Help….they HATE Apologia General Science

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  • I must confess… Science isn’t one of my favorite subjects. I’ve been looking for ideas for my kiddos. Have any of you thought of using this one… It looks pretty thorough and interesting. It is written by one person who seems to love science.

    Just curious!


    Bookworm, very well stated. I wholeheartedly agree.

    I was re-reading the original post that started this discussion and got to wondering which edition the OP is using. She stated that the kids thought the author was trying to tell them something but they weren’t quite understanding it. I believe that one of the revisions for the 2nd edition was to clarify points which were not quite clear to many students.

    My first daughter used 1st edition, but because we lent it out, I had to buy 2nd edition for the next child. So I am reading 2nd edition and it seems like it couldn’t be any clearer. I just wonder if there is a whole lot of difference between the two. Anybody know?



    To answer some questions that have been asked –

    1.  We have the 2nd edition.  I also own the 1st edition, but like the set-up of the 2nd better.  There are minimal changes, perhaps an extra parapraph or sentence every page or so, but not much.  The formatting is different (colored boxes for On Your Own).  

    2.  They do love Mythbusters.  They have seen every episode….at least twice.  And continue to watch it ‘for fun’.  We own all but 1 of the Mythbuster books as well as several others like Art of the Catapult.  They also like shows such as Prototype This, Beakman’s World, Jeff Corwin and the list goes on.

    As I made a list of topics covered in the rest of the book I thought, “These look interesing.  I know they would enjoy these.”  I think a lot of the problem is that the first module is a beast.  50+ scientists coming at you every paragraph or so, for pages and pages.  Then memorizing them all.  The second and third modules are a bit on the dry side as well.  But in 4 it gets a little more exciting.

    So, the plan we’re going to pitch to the boys is that we are going to continue using the textbook BUT we’re going to make it more fun.  I already find many, many videos to go along with each module and will continue to do so.  We’ll slow the modules down and discuss it daily with them.  I will also add living/fun books and games/hands-on activitites as relates to each topic and make tests less a priority.  Through our daily discussion/narration I’ll know how they’re doing, but I DO want them to know how to test so we’ll do a few here and there, perhaps modified, perhaps not.

    I am also going to have them do a History of Science study where they’ll be reading biographies of important scientists.  Right now I’m thinking one book a month, for as long as it takes to get through them all.  At the end of each book they’ll create a Scientist Page to go in their very own Famous Scientist Book with what they learned, importants facts/dates, etc and place them on a timeline.  We’ll also make ‘playing cards’ to study and play games like Go Fish or Memory or something.  

    After another few modules I’ll re-evaluate and if it is still a kill-joy I’ll find some other way to teach them, but I’m hopeful this works.  I was actually surprised it was such an ‘un-hit’ with them.  

    Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas!


    Please share videos and links to spice up chapters. You can email me and I will help format if need be. A squidoo page is perfect to do this and it’s such a blessing to other moms!


    Currently I’m pinning them to Pinterest.  One board per module, but I can definitely try Squidoo!  Thanks for the offer to help, missceegee.


    Pinterest works. My dd doesn’t have Pinterest, but I do. What’s your Pinterest name?

    Thanks for sharing.


    One question – is there any reason the first history based module can’t be spread out over the year? I don’t have the materials yet, but wondered about that as a possibility.


    This is me on Pinterest –  I log my boys on then they find the right module and watch the videos for the day (the checklist tells them which ones to watch when).

    You could spread out the history module over a year, but you’d really need to add to it.  Each scientist gets a few paragraphs, very condensed.  If you wanted to do one scientist a week you could do it in the year, but you’d need to find more info for each one.  And then the textbook would take you 2 years to cover.  I am going to modify….have them do scientist biographies and keep moving forward in the General Science books, mostly because I want them to get done with GS in one year AND I want them to digest and understand the biographies so if that takes 3 years so be it.  Sort of like we do with history – have the child read a good biography and take their time while moving forward with the regular history course.


    Oh I meant start with module 2 and finish in the year while reading module one at a slower pace. Still finishing it all in one year just not cramming all of module one in two weeks. If that makes sense.


    Actually, I guess I could start with module 2 as we already read science bios every year.


    We love Apologia’s elementary and high school science texts while only just tolerating the middle school books. Before biology, I like my children to experience:

    — the book Signs and Seasons by Jay Ryan

    —Our Night Sky DVDs from The Teaching Company (comes with a star chart).

    —Ellen McHenry’s science offerings especially The Elements and Cells


    Have you looked at any of the Master Books?  We sludged through Apologia General Science, Physical Science, and Biology before scrapping Apologia Chemistry last year.  I ended up putting together my own thing.  This fall, our dd wants to study Anatomy and we are going to use the Advanced Pre-Med Study by Master Books. 



    Our dd read The World of Chemistry by John Hudson Tiner this year and really enjoyed it.  Some other courses Master Books offer are….


    Junior High/Middle School Level


    Intro to Meteorology & Astronomy

    Intro to Oceanography & Ecology

    Intro to Speleology & Paleontology

    Concepts fo Medicine & Biology

    Concepts of Mathematics & Physics

    Concepts of Earth Science & Chemistry

    The Science of Life: Biology

    Basic Pre-Med

    Intro to Astronomy

    Geology & Bibilical History

    Intro to Archaeology & Geology



    High School Level


    Survey of Science History & Concepts

    Survey of Science Specialties

    Natural Science

    Paleontology: Living Fossils

    Life Science

    Survey of Astronomy

    Advanced Pre-Med Studies



    I spoke with a rep from the company last week and they were absolutely wonderful about sending sample lesson plans and lab ideas.   Though these books have been around for a bit, it sounds like some of the course offerings with lesson plans are fairly new.  They are receptive to feedback in order to make improvements.   We’re going to give a try and I will more than likely post feedback on our family blog at a later time. 




    Janell and Melissa, thanks for options. I’ll check them out. Janell, do you use all 3 and only those 3 for middle school (7-9)? Trying to picture it.


    I love all the suggestions/options!  Sometimes I lament that there are so many wonderful resources available…it makes it hard to choose.  What a terrible ‘problem’ to have.Wink


    Janell and Melissa, those look amazing!  I’ve been hesitant about starting Apologia General Science in two years with my DD and those look like some great alternatives!  

    Janell, do you start with Aplogia Biology in 9th then?

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 37 total)
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