Title: Exploring Creation with General Science; 2nd Edition, Solutions and Tests For Exploring Creation with General Science; 2nd Edition
Author: Dr. Jay L. Wile
Publisher: Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.
ISBNs: 9781932012866, 9781932012873
Alethea’s Review (at age 12)
Last school year, Mum and I finally decided it was about time I actually finished a science course. So, I was promptly signed up to The Potter’s School’s General Science program.
We used Apologia’s General Science 2nd Edition course. This course is a Christian one, and consists of two books—the real course, and the Solutions and Tests Manual, for the parents. The course has sixteen modules. Each module usually has ten “On Your Own” questions (which are questions that you should be able to answer if you read well, but which you cannot find the answers to by just looking over the text again), several experiments, some nice coloured pictures, and at the end each has a Study Guide—a list of questions that are more like a test, and the answers to the On Your Own questions. At the end of the book, there is a glossary and three appendices—Appendix A has several pictures from the different modules illustrating scientific concepts, Appendix B contains Module Summaries with blanks in them (you’re supposed to fill the blanks with the appropriate words, I think), and Appendix C has a Complete List of Lab Supplies. Some of the subjects of the modules are as follows:
- A short history of science
- Analyzing and interpreting experiments
- The fossil record
- Uniformitarianism and Catastrophism
- The human digestive system
- The human nervous system
The Solutions and Tests Manual has solutions and tests. Amazing, no? Anyway, it has answers to the Study Guides and the Module Summaries, Module Tests and their answer keys, and Quarterly Tests and their answer keys.
I guess I should talk a bit about The Potter’s School now. TPS is a Christian online school for homeschoolers. Every Thursday at 1:15 (Eastern Time Zone), I would be upstairs in my room, headphones on my head, computer open in front of me, books on the side, pencil case open, and ready for class.
Class usually consisted of our teacher talking about the module (and some other information that wasn’t in the book), the straight A students taking notes (though I couldn’t see them taking notes [them being in different countries and all], I could almost feel it) and reprimanding the rowdy ones, and the rowdy ones (read: I and some others) having conversations in the chat box (Me: “Olfactory sensory cells sounds like the beginning of a limerick.” Classmate: “:D” Other classmate: “Olfactory Sensory… is the key… to smelling… a tree!” First classmate: “There once was an olfactory sensory cell which lived in a well…”).
We would take two or three weeks per module—before the first class, we would read the module. We would then have class, and our teacher would open two things—the online test, and a thing you click if you’ve finished the Study Guide (of course, those were honour system operated, but I think we were all reasonably honourable). After class, we would go to an online forum, where we would find a list of all the homework we were supposed to do—study guide, test, etc. We were supposed to do the On Your Own questions and Study Guide before the tests were closed. We’d have class again, and work frantically (at least, I did) to finish everything. At the same time, we’d be preparing for the next class—reading the module and everything I’ve described already. Before the next class, our teacher would close the tests. During class, we’d start on the next module—but you already know.
We didn’t do the Module Summaries or the Quarterly Tests, for which I am truly grateful—it’s a lot of work, you know! We were, however, encouraged to do the Practice Tests. Guess who thought it was way too hard for her and didn’t do it.
So now you know what we did with it, here’s my opinion of the course itself: it was educational, more fun than other science curricula (I guess), and quite interesting. Tim, being the science geek he is, would absolutely love it, but me, I’d rather curl up with a good book. Anyhow, I recommend it for any late elementary student, because whether you like science or you don’t like science, you still have to have a basic understanding of, say, the endocrine system. If you have a record of never finishing science courses (like me), you should probably do this with a group like TPS, because you’ll have to keep going or waste money, and, if nothing else, the completely off topic conversations you and your classmates have in study rooms after class should get you to keep going.
Warning: Well, there was this one module—module fifteen, to be exact—that had me laughing really hard at my other classmates—it dealt with the endocrine system and hormones. There’s nothing in the module itself that was so bad, but if you enrol in TPS, your teacher may find it necessary to, ahem, teach you about the differences between male and female hormones… You can imagine the laughs I got from my classmates’ reactions (some of them were pretending to cover the boys’ eyes). I did remind them, though, to be thankful the course doesn’t talk about the reproductive system (they wholeheartedly agreed). Oh, um, for other warnings—just remember, it’s science. Science is… weird.