Homeschooling parents used to send their teens to school, feeling they couldn’t provide quality high school science instruction at home. That hasn’t been necessary since Dr. Jay L. Wile wrote and revised his Apologia high school texts. These excellent, Creation-based courses are clear enough to be essentially self-teaching, even though they cover difficult material. In fact, as a scientist, I am impressed by the breadth and depth of these texts as well as their clarity.
The Apologia high school science textbook series includes
- Exploring Creation with Biology, first and second edition available
- Exploring Creation with Chemistry, first and second edition available
- Exploring Creation with Physics, first and second edition available
- The Human Body: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made! Second edition planned for 2012
- Exploring Creation with Marine Biology (by Sherri Seligson) first edition only
- Advanced Chemistry in Creation, first and second edition available
- Advanced Physics in Creation, first edition only
Each well-organized textbook is full of important and detailed information, presented in a chatty style. Dr. Wile is an excellent teacher and explains the material carefully, especially in the second edition texts. Each book contains worked out examples and ‘On Your Own’ questions that are answered in detail in the text. At the end of each chapter, a series of questions summarizes important concepts and checks for comprehension. These questions are answered in the separate Solutions Manual.
The texts also contain detailed instructions and explanations for the labs. Many of these labs can be performed using only household materials, but others require specialized equipment such as dissection kits, microscopes, and an array of chemicals which are available in a kit.
For detailed tables of contents and a sample of each course, click on the above links. The texts we own (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Advanced Chemistry, and Advanced Physics) are all quite similar to Advanced Chemistry which I’ve reviewed in great detail here.
Each of these Apologia courses comes with a Solutions and Tests Manual as well as a textbook. The Solutions and Tests Manuals provide solutions for each chapter’s study guide questions. They also contain tests and answer keys, and the second edition manuals include detailed marking schemes and exams with solutions as well.
Each course also comes with full curriculum support by mail, email, fax, or phone. Some also have other supporting components such as CD ROM’s, lab equipment, and an invaluable website.
Most of these courses have been revised to make them even more user-friendly. For details of the differences between the two editions, see my review of the second edition of Advanced Chemistry. If at all possible, I recommend buying the second edition. At the high school level, ease of use for both student and parent is crucial and is well worth the difference in price between a new second edition and a used first edition textbook.
Obviously, these are Christian courses, written from a creationist viewpoint. That is one of the reasons I love them. They do, however, present and explain evolution respectfully, while pointing out problems with current theories. Christian students need this sort of knowledge to be able to function and thrive in secular universities and colleges. However, if students plan to write the big standardized subject tests, they would do well to learn more about evolution from a secular source.
We’re in our fourth year of high school at home, and Miss 18 has completed the second editions of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, and is currently studying Advanced Chemistry and Advanced Physics. Unfortunately, at this time Apologia has no plans for a second edition of Advanced Physics. Mr. 15 is working on Biology and will soon begin Chemistry.
After all these years of using Dr. Wile’s texts, we are very pleased with the breadth, depth, and user-friendliness of these courses. The textbook explanations are so clear that my teens rarely come to me for help with their science, but I know they are learning much more than I did in high school, including a good many first year university topics.
Because of the Apologia science texts, homeschooled high school students have access to better quality science education than most students in public or private schools, even if their parents do not know science. The extensive support system mentioned above, the clarity of the textbooks, and the many detailed examples all help to make the courses essentially self-teaching, even though they are rigorous.
Dr. Wile’s high school science texts are an incredible resource for the Christian homeschool movement and should also be used by Christian private schools that do not have qualified high school science teachers.
For information about Apologia’s junior high science, please read this informative review.
Disclosure: I am not compensated for this review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own. I received one of the textbooks, Advanced Chemistry, for the purpose of reviewing it.
Written by Annie Kate, a Christian homeschooling mom of five, who reviews and blogs at Tea Time with Annie Kate.