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Found 13 results

  1. Someone, anyone, just tell me what to do and I will do it. I promise!! We just do not "do" it. I want to do it..the kids want to do it....we just don't....please just tell me what to do. :confused::confused::confused::confused: WTM notebooks don't happen. We have such good intentions and we try, but alas, not so much. My children are (in the fall) 7th grade boy (only mildly interested) and 3rd grade girl (VERY clever and VERY highly motivated) I just can't reinvent the wheel, so I would love to combine at least on some level. Secular would be preferable (though we are Christian). I'll do some experiments. I'll buy extra books. I just need a plan!
  2. Ok, this is going to sound very ignorant, and kind of odd from someone who has actually done science in a couple of different fields during her professional life, but what the heck is a high school science lab supposed to be, anyway? I keep using that word, but I do not think it means what I think it means. ;) When I think about a lab, I think automatically about doing an experiment - coming up with a question, doing some research, formulating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, analyzing the results, and writing up a lab report. But when I look at curricula, books, online description of labs, I see a lot of other things being done that I'd call something different - demonstrations, dissections, observations, collections, projects, investigations, analyzing data sets. Do those things all count as labs? How do you define labs for the different sciences? Can you give me examples of things that you've done for labs for the different sciences? And how many you've done in a year? I like the idea of doing experiments, but those suckers can take some time. I can't imagine doing one a week. One every two weeks if that's all you are doing, maybe. One a month sounds more civilized. But are there a bunch of things that count as labs that maybe I'm not thinking of that way? I'm kind of hoping so. I want to do a bunch of those things, too, and if they are also considered labs, I'm golden. :)
  3. I am so frustrated with science!! I rather spontaneously bought RS4K elementary set last spring because my 2nd and 4th graders really love science. And they love RS4K but I can't stand how involved the labs are. Granted, my kids love it. They even have lab notebooks to record their findings (composition books, one for each -- because I wasn't going to buy multiple student manuals). Q#1: How much retention do you think an elementary student would get from just reading through the RS4K text? My philosophy with my older kids was to keep elementary science focused on nature studies, nature readings, nature notebooks, etc. And those older ones loved nature. These younger ones like it, but maybe because we have spent less time with it they don't feel as much of a connection. Or maybe they're just different. Q#2: So maybe I should just go back to just focusing on nature studies until they hit 7th grade?? I just feel like I've been so inconsistent with ANYTHING for this younger crew. OK, here's something funny (pathetic funny, not haha funny) -- when I bought RS4K, it was really the physics and astronomy stuff I wanted for my 4th grader because she loves that stuff. I found it at a homeschool conference and it caught my eye. I did not study this out in advance. :/ But then I thought, "Oh this is so easy/doable, why not buy biology and chemistry too and do those FIRST (the way the author intended) so she has that background." Well! Ya, the physics and astronomy books sit unopened because we are still STUCK in the 1st book of the series. Q#3: AARGH! Why am I like this?? (somewhat rhetorical, but I'm open to hearing the painful replies on this one) I also have Lyrical Life Science (all 3 volumes), 2 Tiner books (astronomy and planet earth), oodles of nature resources, and find myself eyeing Jay Wile's new science series (because Apologia/Fulbright's Exploring ____ series was not going to be a good match for us, but this looks like it might be...except the idea of even a little experiment for every single reading sounds so unpleasant to me) as well as SCM's 106 Days of Creation and Outdoor Secrets studies. And then I read about all the wonderful-sounding science curricula mentioned by so many here, and.... <sigh> Q#4: What should I do??? / What would you do in my situation? Q#5: The kids are strong readers, so they could really do much more reading on their own, but then what kind of follow-up would they do with any of these? Q#2-4 are not fair questions, I realize. But I am frustrated. And homeschool conference season is upon us once again so I definitely want to feel at peace with a plan for where we are going and not be tempted by various enticing baubles.
  4. I know this has been brought up before and I did a search but I was unable to find what I'm looking for. I'm looking for free virtual biology labs. We're using the dragonfly book and we have the "Illustrated guide to home biology experiments" for labs but I want to mix it up and do some "real" labs and some virtual labs.
  5. Another homeschool mom and I were talking at the pool. I originally intended for Ds to take a Biology lab class with a local mom this fall. The class is meeting very close to my home and they are using Apologia. However, this weekend after looking at both Apologia and BJU, Ds finally decided to use BJU with DiVE. So, now I think we are opting out of the class since the labs won't match. My friend (who has no high school age Dc) said "Well, he really needs to have an outside lab at high school age." Why? What am I missing? He's going to do labs, just not with the class. Now here's the story about the class: Over the course of the summer I have become increasingly uneasy about the class anyway. It has taken 3 months for the teacher to send any type of clear e mail explaining how she is going to handle the class. Most of the time she does not answer my questions. When she does, I often can't make heads or tails of her answers. She emails with her own questions and repeatedly asks the same questions that I already answered. I volunteered our microscope several times and she has never said if she is going to use it or not and keeps sending out the email asking if anyone has a microscope :confused:. A couple weeks ago an email went out asking if we want the kids to be lab partners and if we want to buy the lab supplies as a group. In the same email she asked if anyone has already bought them. But, we haven't even received a list of what labs she is going to cover (she said it would be different from Apologia list), so how can we buy supplies? I saw her in person and volunteered to organize a group buy for labs. She said she has it covered and the other mom who is helping her will take care of it, but her husband is sick and in the hospital so that's why she's been slow with getting around to it. When I got home Dh asked me, "how sick is he? Is she going to be able to commit to helping with a class if her husband is really sick?" Hummm, good question. Still no email about ordering lab supplies this week. I have seen the email addresses of the other families registering and recognize them from years ago when we participated in co-ops. They are not people who are serious about education. I remember many of their Dc as discipline issues and some of the girls I've seen at 4H remind me of groupies at rock concerts when it comes to activities involving boys. I know they had to be asked not to come back to some sporting events b/c of their behavior. I don't know the mom/teacher well, so I asked another friend who knows her better through their kids shared activities. She told me this mom/teacher is not home much and puts a big emphasis on sports over academics. My friends comment was that the class wouldn't necessarily be bad, but that her feeling is that it would be a lets-get-it done approach without much attention to detail. That isn't the approach I'm looking for. Back to my friend's comment at the pool....it has been bothering me. So, do you think she's right and Ds needs an outside lab? I don't think I can line up labs very well without having to buy Apologia as well. I don't want to create unnecessary work for myself, especially if the class is poorly run. Last question......would you still consider this lab class given the poor organization, confusion, families involved, and work it would be to line up labs?
  6. 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.
  7. I don't usually post here, but I thought that some of you might like to see what a scientific investigation looks like. My older son is working on a 12-week long science-fair project studying how wind speed and direction and the orientation of the bay affect longshore transport of sand. I started writing about this project from its inception and really before the idea was even clear in his head, and I have been writing about the development of the question and the design of the experiment. We are currently collecting data intensively so he will have time to really mull over what he has found and write it up. If you have never seen an investigation in action, hopefully this will walk you through the steps and inspire you to try your own. :001_smile: http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=361740 Ruth in NZ
  8. I've followed a couple of the LabPaq links in older threads and it looks like the website may have changed a bit. I'm not finding any kind of list of what might be included in the labs for any given course. In fact, it almost looks like they are moving to mostly customized orders or something similar. Can someone give me some detail about what you got from LabPaq? Was it a schedule of labs, instructions, materials, answer key? The FAQ is pretty obtuse.
  9. 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!
  10. I got a query from a reader today, asking if there was an inexpensive local source for small quantities of concentrated hydrogen peroxide. (HST sells 30 mL--about one fluid ounce--for $5.50 + shipping.) I replied that food-grade (very pure) concentrated hydrogen peroxide is available locally in many places, but usually in gallon or larger containers. There is, however, an easy and inexpensive way to get small amounts of concentrated hydrogen peroxide. Simply purchase a pint bottle of drugstore 3% hydrogen peroxide for a buck or so, pour a little bit out (to leave room for expansion) and then put it in the freezer. After an hour or two, you'll find that most of the water has frozen solid, leaving a liquid that's much more concentrated hydrogen peroxide. (The actual concentration may vary depending on conditions, but the concentration you get should be fine for nearly any experiment that specifies concentrated hydrogen peroxide.) Note that this concentrated form of hydrogen peroxide lacks the stabilizers present in commercial products and so will decompose pretty rapidly over time. Make it up immediately before you need it. Also note that concentrated hydrogen peroxide is an extremely strong oxidizer, so read the MSDS for concentrated hydrogen peroxide on the HST site or elsewhere and follow all safety precautions.
  11. I've been working on a syllabus for our science for the year (one semester of meteorology and one of earth science - focused on geology). [This is for a 7th and 8th grader, partly for content and partly to teach them how to do science lab reports.] We're using the JetStream online course from the National Weather Service. It has a set of "Learning Lessons" that range from simple demonstrations to what I would consider to be a hands on experiment. It made me wonder what in a science lab makes it stringent enough to be considered "with lab" on a transcript. Is it a matter of level of difficulty? Hitting standard lessons (like dissection for biology)? Or maybe how the activity is written up? Thoughts? ETA: These are musings for when they are in high school, prompted by thinking about the activities in JetStream, which are labeled as "learning lessons" but that could be either demos or labs depending on how they were presented (imho).
  12. I want my dds (both intersted in engineering fields) to do full, just-like-we-did-in-school labs, even some AP labs, with their DIVE/BJU Chemistry. It seems like everyone I talk to did simplified labs, just watched them, skipped them, did them at co-op, etc. I've scheduled one per week from the DIVE and BJU books, put all the supplies in my various online carts, made room to store the chemicals safely. But I'm a little nervous, because everyone seems to think it's too much to do at home, and I'm starting to think I'm being naive. Even the in-laws ask, "How will they do Chemistry if you homeschool?" :glare: So... If you really did full-blown labs for chemistry, could you please tell me about it. Any tips? Any labs that were really great or really flopped? TIA! :001_smile:
  13. I've read the new WTM edition online at Amazon--just the sample they provide! It was enough to see the kit list for logic stage. My dd is very excited to see kits recommended, as she is really a hands-on kinda gal. So has anyone used these kits? I don't want to list, b/c of copyright, but if you know what I'm talking about, I'd love some feedback.
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