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Clover Creek Physics vrs. Apologia

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I'm wondering how Clover Creek compares to Apologia.  I've heard such great things about C.Creek both on here and from irl friends that I always planned to use this.  I especially like what I've heard about the way it teaches writing up lab reports.  For the past few years we've used Apologia simply because that's what everyone around here uses, and so we've been able to have a lab group that meets together.  The kids are all good friends, and also good students so they keep each other motivated to study hard and score well. This is why I've stuck with it even though Apologia isn't my personal favorite. This year we have a lady who has a science background teaching Apologia Chemistry and I'm thinking she will offer Physics either next year or the following (so this group of kids can have it before graduating.)

Here's my question:  Would CC be about the same level as Apologia?  Or would it be more of an intro (since it uses a conceptual textbook) and then we could take Apologia the following year with the lab group? I had always planned to do CC and then Apologia but I saw on the website that there is more math added in than a typical conceptual level course so I'm guessing these are about the same level.  I don't want to do both if there's a lot of overlap.   Which means, of course, that I have to pick. 😕 ( My son has always done well in math and science, so I'm not concerned about Apologia being too hard.) 

I know my son will want to be with friends and I do already own the Apologia books, but I just can't help but thinking the Clover Creek would be better.  Help me think through whether the benefit of the lab reports outweighs the benefit of a live group with friends.  And yes, I realize I'm already stressing about next year and it's only September.

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I can’t answer your comparison question, but I just want to say Jetta is an incredible teacher, and what she adds with her teaching and personality has made all the difference here. She also adds problem solving worksheets, so it includes basic algebra and isn’t all conceptual. 

I can’t imagine Apologia to be more advanced to warrant a repeat of the course. You would be probably better served with an AP physics course as a follow up, assuming there is interest. Otherwise CC is more than enough as a high school physics course. 


I think socialization question is a separate question from the course. I have highly outgoing children who thrive in a group/live setting. But strictly from physics perspective, you can’t go wrong with Jetta’s class. 

Edited by Roadrunner
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Agreeing with Roadrunner, about how much a teacher can bring to a class.

BUT... ultimately DS's opinion should carry a lot of weight, since HE is the one having to accomplish the Science credit. Does HE have a preference, after looking at both programs, and after you guys talking through the pros and cons of both options? The big take-away to me from your post is the bolded below -- in essence, if DS doesn't mind Apologia, and since the group lab motivates him to work hard, then it's probably best to NOT "fix what isn't broken" -- regardless of how great the other option looks from the outside (and how much I wish Jetta's classes had been around when WE were doing physics!) 😉

- does well with Math & Science -- Apologia not too hard
- wants to be with friends
- motivated to study hard/score well by being with his friends in the lab group

other facts:
- science background lady will be teaching Apologia Physics
- you already own Apologia

- hear great reviews about Clover Creek classes
- prefer the Clover Creek way of teaching lab reports

In case it helps, some possible alternatives:
- For next year -- perhaps a few IRL friends who have said great things about Clover Creek can take it together with your DS, and then they can all do the Clover Creek labs together.
- Or, perhaps have your DS do Clover Creek, but sign up for a different co-op class to still see his friends regularly. Or if it's not a co-op, then plan a regular weekly other activity with the IRL friends so DS can have that fun social time. It just wouldn't be with doing the Apologia science labs.

Mostly just reflecting your thoughts back to you here. 🙂 

We did use both Apologia Biology & Chemistry (original texts by Jay Wile), and Conceptual Physics (Hewitt) and Conceptual Chemistry (Suchocki). Our experience was that Apologia killed the joy of Science here -- dry, formal, with an emphasis on quizzes/tests/fill-in-the-blanks. The 2 different Conceptual texts revived our enjoyment of Science. (Alas, no Jetta classes (Clover Creek Physics) or Connie classes (Clover Valley Chemistry) available to us at that time, so we did them on our own.)

While we didn't do Apologia Physics to be able to compare, Conceptual Physics does have math-based problems at the end of every chapter, plus an entire additional book of Problem-Solving -- so it's not just conceptual. We did not have the option of a lab group to encourage us and to share doing Apologia with -- and while DSs would have enjoyed doing the labs with friends, I doubt that alone would have been enough to lessen the grinding drudgery of getting through the Apologia textbook each week. 😄 But it doesn't sound like that is your DS's feeling about Apologia ... 😉 

BEST of luck in deciding! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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I can't really compare the two either because we have only done a few months of the Apologia physical science course and we had to abandon it and move to another text because my dd did not enjoy the style at all. But I can comment on the Clover Creek course as both my dds have done it. Jetta is an amazing and inspiring teacher and one of the absolute best I have come across. My dds got a great physics education because of it, and the thing I really love is that they both remember the things they learned in it so well. My oldest dd did the course over 4 years ago and things she learned from it often come up in conversations and she is doing very well in college science courses largely because of all she learned from Jetta.

It honestly sounds like you have two very good options to choose from for your son, but I honestly can't imagine a student that wouldn't enjoy Jetta's course.

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CC Physics was the best online class we have ever had.  2 years after CC Physics, DD is taking AP Physics C and loving it.   Her teacher comments on her "stellar" lab reports.  All thanks to CC Physics.

We have used Apologia(and currently doing Biology).  Physical Science was SO AWFUL here.  I did not have high hopes for Physics.  

DD is a senior and plans on majoring in physics/electrical engineering.  She was a biology girl until 10th grade.(When she fell in love with physics!)

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I cannot compare CC to Apologia. However, I want to echo the others in saying that Jetta is a fantastic teacher. Unlike some of the kiddos on here my dd did not walk away loving physics. She is much more interested in life sciences. But she learned a ton and she absolutely loved Mrs. Jetta. It was a really wonderful experience.

Like you noted, CC may use a conceptual text, but the class is not considered conceptual. It is a very challenging class with a lot of math/problem solving - I would be fairly confident that it is more challenging than Apologia. I know that doesn't necessarily help; I'm just confirming that doing both would be pointless.

My dd has taken 2 online classes - she enjoyed both classes and she liked both teachers (Roy Speed was the other), but she hates online classes. She just doesn't like that format. So at the end of the day, I'd probably lay out the pros and cons for your son then let him decide.

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Thank you all for helping me sort through my thoughts.  Right now I'm really hoping that the other teacher decides not to offer it, and then I can convince the whole group to do it with Jetta!  Lol!  I think that class sounds so amazing, especially since I now realize it is more challenging than I was even thinking.  He doesn't seem to mind Apologia but he's never had anything different since he started middle school.  I, on the other hand, had some really amazing science classes in school and just find it very dry and boring.  I will talk some more with my son and let him know everyones experiences with it and see what he thinks.  (In the past he hasn't been a huge fan of online classes because he says not many kids participate, but he's having a great experience with his foreign language class this year so that might change his opinion!)  

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