Homeschool Science for Middle School by Apologia 

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition

Along with their peers, homeschool students entering middle school are going through large-scale physical and mental development as they transition from the ability to understand tangible facts to also gaining the skills for comprehending abstract ideas and processes. At this stage, students are also becoming more capable in their abilities to acquire the gifts needed for independence and accountability in their studies. The development of new talents, however, requires encouragement, nurturing, and building good habits.

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition, is specifically designed to walk with your middle school student transitioning from homeschool elementary courses as he or she rises up to meet his or her greater abilities and developing maturity. 

Like bookends holding up content, in the first module in Exploring Creation with General Science, your child will be motivated to learn about many great scientists in history who were driven to study our world out of a desire to better know God as its creator. In the last module of this Apologia science course, your child will be introduced to a presentation of testimonies by modern-day scientists who encourage students to study science to better know God and give Him glory. 

We want your students to make a smooth and successful transition, so we’ve added to our general science course instruction for: 

  • Note taking skills 
  • Proper experimental processes and reporting results 
  • Abilities needed for appropriately analyzing and creating graphic materials 
  • How to logically think through and beyond the textbook materials 
  • Seeing evidence of God’s creation as they learn scientific principles

This homeschool science course for middle school sets the foundation for higher learning through gradual exposure to these concepts and others, ultimately building a strong foundation for upper-level courses to come. 

Sample Video And Free Preview

 

Overview of Apologia’s General Science Course for Middle School

This third edition is a true general science course covering a wide range of the branches of science while making the connections between each. Students will learn what science is and, in a detailed and engaging way, how to utilize the proper scientific method.

They are walked through how to record data and report it. And far too often students are not given instruction in how to read and create graphs (a skill that is found on SAT and ACT exams), however in this course, students are taken through the process of creating several graph types, learning how to properly design and interpret them.

Apologia’s middle school science course begins with the history of science and ends with a module on science and creation. The last module is written by 10 different contributing scientists who are not only specialists in their fields, but also have a firm belief that God created the heavens and the Earth. These contributing scientists include:

  1. Tom Burbey, Professor of Hydrogeology in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech
  2. Robert Carter, Staff Scientist and Researcher at Creation Ministries International
  3. Bob Davis, Professor of Physics at Taylor University
  4. Marci-Anne Hanks, EdD, Instructor at the Apologia Online Academy
  5. Damian Ludwiczak, Chief – Mechanisms and Tribology Branch at NASA Glenn Research Center
  6. Paul Madtes, Professor of Biology at Mount Vernon Nazarene University
  7. Lucee Price, Limnology, Instructor at the Apologia Online Academy
  8. Sherri Seligson, Curriculum and Film Author for Apologia Educational Ministries
  9. Chad Snyder, Department of Science and Mathematics Chair/Associate Professor of Chemistry at Grace College and Theological Seminary
  10. Rachael Yunis, Director of Apologia Science

The final module in Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition, is a fun and exciting culmination of the course. It has no exam, rather students are given step-by-step instructions to build a final project of creating a Rube-Goldberg machine, incorporating many of the scientific principles they learned throughout the year (such as combustion, buoyancy, simple machines, and more).

Table of Contents

In 7th grade, students are transitioning out from elementary studies. In order to make this 3rd Edition of Exploring Creation with General Science student-friendly, we reinvented, rearranged, and rewrote the content of previous editions. The 3rd edition version has 14 modules (not 16). They cover:

  • The History of Science
  • Scientific Inquiry and the Scientific Method
  • Documenting and Interpreting experimental Results
  • Scientific Analysis and History
  • Earth Science – Astronomy
  • Earth Science – Geology and Paleontology
  • Earth Science – Meteorology and Oceanography
  • General Chemistry
  • General Physics
  • Life Science
  • General Biology
  • The Oceans of the Earth
  • Environmental Science
  • Science and Creation

I love your writing style and warm tone. The information is presented in a clear manner that students can easily understand.

~ Instructor

General Science: Lesson Planning, Experiments, Materials, and Grading

This middle school science course for homeschool students consists of a student textbook, Solutions and Test Manual, and Student Notebook as the core pieces.   

An audiobook version of the textbook is available as an MP3 CD or download.  

Video instruction is also available with Sherri Seligson providing course instruction in an engaging way that adds to a student’s book knowledge. It also provides instruction and video of each activity listed in the textbook.  

Lesson Planning

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition, is designed to be done 4 days a week (as compared to 2 days a week for our elementary series and 5 days a week for our high school courses).

There are 14 modules which are fuller than the 14 modules found in an elementary course, but also less than the 16 modules found in a high school course.

General Science is a full school year course, with plenty of room for your family to adapt the daily schedule found in the Student Notebook to fit your needs.

Experiments

In early modules, we walk students through each step of the scientific method, including specific portions of the text being highlighted so students know where to find important information for lab write-ups, and they are guided through that process as well.

General lab report spaces are provided in the Student Notebook for each activity so that the students learn proper formatting and what is expected of them. All of the experiments in this course utilize easy-to-obtain household materials, so no special equipment is necessary, yet complex scientific principles are easy to explore and understand.

Although the students might complete and document more than one experiment in a module, they are given the opportunity in each module to choose a single experiment on which they want to complete a formal lab report, thus providing the opportunity to build on interest-driven learning. Instruction on formal lab report writing is also given.

Therefore, students are learning all of the stages of scientific study in a relaxed atmosphere that lets the student lead.

  • Experiments are clearly designated in the textbook.
  • Students conduct the experiment and record findings on specially created lab report forms found in their Student Notebook.
  • Students choose which experiment they wish to write up formally. Formal lab report space is included in the Student Notebook
Apologia's Middle School Science for Homeschool Students - Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition

Additionally, because students are transitioning from elementary school years where the hands-on “wow” factors drive the interest in the textual readings, we also include Explore More sections throughout the text that students can choose to do to expand on the concepts they are reading about. These are informal activities that require inquisitiveness but not formal reporting, allowing students the freedom to further explore the scientific concepts presented in each module. There is space within the note-taking section of their Student Notebook to record each Explore More.

 Apologia's Middle School Science for Homeschool Students - Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition

Materials:

Textbook

The textbook is written in a conversational format as the author talks directly to students, walking them through how to complete experiments, how to identify the important parts of the information presented, and where and how to take notes as they progress.

Student Notebook

The Student Notebook pairs perfectly with the textbook, providing easy-to-understand graphics where students fill in the blank spaces as they read. Thus, they are learning how to take information out of a text, identify key points, and critically think through what they are learning.

Student Notebook Pages for Apologia's Middle School Science for Homeschool Students - Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition

Solutions and Tests

There are tests provided for each module, and students are given many study helps via their student notes within the Student Notebook and a practice Study Guide they complete once they complete a module.

The first two module tests are assigned to be given as open-book tests so that students learn the format of this course and more easily transition to improve the skill of test-taking, thus preparing them for upper grades and even college work.

Middle school science course for homeschool students Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition

Instructional Video

This course, like most of our upper-level courses, has a complete module-by-module instructional video with an instructor presenting all the material within a module via animations, power points, diagrams, and on-location videos so students are able to learn the information in a more engaging format and see practical connections to the material presented. Additionally, videos of all the experiments and Explore More activities are included, so parents and students can better understand how to set them up at home. Complete explanations of the labs are provided too.

Grading

Middle school-aged students are in a transition period between childhood and adulthood, and we believe it is important to emphasize the importance of character. Thus, if they desire to do so in each module, parents are encouraged (and guided) to incorporate character performance into their student’s grade. Often it takes a student some time to develop skills in test-taking and neatly performing experiments, so a character grade (or participation score) is a way of encouraging students to persevere in developing these skills. Parents can award points as they deem appropriate for attitudes such as cheerfulness, willingness to work hard, or diligence in completing homework.

Complete, step-by-step grading rubrics are provided to the parents, showing how to calculate a module grade from the student’s module test, lab work, and character displayed throughout the module.

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How the Student Notebook Benefits the Middle School Student

 

Note taking is a learned skill. While it might seem like there should be “answers” to questions and prompts found in the student notebook, we do not provide specific answers on purpose. The best way to take notes is the way that works for the student. That’s why the Student Notebook introduces the student to several methods for taking notes. At the beginning of each module in their Student Notebooks, students are encouraged to take mindful notes using techniques that expand as the school year progresses.

The Student Notebook also includes tips for writing good notes. Here are just some tips for writing good notes that students will be introduced to in this notebook:

  • Make sure to include the main ideas of each passage and list the minor concepts under the main ones.
  • Use the author’s style to guide your notes. If the author defines a term, make sure you include that definition in your notebook (you won’t miss it; we have it there ready for you to define).
  • If the author is comparing or contrasting two things in the text, you should compare and/or contrast in your notes (again, we’ll provide you with some diagrams to help you do this).
  • If the author is classifying in the text, you should classify in your notes (and remember to include any hints you think of).
  • Don’t copy the text word for word. Always write your notes in your own words and make as many connections to ideas you already know as you can.
  • If you see a word you don’t know, write it down and look it up so you can better understand what you’re reading.

The section in the Student Notebook where notes are recorded was created give students prompts or questions to lead them to the important information they will read in the text. Answering these prompts will help them take effective notes. The notes a student takes are personal to them and their answers may be different from another student’s answers, but they can be sure to find the information on the pages they’re instructed to read.

Although there is no one right way to take good notes, after trying the techniques in this notebook students should find the way that works best for them. Then they’ll have a much better handle on all the interesting and sometimes amazing things they will learn in general science this year.

Additionally, we purposely designed this course so that the first 3 exams are open book – meaning that students can use their textbook and notebooks when answering questions. We encourage them to evaluate their note taking efforts after each exam. Were their notes helpful in the exam? If yes, they are capturing important information. If no, they need to learn to pull more information out of the textbook. Don’t worry, we help them there too. Using colored text and prompts to steer them in the right direction, we essentially walk your student through the note-taking experience.

Apologia encourages parents to review their student’s notebook to make sure that the student is properly engaged, however, student notes should never be graded. You can choose to use the character-building points in your evaluations. Offer encouragement if you see your student struggling. Ask them to review with you what they are learning. Mentor to them how you took notes at their age. You will see that with each notebook module we offer tips and hints. By the time your student finishes the course, you’ll see highlighting and colored fonts, personal thoughts expanded and explored, and a true knowledge on how to personalize, capture, and understand new knowledge.

Taking good notes while reading a middle school science text can make the difference between mastering a concept and not quite understanding it. Good notes provide the following advantages:

  • Students stay focused on what they are reading.
  • Students pay closer attention, which will increase their retention.
  • Students have their own version of the text to review for tests.
  • Students learn to connect new information to what they already know.

Apologia Student Notebooks for this homeschool high school human body course are specifically designed to help students be independent and take responsibility for their science studies as they gain and maintain the personal abilities to create structure and logic through note taking.

Apologia Student Notebooks are strongly linked to their corresponding textbooks. They provide structured space for:

Video and Online Learning Options

Students are unique and each learns in a personal way. Gaining independence and maturity takes time, encouragement, and mentoring. Apologia recognizes this and has created several options for you to consider because no one knows your student better than you!

Option 1

Because middle school has such a wide berth of maturity, some students will enter as independent learners and require minimal interaction. If your student is in this category, all that is required to complete General Science are the 3 core components:

  • Student textbook
  • Student Notebook
  • Solutions and Test Manual

We do all the planning for you and make it easy for your student to know what is expected of them on a day-to-day basis. It is also easy for you to monitor their progress as well.

Option 2

If your student would benefit from the daily direction that instructs, guides, encourages, and demonstrates concepts, you should consider adding the video instructional course. Sherri Seligson teaches each section of the course with the use of slides and animations to develop and demonstrate textbook concepts further. She also travels the world and has entertaining video footage of unique areas that help students comprehend what they are learning and how it applies to real life. Perhaps one of the most functional portions of the video instructional course and everyone’s favorite is that Sherri does every experiment and Explore More activity found in the textbook.

  • Student textbook
  • Student Notebook
  • Solutions and Test Manual
  • Video Instructional Course

Option 3

For those students who do better with live instruction and the ability to interact with other students as well as ask questions to an instructor, Apologia offers this middle school homeschool science course at the Apologia Online Academy.

There are options for live or recorded classes that are graded so that your family’s schedule can be made the priority.

Basic Set, Advantage Set, SuperSet

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition, is available as a Basic Set, Advantage Set, or a SuperSet. Components included in each are as follows:

  • Basic Set:  Hardcover textbook and softcover Solutions and Test Manual
  • Advantage Set: Hardcover textbook, softcover Solutions and Test Manual, and spiral bound Student Notebook
  • SupserSet: Hardcover textbook, softcover Solutions and Test Manual, spiral bound Student Notebook, MP3 audiobook CD, and video instruction

 

Available Products

Receive the Free Guide to Apologia Science and How to Write a Lab Report homeschooling resources from Apologia