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Science has always been one of my favorite subjects. I love teaching science with lots of student exploration and hands-on activities. I believe in an organized method of presenting how to follow the scientific method and why. I want the work of exploration done by the students and the activities to be interesting, beneficial, and fun. By having similar steps to follow while doing the learning, students naturally learn and understand the scientific method and other concepts necessary for science. I haven’t found many curriculums that could capture all of that together and certainly not with a Christ-centered emphasis. Apologia does all of that and in an exceptional way.
Dr. Jay Wile who says he was an atheist for many years actually set out to prove there could not be a God, but proved to himself the opposite. God has now used him well as a Christian professor and as a textbook writer of science texts for grades 7th- 12th. His company also publishes other science texts suitable for K-6th students as well as a geography course and a writing course. He understands homeschoolers as he and his family has homeschooled his children. Dr. Wile began helping teach science at the local co-op. His classes were so popular for their quality and fun that it was often suggested that he publish his lessons. The many Apologia users are so thankful he did.
In his courses, Dr. Wile uses chapters set up as modules. The modules are separated into sections with questions at the end of each section and chapter review questions at the end of each module like many curriculums. The questions check not only knowledge, but higher order thinking, too. Dr. Wile really makes sure the student gets the concepts and can analyze and apply them. Experiments are built in and designed to be done as you come to them when it is most appropriately matched with the reading. The lesson is fresh and the observations from the experiments can help the students thoroughly explore each concept. Each course also has a multimedia cd, or it is built in to the full course that can be purchased as a computer text. These multimedia experiences enhance the curriculum in ways that most students would not be able to do at home or even in a regular classroom giving further exploration and adding interest to the curriculum. Every course has a set of application problems for each module carrying the student into further study and analysis of the concepts. After that, the student completes a study guide with definitions and exercises and essay questions. If your student follows and uses all of these activities making sure they can answer any of the questions, they can be assured of success on the test. The use of these activities in the way it is presented goes a long way to model and teach your student the proper methods of study that can be transferred to all subjects. The high quality of these courses can also help your student if they wish to study one science area through each successive level. In so doing, your student can be prepared to take the Advanced Placement or entry level CLEP tests for a particular area such as Biology or Physics.
As beneficial as the method is, the best part of these courses is the way Dr. Wile writes. He writes in a conversational tone with simple, clear explanations. You actually get the feeling that he is sitting across the table enthusiastically sharing his passion for science with you. The writing appeals to almost all students even those who don’t like science. I have seen many a student including special needs students who hated science become engrossed in his style of teaching falling in love with science. That in itself is the main reason I love this curriculum. You can feel the passion for science coming through the lessons.
Dr. Wile’s curriculums can be found on the Apologia website, www.highschoolscience.com. You can also contact Dr. Wile via email from the site. He is very personable and will help you if you have any questions. I greatly appreciate the help he has given me and my students who can’t see a textbook or hear the audio files. Christian curriculums can’t be found in braille. Dr. Wile has graciously helped us provide a format that our students can use regardless of the equipment that must use to access the text. It is truly a blessing. His courses come in well-made print texts that have wonderfully coated pages that make them great when near the materials used for experimenting. The texts including teacher’s guide and test booklets are $85.00 and well worth every penny. The Full Text on CD-Rom including the multimedia files is $65.00, and multimedia and mp3 cds are $15.00 each. Courses for elementary grades are $35.00. Wonderful prices for such great and thorough curriculums that will surely make an impression on your students. Turn your student into a scientist with the Apologia curriculums.