View Full Version : Apologia Biology?

11-14-2013, 02:32 PM
Curious how many of you have high schoolers you use or have used Apologia Biology? Did you use the provided tests or make your own? 15yo ds did 2 years previous of apologia science and did fine. This year is a different story. He just took his 3rd test and isn't' doing very well :(

Yes...Biology is difficult but we cannot continue on this track. I am not sure if it's a problem with concentration, understanding, study skills issues or what??

Would love to hear your experiences with this biology curriculum....good and bad ;)


- - - Updated - - -

just saw where some of you had already responded to my other post regarding scheduling... if anybody else has any thoughts I would love to hear them.

Hollie in SC
11-14-2013, 02:41 PM
Eli is taking it w/a once a week (one hour) co-op. In co-op, they mostly do labs. Everything else is done from home. The biggest thing we found for him is that he HAS to learn his definitions and MUST practice writing them out before the test.

At the same time, it is an intense class. Dh was talking with him about what he was currently studying and dh told me later that it was something he didn't learn til grad school. Now dh wasn't a biology major in undergrad, but the point was it wasn't anything he learned in high school.

Is he an auditory learner? If so, they make an audio CD and my auditory learner has been blessed by it!

Have you asked around/looked around at other Biology options?

:group: It is tough when you hit a roadblock. We hit one with Spanish this year and finally just stopped the curriculum.

Kendra AU
11-14-2013, 03:09 PM
Small bites. :)

As in that's how we do all Apologia Science. :lol:

11-14-2013, 03:29 PM
we have been following donna young's schedule.....and I believe it is simply too fast.

curious in what time frame do you finish it or plan to finish it?

11-14-2013, 03:46 PM
My two oldest are doing it (or have done it) through a learning center and did fine, but they did complain about the amount of vocab. They are both highly verbal and excellent readers, and have a good science teacher at the learning center (NOT me).

I don't think my middle ds will be able to do Apologia, so I'm already thinking of other options for him. He's not a good reader (hates reading and is slow). If he does do it, we'll use the CD for sure.

You're not using it with a 12yo, right? (Looking at your signature line.)

11-14-2013, 05:29 PM
Ooopsss....I changed it....guess it had been a while.....my 15yo would have been offended that I still had his age as 12!

Kendra AU
11-15-2013, 01:51 AM
we have been following donna young's schedule.....and I believe it is simply too fast.

curious in what time frame do you finish it or plan to finish it?

You might wanna look at SL's Science schedule that goes with these particular books. It's a really slow & steady pace & still gets you done in 36 weeks. We use the cds so my auditory learner can hear it as he follows along in the book & takes notes as well. Then he just reports back to me what he learned for the day & we transfer his notes into more legible things in his notebook. We also have the CD-Rom for labs.

We're only at General Science though, but we did get the Apologia Notebook vs making our own. ;)

11-15-2013, 08:38 AM
My first ds loved Apologia, but my second ds doesn't like it at all. He made it through physical science but for Biology, we went with Biology 101 and I beefed it up with readings from the BJU Biology textbook and he's gotten a few library books on some of the topics. He's also doing the typical labs: microscope, dissections, etc. This is going much better for him than Apologia would have.

Our favorite plans are the ones from My Father's World.

Joy in Alabama
11-15-2013, 07:04 PM

We don't have a good track record with Apologia. I own the books, several of the children have used it for high school, but the younger set of kids just can't stand it. (Well, the olders hated it, too, but I made them do it anyway.)

I'm using CK12 for science, which is not a Christian curriculum, but we like it, it's online, and it's free. A few weeks back, I found a website where someone has taken their bio course, planned it out in great detail, and added Christian info to it. Here's the link for one of the pages on the website (http://www.guesthollow.com/homeschool/science/biology/biology_books.html), but you'll need to click around to see the other parts (there are several). It's called Otter's Christian High School Biology Curriculum. It's all free. I bookmarked it with the intention of using it for Thomas, who likes science, but not wordy, hard science and has no intention of a career which involves science.

11-16-2013, 07:19 PM
We roughly devote 2 weeks to a module giving one day for revision and one day for the test so this leaves 8 days doing the module. This isn't a tight rule just a flexible guide.
My boys have a book in which they right down the definitions extra to the module work.
My 17 year old worked on his alone, my 13 year old is an auditory learner we have used the CD but he doesn't like it ...he prefers his mothers voice!
So we are still adjusting having started General Science with the younger. He is hanging out to do biology but he is not ready for that. He hasn't taken to it like the eldest.
I think it will take some time to adjust.

Jill in Monrovia
12-12-2013, 03:13 PM
My oldest, I didn't even try Apologia on. He's not science oriented. Next one wants to be a nurse. That child is doing Bio right now. Not moving as fast as she should but I'd rather she's used to hard Bio.

Jill in Monrovia

Kim in IN
12-25-2013, 02:19 PM
I know I am a little late in replying but just wanted to share 2 things that we have been learning with our 9th grader. First, High school is really a time of learning how to study. How to memorize a ton of information in a short amount of time. This is going to be a new skill and it takes time to learn it. There will be some trial and error.
Second, we have found Quizlet (a free program online) to be extremely helpful in preparing for Biology or any other science program for that matter. My son starts memorizing at the beginning of the chapter instead of waiting till the end.

Hope this helps!

Heather (WI)
12-26-2013, 03:34 PM
We've used Apologia science for YEARS, and it's literally dd's favorite subject (even though she otherwise "hates" school in general, LOL!)

We always use "My Father's World's" lesson plans that cover a module in about 2 weeks (4 days/week), and the amount is just right and not too overwhelming. (We also get the companion CD-ROM which helps, too, and is also scheduled in those plans.)
Dd just tested literally 100% on her IOWA basic skills test for 10th grade last year in science, and we don't even do it very strictly. (The tests are VERY hard, and I am a science college tutor, so I often let her do open book tests or open notes.) I've heard other science people say that the tests also cover things they don't even do until college courses, so I don't worry much. I'm more interested that she learns the concepts and can apply them rather than having to memorize everything. (Because most of life we can use research, notes, books, etc. anyway.) This has helped a lot, and made Apologia science a huge positive for us!! (She even wants me to get Apologia Marine Biology next year, just so she can read through it on her own!)

Laura Lee
01-10-2014, 01:40 PM
My son is doing Apologia Biology this year at as once a week co-op where they do labs, but he has to do everything else at home. Most of it is on a 2 week per mod schedule. This week he's having to do a whole module in 1 week. I guess the teacher is trying to make sure they finish before the end of co-op. DS takes notes as he's reading, answers study guide questions and on your own questions. The co-op teacher has uses the Apologia tests, but sometimes adds 5 or 10 questions. This actually gives them a better chance of doing well because if there is only 10 questions on the test, and they just get 2 or 3 wrong, the test grade goes down dramatically.

Sheila in OK
01-20-2014, 10:16 PM
I'm not on here much anymore since my kids have outgrown FIAR :( but I had to respond to this. My 15yo is doing Apologia Biology this year and it's going pretty well. I had my reservations about it (we didn't enjoy Apologias Physical Science last year) but Biology has been much more interesting, IMO. I 2nd (or 3rd) getting the MFW plans. They are well worth the $15-20! They keep the student on track and also remind you when to pull out the CD to watch a video. I was always forgetting that before we started using the MFW schedules.

Also I wanted to let you know you can email Apologia (on their website) and ask for the Alternate Tests for Biology (or any of their courses, I assume). My dd likes these MUCH better than the ones that come with the textbook. They are more 'traditional'--matching, fill-in-the-blank, essay, etc. They will email you a file with the tests and answers for the whole year.

And yes, learning vocabulary is KEY. My dd balked at writing out the definitions in the study guide each module, and the one time I let it slide her test score showed it.

HTH a little!

Heather (WI)
01-20-2014, 10:45 PM
Also I wanted to let you know you can email Apologia (on their website) and ask for the Alternate Tests for Biology (or any of their courses, I assume). My dd likes these MUCH better than the ones that come with the textbook. They are more 'traditional'--matching, fill-in-the-blank, essay, etc. They will email you a file with the tests and answers for the whole year.

HTH a little!

WOW, that helps a LOT!!!!!!!! I had no idea they had this option. Thank you! :)

Sheila in OK
01-22-2014, 04:40 PM
You are welcome! :)

WOW, that helps a LOT!!!!!!!! I had no idea they had this option. Thank you! :)

04-26-2015, 06:11 PM
We are only at lesson 22 in apologia biology and my son is lost in all the bacteria. He is a slow learner and I need to read most of it to him so he can understand it. But I don't know how to stop the program now.. do i just keep plunging through all summer and hope to get through, or stop the madness now and find a better biology program for him. I haven't been successful with any apologia so far.. not sure why I even started down the biology path. I find it more of a college level myself... and I went to college... but my freshman kiddo is struggling.

any advise?


Kim in IN
04-27-2015, 02:07 PM
What do you mean when you say lesson 22? There are 16 modules in each Apologia book and most take two weeks to get through but some will take 3.
Apologia is tough there is no doubt about that!! I would encourage you to think about the goal of the class. What do you want him to get out of the class? Is he enjoying the material at all? Do you need to give more quizzes along the way to help him learn? Perhaps use quizzlet? Maybe even an open book test?

Is there another family in your area that is studying Biology or will study it next year that you can partner with and work through the book together? That has worked really well for us. I would take all of your thoughts and spend some time praying for a solution . God will give you wisdom on what the best decision is for you and your son.

Robin in Colorado
04-27-2015, 02:16 PM
We're in it now, with Belle. She likes it, but it's hard. We have to have lots of discussions. FWIW, she's doing the whole course in 10 weeks as her focus subject, so there is no history, lit, etc. It helps her to concentrate.

05-14-2015, 02:18 PM
I've started biology with my two older girls. For DD21, it was NOT a good fit. At. all. She ended up doing Biology 101 with supplements. Ironically, said child is now a nursing major and aced her biology course. Go figure. I guess she didn't want it badly enough then. She does now.

DD18 completed it. She did it with a co-op (where she did the labs, dissections, etc) and they kept to a pretty tight two-week-per-module pace. I wouldn't say she overly liked it, but she persevered. Vocabulary was a big issue. She took biology at our local community college as a senior, and aced it. She felt Apologia gave her a good foundation, but still learned more.

DD14 will be starting biology in the fall, with our co-op. It's going to be interesting. He did general and physical science, also with co-op, and had no trouble learning the material (as per his teachers, who LOVED him) but testing? Ugh. Vocabulary will be a HUGE issue for him. I may have to do some of the testing orally if his grades are going to reflect what he actually knows.

DD10 will hate it, but ace it with little difficulty. I've got a while before I need to think about that, though.