New Apologia Physical Science Review

My baby girl is entering the Classical Conversations Challenge I program. It is hard to believe that my youngest is entering high school! This will be my third year to tutor this level. There always seems to be something a little different each time. This year we are using the third edition of the Apologia Physical Science text. I'm excited to dig into another layer of my own understanding in this subject.

Apologia Physical Science

*This is a sponsored post; I received a free set of the Apologia Physical Science curriculum, but was not required to write a positive review. 
See my full disclosure statement here.*

New Third Edition Changes

With a new author, this text feels completely refreshed and reorganized. I've known that Physical Science can also be described as Integrated Physics and Chemistry, but this new text does a fabulous job of clearly identifying the different aspects of each branch of science that is being introduced.

There are now 15 modules instead of 16 modules which include:

  • Module 1: Review of some of the basics; scientific method, making observations, hypotheses, analyzing data, and measuring.
  • Modules 2-5: Chemistry concepts – this is much more content than the one partial module in 2nd edition.
  • In Modules 6-11: Physics concepts
  • Modules 12-13: Earth science including Earth’s structure, weathering, and the atmosphere. There is much less content about weather and the atmosphere in the 3rd edition.
  • Module 14: Chemistry and Physics in the Life Sciences
  • Module 15: Physical Science Research.

I love how there is a balance between Chemistry topics and Physics topics with some Earth science. This is a really great foundational science textbook that will prepare students for diving in deeper in the future.

New Research Module

In the Apologia Physical Science 3rd Edition dedicates all of Module 15 to the topic of writing a science research paper. I love that this element is introduced here. While the instruction focuses on a five paragraph essay, the ideas can be expanded to assist students in a longer research paper like we do in Classical Conversations.

Physical Science Student Notebook

I've never used the optional student notebooks before with Apologia science texts, but I am definitely using it this year! This is such a great tool for students to track with the text book, keep up with labs, and record their answers to on your own questions.

I love that it gives students more instruction on how to pace their work throughout the week. Here is a sample checklist of what to do:

This is an excellent tool for visual learners because it is so graphically pleasing. There are places for students to fill in the blanks as they study diagrams as well as creatively express their answers to the On Your Own questions:

Labs in Apologia Physical Science 3rd Edition

All of my favorite labs are still a part of this new curriculum. I love that we still get to make messes with cornstarch and water, see atmospheric pressure at work with soda cans, and launch rockets with vinegar and baking soda. There are so many great hands-on experiments in this text.

While many students have seen some of the experiments, this text gives them the opportunity to be the ones conducting the experiments. The student notebook has the basic lab write-up all set for students to gather materials and record their findings as they conduct the experiment.

This will be a great resource for getting through several experiments a time while giving them the necessary information for writing up formal lab reports later.

Visit the Apologia Shop to Learn More

To learn more about the Apologia Physical Science course offerings, visit the Apologia shop. You can find out about all of the supplemental products that they offer as well as preview the book to get a deeper look before you buy.

Enter to Win

You can also enter to win one of the next two science course sets that Apologia offers. I own both of these and they are great tools for continuing science studies!

Science studies with your kids are such a great way to grow in knowledge of God through the world He created!


  1. Arina Grobler on November 28, 2022 at 4:48 am

    Dear Betsy, Thank you for the thorough review! It was of great value!

    I cannot however identify how this edition supports the visual learner? The General Science new and older editions, as well as the Physical Science 2nd Edition, have CD’s that shows experiments and some of the more difficult consepts. How does this 3rd Edition of Physical Science Support this?

    • Betsy on December 9, 2022 at 12:56 pm

      Arina, my note about supporting the visual learner, referred to the graphic layout of the student notebook. Because it is laid out so well, it is really easy to follow. They do have videos that go along with the lessons online and are offering a free year trial of the materials. We claimed the free year and enjoyed it!

  2. Kelly L. on May 3, 2023 at 12:51 pm

    Our oldest is going into Challenge I. Does the work assigned in the Challenge guide move them through the full course, including labs? Do you think I should get the student workbook? My son really pushes against me when I require more than the guide. Any advice you have to prepare for the year would be greatly appreciated!!

    • Betsy on May 4, 2023 at 10:21 am

      Yes, students work through the entire book, including labs, in Challenge 1. The student workbook actually makes it easier because the labs are in worksheet form. It helped my student take better notes during the lab without having to write up the entire procedure in a blank notebook. The student workbook didn’t add extra work for my student, but it might be a good question to ask your director to see how they plan to run labs in class.

  3. Jessica on May 15, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    Will the Physical Science course be offered with a super set package? As a homeschooler with dyslexic children, the General Science Super Set curriculum was extremely helpful. I was planning on purchasing the Physical Science curriculum, but am disappointed a super set doesn’t appear to be offered.

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