Apologia Science Curriculum
Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. offers junior high and high school science curriculum that is especially designed for homeschoolers. Written by a former university professor, it is readable, easy to understand, and has experiments that can be performed at home. Our curriculum is even backed by a free question-and-answer support system.
What do we mean when we say that our science courses are written specifically for homeschoolers? Well, they are designed with the idea that the student is on his or her own with each course. This means that all of the explanation that a teacher would normally give orally in class is included in the book, laid out step by step. This is also why the course is written conversationally, to make the student feel as if someone is speaking directly to him or her. The laboratory experiments are designed to be done at home, with household items or scaled-down laboratory equipment. If questions come up that you can’t answer, we provide a free question and answer service. There’s information in the front of the student textbook telling you how to reach us.Although the curriculum is designed for the student to learn on his or her own, we strongly encourage the parent to be an active part of the process. This, of course, is not always practical, given the size of many families. However, if the parent can do it, the experience can be very rewarding. We get many letters and e-mails from parents indicating that they were surprised how much they learned as a result of working with their children. Parents who hated, struggled through, and even failed science courses when they were in school indicate that they can actually learn those subjects using our curriculum. Often, they actually find that they enjoy learning what they hated in high school!
How did we come up with this approach to science education? In the words of our founder, Dr. Jay Wile: “In my many years of teaching at both the high school and college level, I came to the conclusion that the worst way for a student to learn the sciences is by listening to a teacher. More than any other field of inquiry, science is a subject of synthesis. Science take reams of facts and combines them with mathematical techniques to synthesize new scientific ideas. Well, each person synthesizes differently. How can a teacher possibly teach science when the teacher and the student don’t synthesize in the same way?Science must be an individual experience, because each student must learn how to think scientifically in his or her own way. This simply cannot be done in a classroom. That’s why I consider the homeschooling environment to be ideal for science education. Of course, I did not originally think this way. Having been trapped in the education establishment, I was convinced that the only way a student could learn science is by sitting in a classroom and listening to an “expert.”
I learned the error of my ways when I was as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Ball State University. After teaching there for a few years, I came to the startling conclusion that my three top students were all homeschooled. This struck me as odd, since they obviously did not have the benefit of an expert teacher. I wondered how in the world they could have ever learned the high school sciences as well as they had, since their only resources were “untrained” parents.When confronted with any question, a scientist tries to do research to find an answer. Thus, I scoured the education literature to see if there had been any studies of how homeschooled students performed in the sciences. I thought that my research would demonstrate that these three students were statistical aberrations. Surely the vast majority of homeschooled students did not fare well in the sciences! I was wrong. Study after study showed that in the sciences, homeschooled students excel compared to publicly and privately schooled students! This statistic is particularly interesting when you learn that the number one subject homeschooled parents feel inadequate to teach is SCIENCE!
It took me a long time to understand these studies, but I finally came to the conclusion that homeschooled student excel at the sciences because, by and large, they are not taught science. Instead, they learn science on their own. When I realized this, I formed Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. My goal was to provide curriculum to students that would allow them to learn science on their own.Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. offers science curriculum for grades 7-12. Unlike most other science curriculum out there, this is rigorous, college-prep curriculum designed especially for homeschoolers! The course material is easy to read and understand, and it is backed up by a free question and answer service. The experiments are designed to be done at home, and the parent has a great deal of flexibility in determining how much money must be invested in lab equipment. The courses are designed so that the student can learn on his or her own, and based on the reports we have received, that’s exactly what is happening!
We get feedback letters and e-mails from our students on a daily basis. Many say that they hated science until they started using our materials, but now they actually enjoy it and are really learning it! Of course, we love getting such feedback. We also get feedback from students who used our curriculum in high school and are now in college. Typically, these students say that they are better prepared for college-level science than most of their fellow students. Many times, they tell us that they are tutoring their fellow students or that they have won awards such as the “Most Outstanding Freshman Chemistry Major.” That’s what can happen when you give homeschooled students the tools that allow them to learn on their own!You can learn more about Apologia Educational Ministries by calling toll-free 888-524-4724 or by visiting our website at www.apologia.com.
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