Are Apologia science textbooks fairly rigorous, for college-bound students? I've heard a few conflicting reports...
~Jill in Seattle
Hi Jen! YES they are WELL prepared. No additional content needed - the study guide for the test is enough. And a student should always use a study guide for any college admission test they take, so it works out well. This article may be helpful for continued reading, as you think through this issue.
Simple Science for Homeschooling High School
Can anyone speak to whether or not this Bio text prepares students well for testing like the ACTs? I wonder if there isn't some additional secular content that needs to be covered? Thank you!
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Anyone can take an AP test, even if they have not taken an AP course. The tests are really hard, really long, and the student needs to be prepared.