We use this text in a cooperative environment and I really enjoy the writer's style. The "Try This", to me, are great for nailing down hard to grasp concepts. Jeannie Fulbright is an excellent author, in my opinion, and this book thus far is not an exception.
The material is also quite advanced - amorphous solids, viscosity, electron shells and orbitals, etc. - all concepts that I'm covering with a high school chemistry class as well. We are teaching 4th-7th graders using this text. Younger students would experience difficulty in grasping everything that is shared. The material is dense.
This was my last attempt to like Apologia. I bought this for our 6th grader and he did not like it at all due to the cutesy factor within the text. I can see the appeal for much younger kids, but I think 5th grade would be the oldest I'd recommend it. For myself, I just don't care for the scattered layout of the Apologia books. They appear so disorganized, with lots of guessing about when to start/stop, when to do what and when. The "Try This!" sections drive my kids and I nuts because they are placed in the middle of the page. It makes more sense to place them all on one or two pages, allowing for more teaching space within each lesson. I prefer orderliness and a more teacher-friendly schedule.
We are quite happy with this text. My college biology professor suggested I teach our children chemistry, then physics followed by biology so that concepts build upon each other throughout science learning and when introduced to higher level science it won't be so intimidating. The method or style of explanation in this text as well as experiments have enhanced our boys' understanding. It's possible our boys are more suited to this material and my bio prof was right...chemistry is a really nice starting point in science and this text is just very well done. The overall time commitment is demanding for all of us, but it's worth it and the kids are happy. Our 8 year old takes a few seconds to respond to my questions, but he nicely discusses the material we've covered. Our 5 year old enjoys it also, but I repeat some experiments for him in 5 minute sessions the next day. We are taking two weeks per chapter. Last year Apologia Astronomy was their favorite, but we moved through the chapters very slowly and we were unable to finish the text...fizzled out by April. The boys still love the information though and we hope to finish during summer 2014. My only complaint on Chemistry and Physics is the type runs too close to the binding making me shift and fiddle with the book frequently. CBD's price and delivery were excellent! Thank you!!
Thank you Apologia for tackling Chemistry and Physics for the young! This book is a perfect introduction plus a little more that I think is great for middle schoolers, or older elementary. It has a lot more simple, hands-on activities (with household items) than the other books in the elementary line which help to spark interest and solidify concepts. The graphics and layout are a bit different, bolder, filling the pages more, although I'm missing the white space some. Same great narration questions sprinkled throughout the chapters for review and to check for comprehension and it has references and directives to use the new notebook that you can purchase separately, which we are skipping this round. The format is perfect to use with a co-op situation, read at home, do activities together.