Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Apologia Exploring Creation With General Science, 3rd Edition - Curriculum Review

I cannot believe that we are already starting to prepare our oldest son for high school.  He will be starting 8th grade in the Fall.  To help him make a smooth transition he will be required to start working more independently this year.  Since the beginning of our homeschooling journey, he has been a part of what we call group work, which is just the combined learning of Science, History, Bible, Art, and Music as a family.  So, he will now branch out and start doing his Science independently.  Apologia recently released their Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition.  This is their newest edition and for the last couple of weeks, we have been using it so that we can let you guys know all about it!  So, go ahead and grab your notebook, your pen, and a cup of a beverage of your choice, I have a large mug of coffee, and meet us back here so we can share our experience with it so far. 

What we Received

We received a physical copy of the Textbook, Student Notebook, and Solutions and Test.

Textbook - The textbook is hardback it includes all of the lessons your child will be reading, it also includes step by step process through the experiments. All the answers to their own your own problems are also located here. 

Student Notebook - The notebook is paperback and spiral bound.  It is an essential portion of this course, and it is consumable. This is where you'll find the student work schedule, which tells your child what they need to do each day.  This book also includes a lab section where they write out the results to their experiments.

Solutions and Test - The solution book gives all the answers to the study guides and test. The test booklet comes with all 14 test the student will take after they complete their modules.

About Apologia's Exploring Creation With General Science, 3rd Edition

Apologia offers a ton of science curriculum that teaches science from a Christian Worldview.  Their different science courses cover Elementary all the way through High School.  This 3rd edition of their General Science is the newest edition and has been written by a new author, Sherri Seligson.  The text is a lot easier to understand and helps with the transition from Elementary to Middle School.  It is recommended for 7th to 8th-grade children.

There are 14 modules and each module should take about 2 - 2 1/2 weeks to complete if you follow the schedule that is included, which is a 4 day school week.

Module 1 The History of Science - Search for the Truth
Module 2 Scientific Inquiry and the Scientific Method
Module 3 Documenting and Interpreting Experimental Results
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

At the end of each module, there is a study guide to help the child prepare for the test.  The author introduces note-taking and encourages the child to do so to help with retention and studying for the test.

How Did We Use This 

We took the month of July off so that I could start planning for the upcoming school year.  There are a couple of subjects I require each of my kids to continue working through.  Science is one of them for my son.  Our family is very familiar with Apologia because we have been using their science curriculum since we started homeschooling six years ago.  It is one of the curricula choices that has not changed. Although my son is familiar with the Apologia science this is his first year working on the middle school curriculum and doing so independently.  
We started off using this a little different than what was recommended because again this is my son’s first time doing science independently at this capacity and I did not want to overwhelm him. 
So we broke the first couple of weeks up, we completed one week in two weeks. I also read through the text with my son and walked him through the note-taking process so that he would know what was expected of him.  We did this for the entire first module.  
After that, he worked as scheduled in the student notebook. We didn’t get as far as I intended because of this slow start, however, he is retaining the information and is not complaining when it is time to do Science.  Each day takes him about an hour to complete.

Sitting on the porch looking over the first lesson.

Our Final Thoughts

I, actually, to no surprise love this new addition it’s more lively to me than the one before it and I love the way the text is conversational so it’s as if my son is speaking with someone else as he’s learning.  I love the author's style of writing.  I love the way she "walks" the child through the note-taking and the ways she explains things.  
Using the red lettering for important information was genius and helps my son to know that this must be something important.  I find that this edition is not as dry as the previous one and takes a much softer approach.  I remember when my oldest daughter started the 2nd edition she was overwhelmed with the workload and had a rough start.  I did not want that for my son and we did not have that issue at all.

My son, 13-years-old said, “ I was really excited when I first received this in the mail because it was a new science course and I was gonna be doing it on my own, but I was also nervous about it as well.  I am used to doing science together with my younger siblings and mom, and it is fun that way.  I thought it would be difficult getting ready for high school.  One of the good aspects about this science is sometimes you learn more information about something you thought you already knew everything about, like Archimedes, I knew a lot about him but I learned something new that I didn't know at first. 
Some of the experiments are kind of complicated but they explain to you what you need to do and why you are doing it, so that makes it better.  When you read it first you get a better understanding of the concept and what they’re trying to get you to learn.  I recommend this science for kids ages 12 through 15.
Mom here,  "so note-taking was something new to you this year as far as this in-depth. I know you are used to copying the notes I write on the board however this was your first time having to actually take notes based off what you were reading or what I was reading to you. How do you feel about it and how they prepared you for it?"
Trae,  "It is really new to me and it was kind of complicated at first because sometimes you cannot find the right words to explain what you want without just writing what is in the book.  I think it has helped me to remember what I read better.  As far as the test I think taking notes was very helpful because I can look back over the notes and see the right answers to help me prepare for the test."

An example of a note-taking page from the very first module.

If you follow us on Instagram then you saw how excited and disappointed my oldest daughter, who completed an older edition of  General Science, was.  She was excited because she saw how nice it looked and she was disappointed because she did get to do this edition when she went through the course.  She spent some time looking through it so I asked her what she thought.  
She said, "I think that the new book looks fantastic!  The layout of the book and the notebook is better than the last. The colors are even brighter and more inviting. From what I saw the experiments look about the same I believe they only changed a few. The way the information is presented seems way easier to comprehend.  I am actually considering going through the course again because I like this new edition so much."

If you are looking for homeschool science for middle school, this is it!  We will be uploading each of the science experiments on our YouTube channel so if you would like to watch you are more than welcome to do so.  

The material he gathered for his first experiment

Now that you have "heard" what we think about Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition be sure to click the banner below so that you can learn what other homeschooling families on the Crew are saying. 

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

You can connect with Apologia on the following social media outlets. 


Thank you so much for joining us for another curriculum review.  If there is anything more you would like to know please don't hesitate to ask in the comments below.

Crew Disclaimer


  1. Sounds like a fun science curriculum. I like that this is helping him learn to take notes.

  2. I am so intrigued by this. Thank you for such an informative review. I have only homeschooled for one year, this is our second year, and have used The Good and the Beautiful sciences. I love that he loves it and wrote out his comments regarding it. {older sister as well} thanks for sharing💚really cool!

  3. I just stumbled on your blog post, and I know my son would love to see yours doing the experiments! Did you ever get them up on your YouTube channel?