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Need physics options for ds15 - very science minded. Or something else?

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Ds15 is very good at science and will probably seek a career in science. He excelled in biology and chemistry. We are looking into what science to do next year. The usual sequence is physics. Our options are


1. Physics text at home and hire a tutor (probably a student at the local college) as a grader.

2. Take Physics at the local high school (he really does not want that, plus it messes with the rest of our schedule.)

3. Take physics through a quality online program.

4. Take some other science either from the local 4 year college or community college that will look stellar on a transcript.


We are looking for secular options on the rigorous side.


If we do the online program, does anyone have suggestions of a good distance learning program? I don't want a "here's the book and syllabus. Email your answers and I'll grade it" class (BTDT with Northwestern's GLL.) My requirements include having interaction with other students (either via class boards or a synchronous setting) and plenty of instructor interaction as well as being a good solid program.

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My very sciency dd is going to do the college level Conceptual Physics by Paul Hewitt. I ran this by my db, who teaches post secondary Physics, and he said it would be a good book for her. In fact, he even offered to mail me his sample copy since he doesn't teach Conceptual Physics at university, so we got the text for nothing, but will have to buy the Instructor's Guide. He also sent another book that goes with it (It might be called Practicing Physics, but I really don't remember; this fall she'll be doing Conceptual Chemistry) It doen't have all the math, but if she changed from biochem to Physics, I'd have her take an AP Physics course. She'll be 15 when she does it and by then will have finished Geometry.


Understanding it conceptually is very important, and once you do the math can be learned.

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Hippocampus lists a number of secular Physics textbooks, and Conceptual Physics (as previously recommended) is one of them.




Your son might also like the supplementary lessons on this site. They are pretty slick. My DD is only 12 and wants to dive into Physics after watching a few of these, but she needs to wait until her math catches up to her enthusiasm. :)

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