For whatever reason, it seems we’re hearing more from homeschooling families with younger children so I’m interested to learn more about those parents who have middle school or high school level students. How have you navigated some of the challenges with science education? @AMWolfe, @redhed, @staceyinaus, @cstump, @Mazrocon, @mahalarethlake @cartophile @gcarlet @Christy
I was homeschooled through middle school, and then I attended public school through high school. My family were not evolutionary creationists (my parents leaned towards old-earth/ID perspectives) but were extremely pro-science. I remember going to museums quite frequently.
In 7th and 8th grade I attended a homeschool co-op once a week where moms (and some dads) with different specialties would teach classes. It was also hard to find moms with qualifications for more advanced classes. I did take a biology class with a mom who was a certified science teacher as well. I don’t remember that class, but apparently I was in it.
My mom bought a lab kit from the American Chemical Society and we did a lot of experiments. That was my favorite part of science class. We didn’t use a “Christian” curriculum, per se. At least, not that I remember.
I also got to meet ID hero Michael Behe in 8th grade, which was a big deal for me. I tried to impress him with my portfolio of anti-evolution arguments.
I have been following Biologos on Facebook for a while now and saw a recent post about this new forum. As a parent of a homeschool tween and teen, I wanted to thank you for your effort to provide excellent science resources to our community.
It was asked how we’ve navigated this road over the years… When mine were younger, we leaned heavily on RS4K’s curriculum because it was a great introduction to Biology/Physics/Chemistry. (I always supplemented the provided materials with other things that I’d found on the web or at the library because they were always eager for more!) Through the middle grades, we jumped around through all sorts of textbooks / materials and watched quite a few documentaries along the lines of “Cosmos” and the BBC’s “Planet Earth”.
Now that we’re entering the high school years, it is certainly getting tougher. I will be watching for ideas for curriculum and (especially) great online courses that we can utilize in our homeschool. And if anyone knows where we can take AP science courses (preferably with a live instructor - think along the line of Landry or AIM classes), I’d LOVE to hear about them!!!
Wilson Hill Academy has AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, and AP Chemistry
PA Homeschoolers has the same plus AP Physics
This thread on the Well Trained Mind Forum is kept fairly current and has some others. It’s not always clear which ones meet ‘live’ though.
I was able to visit the curriculum libraries at local colleges with schools of education (most are open to anyone) to look at the various high school textbooks and associated materials. Many of the high school textbooks actually have “Do-it-at-home” laboratories or “Further Investigations” ideas that were easy to implement at home. I found Glencoe and Prentice-Hall textbooks to be relatively friendly for home education purposes. Many science kits and tools are available at decent prices from Home Science Tools.
Many schools just dump textbooks (our area is on a 7-year cycle) and when they do, I pick up the old editions and there are usually lots of teacher support materials in the mix. If you are okay with materials that are 10-15 years old, ebay and Amazon have high school textbooks for pennies and the cost of shipping. I admit that my science background does allow me to know when to fill in the gaps and to update certain information, but for the most part, imho, older materials are fine at communicating the basic science information.
I think that videos, demonstrations, field trips, competition teams (e.g. FIRST Robotics), etc. can convey as much or more than some laboratory exercises, so I have never felt too bad about underusing laboratory manuals. When I wanted the group laboratory experience, I usually invited others to join my kids. I have never felt the need for the co-op experience, mainly because I just didn’t want to deal with disagreements over curriculum choices for science.
Thanks, Christy! I had forgotten all about PA Homeschoolers - that was one option that I ran across years ago and had intended to remember for high school!
I have one going into high school and one going into 7th grade.
I agree with @Christy on PA Homeschoolers and Wilson Hill.
I also agree that there are tons of decent high school texts out there for peanuts, if you know where to look. The Well-Trained Mind boards have lots of recommendations on the threads. You can find old Dolciani, Foerster, Jacobs math texts, Spielvogel for history, and lots of Prentice Hall/Glencoe texts on used book websites. You may have to hunt for a TM, but often there is little change between editions, so you can often use a TM for a different edition with little modification.
Also, many of the Catholic satellites use good texts for high school and come with syllabi and test support (Kolbe, etc.)
I like Miller Levine and Cambell for Bio, Chang for Chemistry, and Hewitt or Knight (depending on whether you want an early Physics or more traditional, respectively).