Search - Contacts
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Easy Blog
Search - Tags

Is Apologia Science Rigorous Enough for the College-Bound?

Are Apologia science textbooks rigorous enough for college-bound students?  Sure, they are popular with homeschoolers, but how GOOD are they as science books?

teen-science



Are Apologia science textbooks are fairly rigorous, for college-bound students?  I've heard a few conflicting reports...
~Jill in Seattle

Apologia is a very rigorous college prep series.  I don't usually recommend specific curriculum, because I know it's all about "fit" more than a textbook.  When it comes to science, though, I had such success with the curriculum we used, that I really do recommend it - even to my clients that are not Christian.

I know it for a fact that Apologia is a great college preparation because Alex (my non-scientist son) was able to pass a CLEP in Biology 3 years after taking Apologia Biology at home.  He earned a 4.0 in Engineering Physics in college after taking Apologia Physics. Remember, he is NOT my science major.  I made him take that engineering physics at community college with his brother, because he was too young to take a class by himself.  So he learned well from the books even though he didn't "love" science. Apologia is GREAT stuff.

I know for a fact that Apologia is great college preparation because my son Kevin is an electrical engineering major in college.  He still refers to his Apologia Physics book now and then.  He used Apologia chemistry over the summer, to review for a class he was taking.  He has reviewed his physics book frequently.  It's been one of my "best buys" for curriculum, because they have literally used them for 5 years. Kevin has a fabulous GPA in engineering, and I believe it is in part because he was so well prepared with Apologia Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

If you want to make Apologia even MORE rigorous, it is possible.  You can go through a book in a semester instead of a year, and make it an AP course if you want, but it's not necessary at all, just an option.  I have heard of some "college prep" AP classes, like through Pennsylvania Homeschoolers for example, that actually take a child 5 hours a day to complete.  That would be so frustrating to spend 5 hours a day on one class!  One mother was letting core subjects in reading, writing and math slide, just so her child could get an AP Chemistry credit.  That's a lot of work for not a lot of benefit.  It's easier to keep your subjects at the level of your children when they do it at home with a homeschool curriculum.

Apologia is a self-teaching homeschool curriculum, so kids can learn it on their own, and moms don't have to know what they are doing in order to be successful.  That's a big deal, because I didn't have a clue about physics, and barely was able to keep up with the chemistry.

Yes, absolutely Apologia is college prep.  It's not perfect, because no curriculum is perfect.  All textbooks have typos- ALL of them - and I'm sure someone could find a flaw in these books like you can find a flaw in every book.  Still it's great preparation, and I recommend it even for my clients that aren't Christian.

homeschool-high-school.gif

Do you enjoy these daily doses of high school homeschool wisdom?  Sign up to get them delivered via email or reader!
A Quiet Reminder
Mismatched Curriculum
 

Comments 10

Guest - J W on Thursday, 24 December 2009 06:41

I have a child doing Jr. High Apologia. My child loves it. I think the main thing I like about it is that my child can work independently. Every so often I look in the back of the book to see supplies will be needed for the next chapter, and assemble them in a box. I don't have to worry about anything except to check the lab journal and administer the tests. The writing style and the concepts presented in the text encourage critical thinking - which is refreshing after my school/college science classes (in which a particular worldview was shoved down my throat with no room for discussion). We found that 1 1/2 hours per day is optimal for this particular curriculum - it's hard to cram a lab into 1 hour. At this pace, at the junior high level, my student is already a little more than halfway through after one semester. I'm sure results will vary from student to student. So far we've only had two occasions to point out something (yes, Lee, no text is perfect) or yell for help, and the author or someone else has always responded promptly to our email.

I have a child doing Jr. High Apologia. My child loves it. I think the main thing I like about it is that my child can work independently. Every so often I look in the back of the book to see supplies will be needed for the next chapter, and assemble them in a box. I don't have to worry about anything except to check the lab journal and administer the tests. The writing style and the concepts presented in the text encourage critical thinking - which is refreshing after my school/college science classes (in which a particular worldview was shoved down my throat with no room for discussion). We found that 1 1/2 hours per day is optimal for this particular curriculum - it's hard to cram a lab into 1 hour. At this pace, at the junior high level, my student is already a little more than halfway through after one semester. I'm sure results will vary from student to student. So far we've only had two occasions to point out something (yes, Lee, no text is perfect) or yell for help, and the author or someone else has always responded promptly to our email.
Guest - Heidi W (website) on Friday, 30 April 2010 07:24

I agree, for the most part. My 16yo ds took the Chemistry CLEP test after his sophomore year of Apologia Chemistry, and passed it. He now has 5 hours of college credit under his belt! He did check out a book on the Chemistry CLEP test, and there were a few things that had not been in his course, that he had to study up on. Also, the experiments, according to his lab teacher (who has a PhD in chemistry) were rather simplistic, but I think that's because they are designed to be done at home by the student. But other than that, it was great, and I would recommend it.

I agree, for the most part. My 16yo ds took the Chemistry CLEP test after his sophomore year of Apologia Chemistry, and passed it. He now has 5 hours of college credit under his belt! He did check out a book on the Chemistry CLEP test, and there were a few things that had not been in his course, that he had to study up on. Also, the experiments, according to his lab teacher (who has a PhD in chemistry) were rather simplistic, but I think that's because they are designed to be done at home by the student. But other than that, it was great, and I would recommend it.
Guest - Trickett on Sunday, 08 August 2010 13:21

Thank you for your endorsement of Apologia. I love this science curriculum, and it is nice to hear that someone I respect likes it also. God bless you.

Thank you for your endorsement of Apologia. I love this science curriculum, and it is nice to hear that someone I respect likes it also. God bless you.
Guest - Aragon on Thursday, 14 April 2011 20:59

I have used Apologia with my 3 children. We loved the zoology series. Our 5th grader is still using the zoology books and really loved bk 2.
Our 6th grader is doing General Science. Our 15 yr old has done General Science, Physical Science, Biology, Physics and will do chemistry this year coming. We have really enjoyed the labs.

Its a great curriculum and I feel confident that our children will be well prepared for science at higher level.

Thank you and God bless.

I have used Apologia with my 3 children. We loved the zoology series. Our 5th grader is still using the zoology books and really loved bk 2. Our 6th grader is doing General Science. Our 15 yr old has done General Science, Physical Science, Biology, Physics and will do chemistry this year coming. We have really enjoyed the labs. Its a great curriculum and I feel confident that our children will be well prepared for science at higher level. Thank you and God bless.
Guest - Dawn on Friday, 22 April 2011 04:19

I also heartily agree with this summation. Our oldest son is just finishing Biology (after taking their general and physical science courses) and it is QUITE rigorous. The amazing thing is how much technical knowledge he has RETAINED throughout the year. Even though there is so much being taught the information builds on itself and is woven in a logical way rather than the memorize, test, memorize, test typical textbook. I see it as a strong foundation in science. Ben has gained so much confidence in his ability to learn higher level subjects and is more excited about college than ever. And this was our non-typical learner son who has kept me in prayer since day one. We are excited about Chemistry next year!

I also heartily agree with this summation. Our oldest son is just finishing Biology (after taking their general and physical science courses) and it is QUITE rigorous. The amazing thing is how much technical knowledge he has RETAINED throughout the year. Even though there is so much being taught the information builds on itself and is woven in a logical way rather than the memorize, test, memorize, test typical textbook. I see it as a strong foundation in science. Ben has gained so much confidence in his ability to learn higher level subjects and is more excited about college than ever. And this was our non-typical learner son who has kept me in prayer since day one. We are excited about Chemistry next year!
Guest - Sarah on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 18:49

Lee, I find it very difficult to understand how you could recommend these textbooks to all of your readers without being more upfront about the overt Christian agenda behind the company. I can tell you that many Jewish homeschoolers would have a problem with these texts, as well as secular humanists. I am pasting this directly from Apologia's website:Apologia exists to help homeschoolers learn, live, and defend the Christian faith. We believe that one’s view of the Bible affects how a person interprets God’s intended message, and an understanding of and adherence to the teachings of the Bible are vital to one’s ability to defend the Christian faith. Apologia believes the Bible to be the inspired Word of God revealed through man and inerrant in its original writings. As such, the Bible is to be used as the foundation of all knowledge and is the authority for how we are to live our lives in faith and practice. All new and existing materials published by Apologia Educational Ministries intentionally reflect and promote these beliefs.

In an article published in our 2011 catalog, I encourage families to rededicate themselves to fight for the freedom to home educate, to teach creation-based science, and to approach all academic subjects from a biblical, Christ-centered worldview. I conclude the article with a reminder that knowledge, understanding, and wisdom begin with the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10; Psalm 111:10).

It doesn't really matter how "rigorous" their program is if their agenda is strongly Christian. It is important to be honest with your readers so they can make an informed choice.

Lee, I find it very difficult to understand how you could recommend these textbooks to all of your readers without being more upfront about the overt Christian agenda behind the company. I can tell you that many Jewish homeschoolers would have a problem with these texts, as well as secular humanists. I am pasting this directly from Apologia's website:Apologia exists to help homeschoolers learn, live, and defend the Christian faith. We believe that one’s view of the Bible affects how a person interprets God’s intended message, and an understanding of and adherence to the teachings of the Bible are vital to one’s ability to defend the Christian faith. Apologia believes the Bible to be the inspired Word of God revealed through man and inerrant in its original writings. As such, the Bible is to be used as the foundation of all knowledge and is the authority for how we are to live our lives in faith and practice. All new and existing materials published by Apologia Educational Ministries intentionally reflect and promote these beliefs. In an article published in our 2011 catalog, I encourage families to rededicate themselves to fight for the freedom to home educate, to teach creation-based science, and to approach all academic subjects from a biblical, Christ-centered worldview. I conclude the article with a reminder that knowledge, understanding, and wisdom begin with the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10; Psalm 111:10). It doesn't really matter how "rigorous" their program is if their agenda is strongly Christian. It is important to be honest with your readers so they can make an informed choice.
Guest - Lee (website) on Tuesday, 05 June 2012 12:17

Dear Sarah,
When I'm speaking to individuals about Apologia, I always mention that it is a Christian curriculum. Even so, Apologia is the science text that I always recommend, even for non-Christians. I find it to be the best college preparation for homeschoolers, since it is written for homeschoolers. I suggest that my non-Christian clients skip the chapter on creation (which is not necessary for the class to be successful) and be understanding with the general tone of the book (just as Christians must be understanding of the general tone of non-Christian Books.) Each family and child is unique (that's why homeschooling works!) and I don't pretend to understand your unique situation completely, especially since we just know each other through a blog post, LOL! However, Apologia is a rigorous college preparation, and I always recommend it even for my non-Christian clients.
Blessings,
Lee

Dear Sarah, When I'm speaking to individuals about Apologia, I always mention that it is a Christian curriculum. Even so, Apologia is the science text that I always recommend, even for non-Christians. I find it to be the best college preparation for homeschoolers, since it is written for homeschoolers. I suggest that my non-Christian clients skip the chapter on creation (which is not necessary for the class to be successful) and be understanding with the general tone of the book (just as Christians must be understanding of the general tone of non-Christian Books.) Each family and child is unique (that's why homeschooling works!) and I don't pretend to understand your unique situation completely, especially since we just know each other through a blog post, LOL! However, Apologia is a rigorous college preparation, and I always recommend it even for my non-Christian clients. Blessings, Lee
Guest - Jill Pike on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 05:42

My only recommendation is to do the Apologia with your student. It sinks in much better if it is taught!

My only recommendation is to do the Apologia with your student. It sinks in much better if it is taught!
Guest - C Mack on Saturday, 03 August 2013 21:32

I was going to use Apologia Biology this year with my 10th grader but switched to Science Shepherd Biology due to some conflict with Catholic teachings on creation.

I was going to use Apologia Biology this year with my 10th grader but switched to Science Shepherd Biology due to some conflict with Catholic teachings on creation.
Guest - Kel on Saturday, 07 September 2013 12:28

I have heard that nurses (RN) whom were home schooled used Apologia and they said it was the best and it really prepared them.

I have heard that nurses (RN) whom were home schooled used Apologia and they said it was the best and it really prepared them.
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Wednesday, 21 August 2019

More Encouraging Posts

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • 32
  • 33
  • 34
  • 35
  • 36
  • 37
  • 38
  • 39
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 48
  • 49
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 53
  • 54
  • 55

Get In Touch

17837 1st Ave S., Suite #145
Normandy Park, WA 98148
Phone: 1-888-Lee2HELP (1-888-533-2435)
Contact us

About us

Lee has three core beliefs about homeschooling: homeschooling provides the best possible learning environment; every child deserves a college-prep education whether or not they choose to go to college; and parents are capable of providing a superior education to their children. Lee does not judge your homeschool or evaluate your children. Instead, she comes alongside to help and encourage parents homeschooling high school.

Learn More