Science - MFW Apologia HS Lesson Plans, Grades, Lab Credits

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Science - MFW Apologia HS Lesson Plans, Grades, Lab Credits

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:59 pm

hsmom3 wrote:We've been using the Apologia HS Sciences for the past couple of years and have used the schedules from I was wondering what MFW lesson plans were like. Would it be better to use their plans instead of the free ones on the website I mentioned. Just trying to spend my money wisely. I don't want to waste a penny :-)

Thanks for any input you can share!
are you buying any new books with it? or just using it for next kid and ....

If you're happy with what you're using for lesson plans.... no need to switch

I like the format much better of what MFW does instead of the donnayoung ones. But I'm not going to tell someone who is happy with what works to spend more money. mileage will vary. I bought my new package from MFW so price wise I had a great package price for new to get everything I wanted.

MFW does it day at a time check line. written for student to follow and track. MFW puts the materials list at beginning of the program for each year's supplies AND put the exact materials list for a module in front of the lesson for that module.

MFW schedules in the tests and quarterly tests. Few extra notes. Places to easily record tests and some lab reports too on the Biology.. hey... that's new from general and physical. wow, I remember griping about that. thanks marie.

I liked having all of it in one place quickly and organized and was willing to pay for that. My kid used them independently.

good luck.


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Re: Apologia HS Lesson Plans

Unread post by hsmom3 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:24 pm


I do need to buy the books so price wise it would probably be good to go with MFW. That way I'd have everything all together in one book.

Thanks for your help!

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Re: Apologia HS Lesson Plans

Unread post by ilovemy4kids » Sat May 01, 2010 3:27 pm

We used the donnayoung ones until we got to the 3rd child and found MFW. I so much prefer the MFW plans. Easier to use, easier to follow, written step by step. I do still print off the vocabulary bookmarks from donna though! For us, the extra 15.00 was a big stretch with our job loss and upcoming forclosure, but it was a huge priority for our last child to use the plans as well. It so made the scheduling and studying easier for our Son. And I erased all of my older daughter's work (after making copies of the most important work samples for her portfolio) from the manual and literature and comp supplement so my son could use it which saved money. I would have erased my son's science plans but he highlighted, penned, took notes etc.. on it. Hope that helps


mom to Katy (married), Ashley (Calvary Bible College this fall). Ronnie 13 (MFW AHL), Emmy (begging and wishing to do CTG for 7th grade- but budget won't allow, 1 manual and 6 books short of the basic package boo hoo :( so we will do something with what we have on the shelves and make the best of what the Lord has provided!)

So far we have used AHL, ECC, Exploration to 1850, and most of 1850 to Modern out of order I know, but it fit what we could do at the times.


Biology & Chemistry ???

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:45 pm

momxnine wrote:We've never used Apologia before with them and so it's a new learning style with the textbooks, which is good and I know why MFW uses them, but flunking every test is NOT good! I wanted both of my boys to really like them and do well, but they are both getting really, really bogged down. :( They are not real big on science things, so that doesn't help. :)
What about getting the DIVE Dvd's? Would that help? Or what about the teaching video that Apologia sells? We've also got Chemistry 101 Dvd's and Biology 101 DVD's that we can use, but they seem to be more or a fun, introduction course. Looking for suggestions. :-)
well... a bunch of rambling here.. I doubt it helps.. but eh?

apologia isn't for everyone of course... no program is.

it is possible that they would do better with alternate tests. You can email apologia for some of those and see how they do with different style of tests.

I haven't used the DIVE program with apologia. or the teaching video. my middle gal uses the audio reading of the text with book in front of her, but she's in middle school... oldest has her dad's science genes. I can see where having a teacher could be helpful.... the DIVE ones have a rep at being geared toward advanced...but they say on their web site the DIVE science can be done in "standard" courses with open notes on exams. or "college prep" ap/clep level courses. The thing with the DIVE cd, is that it isn't necessarily teaching the apologia text. It is teaching biology (or chem) and one can use apologia books as one option for text... you could dig around on dive site for sample videos (if you can't find them quickly... pm me.. I'll try)

do you have any ideas on the reason behind not doing well on tests? that might help to pinpoint some of the things to be tweaked. If they need more ways to study or something. "marty at sahm" has the links of links.. go marty! HI marty... (somewhere out there. I'm talking about you and only have good stuff to say)
marty has links to quizlet study for vocab and more videos.
she hasn't done chemistry though.. hmmm....

go ahead and watch the 101 dvd's for enrichment... they might pick up something to help cement the info in the text. that's ok. get on donna young site and look to see if she has anything to help with those courses...

what's behind the missing a lot of tests? is it careless errors with math? or not recalling vocab? (biology only, chem doesn't do those). do they need a little more interaction rather than just reading?


Julie in MN
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Re: Biology & Chemistry ???

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:45 pm

Probably repeating what Crystal said, but here are some misc. random Apologia helps, not specific to one year:

-the audiobook version that Apologia sells for like $15
-online vocabulary flashcards at Quizlet and such
-vocabulary bookmarks and other helps at Donna Young's site
-free "classroom versions" of Apologia science at Virtual Homeschool Group
-I assume you're using the planned-out daily assignments in MFW lesson plans
-little helps on the CD-ROM that comes with MFW Apologia packages
-mentoring your student through one or more tests, using an open book test or other means to get them used to the program
-asking the Apologia company for more practice problems, alternative tests, etc.
-Apologia Science yahoo group, with extra files and occasionally folks with experience teaching Apologia
-recently there are folks who sell lapbooks and other alternative study guides
-I've heard a rumor there are iphone/ipad etc apps for Apologia review?

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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Re: Biology & Chemistry ???

Unread post by ilovemy4kids » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:16 am

I am going to suggest

Wonderful teacher who teaches from the apologia texts and is a personal friend of Jay Wile. Dr. Jay comments on Mr. R's facebook posts alot.

Anyway, it's worth checking out. We LOVE redwagon. :)


Julie in MN
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Need help w/transcript - science

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:31 pm

JoyfulDancer wrote:I am frantically trying to get my daughter's transcript ready to send off to a couple of colleges this week, and I've hit upon a snag.
<<hugs>> for the transcript panic -- and for difficult college requirements. I've never had to create course descriptions or any of the other things you've mentioned, and my youngest has attended 3 colleges in 2 states! However, they are still asking for more financial paperwork and he started college in August :~
JoyfulDancer wrote:For Apologia Biology and Chemistry she took a separate lab class in addition to doing the book work and tests at home. I had listed each individually, for example: Biology - B Biology Lab - A

It occurs to me that I probably shouldn't be listing the lab separately, but if not, then I have to figure out what percentage of the grade the labs are worth, and it will probably change her GPA. Am I right?
About the science grade, I agree that Biology and Chem usually include lab. However, your transcript can be done the way you think best, even something like 0.75 credit for bio and 0.25 credit for lab. But you still may have to re-do the GPA if you gave more than 1.0 total credit for each course - unless you really think she went above and beyond the usual 1.0 total credit.

As for how to recalculate the grade, you could use the MFW lesson plans if you like. I think they give 35% credit for lab. Of course, you could just count lab as "pass" (I've seen that done at our local high school) and stick with the grade earned for the main coursework, but if that would mean losing the higher grade, then it would be nice to boost the GPA. You might do B+ or A-, if you do those kinds of grades, or you could include the lab course in just one of the semesters, if you grade by semester.
JoyfulDancer wrote:My other question has to do with Physical Science. She took that in 8th, but I believe I can list that as a high school course, correct? If so, how do I do that, and do I count it for credit or not?
I would not include 8th grade courses unless she is really lacking in credits, or needs credits in a specific area (i.e. science). Of course, check with your intended college, but 8th grade credits are generally not on high school transcripts and Physical Science is not a stellar enough course to push it if the credit isn't needed, in my humble opinion ;)
JoyfulDancer wrote:I really had no idea how complicated this whole thing is!!! I have to write course descriptions as well as fill out all the guidance councelor materials and write a description of our educational philosophy, motivation, goals, etc and write a teacher reference and a guidance councelor reference.
I wonder if the science lab teacher can help with the teacher reference? (A good idea to get those references from outside teachers while the course is in session, just for future reference.)

As for the educational philosophy, you might get a brochure from your local public high school and imitate their edu-speak language. They may have the info online, as well.

Hopefully the MFW course descriptions will give you a jump-start on those, and there are some posts by Trish and Dawn and a link to HSLDA that might be helpful here: ... 840#p99330

HTH, Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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Re: Need help w/transcript - science

Unread post by JoyfulDancer » Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:18 pm

Thank you very much, Julie. I am feeling a bit calmer now. It took me all day, but I now have a detailed course description document and a transcript. You were very helpful. I did end up giving her a B+ in Biology and Chemistry, and that actually raised her GPA just slightly. Now I have to write my two letters of recommendation and our educational philosophy and details.

Just so you (and others) know, the reason we are doing the detailed course description is because this application is going to a very selective school. The admissions councelor made it extremely clear that they look with suspicion on homeschool applicants and their transcripts (and teachers/moms). He actually said, "How do we know if their science teacher is a retired professor or just some mom who doesn't know what she's doing?" Dude, you just said that to the face of "some mom." So insulting!!! So they want those descriptions to be sure that our year of Geometry, for example, is the same as everyone else's year of Geometry and not just something pulled out of the top of our heads.

He also said they want to see that homeschooled high school students have taken classes outside the home, preferably high level ones, and been successful at them, so they know those students will be successful in high-pressured college classes. And he made it clear that they profile for students from "better" high schools and definitely won't even look at applicants with less than certain (very high) SAT scores. Ooh, I left that meeting so angry! But yes, she's still applying there regardless of the snooty profiling. :~

So, buyers beware. Sorry to disappoint, but there are plenty of colleges out there that make their decision primarily on tests scores, despite the hopeful message we've all heard that colleges look at the whole package. I am learning the hard way that investing in SAT/ACT prep is worth the time and money. My dd probably won't get in to this school despite how smart, talented and hard-working she is, with all her extracurriculars and a completed Associate's Degree through dual enrollment at our local community college, because her SAT scores are too low. She is applying anyway just to see what happens. You never know. If God wants her there, He will make it happen. If not, she will be accepted somewhere else not so narrow-minded in their acceptance policies.

Blessings all,

Julie in MN
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Physcial Science count as a lab science?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:34 am

rawbanana wrote:
Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:09 pm
Will most colleges accept Apologia Physical as a lab science? Thanks!
It's up to you, in your homeschool, how you do this, so a few different experiences may help you decide what you will do.

My son did Physical in 9th. It is very common in my area to do "physics first" in high school, and since a full physics course usually isn't possible in 9th grade, they start with some form of "conceptual physics" or "physical science." So I had no problem building science skills at a slower pace and focusing more on math.

I didn't count Physical as a lab science on his transcript, though. I don't know what they do at the public schools, but I just didn't observe enough high school level lab activity going on at my house to give him a lab credit that year (no microscope, no dissection, etc.). I have to admit that some of that may have been our family's bad year and it being easy with Apologia to let labs slide, just reading about the experiments or watching videos of similar things, rather than doing every lab yourself.

Basically, if my student had earned a lab credit, actually doing every experiment, or especially if he had gone above-and-beyond, I think I would have considered giving lab credit for Physical, but he ended up with 3 lab credits on his transcript, so it wasn't a concern here.

In my experience in MN and CO, colleges are far more interested in ACT/SAT test scores than in high school transcript details, but that may vary in other states.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
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Re: Physcial Science count as a lab science?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:03 pm

I would think if you did almost all the labs, it could count. I know I did physical science in 9th (back in the day at public school), and we probably had 1 lab a week or every other week, at the most. Same with Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

If you're going to do Biology, Chemistry and either Adv. Biology or Physics the remaining years, then don't worry about Physical Science labs - that would give you 3 years of science with labs. I think most state colleges are looking for a 2 lab minimum, but double check your target college.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Re: Physcial Science count as a lab science?

Unread post by rawbanana » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:31 pm

We don't really have a target college but I think a few of the universities in our state only require 1 lab science. We are doing Biology as our lab science and then will probably either do Friendly Chemistry next year or have her do chem at the local community college and get that lab out of the way there. She is SO not science minded and I dont really see her going into a science related field (none of my kiddos actually) =)
Anna-mom of 4 girls, 1 boy
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