We are finishing this up. It was a rocky start but I had plenty of head ups to give grace and patience as my oldest learned how to work more independently and learn how to study. We purchased the lapbook set and lab kit, both helped her organization and follow through. Excellent materials- she now wants to be a Paleontologist and work at Answers in Genesis! LOL
I liked the amount of information and comprehensive coverage of the subject, but the book and lessons were pretty dry and my daughter found it "boring". The experiments were fun but some of them seemed a little too simple for the level we were using it at (8th grade) .
I used this book with a STEM minded 6th grader and a humanities based 7th grader. I really, really like Jay Wile's blog, his talks at homeschool conventions, the little Reasonable Faith book he published, and just everything I've heard about him as a person. He knows homeschoolers well and you can feel his appreciation and encouragement for them when you hear him speak. His blog could easily be required reading for Christian teens (his Reasonable Faith is for my teens).
Onto the General Science text specifically.
We liked that they could work together, and the experiments were simple to execute. It was one book instead of a jillion parts and an expensive lab kit.
We didn't like that science suddenly became a slog to get through. It went from discovering amazing things about the world around us to vocabulary cards, studying for tests, and slogging through fat chapters of verbose text.
We did not finish the book and I will not use it with my younger children. I just don't see a valid reason to make a 7th or 8th grader work through a textbook just as fat and as much work as a highschool one with far less depth.
Grade levels used
written for homeschoolers, mostly uses common household items for experiments
My daughter felt that Apologia made science easier and explained things well. The experiments help tie in the concepts and the study guides and summaries really drill the concepts. She was not a good test taker at first but has managed to get almost perfect scores on her test because of the study guides and summaries.
The Advanced Science I used with my now 20, 16, and 14 yr olds and they all agree this was their favorite Apologia year. Once I discovered this Charlotte Mason type of curriculum, we have always used it. I have never been unhappy. I became even more happy since the introduction of the notebooks.
This is a good beginning science text to help prepare your student for more advanced studies in highschool. The new study workbooks may be helpful for some students, but is not necessary. The text contains study guides at the end of each chapter, as well as On Your Own problems and experiments throughout each module. These will adequately prepare the student for the tests, which are contained in a separate booklet.
Overall I really like this book. Secular texts fail to recognize the hand of a creator and Dr. Wile discusses many of these secular viewpoints in an intelligent manner. However, he too has a limited viewpoint writing from a biblical creationist viewpoint. There are many ways to interpret creation in the bible, and this can be an opportunity to discuss this with your children.
I've used this several times with different children. I love the fact that it has lots of hands on experiments to peek the students interest while teaching them about the subject matter. My children love Apologia science.