Do you have a middle schooler? Mine is almost a middle schooler. He is a smart boy, but last year I noticed that he got his work done but did everything as quickly as he could, meeting only the minimal requirements. So, for this year, I have been looking for a curriculum that will challenge him and help prepare him for high school and eventually college. That is why I was excited for the opportunity to review Exploring Creation With General Science, 3rd Edition by Apologia.
Exploring Creation With General Science, 3rd Edition aims to help middle schoolers bridge the gap between elementary and high school by teaching them good study skills, proper note-taking, and the best scientific practices. It is a general science course, touching on a spectrum of scientific topics. The textbook engages the students with beautiful, full-color pictures and bold terms to help students recognize important words.
This course has 14 modules, each designed to last about 2 – 2 1/2 weeks, working 4 days per week for about 45 minutes – one hour. Here are the module topics:
- Module 1: The History of Science — Search for The Truth
- Module 2: Scientific Inquiry and the Scientific Method
- Module 3: Document and Interpreting Experimental Result
- Module 4: Scientific Analysis and History
- Module 5: Earth Science — Astronomy
- Module 6: Earth Science — Geology and Paleontology
- Module 7: Earth Science — Meteorology and Oceanography
- Module 8: General Chemistry
- Module 9: General Physics
- Module 10: Life Science
- Module 11: General Biology
- Module 12: Marine Science
- Module 13: Environmental Science
- Module 14: Science and Creation
Several sections throughout each module guide the student through the learning process. The ‘What To Do’ section explains student expectations. The “On Your Own” encourages students to think through the material. The ‘Explore More’ section provides ideas to do additional experiments. The ‘Think About This’ section shares new interesting facts.
Several experiments are done in each module, so the student can have hands-on experience using the theories and procedures they read about. At the end of each module, you will find the answers to the “On Your Own’ questions as well the study guide to help the student prepare for their test.
In the Student Notebook, you will find parent notes on how to teach good note-taking skills and study habits. It also provides a grading rubric for experiments and for the course as a whole.
There is also a charted scope and sequence at the beginning, which lays out a daily assignment checklist.
As the student works their way through the course, they define words, summarize text, analyze information, answer questions, and fill in graphic organizers and charts. They work linearly through the notebook, each day starting at the “What To Do” section, listing all the assignments for that day.
Lab sheets for experiments can be found the back of the Student Notebook.
Additional Materials and Resources
The solutions and tests books provide both the tests and answer key. The solution manual also has the answer key for the Study Guide in the text. A great resource available to help deepen your student’s learning is the Book Extras. This is a series of links arranged by module that expound on the different topics, people, events, and processes the student read about. The access code can be found within the textbook.
If your student is an audio learner, an MP3 Audio CD of the text is available for purchase. If your student is a visual learner, you can also purchase the video instruction thumb drive where your student will have access to over 20 hours of on-site videos, instruction, experiments, animations, and more.
So far, we have really liked this course. The information presented in the textbook is clear and interesting. My son really likes the flow of the text and the daily assignment list. I also like how organized it is. I especially like how it is slowly guiding my son to analyze information and improve his note-taking skills and writing skills. He is getting better explaining his answers. This course is requiring more output from him in preparation in for higher learning, but it doing it gradually so that he does not get overwhelmed. For example, his first two tests were open-book so that he could see what was expected of him and know how to study. We are looking forward to continuing the course
Has your middle schooler used Exploring Creation With General Science? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below. Be sure to check out other great reviews by the homeschool crew by clicking on the banner below.
Till Next Time,