Interview with Apologia Science President/Owner

If you're wanting more information about Apologia Science, here is an interview I had with Davis Carman the President / Owner of Apologia Educational Ministries.

What is Apologia Science and what makes it different from a traditional Science textbook?

Apologia is the leading creation-based, K-12 science curriculum for homeschoolers. This question is often best answered by looking at two major groups: 1) the Young Explorer series for elementary ages (K-6), and 2) the junior high and high school texts for grades 7-12.

The Young Explorer series is written with a Charlotte Mason teaching philosophy. This means that a notebooking journal will be created by each student to help with the learning process. The six courses currently offered (AstronomyBotanyFlying CreaturesSwimming CreaturesLand Animals, and Human Anatomy) are written in a conversational style to the student with the expectation that they will develop into an independent learner. We’ve developed our own Notebooking Journals for each title to aid in the creative process. These complementary resources include additional educational activities plus colorful, hands-on, minibook projects.

The nine junior high and high school subjects (General SciencePhysical ScienceBiologyChemistryPhysicsMarine BiologyThe Human Body,Advanced Chemistry, and Advanced Physics) are rigorous, college-prep courses. Again, these textbooks are written to the student in a conversational style that allow successful understanding to occur for independent learners. As a result, families have realized success even when the parents were not highly knowledgeable in the sciences.

How much parental involvement is required when teaching/learning with Apologia Science books?

The Young Explorer series for elementary ages is not meant to overwhelm your homeschool schedule. The recommended lesson plan (as shown in the Notebooking Journals) allows each book to be completed in one year by spending roughly one hour a day for two days a week. The parents read from the textbook, then help their students with the Notebooking Journal activities.

When a student is working through one of the junior high or high school books, the parent’s role works best as a tutor or mentor. In this capacity, the parent grades the tests and helps keep the student accountable to the five-day a week schedule necessary to complete each course and the labs in a 32-week school year.

What type of learning style does Apologia Science cater to?

The Apologia Science curriculum is designed for the independent learner. We provide optional resources that help with other learning styles. As an example, we offer a full course CD, which allows a student to read the entire text on a computer screen. This is an efficient way for many in the high-tech generation to navigate the material. We also provide an audiobook MP3 CD. At $15, this is an excellent value that often helps improve reading comprehension for younger students, for those with difficulty reading, or for those with learning disabilities of various kinds.

How long has Apologia been around? When did you get involved or any other details you want us to know about you.

Apologia began in the mid 1990’s. I purchased Apologia in 2008 and started new divisions to facilitate an expanded reach to help homeschool families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith. Science is the core of the ministry with Apologia Press publishing biblical worldview curriculum for ages 6-14 along with practical homeschool resources such as The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Deb Bell. We have an online Academy with courses in Science, Bible, Worldview, and Apologetics.

Finally, Apologia Mission allows us to provide scholarships to homeschool graduates and to support missionary efforts by homeschoolers. It has been our privilege to send curriculum and workers to China, Brazil, Hungary, Thailand, and many other parts of the world.

Do you have any advice for new homeschoolers?

I love this question as it brings back good memories. My answer is the same advice I received when I was a new homeschooler. The answer seemed way too simple back then, but I truly believe it is some of the best advise for a family just starting this adventure of a lifetime. My answer: relax, gather on the couch, read to your kids, and enjoy learning together as a family.

My Comments: Thank you so much Davis for taking the time to answer these questions for us. This gives us a much better understanding of what Apologia is and what it has to offer homeschool students and parents.

Relax is also the same advice I give to new homeschool parents. Apologia Science makes it easier to wade through the maze of curriculum choices by offering straightforward text that is interesting for both parent and student.

We have enjoyed all the Apologia Science books and resources, especially the Young Explorers series. I look forward to reading them and also enjoy the fact that they are not overwhelming to our homeschool schedule. The upper level science courses ARE rigorous and might require some extra tutoring if your students do not enjoy Science.

I highly recommend all their books and courses. They are one of my favorite Science programs overall.