5 Reasons to Get the New Version of Apologia Physical Science

Apologia Physical Science has a new updated 3rd edition out for 2020, and it’s worth the upgrade! Here are five reasons you should add it to your homeschool curriculum lineup.

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The following post and video were made as a collaboration between Apologia and It’s a Joyous Journey. We received the Apologia Advantage Set-Physical Science, 3rd Edition in return for providing this honest content related to our personal experiences with the product.

Apologia homeschool science curriculum has had a place on our bookshelves for many years. We’ve used it at almost every grade-level, both in homeschool co-ops and on our own. I’ve always saved the high school courses when my oldest son took them, so my younger kids could use them too.

This year, when it was time to start planning for my daughter’s freshman year, I went to Apologia’s website to see about ordering a student notebook to go with the 2nd edition of Physical Science that had been patiently waiting on the shelf for a couple of years.

What I found instead was a new Apologia Physical Science, 3rd Edition with enough upgraded features that it absolutely earned a spot in our homeschool curriculum line up. Yes, my daughter is our last homeschooler, and I could have just stuck with what we had. But, I felt this new edition would enhance her high school science experience in a way that was definitely worth nudging the 2nd edition to the “Sell or Donate” box.

So, what exactly is it that makes the 3rd edition so much better?

Here are five reasons we love it!

It’s more user-friendly!

The writing is broken up with a lot more graphics and figures, so it’s easier to read (you don’t have the full pages of nothing but text like you did in the older version). The graphics and figures also help to explain the concepts in a visual way. The font seems to be bigger, too.

Informative visuals and bigger font!

The edge of the book utilizes coloring to mark the location of each module, so it’s easier to find your spot.

Easily find your place in the text!

The organization between the textbook and Student Notebook is also a big plus! For example, when you come to the “On Your Own” questions in the text, you can move right over to the Student Notebook and find them written out with space to answer. The vocabulary words are presented in the Student Notebook in the same order (and color) you find them in the text, and the note-taking prompts follow right along with the sequence of the module, as well.

Textbook and Student Notebook go hand-in-hand!

It’s just a very structured, open-and-go homeschool science curriculum that both students and parents will be able to easily navigate!

It’s colorful!

Color is used so well in Apologia Physical Science, 3rd Edition. I already mentioned how it’s used to mark the different modules, but the entire textbook and notebook are filled with colors that organize the content beautifully!

Colorful graphics!

Not only are there stunning photos and graphics, but students are able to recognize the different parts of the modules by the color coding that is used. For instance, new sections are titled in purple, vocabulary words are set apart in blue text, “On Your Own” questions are found in green boxes, and examples stand out in a flesh-colored box. The color-coding carries over into the Student Notebook for continued flow across the curriculum.

Color-coding makes identifying sections simple!

The use of color in Apologia Physical Science, 3rd Edition really draws you into the text and brings the content to life!

The content has been expanded!

The 3rd edition is not just updated with more color and graphics. The entire text has been re-written to offer a more complete physical science curriculum. It covers chemistry, physics, and Earth science, and it gives students everything they need to prepare for more advanced high school science courses.

High School Science

Apologia recommends that this course be taken in 8th grade, but they also recognize that it can be used as a 9th grade lab science course (which is how we are using it). Either way, it’s meant to be taken right before high school biology.

The Student Notebook is amazing!

It keeps all of the student notes, “On Your Own” questions, study guides, and lab reports together in one place, which makes it easier to stay organized and prepare for tests. As I mentioned before, the color-coded organization from the textbook carries over into the Student Notebook, making it simple to identify the different sections (vocabulary, notes, “On Your Own” questions, etc.).

There is a suggested schedule for the year, as well as daily “What To Do” checklists that give the students step-by-step instructions for each day. The note-taking prompts and graphic organizers take the guesswork out of note-taking and guide students to the most important information from the text.

Daily checklists, note-taking prompts, and graphic organizers teach vital study skills!

In the back of the Student Notebook, all of the experiments from the textbook can be found, along with informal lab reports. There is also one formal lab report for each module, and the student can choose which experiment from each module he or she would like to use to complete the formal lab report.

Keep track of experiments in the Student Notebook!

The organization and structure of this Student Notebook is really the best part of the course, in my opinion. It’s an outstanding tool!

It fosters independent learning!

Between the schedules, to-do lists, note-taking prompts, “You Do Science”, formal and informal lab reports, and complete walk-through of creating a scientific research paper, Apologia Physical Science gives students the opportunity to utilize the resources available to them to develop lifelong learning strategies.

Students learn to utilize resources for lifelong learning!

One of the most important skills for homeschool high school students to master is how to take ownership of their learning. The overall course schedule and daily checklists teach students how to plan and manage their time efficiently to keep them on track.

Yearly schedule to stay on track!

This course provides students with a variety of note-taking prompts and graphic organizers that guide them to the most essential material in the text. This helps them discover what kind of note-taking aligns best with their personal learning style, while also giving them plenty of practice in finding main ideas and supporting details, summarizing, creating charts, graphs, and drawings to represent what they’re learning, etc.

Students discover which note-taking strategies align best with their learning style!

It’s just really got a lot of great tools to help students learn how to pick out and process important information in the text. In the information age that we live in, this is a vital skill to develop.

Parents are encouraged not to take grades on the student notes, “On Your Own” questions, or study guides. There are no right or wrong answers on student notes. Students are encouraged to check their own work and correct any misunderstandings before preparing for the test. This is an important step in the learning process. We can always learn from our mistakes in life and the same is true in academic pursuits.

Final Thoughts…

As always, Apologia science courses do an amazing job of providing a strong scientific foundation from a solid Christian worldview. The authority of God as the Creator of Earth is referenced throughout the text, most often in the module introductions.

I’ve always loved the way Apologia authors are able to show how the work of our Creator is so evident within scientific findings and the order of our physical world! There’s no need to water down either the science or the faith, because they go hand in hand!

Apologia Middle School Physical Science

Apologia Physical Science, 3rd Edition is a fantastic improvement to a course that was already very good! The user-friendly style, colorful graphics and organization, expanded content, outstanding Student Notebook, and independent learning tools make this new edition worth the upgrade!

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I love to share my passion for family, faith, learning, and adventure! I am a worship pastor's wife, a homeschool mom, a former public school teacher and counselor, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology. My heart is to encourage and support families who are homeschooling kids with ADHD, homeschooling high school, and raising teenagers. I'm so excited for you to follow along on this joyous journey!

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