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Apologia v/s Answers in Genesis God's Design series

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#1 Kristie G.

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 10:04 PM

I will be embarking on my 2nd year of homeschooling in the fall. I am looking for an awesome science curriculum I can teach all 4 of my children (ages 9,8,6 and 4)at the same time. I have heard great things about Apologia and the Answers in Genesis curriculum. What are some things you have liked and/or disliked about these science programs? Thanks for your help!

#2 ~Phoenix

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 10:25 PM

I just purchased (and received) the God's Design for Life (Answers in Genesis) for next year. I really like the look of it. I love how it is broken down into different sections for beginners and older kids. I think that would make it very user friendly for families with kids of a wide age range. The way that God's Design is, I think your 4 yr. old would even get something out of it. (At least I hope, since my 4 yr. old will be doing it with us next year!)

I chose God's Design over Apologia because I didn't want to study the same thing all year. Also, I didn't like that Apologia doesn't cover my favorite - Earth Science (besides Astronomy), Chemistry or Physics for the younger years.

I am really thrilled with how God's Design looks - it looks SO easy to implement.

HTH, sorry I don't have "been there, done that" advice. :) (Note: buy the new color version if you can, I've heard the older one isn't set up the same way as the new version.)

#3 alpidarkomama

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:06 PM

We're on our 4th Apologia book (astronomy, after finishing all three zoology books). It's been a big success with my kids, 8, 6, 5, and 3-1/2. We're Jewish so we adapt it a bit as we go but it took no real extra time to do so. They've retained a LOT from these books! :)

#4 Rosy

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:18 PM

Warning: you may find that there is bad blood between Ken Ham/AIG and many of the members of this board.

That said, DD10 has taken an Apologia class and learned so much. I don't do a formal science curriculum at home (we do notebooking and they do experiment-based classes at co-op), but I would choose Apologia or R.E.A.L. Science 4 Kids if I did. I have found them both to be age-appropriate in the information given, and the experiments are relevant to the content taught. I didn't find that to be the case when I used God's Design...it was Heat & Energy, which are more abstract topics, but the curr. was supposed to be gr. 3-8 and it was well over all of my kids' heads.

#5 Rosy

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:19 PM

My only complaint about Apologia is that it is extremely biology-heavy in the early grades, and doesn't offer geology at all (except a portion of the General Science curr).

#6 loesje22000

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:57 AM

I've considered both seriously, and afterall I use now none of them.

Apologia was to much 'sitting on the couch' although we used the lapbook 'to get it work'. It didn't.
After 6 weeks, we still didn't finished lesson 1, we quit. It was a overkill of information. It might be, that being ESL was a problem, we kept the books as reference work.

God's Design looks so attracting to me, but I wasn't sure about te level.
And no thread on the boards could convince me it was the level I needed.
It looks much too easy to me, spefically for using in 5th-8th grade.
I have to deal with shippings and custom charges so I didn't dare to take the risk for missing again...

We work with BJU Science now, just TM, textbook, workbook and it works great :-)

#7 boscopup

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 06:23 AM

I was looking at God's Design (before the kerfluffle :lol:), and the potential problem I saw with it was that the "beginner" section was already too beginnerish for my first grader (he's sciencey), but the advanced section was too advanced. While it is supposed to be for multiple age levels, my son was going to fit somewhere in the middle between them, and I didn't think he'd get as much out of it.

We are using some Apologia now. It is VERY wordy. Sometimes, she'll take so long to say something that you might even stop and explain something yourself that was mentioned, and then you keep reading and realize she did eventually explain it. It was just later in the long paragraph. I like the depth of the info, but the wordiness surrounding it makes it tough to read. I also am finding that notebooking for science is not the best thing for us right now, since I still have to write narrations. I think worksheets would be better for this age. I do like having the Apologia books on the shelf for my kids to look at, even if we don't use it as a main curriculum. The pictures are great, and there is a lot of information there (though we have to skip some of the creation confirmation sections when it starts talking about things that we have a differing view on... We're YEC, but don't believe there will be a physical kingdom on earth, returning to the state of Eden, and that idea is portrayed throughout the books).

I have BJU Science 3 on the way to try, but that's not combining ages (my 4 year old can tag along, but I'm not teaching TO him). I like the samples and how it's laid out. We'll see how it works in practice. I don't know what I'll do for science when all 3 kids are in school. Maybe run away and hide? :tongue_smilie: I love the idea of God's Design, but I just don't know if it'd work well in practice. Maybe by time I have 3 in school, some really great new science curriculum will be out that works better. :tongue_smilie:

#8 Narrow Gate Academy

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:48 AM

I've used both of these programs at different times.

God's Design:
Pros: short lessons, currently a wider spectrum of topics, more hands on activities, different levels of reading
Cons: can seem a bit dry and textbook like at times because it is written fairly concisely, there is a bit of a leap between the beginner and regular sections

Apologia:
Pros: greater depth of coverage of each topic, not textbooky, available notebooking and lapbooking pages, active Yahoo group
Cons: fewer hands on activities, a bit too wordy at times, currently fewer topics but an earth science and chem/physics are in the works, I've personally found the terminology to be over the heads of younger kids (Astronomy would be the exception)

#9 kchara

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:09 AM

We've only used Apologia (we've done Astronomy, and am now about half way through Botany), but I've been shocked at how much my kids are actually retaining, and how interested they are in the subject matter. I wasn't sure about studying one subject all year, either, so we got around that by shortening the schedule. (There are 12 and 16 week schedules on the Elementary Apologia Yahoo group that we use.) Then, our plan is to get 2 books in during the school year, and maybe 1 more during the summer, depending on how it goes. This works for us, b/c I have one going into 5th grade, and I'd like her to be at least exposed to everything before she goes into the upper levels in Apologia. Plus, they don't have an earth science course, so I want to add one in somewhere before she gets out of the elementary grades. When we get through all of the books, and the earth science study, then we'll just cycle back through, similar to what we do in history, and just keep going until everyone's been exposed to all of the books. ;)

We notebook for my older two, using the free notebooks, not the paid ones, and my PreK will be getting a lapbook for next year, but honestly, I'm not expecting miracles with him. It's going to be more of something to keep him busy, b/c he's insisting on "playing school with us." He's really looking forward to science next year.

#10 kandty

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:15 AM

Can someone provide a link to the yahoo group.

#11 maryanne

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 08:30 AM

I've used with Apologia's Astronomy and Botany and God's Design for Earth and Space and parts of God's Design for Chemistry and God's Design for the Physical World.

I agree with much of what has already been written. I didn't use more of the Apologia because I wanted Earth Science, Chemistry and Physics and I couldn't stomach so much life science. The books are full of detail written in an understandable way.

Overall I thought the Apologia experiments were fewer and more involved, but very good and very relevant. There are more God's Design experiments, but they are mostly simpler and less involved, but mostly still very good and very relevant, although some are more crafty and some are word searches etc.

The newest edition God's Design for Life and God's for Earth and Space lends itself to a broader age range because they have added the beginner section for K-2 grades and extensions for 7-8 grades. I did supplement the Earth and Space beginners section for my 2nd grader when I had time with Magic School Bus and other books from the library, but didn't worry about it when there wasn't time.

The God's Design Chemistry and Physics series don't have the beginner section. I did parts of them with ds when he was in 3rd. Despite the fact that he is sciency and works above grade level a lot of the material went over his head. We are planning to use them again next year (ds in 6th, dd in 3rd) and ds is excited about redoing them. I am planning to supplement with simpler library books for dd, though.

And yes, despite the kerfluffle, we are still planning to use Story of the World and God's Design for Science next year. They are both excellent curricula that work very well for our family.

#12 kchara

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 09:26 AM

Elementary Apologia Science Yahoo group. There is a ton of information in the files section, too, so make sure you check that out. :)

#13 Kristie G.

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 01:04 PM

Thank you all for your help. You all definitely gave me a lot to think about and a lot of helpful information.



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