Monday, January 12, 2015

Tackling High School Science

I'm attempting to participate in the Virtual Curriculum Fair again this year, but wow, everything seems so challenging this year.  This week, the topic is Discovering Patterns, or discussion of things like math, science, and logic.  This is hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds, and co-hosted this week by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World.

I usually choose to talk about math, but this year I thought I'd focus on science.

High School Science.

Because that is one of those totally intimidating things, and one of the first objections people always threw at me back when Connor was five and they learned I was going to homeschool kindergarten:  "But how will you teach high school chemistry?"

So what options are there?

When it comes to teaching high school science, there are so many amazing possibilities now.  You have traditional textbook approaches, like Apologia Science, or Science Shepherd (to stick with programs I've used).  You get a book, you get science supplies, and you work through the materials and the labs.

Or you can take a live class online, through Apologia, Red Wagon Tutorials, Virtual Homeschool Group, or about a million other places.

You can do an online course that isn't "live" such as Fascinating Education, Plato Education, Thinkwell (again, to stick with things we have used).

You can join a homeschool co-op, where someone else will teach your kids a science class, or will do the labs as a group, and you can focus on teaching a class in a topic where you know what you are doing.  We haven't tried this.

You can often do a community college route.  We haven't done this.  Yet.

You can pull together your own thing.

And there are other choices too, like DVD-based courses (Biology 101, Chemistry 101) and others that just aren't even occurring to me at the moment.

Our 2015 Plans:

We're planning a pretty science-heavy year.

All three teens have just finished up some introductory electronics work, with Applied Inspirations.  I'll link to my review for this soon.  We're giving 1/2 credit for this work, but we haven't yet decided if we are going to go on to make this part of a full-credit electronics course, or if we're stopping here. 

They have been doing chemistry, using Fascinating Education online, only we opted to skip the labs in that.  Because we are about to start using a very lab-intensive set.  The Home Scientist has a kit, CK01, and we're thrilled to be working with that.  This is going to give them a full-year of Honors Chemistry. 

Just look at all that amazing stuff!!

We've also been working through some materials from Master Books, specifically their Survey of Astronomy.  

Told you.  Science-heavy right now.

What plans do we have going forward?

In the fall, I'll have three high school students.  The main plan for Connor is for him to do a calculus-based physics course.  Possibly at the community college.

William and Thomas will do biology together, using Science Shepherd Biology, which I really love, as you can see in my review for The Old Schoolhouse.  William has already worked through part of the course, but we are going to start over, and have the two of them working together.

We're also talking about getting the Forensic Science kit from The Home Scientist, and having all three of them work on that.

Past that?  I'll chat with Thomas and William to see what else interests them.  I would like them all to end up with at least 3 science credits -- biology, chemistry, and physics.  But there are so many amazing other things too.

William loves geology, so I'll probably work with some of the Master Books materials to get him a full credit of geology somewhere in there.

Bottom Line:

There are so many amazing resources out there now, and not all require a whole lot of scientific knowledge on the part of Mom.  What are YOUR kids interested in?  I bet there is something available!

To see what others are saying about Discovering Patterns, check out some of these blogs:

Learning about Patterns in Our World Through Math and Science by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Relaxed Homeschooling: Mathematics in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Using a Bible-Based Math Curriculum by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker
Math, Science and Logic for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Playing with Numbers by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Unschooling Science by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
Logically Speaking: Math, Science, and Logic for 7th Grade  by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Numbers and Molecules! by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Math and Science in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
5 Math & Logic Resources We Love by Becky @ Milo & Oats
Giving Your Kids The Right Start With Math by Amy @ One Blessed Mamma
Math in Our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm
Classical STEM by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Math, Science and Logic - How do we Tackle Them? by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
The Physics of Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education
Choosing Math Curriculum for Special Learners by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity
Math for all ages by Denise @ Fullnest
Middle School Monday - Math With Fred by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Learning With Math and Science Resources  by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road


Denise said...

We are currently using a co-op for biology and math classes....I LOVE it. I am not a math & science person & hubby is "too much" of one for our teens, if you know what I mean. We are looking at starting either Chemistry or Physics at home next month for our 16 yr old & I am very interested in the resources you've listed. Thanks for the info!!

Susan Raber said...

Homeschooling sure ain't what it used to be. There was a time when a homeschooling high schooler was biting their nails trying to figure out what to do about advanced science courses. Now we are spinning on our heads trying to choose between dozens of awesome learning resources!

Unknown said...

This is was very helpful to me. Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

So much wonderful information! I may have to use some of these ideas with my 3 homeschooled teens! BTW, I liked this post so much that I shared it in a FB group I belong to