I really wanted to love this curriculum. After all, it was a look in my friend's Apologia Botany notebook that clinched my decision to homeschool my three kids this year! (Ages 13, 11, and 6) It looked so much more interesting and hands-on than any of the science texts I had growing up. Now that we've been through a few units of Human Anatomy and Physiology (the topic chosen by my kids this year), I feel like I can write a proper review.
First off, this curriculum was slow to get going. Instead of jumping right into anatomy, it goes through the history of anatomy studies. Then it goes through cells and their organelles. I thought the history bit was kind of boring (even though I generally like history), and the cell stuff was definitely over my kids' heads. I doubt they'll remember any of it, despite doing all the notebooking and the (admittedly fun) edible cell project. We have just finished the skeletal system, and frankly, it is just too in-depth for kids. I never even learned about osteoblasts and osteoclasts, and I took Biology up to grade 12 level in a good school! I don't think my 6 year old grasped much of it at all (other than the fact that we have bones). I really have to disagree with reviewers who say it's age-appropriate. I do NOT believe in dumbing stuff down for kids, and all of my kids are quite smart, but this stuff is really geared for high school in my opinion. I frequently have to skip sections or re-word things, and that was not what I wanted to do in my first year of homeschooling! We also don't have time to do science every day, and there is SO much material to go through that I don't think we'll finish it this year, and we won't want to finish it next year.
I do like that this book is written from a Christian viewpoint, and I like the somewhat "conversational" tone of the writing. I want to be clear that "conversational" does not mean pandering or belittling. It is also not a super-expensive curriculum, so I think it's good value. The "Personal Person" project is neat, and we are also doing full-sized traced bodies for each of my kids.
I chose this curriculum based on the MANY positive reviews here, and frankly I'm disappointed. I regret this curriculum purchase, and I don't think I'll chose Apologia again next year. I might try the Botany stuff eventually, since that's what caught my attention, but my kids aren't terribly interested in Botany. The notebooks are quite good, but the text is just too in-depth for any kids younger than 10. And even though two of my three kids are older than 10, they are often confused by the plethora of information presented.
I like all of Apologia material. It's modern yet gives grade/age appropriate material. My 10 1/2 yo has enjoyed working through this book; she's doing the labs/experiments w/ out local co-op. I appreciate how the material points to God and His creation. Each book Apologia allows for tailoring to your childs needs.
We absolutely love Apologia!! Excellent curriculum! I would say this curriculum is geared more towards upper/middle schoolers. There is not enough good things to say! I wish I had bought it sooner - it is heaven sent!!
This is a well done solid science book for upper elementary/middle school. It is a good foundational book to introduce the body to children to give them a foundation for H.S. As I read some reviews I noticed some religious comments. This book does contain content that points to God as the creator of human life and references/credits Him often, which is a plus for my family. Our co-op is using this book for K-6th grade. Although it is tough for the younger children, if you purhcase the audio CD they can at least listen to it. We are also making it more real to them by making the cardboard "bodies". Another supplement I am using is the Lyrical Life Science-Volume 3 The Human Body. Its a magnificent complement to the book and helps solidify the concepts learned. It would be great to use just the LLS-V3 for younger children, then use the Apologia book in an upper elementery grade. Overall, I am happy with Apologia and love all the work and care they put into their products.
I hesitated for years to purchase any of the Apologia science curriculums. I did not want to mix religion with education, especially in the sciences. Then I started to see online reviews about how thorough these sciences courses are, even woth their healthy dose of religion. Our first purchase was the biology curriculum. She used it as an 8th grader and scored very well on the SAT II test attue end of the year. We have since purchased regular Chemistry, Exploring Chemistry and Physics, and Advanced Biology. The curriculum continues to evolve and improve.