Physics was something new for our family this year….a formal study of physics anyway. Mr. A is a physics sort of guy and he decided he wanted to postpone chemistry to try physics. It has been a long year but as we approach our last week of school he is finishing his Apologia Physics text and breathing a sigh of relief.
Doing research last year, I looked at several physics courses and decided that for our family the Apologia Physics text would be a good fit. Mr. A has in the past enjoyed Dr. Wile’s style of writing, the labs in this course seemed reachable for us at home, the companion CD had extra information, and I appreciated the fact that the answer key was *thorough* in its explanation of the solutions to the practice problems.
I know that there are many critics of the Apologia text who point out that it does not cover all that a normal high school level text includes in a year. Since I am not an expert in physics and we have not covered this subject before, I do not really know if that is true or not. I have read on the internet that some folks think that you need to complete Apologia’s Physics and Advanced Physics to make it equivalent to a typical high school course. Honestly, Mr. A completed the course, earned scores of about 87% average on his tests, and he has decided that he has had enough for now. He may decide at some later time to revisit physics.
My goal has never been to recreate high school at home. The goal has been to offer each of our children a rigorous selection of courses that will give them a chance to learn and grow as they make their way towards adulthood. I am firmly convinced at this point that if I fail in some way to offer a subject or if the way we cover it is not enough, my boys are well prepared to take on the task as they see the need. If they need more physics or math than I can offer at home, they can self-teach or take it at the community college. My oldest son has proven this to be very true and has excelled in his college science and math classes despite my lack of expertise.
As a parent/helper with this particular course from Apologia, I see the value of the very thorough and detailed solutions manual. I have appreciated the step-by-step approach and explanations that have been provided so even if I had no idea what the module was about I could still pull the solutions manual out and step through the calculations with my son. Sometimes he just needed a little push to get started and sometimes we would take a long time to work through the solutions. Between the text and the solutions manual we are feeling confident about his foundation in physics.
Here are some thoughts about this text with the labs:
- Pay attention to the math prerequisite, this is a math heavy course.
- We purchased the lab supplies from HomeScienceTools and I was always glad that I was not digging out materials on lab day.
- The student needs to be motivated to keep on going even when the modules are difficult and abstract.
- The parent needs to not feel inadequate even when they are only reading the solutions from the solutions manual. It really does help even if you do not know what you are talking about.
- Keep on top of the notebook checks. There are review questions, practice problems, and then the need for a thorough review before taking the module test.
- We supplemented this text with some more living books and books of interest. See a list on my Squidoo Living Books For High School lens.
- Make sure to view the sample pages from Apologia: Sample Physics Module.
If you ever need any direction, please feel free to email me anytime.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom
I purchased this course with my own money and this is my honest review.
This post has been submitted to the Homeschool Curriuculum Review Round-Up.