We had the opportunity to review the physical copy of Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition written by Sherri Seligson and published by Apologia.
It has been 11 years since Apologia last released the second edition of its general science curriculum, so I guess it was time for an update. Although the second edition is still a great study, I was glad to learn Canyon and I would have the chance to review the Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition.
Canyon loves science and we have been working through Apologia’s Elementary Science series books just like his older siblings did. He is completing Chemistry & Physics right now. My older two are in the high school level books. One is in Physical Science and the other is in Biology. We not only use Apologia science books in our school, but also several other curriculum items from the company. We are an Apologia family.
Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition
We received the Basic Set, which includes:
Solutions and Test Manual
Spiral-bound Student Notebook
The books are glossy, shiny and new and so appealing you just want to get started studying general science. The curriculum is geared towards students in seventh grade. If you have an advanced, science loving sixth grader, they could probably do well working through the material. It is written to appeal to the student and also sets them on a path for independent learning. I do suggest you read through, with your child, the student notes in the Student Textbook and the introduction in the Student Notebook, which includes notes for the student as well as the parent/teacher.
There are 14 modules that are covered over a 33-week period. Each module has a lab report and a test. Students will spend about 45 minutes a day for about two and one half weeks on one module. One of the changes from the earlier editions is moving to a four-day a week schedule.
The study covers many topics in science starting with the history – Ancient Times to the Present, the Scientific Method and learning skills like documenting, analyzing and interpreting their work. Some of the areas of science that are covered include astronomy, geology, paleontology, meteorology, oceanography, chemistry, physics, life science, biology, and marine and environmental sciences. The study could help your child decide which area of science they love the most. It could even spark an interest of a career they may want to later pursue.
Apologia is a Bible-based curriculum and students will see many references as to how science and creation work together.
One of the biggest challenges I have faced with middle and high school sciences (every subject) is knowing how to grade the work. Instructions on how to grade experiments, labs and tests are included. Grading for character (ex: effort, diligence, participation, etc.) are covered too. The study not only gives your child prep for high level science study, but introduces them to taking ownership of the work they complete and submit – diligence in completing their work, neatness (before, during and after) when completing experiments, positive attitude and ability to follow instructions. All important skills they will need as they continue into high school.
One of the hardest skills to teach a child and for some to learn is good note taking. I love that note taking is covered in the introduction. Students have the opportunity to practice those skills while working through each module. They will have a lot of practice by the time they complete General Science.
Canyon and I read the scheduled Student Textbook pages together. I could tell there is a jump from the Elementary Science series as far as student expectations and comprehension. I love it, but also realized some of the skills he would need (ex: honing his note taking skills, level of writing, etc.) to successfully complete the course may hold him back (my expectations). He is in the sixth grade and is doing well with his current level of Apologia science. The lack of notetaking skills will not prevent your child from successfully completing the course. That is just my personal expectation. As we read through the pages together, he was able to see what would be expected when we begin the course next year in the seventh grade. If anything, it has motivated him to work more diligently through his Chemistry & Physics study.
We read through the lessons together and I had him complete oral responses. He did share some thoughts on his first week of studying General Science. The Student Notebook is required to complete the course.
It is essential to the study. With sections like “What to Do” and On Your Own, it presents the material in a number of ways to ensure comprehension of the lessons. The Study Guide students complete is an excellent resource for test prep.
Canyon loves doing science experiments, so we worked through some of those together. The following videos were done in slow motion (it was cooler than it looks), but that did not translate well here.
Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition: EXPERIMENT 2.1
The purposes were to explore:
1) Heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones and the speed at which heavier objects fall.
Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition: EXPERIMENT 2.2
I had to laugh at myself as we were looking for items to use in these two experiments. The materials we were to use were light and heavy weight paper, a piece of cardboard and a book. All of those items were supposed to be dropped to compare the speed. In a house full of books, I could not find one I was willing to drop (and risk damage) or a piece or loose cardboard. The only cardboard I could find was in box form, and I use those for shipping. I managed to find an old USPS shipping box I cut up to use. We did not drop a book, but did drop cardboard, card stock and regular grade paper. We learned the heavier an object, the faster it falls.
Most of the items used in the experiments are ones you will find around your home. There are some you will have to purchase.
One of the features I love about the Apologia curriculum is the suggested schedule that is included in the Student Notebooks. The General Science study has students completing the course on a four-day week schedule. Of course, you can set your own schedule/pace for how your child should work through the program, but it is so much easier to just follow the schedule.
Seligson and Apologia have done a great job with the Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition study. The material will challenge your seventh grader while introducing them to a variety of science areas and also be a great foundation for science studies they complete in the future. It is a gentle introduction to studying science in a real manner (like a scientist) – analysis, data recording, note and test taking – and is a wonderful foundation for all students.
There are a number of notable people in the different areas of science who are mentioned in the study. It would have been nice to see more racial diversity in the people who were included, especially as the history moved closer to the Present. Knowing that, also know the study is still a good one and I am looking forward to Canyon working through it next school year when he begins the seventh grade.
The Solutions and Test Manual and Test Pages are also nice to have. The pages in the test booklet are perforated, so you can give the student the individual test when it is time to take it. The manual has the exact tests in the booklet as well as the answers, so you can easily correct the tests without knowing the material. There are other supplemental items like an MP3 Audio CD and the Video Instruction Thumb Drive, which may enhance the learning and make instruction easier for the teacher.
Good job Apologia and thank you!
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition regularly $119, but currently available from Apologia for $100.50.
Social Media Links