topic perfectly. Plus, it only needed a few, non-messy supplies!

Every module contains a Study Guide to help your student prepare for the module test.  The Student Notebook contains these as well.  More about the notebook in a minute.

The Textbook also includes a handy appendix with a Supply List for every module.  You can prep this during the summer, and be ready with everything you need.

The Student Notebook:

This is a must-have, in my opinion!  Everything your student needs to complete this course is included.  The Introduction contains valuable parent notes that will help you understand how to grade experiments and a complete daily schedule for your student to follow.

The Student Notebook contains instructions and plenty of space for the student to write.  All of the On Your Own questions, Explore More sections, vocabulary and terms and graphic organizers to help them organize the information they are learning.

Learning to take notes is a vital component in upper level science courses and this new edition of General Science does a great job teaching this skill!

Every Experiment is included in the Student Notebook.  I love that students can work independently, and keep all their data well organized.  Detailed instructions for writing formal lab reports are included as well.

Solutions and Tests:

I firmly believe that science courses need tests.  Especially at this level.  General Science has been designed to help your children perform well on the ACT and SAT tests, so don't skip this part of the course.  

I really like the upgrades to the tests as well.  One thing I noticed right away, the vocabulary sections are matching instead of writing out the definition word-for-word.  My children actually cheered about this change :-)

I am extremely impressed with  Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition!  It's a great way to get your students excited about learning science and seeing God's hand at work. 

I found this in the final module as I was looking ahead,  I think it sums it up perfectly:

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

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