A book for my middle schooler?

(Bruce Holt) #21

HI Christy,

I have only briefly looked at some of those options (I checked out Wilson Hill Academy over the weekend after seeing you had recommended it to someone else), but I’ll look at the Well Trained Mind discussion at some point. Thank you for the reference.

My general outlook at this point is that I’d prefer to not sign up and pay for another year of CC, though there are a host of x factors related to that which I won’t get into now. I’d like to cobble together a curriculum, pulling from an assortment of resources and tailoring things to our teaching strengths, our son’s learning preferences, etc. If we choose this approach going forward, I could certainly see using an online class for HS science. I’ve also heard of homeschooled students taking community college courses.

Those decisions are a few years away, but I think my wife is reticent to take that path because anything other that the “one stop shop” would feel too complicated for her. That’s what I was trying to explain in the “Finally…” paragraph above. I think her fears regarding leaving CC are primarily about losing some wonderful friendships (for her and our son) and about taking on the extra work of developing and supervising a customized curriculum for our son.

I’ve gathered that some have stuck with CC but done their own thing for science or perhaps some other subjects. According to the official verbiage from CC, this should be absolutely fine, but I really don’t see this being a workable solution for us either.

Perhaps if my wife and I come to a place of some accord in how we think about science education, the way forward will become more clear.


p.s. - I realize I’ve put this conversation far afield of the original topic. If you feel it appropriate to split the conversation off, I’ll understand.

(Christy Hemphill) #22

Cobbling is awfully fun, once you get into it! Feel free to start a thread and ask for ideas if you go that route. It doesn’t have to be just about science resources. Bookshark has a junior high history/lit program with Joy Hakim’s Story of Science as a spine. We are reading the series over two years of World History and I am really enjoying the books. There is some great lit in the program too. The Bookshark instructor guide would take out a ton of planning.

I can understand your wife’s hesitation. It is all so overwhelming at first, especially if you thought you had an “easy button” plan and never signed up for all the uncertainty of throwing things together as you go.

And feeling isolated is a big deal. I had a friend who did CC for a year or two but was never really sold on the approach so she dropped out. But she still gets together regularly with the families she met because she still does all their field trips and monthly social events. Maybe not all groups have that kind of component though.

(Simone) #23

“The Language of God” would be good. We listened to the audio book (also narrated by Francis Collins himself) on a road trip recently and my 10 yr old got a lot out of it. That said, I think John Walton’s books are pretty advanced. I think they’d go over the head of many adults, so I’m not sure about a young teen. Maybe with adult guidance.

I really liked the book “Finding Darwin’s God”, which one of Biologos’ writers (Dennis Venema) also recommended as one of the key books that helped him. Again, this one goes quite in depth on the science front but it covers some key topics thoroughly and debunks things like “Darwins Black Box” and intelligent design. I’m saving that one for when my kid is older.