Thursday, April 9, 2009

Exploring Creation with Biology-2nd edition

Six years ago I took my then 7th grade daughter to a nearby support group meeting that was hosting Dr. Jay Wile, founder of Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. as its guest speaker. He gave an extremely encouraging talk regarding homeschooling during the teen years. For those fearing the future, Dr. Wile offered positive statistics regarding home educated students, wonderfully encouraging antidotes and an entire line textbook curriculum line covering Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Marine Biology and Anatomy and Physiology.

I asked for his recommendation regarding a science course for Courtney for the following year. He had mentioned during his talk to match a student’s math ability with their science course. When a student took Algebra 1 they should be ready for his high school course, Exploring Creation with Biology. He suggested we begin high school work and move from his General Science text right into Biology the following year. This, in his opinion, would allow Courtney time later in high school to re-visit her favorite science course at an advanced level.

Following his advice we purchased Exploring Creation with Biology-1st edition during the summer and a high school was born at our home. Six years later, three of my children have successfully completed Apologia’s Biology course with my son having the unique opportunity of being assisted by a PHD in Biology in a co-op setting. His teacher chose Apologia over all other texts on the market after reviewing the book.

Exploring Creation with Biology-2nd edition was actually released several years ago. Since we had a very new looking first edition I made my kids suffer as the “only ones without the new book”. The differences with the 2nd edition include color photographs in the text, updated information regarding cellular science, an improved tests and solutions manual including a semester test and final exam and assistance with awarding points for essay test answers.

Apologia Science Exploring Creation with Biology--2nd edition is a creation based high school biology text book. I once compared it with our local high school’s textbook at the library finding it of superior quality in regards to presentation of material. The text is written in a narrative style so the student can get the feel of having a master teacher within the pages of the book. Labs including the dreaded dissections are laid out in a step by step format with helpful explanations and diagrams included to enable maximum success. A high powered microscope is recommended and well worth the investment if being used by multiple children. Students will use the microscope during two thirds of the course as they study cells, plant life and single celled organisms. Even if dissections are not completed the explanations, diagrams and photographs will provide adequate exposure for the student to succeed on the tests.

Exploring Creation with Biology—2nd edition text and accompanying solutions and tests manual sell on the Apologia website for $85.00. The text book is available separately for $65.00 and the solutions manual separately for $20.00. For those desiring a high tech version of the course a CD Rom of the entire text is available for $65.00. In addition a multimedia companion CD is priced at $15.00 and a MP3 recording of the text for auditory learners is sold for $15.00. A complete microscope set, priced at $270.00 is available at as well.

Exploring Creation with Biology-2nd edition is a very comprehensive and challenging course for high school. The key to success is constant memorization practice of vocabulary. All vocabulary is highlighted and defined within the text for easy identification. Students complete the course in 32 weeks completing one module every two weeks. The text contains 16 modules covering the topics of Kingdom Monera, Protista, Fungi, Chemistry of Life, The Cell, Cellular Reproduction, Mendelian Genetics, Evolution, Ecology, Invertebrates, Kingdom Plantae, and Reptiles Birds and Mammals. All tests are comprised of essay type questions and answers thus the need for memorizing and constant comprehension of the various topics.

Dr. Wile along with co-author Marilyn Durnell has provided homeschoolers with a phenomenal resource. Students not only fulfill a high school lab science requirement by completing this course, but they also grow tremendously in their ability to study independently and follow a schedule. Six years after first opening the pages of this amazing textbook I am still impressed.


Dawn said...

I have a question for you. Apologia's website says that everyone doing biology in a co-op or group setting needs the same edition for it to work. Yet you mentioned that your kids were the only ones with a 1st edition. I have the 2nd edition, the other families have 1st. None of us wants to buy new books...was it really an issue? Can we make it work? Thanks,

Supermomof6kids said...

If you have the 2nd edition then you have MORE information than everyone else. As with most updates the 2nd edition has many improvements, etc. to the 1st. Evertything that is in the 1st edition is in the 2nd, but not everything in the 2nd is in the 1st. We were able to make it work for the same reasons you stated. I was stubborn and didn't want to buy a brand new book since the older one was still very usable.

Hope this helps!

Regenia :-)

Jagged Jinx said...

I'm a sophomore nearing the end of the school year (and this book). I am TERRIBLY annoyed with this book. Perhaps it explains thing clearly for others, but at least 3 others using the book that I've spoken to, agree that it's repetitive, dry, and poorly written. Transition words are placed in the middle of sentences, breaking up sentences and making it very difficult to read. Another frequent faux pas is the way the author apologizes for giving the reader a lot of information at once, and realizes that the reader is probably "confused." I've found myself re-reading whole pages trying to figure out what I missed, just to find that I understood it--before I was told it was likely to have baffled me.
So no, I DO NOT recommend this book, unless it is to someone below 8th grade, or someone who is not critical or thrown off by those who aren't.

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