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  1. I did Alg I, Geom, Alg II many years ago when I was in high school, but I don't know if that sequence is really the best-any thoughts? We use Kinetic Books and the Geometry program is not out yet, so I'm wondering if we could do Algebra II next year (10th), then Geometry (11th), then Precalc or college algebra at cc for 12th. Are there any hard and fast reasons/rules for doing it one way or the other? Thanks by the way, he is not a math/science guy and will not be pursuing a degree in those areas. much more lit/history minded
  2. I do not need to reinvent the wheel. Does a lesson plan for College Physics already exist? What labs did you do? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  3. In another thread, this snippet caught my eye. I find this very interesting and would love if you could share some specifics about how children in Germany (or other places) are prepared. What is done to reach this end goal. How can we do something similar at home? What kind of oral presentations? Thanks. Danielle
  4. For those of you who did not revisit the thread about lesson plans for college physics and saw my update there: I have uploaded to google docs a folder with course materials for a two semester algebra based physics course using College Physics by Knight, Jones Fields. there are schedules of assignments and all exams with solutions. https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B1...lOMU1vS3c/edit The schedule is for two 15 week semesters, with exams scheduled in weeks 5, 9, and 13, plus a Final at the end. This leaves enough time in the school year to cover the few chapters on Modern physics at the end of the book which are not included in the schedule. Please let me know if you have questions.
  5. Am I the only one who feels that science labs are a total sham? Am I the only one out there that knows that kids can learn everything just as easily watching a video? My husband and I both went through college, BTW; did the lab thing. Even enjoyed the classes and got all A's. (I"m Computer Science, he's an Economics major...) Both of us felt the labs were a total waste there, too. Learned nothing from the lab that we couldn't have gotten from a book or video. High School? All A's (not boasting, just sayin'). I remember us kids goofing off and not paying much attention and not learning a thing in lab. Don't even remember what we did in Biology, etc. Obviously another waste of time. But in my family, lecture is very effective--we don't need the touchie-feelie, hands-on stuff, anyway, and our daughter is no different. Yep, we fork out the hundreds of dollars every year and yep, we know its required...which is *why* we force ourselves to fork out the dough every year... But we can't be the only ones out there who think this is a total waste of time and money. I'm getting ready to blow another $300 for overpriced, practically nothing useful items, that we'll spend a couple of hours playing with and won't be able to get rid of afterward. Sigh...all to put the lab down on the transcript. Guess its the price of homeschooling. Bend over and just take it like a mom, ha! :) Kim PS: My daughter is considering becoming a nurse. She says to me, "Mom, why do I need to do the lab, I "got it" already...." My question and sentiments, exactly, child.
  6. I should be used to this by now, but my job dropped anew when I saw the $195 physics textbook my soon-to-be freshman ds is expected to purchase. I know that writers and publishers need to be compensated, but good grief! I guess I can look at the $119 used price as a bargain. :glare: I've used Amazon with some success in the past. Any great suggestions for other (maybe not-so-common) textbook sources? Thanks!
  7. I know I've already bugged you all about where to buy supplies for chemistry labs. And I got some good leads. Thanks! Now, I'm stuggling with a kind of basic question, and I'm hoping those who've gone before can chime in with opinions. My son will be using the CK12 text as a base for chemistry next year. He'll also be going to a weekly class, but I suspect that will end up being more about enrichment than anything directly instructional. Which means I need to plan the lab component for him. I currently see two ways to go with this, and I can't seem to lean definitively one way or the other. I can buy the MicroChem kit several folks here recommended, or I can go ahead with the series of labs I've been researching and planning on my own. Since the prices are comparable, I see this as: - MicroChem - Reliable, complete, consistent, clear, convenient for me. Potentially boring. - Our Own Thing - Discovery-oriented, creative, flexible, more to do. Potentially messy. For background: The last time I did chemistry, when my daughter was doing high school, I bought the Thames & Kosmos C3000 kit, but we were pretty disappointed with it. My memory of it was that it was kind of boring, and we were often underwhelmed by the results of the experiments. My daughter got to dreading the weekly lab time so much that we pretty much dropped it part way through the year. So, I'm coming into this with a bias against kits. And I'm wary of spending a lot of money on a package of stuff unless I'm confident it will be a good experience. After a couple of weeks of poking around online, looking through the books I have on my shelf and the ones I checked out of the library and picking the brains of my husband and friends, I've come up with a list of 33 labs we can do with supplies from Home Science Tools and local stores. The prices are comparable. The MicroChem kit would be about $148 (including shipping and the alcohol burner I'd have to buy separately), and my HST cart and shopping list come to $134 (including shipping). The kit includes 17 labs. My list has almost twice as many, although some of them, I'm sure, are simpler than the ones in the kit. Buying the kit makes my life simpler, in that I don't have to plan or collect supplies or do much more than hand my son the stuff and tell him to follow instructions. It's clean and easy and no fuss for me. But . . . it also just sounds boring. I don't respond well to lots of structure, and I can't quite figure out what the point is of doing "labs" that tell a student exactly what to do, with pre-mixed chemicals and then watch a pre-determined result. Why not just watch a video? On the other hand, my proposed labs bring with them the risk that they won't work at all. Our "chemicals" will be assorted bottles and packages, rather than neatly labelled matching bottles. I won't have an attractive, consistently-formatted lab manual with clear instructions. I'll have to be up to my elbows with my son managing and figuring out every lab. So, I'd love to hear from folks who've used the MicroChem kit about your experiences. Did you and your student like it? Was it well done? Was there a cool factor of any kind? Did you feel like your student learned a lot using it? Also, from a purely practical point of view: What "common household items" were required? How much did you spend beyond the basic price of the kit to complete the labs? Thanks!
  8. My dd is getting close to high school, in 8th this year. She is definitely an out of the box thinker, creative child, kinesthetic, visual spatial, loves art, hates most everything else about school. A lot of high school involves the use of textbooks (which we have not used in the past). Is it possible to get through at least most of high school without using textbooks? Learning from textbooks is just not appealing to her at all. She does not mind reading chapter books or other topical nonfiction books, just has a problem with the overwhelming dense quality of material in textbooks. I think the visual nature of them does not appeal to her as well because they distract her too much. Has anyone completed history, science, etc through some other method, reading books, doing experiments, etc and been successful in learning the material in high school? I guess I need examples of curriculum or accredited schools that might appeal to her style of learning more. We have done one year of Winter Promise in the past and I was thinking maybe I need to go back to that method for her. Any other ideas? I really want to have her graduate from an accredited school so have been looking at Kolbe and a few others. I like that Kolbe is flexible. Anyone have any ideas for an accredited school that would be a better fit?
  9. I have gone round and round about our science plans for next year, and after talking with dh, I think we have decided to go with physical science. Our tentative long term plans are: 6th: Physical Science 7th: Life Science 8th: Alg. based Physics 9th: Chemistry 10th: Biology 11th: AP Physics (probably calc based) (or a different AP class if his interests change by then) 12th: Specialized science of his choosing/college science course He will be doing Saxon Alg. 1 this fall and then following through the Saxon sequence. So, I am looking for recommendations for physical science courses. Here is what I want: 1. Something that is easy for me to implement and schedule. 2. A lab kit would be awesome. However, if one isn't available for the specific materials we choose, I'll use this lab kit: http://www.qualitysciencelabs.com/physical-science-labs/microphysci-kit-standard-edition/. 3. DS likes independent, no-nonsense stuff. He says he likes textbooks that he can read himself and do at his own pace. However, he has never tried a video based course or live course, so even though he says he doesn't like these, he doesn't really know:tongue_smilie:. 4. Support materials like tests, answer keys, etc. 5. I'd like it to include a bit of earth/space, but this isn't a major requirment. 6. We are planning on having him take a full-fledged, highschool level, algebra based physics course in 8th grade. So I want something that is a challenging for a 6th grader who has had quite a bit of exposure to physical science topics so far, but still leaves somewhere to go with the physics course in 8th grade. 7. He will be taking Algebra concurrently (although he is 1/2 way through the LOF Alg. right now), so something that is approriate math-wise. 8. Don't need outside teacher support. 9. Secular or Religious based are both okay I'm looking at Derek Owens purchased program as a serious contender. I think he'd like the "fill in the notes as you go" set up. Plus, the Derek Owens videos seem to be straightforward when compared to something like BJU's videos. A few others I'm considering are BJU, DIVE, PH Concepts in Action, and anything else you guys can tell me about. I'd love to hear from users of any of these programs, particulary in regards to scheduling, hands-on teacher time, independent-ness (yes, I made that word up:D), and how the content and rigor (for lack of a better word) stack up against each other and against an actual physics curriculum.
  10. In another thread, EsterMaria had the idea to post examples of high school exit exams in other parts of the world. Here is a link to the mathematics final exams for any college prep high school in my home state in Germany. http://www.sn.schule.de/~matheabi/index.m.html "gk" means "Grundkurs", the mandatory basic math course taken by every college bound student. "LK" means "Leistungskurs", the advanced course for student who choose math to be one of the subjects they want to take a harder class in. (Every student is required to declare several subjects in which he is taking the harder class) Here is a sample for an English (foreign language) exam, LK: http://www.stark-verlag.de/upload_file/Muster/145460m1.pdf there would also be an oral part to the examination And here is a collection of old exams in various subjects: http://www.bildung-lsa.de/index.php?KAT_ID=335
  11. Ds is done with TC chemistry and wants to do lab work right away. I was going to round his chemistry ed with BJU Chemistry and he is balking at that. I have the Chemistry:the central science by Brown....8th ed via Prentice Hall. I can use this with Thompson home lab book This is just the student text. I can use this but however I have no way of grading so how would I do that? Also what about zumdahl that is raved alot? Where do you get this? thanks Holly
  12. I own Steven Zumdahl's 2nd edition "Chemistry" I kept from my college days. This text was my first introduction to chemistry. I am currently looking at different texts for my dd's hs course. I thought I could use my old text, since I already own it, but it is thick- a whopping 1091 pages, not counting the appendixes. We have used Apologia and I regret not using my old college Biology text. Not to say anything bad about Apologia, but my college bio text was more substantial in explaining concepts. My daughter was scolding me for that. ;) She liked my old college Biology text by Raven and Johnson. I have also looked a little bit at Chang's Chemistry, which looks great from what I have seen on the sample pages on Amazon, but if it is similar to Zumdahl, then I will stick with what I have. Does anyone have more experience with these texts that can help me discern a whole year of chem for my dd? My other dilemma? Apologia is organized with labs and lessonplans are available. I stink at producing my own lessonplans. Can anyone help me with some suggestions with this too? Thanks so much in advance for all your help!:001_smile:
  13. My daughter and I are doing an Intro to Physics/Chem 9th grade course. I've never studied physics before. In my high school, it was something you took as a senior if you were serious about science and math. I was serious about languages, and I skipped my senior year to go to college. So I never had the opportunity. But I love it! It's fascinating! And it's about REAL things! Observable things! Why did no one ever tell me????? :lol:
  14. I know all about BJU, Abeka, and Apologia. But what else is out there for Science choices? And what has been you favorite for high school?
  15. My question is about algebra based vs. calculus based physics. In looking at the course selections at the cc, they offer both algebra based and calculus based physics, but they state that the student can not receive credit for both. The algebra based is geared towards non-STEM majors. Dd is ready for calculus based physics from the point of the view of pre-requisites, but am I correct in assuming that this will not help her to prepare for the SAT II in physics or the AP physics test? I have no idea, at this time, if she'll be taking either of these tests - especially the AP as it's expensive - but I like to keep the option open. If you're wondering what my question is, you're not alone. :tongue_smilie: I'm not sure what I'm asking. I guess I'm wondering if it there's a good reason for her to take the general physics class first and then the calculus based one. Both classes seem to use the same lab, so that wouldn't need to be repeated. Any thoughts? We also have Saxon Physics, so maybe it would be better to use that for a more advanced algebra based and then take the calculus based one. Would that make sense?
  16. Thinkwell Physics is out because it is Calculus based. Kinetic Physics is unlikely because they will not sell me a solutions manual. What about Physics Matters from Singapore Math? We have used Singapore math through NEM 2 and have been happy with all of their products. Has anybody used Physics Matters? Thanks, Karen
  17. What would they be? For my rising 9th grader, I am considering: Latin 3 Spanish 2 Alg. 2 World History OR Geography Writing/Literature (1 sem each) Physical Science OR Spanish 2 Alg 2 U.S. History Writing/Literature Physical Science Physical Education/Health I feel we always overdo academics by 1 or more classes especially *after* we add in extracurriculars. We usually end up with 7 or 8? So I am trying to limit ourselves to just 6 classes next year? Wonder how you all would do this? Lisa j, mom to 5
  18. I just had a long conversation at the ice rink with a professor from Princeton University. She has multiple connections in admissions at several universities. She confirmed for me that colleges and universities are now looking for students who have committed a significant amount of time to 1 or 2 activities. They are no longer impressed with a long string of AP test achievements and a long list of extracurriculars. They want to see that the student worked long and hard and persevered to take a particular interest to the highest level possible for the child, whether it be music, science, or whatever interest. Apparently colleges are having a huge crisis with students who either cannot handle time management, or try to do it all and then crash and burn and either have a mental health crisis or drop out completely. Admissions officers are thinking that a student who shows he or she knew how to choose where to focus will be more likely to succeed. She also feels that the whole 4H will hurt your transcript idea is not true, especially if 4H has given your child many opportunities to shine in areas of leadership, public speaking, marketing, event planning, research, etc. She said that would actually give kids an advantage over the typical high school student who just does not communicate well (according to admissions officers). This professor has had to think over and research a lot of these issues because her daughter takes a lot of time off from school to pursue figure skating. Now, I have no direct experience with admissions officers, so I cannot say that everything she told me is true, but I thought I'd share what I learned. It reinforces everything I've been reading lately. ETA: She also said that APs in science areas or foreign languages are more impressive to colleges than the more typical APs and they are more likely to actually award credit based on them.
  19. I feel stuck. I have Conceptual Physics (PH 2007) for 9th grade, but I have no labs planned yet. If you all don't mind, I need some inspiration. According to my cover school, a science class is worth a full credit; the lab is worth half a credit... 85+/- hours. I don't know what to do for lab and feel a little panic starting to brew. I really want something open-and-go (as much as possible). I don't like having to research one lab at a time and figure out where it fits in the book. Physics is not my thing... We do have some physics lab equipment from Home Science Tools since we are doing physical science this year. Dd is finishing up Algebra I this year (8th grade) and has a strong B in the class currently. She will take geometry next year. I've considered: Labpaq... this is what I've come closest to purchasing. PKS has 24 labs but has challenging math. This would probably meet the 85 hours, but trying to do that many labs would require going at a neck-breaking speed. This seems too overwhelming to me. This Labpaq is $180! PK105 ($118, I think) includes more manageable math, but there are only 9 labs. We would have to spend between 9-10 hours on each lab for this to work. Sounds like that idea is out. Ok... that is the only one I've seriously thought about. I've seen lab books at CBD and Amazon... I would bet these are more demonstration-type labs and don't come close to the quality of Labpaq. So, my next thought has been to do Derek Owens Physics. Love that this is open-and-go (trying to forget that this is expensive too!) But, even he only does 10 labs, and therefore wouldn't meet the 85 lab hours. For something pre-planned like Derek Owens class + lab, it seems like a cover school would accept it as a package deal. (I need to compare this to Apologia labs. My cover school teaches some Apologia classes with labs... If DO is similar, then maybe it would be accepted...) Please help me over this speed bump. Can you all be specific about labs that I could use for Conceptual Physics... keeping in mind that I need 85 hours for half of a credit??? THANK YOU!
  20. Has anyone found any middle school science with true challenge? I feel like I have exhausted every avenue for my 7th grader. We might go ahead and do high school science, but I really want to wait one or two more years and then do AP sciences. Any suggestions? We have supplemented thus far, but next year will be tougher to do that way as I will be working full time. We are Christian, but we prefer the secular curriculum for this subject. Thanks!
  21. If you've done a hodge podge of occasional science for elementary school, are there any must do's to prepare a middle schooler for high school science? Which science subjects would you choose and for which years(6th through 8th)? Thanks, Alison
  22. Let us take two examples: 4th grader is supposed to say whether 4/7 is equal or not equal to 16/35. I've tried a couple of different ways: Cross multiply- which she won't want to do because she has to do it on a separate piece of paper and write it out. If the multiplication like 4 x 35 and then 7 x 16 was on the sheet, then she could do it. But the extra step of figuring it out kills her. Or.. look what would you multiply 7 by to get 35. ( After several minutes as she is NOT good at division AT ALL) 5. Ok.. yes. What happens if I multiply 4 x5. What do you mean that doesn't make sense. Ok, remember we have to multiply a fraction by the same number on the top and the bottom to get an equivilent fraction. That doesn't make sense. Sigh... To me, this is SO incredibly EASY. I just look at it and KNOW they are not equal. Or Geometry There is a graph with a vector drawn on it. Ok write the ordered pair of the vector. To which he writes ( -3, 1) ( This is the ordered pair for the intial point of the vector not the ordered pair of the whole vector.) No.. remember we have to figure out the number with a formula. Oh, yeah the (x2- x1) (y2- y1) and then the square root..(I don't know how to do the subscripts on here) No that isn't quite right. You will just get one number from that formula. Remember we want the ordered pair not the distance. Although you are close. I don't know... Ok let us go back and look. OH YEAH I just subract the x's and y's. YES. I've had this conversation 3 different days.
  23. There is a great article about STEM education in college in the Education Life section of the NYT today. All you veteran STEM educators and students will like this. I know my oldest dd left math for some of the reasons (she likes a social component to her academics). STEM college educators need to get more inspirational. Science should never be too hard or too boring if kids of these days are to be retained as students. I wish I had more time as a homeschool Mom to tackle these issues. I despair that dd #2 may abandon her STEM dreams. On the other hand, both my dh and I have had STEM careers and all our courses were tedious and boring. I survived b/c of the challenge and being able to find like-minded study companions. Dh is just wired that way, but he did change majors several times.
  24. I believe that (no matter how you get it) a liberal arts education helps a person become a thinker who responds intelligently to the demands of the modern world (in the workplace and civicly). I've been a strong proponent of higher liberal arts type university education for this reason. I was always against the more "utilitarian training for a career" type of higher education because I believe so strongly in what a liberal arts education does in shaping the mind. I'm wondering though, in light of the kind of liberal arts education that a classical teaching model gives, is a liberal arts university degree as necessary for our (TWTM) kids? I do want my children to get a degree of some kind because I do think it opens more doors in the world. But I'm wondering if it's ok to focus more on the practical training needed for jobs training. But then I'm wondering if I'm compromising my values because of the bottom line and just wanting a secure job for my kids upon graduation. (I hope these musings make sense. Please give me your thoughts, including requests for clarification if you need them.)
  25. If you have a child with a strong math/science focus what was/is your math and science sequence from middle school through high school? :bigear:
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