Apologia Junior / Senior High Science
Written specifically for use in a homeschool environment, these biblically-centered courses take a lot of pressure off the parent teaching the course. The main component of each course is the textbook. Please note that as of summer 2020, most textbooks have switched from hardcover to paperback. The student text includes all the student reading, instructions for labs, "On Your Own" exercises, and fifteen to twenty "Study Guide" questions at the end of each chapter. Unlike many upper-level science texts, we have found these to be extremely readable! The text has a conversational tone, and concepts are explained in an easy-to-understand way. Plenty of helpful diagrams and pictures are included which add interest and break up the text. Answers to the "On Your Own" exercises are also included with discussion at the end of each chapter. The labs are designed to be done easily, and most require only household items to complete; unlike high school courses, like Bob Jones which require investing in some lab equipment and chemicals to complete the labs. Where a microscope or dissecting materials are required, a reasonably-priced complete kit of materials is available, for ease in collecting the items.
The Solution Manual contains test questions for each chapter, answers to the test questions and solutions to the "Study Guide" questions. For some courses, a separate Perforated Tests booklet is available; please note that this is only necessary if you want an extra copy of the test questions.
The recently-published Student Notebooks are a user-friendly companion that provides space for answering the On Your Own and Study Guide questions as well as for developing Lab Reports. Study helps include graphic organizers and a Module Summary for each module (fill-in-the-blank). Digging Deeper sections provide opportunity for practical applications and writing activities. For the teacher there are grading rubrics for lab reports and suggested answers for some of the graphic organizers. The History of Science module includes a nicely done timeline. Grading rubrics for the lab reports are provided in the Appendix.
Most of the courses are available on Complete Course CD-ROMs. These 2-disc sets include all of the information found in the print version of the course along with additional multimedia animations, videos, narrations, and pronunciation guides. Tests can be viewed on-screen and printed out, but are not interactive. The teacher has access to password-protected answers which they can use for manual grading. Although the program does not require access to the internet, Internet Explorer is used as the interface.
Companion CD-ROMs are also available for each Apologia textbook. Not to be confused with the CD-ROM Complete Course, these CD-ROMs offer only the multimedia features that cannot be included in a print textbook. Features include videos of experiments, close-ups of a variety of organisms, identification of different components on 3-D models, and pronunciations of words with which students are probably unfamiliar. This one would be our preference, as our family finds it easier to read a book than to read for an extended period on the computer monitor. System requirements for all CD-ROMS: Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, and 10 (not supported for Mac operating systems).
MP3 Audio CDs are also available for most courses. The audio files are in MP3 format, and will require an MP3-compatible CD player to use (these can also be run on most computers). Tests, study guides, and answers are not included - this is simply an audio version of the text.
Apologia also offers Video Instruction for Biology, Chemistry, Marine Biology and Advanced Biology. Currently some are in DVD format and some have transitioned to USB flash drive. Sherri Seligson, author and scientist, is your host and takes you to interesting locations, incorporating animated diagrams (over 20 hours of instruction) to help students better understand the concepts being taught. The content is more of a summary of the textual information found in each section of the modules than a narration of the text. Students will either see Sherri Seligson on location or in a lab during the speaking portions or they will see animated illustrations and examples. Sherri takes students through each lab and talks about what needs to be done and the results of the experiments.
System requirements for USB drives: USB port (PC or Mac), media player capable of playing mp4 files, and an internet browser. DVD requirements: DVD drive on your computer (PC or MAC) capable of playing mp4 files; these are not compatible with a DVD player.