Jump to content

Menu

Recommended Posts

Is it just me, or do you sometimes wonder if science is "dumbed down" for all of us homeschool parents who have trouble understanding it? I think homeschoolers have a reputation for being really bright in the English/literature area but severely lacking in the sciences. I bought RS4K Chemistry this year thinking it would be a great program. My husband took one look at the book and said, "I could teach this whole book to ds in about a week." Granted, I was only expecting it to last 1/2 a semester, but boy that was an expensive program to be so "meatless"!! Has anyone found a science program for the middle grade that you feel is competitve with what the public schools are using?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 262
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Is it just me, or do you sometimes wonder if science is "dumbed down" for all of us homeschool parents who have trouble understanding it? I think homeschoolers have a reputation for being really bright in the English/literature area but severely lacking in the sciences. I bought RS4K Chemistry this year thinking it would be a great program. My husband took one look at the book and said, "I could teach this whole book to ds in about a week." Granted, I was only expecting it to last 1/2 a semester, but boy that was an expensive program to be so "meatless"!! Has anyone found a science program for the middle grade that you feel is competitve with what the public schools are using?

 

Have you looked at Rainbow Science from Beginnings Publishing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We weren't happy with most elementary science programs unless we added a lot, but were a science family. Beginning in 6th we switched dd to BJU ---the 6th program we still did two programs but one was really lite. Starting with 7th grade forward we've found BJU to have plenty of meat, lots of activities/experiments, etc. While we are not young earth creationist, we've been pleased with the overall content and depth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it just me, or do you sometimes wonder if science is "dumbed down" for all of us homeschool parents who have trouble understanding it?

 

I believe that the homeschool market "only" math and science materials are not equal to standard school texts.

 

Personally, I wouldn't worry about the homeschool science texts in middle school b/c high school science is introductory level material. However, if you want equivalent texts, there are middle school science programs like Prentice Hall Science Explorers, Plato science, etc that are used in educational settings beyond homeschools.

 

FWIW, I will not use homeschool "only" marketed materials for high school level courses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like Prentice Hall Science Explorer. It is designed for ps rather than hs, but works well at home. Just do a search on these boards for "science explorer" and you'll see lots of posts about it. It's geared for 6th-8th graders, but you can start it in 5th if you have a science-y kid.

 

Do you also purchase a teacher's edition to teach the Prentice Hall? Are the experiments easy to do in a home environment? Science has always been so hard for me to understand. Whenever I have the classic nightmare about not knowing I was enrolled in a class until it was time for the final exam- it's always a science class!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe that the homeschool market "only" math and science materials are not equal to standard school texts.

 

Personally, I wouldn't worry about the homeschool science texts in middle school b/c high school science is introductory level material. However, if you want equivalent texts, there are middle school science programs like Prentice Hall Science Explorers, Plato science, etc that are used in educational settings beyond homeschools.

 

FWIW, I will not use homeschool "only" marketed materials for high school level courses.

 

What does your 5th grader use for science?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it just me, or do you sometimes wonder if science is "dumbed down" for all of us homeschool parents who have trouble understanding it? I think homeschoolers have a reputation for being really bright in the English/literature area but severely lacking in the sciences. I bought RS4K Chemistry this year thinking it would be a great program. My husband took one look at the book and said, "I could teach this whole book to ds in about a week." Granted, I was only expecting it to last 1/2 a semester, but boy that was an expensive program to be so "meatless"!! Has anyone found a science program for the middle grade that you feel is competitve with what the public schools are using?

 

:iagree:

 

Yes, I have tried RS4K,Noeo, Gods Design, Considering God's Creation and a handful of other stuff. I ALWAYS have to beef it up and the experiments are less than desirable. Last year I created my own Human Body Study, my kiddos learned a ton and it was meaty:). I have a BSN and I am currently pursuing my MA in Environmental Science. Science is something I love so I tend to be most picky about this particular subject.

 

 

Right now we are doing a weather unit for a few ,then we will move into chemistry. I find that ordering books that are produced particularly for the home school market, should be about 2 grades up.

For example, I am using, as a spine Christian Kids Explore Chemistry, it says it's to be used for grades 4-8....hogwash. After reading it, I thought it would fit perfectly for a 2-4th grade Chemistry program. Although I kinda like the Apologia Books for the upper mid-H.S levels, they are still weak on labs. I am having my 5th grader work through 1/2 of the Apologia GS and on top of that she is doing beefed up labs, and enjoying the hands on I do with the younger two.

 

I do however, LOVE the upper level, H.S. of Bob Jones, the labs are far more comprehensive IMHO but, they require lab equipment that is not common and could be costly. By that time I will most likely offer to do labs in my home for a small group:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Silver Burdett & Ginn is the publisher...I think they have been bought out by another publisher.

 

There is Life, Earth and Physical Science in three separate texts. The experiments are absolutely the best I've seen in a middle school series. I was able to get a teacher book for the Life Science text and workbooks for all three disciplines.

 

I went through the books last night and was floored by the hands-on approach...none of my kids ever did these kinds of experiments when they attended school...these are real...using real labware, tools, specimens, the whole she-bang...and they are thoroughly explained and easily done at home.

 

Although the texts do not have more recent science discoveries in them, they cover everything else really well and they are not dumbed down in content and the pages are clean and uncluttered with only necessary pictures. I found the newer texts tend to be so busy. I have a hard time concentrating on the newer texts...I can't imagine a kid trying to focus on them.

 

hth,

Robin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I own Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding K-2 and as I was scheduling it last night, I was wondering if it was too meaty and over ds' head. It doesn't dumb down, presents lots of advanced concepts.. all geared towards his age range. We'll see, but I think BFSU is probably an exception to the rule. I struggle to comprehend some of the concepts too, but I have no science background in college. When I do, both he and I have learned something valuable, though, and I appreciate challenging and stretching myself.

 

Last year in K we grappled with a lot of meaty subjects (for his age level) and although it took some explaining and the recommended extra books, he seemed to understand and is getting a picture of what science is all about, which is what I hope to achieve at this age.

 

I really like this program.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have teacher editions for most of the books (12 out of 15). I have the PH Science Explorer series in individual book form. There are 15 individual books. I didn't actually use the teacher editions much aside from the books where the teacher edition was all that I had. I have been through the entire series with my middle dd. My oldest did 4 of the books in 8th grade (was in ps for 6th and 7th). My youngest just started the series.

 

I had my two older girls do the workbooks that go with the series. They are pretty cheap direct from the publisher. I bought the books 2nd-hand on ebay or amazon. My books are mostly 2000 edition. The only newer books I have are the 2005 edition of Astronomy and the 2007 edition of Cells and Heredity. The 2002/2003 workbooks match up with the 2000 edition page-for-page. There isn't an answer key for the workbooks, but the answers are pretty obvious if you've read the text.

 

My youngest is dyslexic, so I am doing the questions at the end of each section orally instead of doing the workbooks. The teacher books do give the answers for every question in the student books.

 

There are plenty of experiments in this series. If you don't have the teacher edition, then I highly recommend buying the Lab Zone EZ Planner cd-rom. It's very inexpensive at $30. It has the teacher information for every experiment in the entire series. You won't find it on the website unless you type in the ISBN 0-13-181196-7. You don't need the Lab Zone EZ Planner if you have the teacher editions.

 

Most of the experiments are easy to do at home. Skipping the few that aren't is not a big deal. I ordered my supplies from http://www.homesciencetools.com . There are enough labs and activities that even if you do only half, you will still be doing more than enough. Just look through the book before you start and see what supplies you'd need to do the labs. Then see how much the supplies will cost you. I don't do expensive labs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What does your 5th grader use for science?

 

I don't use science textbooks until 7th or 8th grade (really depends on the child and their goals.) We use a whole book, interest driven science approach until those grades.

 

I don't follow her recommendations, but my science approach is very similar to MacBeth's:

http://charlottemason.tripod.com/index.html

 

I do use textbooks for high school science, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While it is pricey, I actually think RS4K has many redeeming qualities. I applaud Dr. Keller for her ability to take important, and sometimes difficult, scientific concepts and make them accessible to younger children. Take a look at her Chemistry Level II text and I think you'll find it sufficiently challenging for a middle schooler.

 

I also like PH Science Explorer, but for a different set of reasons - pretty pictures, "fluff" such as articles on careers, project ideas, allignment with state standards, practice standardized test items, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think much of most school science programs either. But Im not fond of the textbook approach.

 

:iagree:

 

Maybe other schools are different, but in my own schooling I don't remember *any* science in elementary school (I remember that we did science in 5th, but I can't even tell you what I studied; I have no actual memories of the lessons). Most certainly any science we did have was *not* hands-on with field trips, projects, and labs. I don't remember 6th grade science even though I'm sure I had it. It was most definitely text-book without labs. Seventh grade.... well, I do remember that. The science teacher was passionate about the subject. I was not. We did *a lot* of science that year. Eighth grade.... not so much.

 

Come to think of it, 10th and 11th grade ps sciences weren't particularly impressive, either. I think science classes didn't get rigorous until upper level highschool classes, which many kids did not take.

 

I'm happy with our science text through middle school. (We've learned so much, just in 1st and 2nd, with a narrative text, supplemental books and encyclopedias, color pages and diagrams, hands-on projects such as making a model of the earth with playdough, making a cell model out of jello, and practicing taxonomy by sorting toys), and field trips to the aquarium, science museum, space museum (with a class for homeschoolers), and Mt. St. Helens.)

 

After 8th grade, I do plan on more rigorous science courses for my boys, whether that be at home or in outside classes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've used many a science program through the years and I agree...many made for homeschoolers are way to simplistic. :tongue_smilie: I really, really like BJU though. My ds is currently using the 7th grade Life Science (w/DVDs) and we are finding it very meaty, and definitely at grade level or above. My ds got a wake-up call the other day when he almost bombed his first test!! He now knows that he's going to have to study, study, study. ;)

 

My middle ds used BJU's Chemistry and Physics (w/DVDs). It was difficult, but he did very well on the Chemistry. Let me tell ya though...that Physics was HARD!! It is NOT easy peasy science. I personally would not use BJU without the DVDs though. As mentioned, it has a lot of lab experiments that could not be reconstructed at home. But with the DVDs, all the labs are shown, so the kids don't miss out on the experience of the more difficult labs. Plus, the BJU Sceince teachers are excellent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for this post. I completely agree w/the op. I'm glad there are a lot of good science curric suggestions here, and I plan to check into them.

 

I bought our first text book science curriculum for this year and am fairly disappointed in its lack of thoroughness. For grades 1-4, we just did what SWB suggests, but I always felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants, not entirely comfortable that I was giving the dc everything they needed. I guess I just need something concretely organized for me when it comes to science. So this year I opted for RS4K Bio, and I'm really thinking about dumping it as the spine and using it for the experiments or getting rid of it altogether. We've only completed one chapter and already I feel the need to supplement. And I was scratching my head as to how it would be possible to stretch it past a semester, at best.

 

Chances are, though, that we'll just go back to what SWB suggests for 5th grade rather than investing in yet another text spine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone found a science program for the middle grade that you feel is competitve with what the public schools are using?

 

The public schools are weak on content and strong (when they're successful) on process. My definition of rigor in a science program is similar to theirs; I believe in inquiry, lots of serious inquiry.

 

Only yesterday did I find something designed for homeschoolers that is rigorous: http://evavarga.net/science-logic-curriculum/hands-on-physical-science-curriculum/. I also like the CPO materials but the lab supplies require serious tweaking. I find TOPS upper grades materials, especially their math labs, to be rigorous. These both were initially intended for schoolers, though.

 

There's a big leap between RS4K Level I and Level II. My nine-year-old is finding Level II challenging and I have never been able to challenge this child in science before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I subscribe more to the CM philosophy of focusing on Nature Study, making observations of God's creation with a natural, informal approach. I have Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study, a few field guides, and other science reference books (Usborne). We make observations based on interest and circumstances and then we do a bit of research and document what we learned. We also read from Margaret Gatty's Parables From Nature and the Thronton Burgess Bird Book.

 

Even Veritas Press, known to be a provider of rigorous classical curriculum, does not advocate a science curriculum in the early years. They do advocate memorizing important science info dc will need to draw on later.

 

Having said that, we have participated in topical science studies with our co-op, e.g. experiments to observe chemical reactions, a unit on he human body, a unit on plants, etc. For fun.

 

This year, we also are doing experiments from Janice VanCleave's Science Around the Year, but we are not following it as a strict curriculum, it's for fun and interest.

 

As an independent homeschooler in CA, we have no reporting requirements on specific curriculum, other than that we are bound to provide education in the subject area of science, which all the above activities do. I know it would be different if we were in a different situation, and we do plan to pursue more rigorous study in science starting in upper-elementary or middle school years. I'm just glad not to have to worry about implementing a full-blown science curriculum now when we are focusing on mastering the 3 R's.

 

I have the same approach with history for the early years. This year we are doing the BF unit study on Early American History. We will read the books, paste pictures on a timeline, and look at maps. Maybe a few crafts. Simple. Fun. No pressure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only yesterday did I find something designed for homeschoolers that is rigorous: http://science-logic.blogspot.com.

 

Rose, thank you so much for linking to this! The programs look really great!

 

I own Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding K-2 and as I was scheduling it last night, I was wondering if it was too meaty and over ds' head. It doesn't dumb down, presents lots of advanced concepts.. all geared towards his age range. We'll see, but I think BFSU is probably an exception to the rule. I struggle to comprehend some of the concepts too, but I have no science background in college. When I do, both he and I have learned something valuable, though, and I appreciate challenging and stretching myself.

 

Sagira, I totally agree with you. We're using BFSU this year for K, and already I'm thrilled with it and with what both my daughter and I are learning.

 

Last year in K we grappled with a lot of meaty subjects (for his age level) and although it took some explaining and the recommended extra books, he seemed to understand and is getting a picture of what science is all about, which is what I hope to achieve at this age.

 

I really like this program.

Edited by ~Kirsten~
typo/clarification
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm using Dr. Nebel's as a guide and writing my own science. DD reads quality books on whatever topic we're covering to cement the lessons I write up. It is SOOOOO time comsuming, but I'm just dissatisfied with both public and homeschool science materials.

 

One note about the RS4K Chemistry-I think it's only supposed to last 10 weeks or so. It's not meant to be a whole year. I liked it for a short course. The biology was dissapointing for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the exception of RS4K chem (both pre-level and level 1) I put together my own science until middle school (we're using CPO Science for middle school).

 

I found the RS4K other than chem to be anemic, and even the chem isn't very broad, though it covers what it covers well.

 

With my younger dd (8yo) I'm doing Mr. Q Classic Life Science this year - I may supplement a bit but it's the best thing I've found so far for an elementary science spine (set up to read a chapter a week, there are two labs, worksheets and a test every 4 units). With two middle schoolers, I'm happy not to be having to pull things together this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Disclaimer: I'm not a scientist/or science minded per nor do I portray one on t.v.

 

Well, have you actually looked at a text they use in schools? I think the text's are more dumbed down than anything the homeschool market puts out. The Prentice Hall series looks good, but the problem I had with that one was, that first of all it's supposed to be for middle school, but my 4th grader was able to read and understand it with no problems. Second of all, there is no in depth discussion of anything. The majority of the topics are given 1-2 paragraphs and that's it. I've had the opportunity to look at and spend a great deal of time with lots of texts and found the same to be true with the majority of them.

 

I think that Apologia is very rigerous and wished that their was something like this for secular homeschoolers. And I also wish that RS4K was "more"- meaning it could take a whole year for one topic or that there wasn't such a gap between the 3 levels. Now, in her defense the author is working on things to "beef" it up: The Kogs for one and she's hooked up with someone who offers "study folders", which are basically lapbooks, for another

 

I also believe though, that elementary science should be very hands on and experimental with living books and lots of scientific inquiry and heavy on the history of science and the people who've made it all possible.

 

For Middle school we'll either be using Apologia for General and Physical Science with Runkles for Earth Science or Oak Meadow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I've always compiled my own science until high school, and I definitely thought Apologia was meaty enough. It was definitely comparable to my high school science (even going beyond at times). My son is doing fine with college biology after using it.

 

Thank you. This is good to hear as I plan on using it through high school with my boys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Real Science for Kids is fine as an elementary science program. My son knows more about Chemistry than any other 9 year old in our public school. That being said I would not use it past 5th grade. I don't think its meant to be a let me tell you everything about chemistry (or biology or physics) kind of program. I think of it more as an introduction. And it has been a great jumping off point for us to other chemistry books and experiments, etc.

 

This year we are using Apologia Swimming creatures for the first half the year. It is well written and chock full of information.

 

My 7/8th grader is using Apologia General Science and I think it is quite well written. I have no doubt she is learning a ton. I plan on continuing with the Apologia books for at least the next several years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think most homeschool-only curriculum is written with the expectation that the entire curriculum will be completed. Texts written for schools are written with the expectation that the teachers will pick and choose which chapters to cover. So the texts may be bigger, but the students don't necessarily learn more, because only about 3/4 of the text is covered.

 

I have Real Science for Kids and PH Science Explorer. I thought the quality of RS4K was very good - one of the best science resources we used during elementary school. OTOH, I've been somewhat disappointed with SE, but maybe my expectations were too high.

 

I do think some homeschool curriculum is written in a way that's a bit too chatty. I bought both volumes of A Child's Geography this year, but I'm having a hard time making myself use it because of the style.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are using the new My Pals are Here science from Singapore. I don't see it mentioned much but we find it pretty rigorous and thorough. We have also used RS4K and liked it. Apologia was pretty thorough but way too wordy for us.

 

I agree. I am using Singapore Science MPH 3/4 with my 3rd grader and 5/6 with my 5th grader and I definitely feel like it is challenging and tremendously thorough. We do the textbook, activity books and accompany the chapter work with the appropriate homework pages & higher thinking skills pages workbooks. I have found it very thought-provoking and certainly far from being spoon-fed.

 

Blessings,

Angela

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I own Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding K-2 and as I was scheduling it last night, I was wondering if it was too meaty and over ds' head.

 

...

 

I really like this program.

 

That's what I'm using for my 6 year old. I'm a trained scientist, and so is my mom. I remember learning about most science stuff at home before we got to it in school, because I had my mom there to answer all my questions. I'm 100% positive that it was a *good* thing to learn more earlier.

 

Kids don't know that science is supposed to be hard or weird. ;) The things you tell them will make sense, because they don't know that it is supposed to be hard. Just like math -- people who do living math and math all around the house have kids who are more comfortable with math. Same with science!

 

So yes, I love Nebel's book. I hear he's writing one for 3rd-6th grade (or is it 5th?) but it isn't out yet. I'm not sure what I'll do if we finish the K-2 book and the next one isn't out yet.

 

We also supplement it with a weekly homeschool science class for more hands-on stuff, and lots of lego building, kitchen science, cooking, museums, books, etc..

 

I like that Nebel does not just animals and body parts, but also really fundamental physics stuff. Because it really helps you understand everything else when you understand physics!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you also purchase a teacher's edition to teach the Prentice Hall? Are the experiments easy to do in a home environment? Science has always been so hard for me to understand. Whenever I have the classic nightmare about not knowing I was enrolled in a class until it was time for the final exam- it's always a science class!!!

 

I got the teacher's edition and didn't see much use in it. It does have a few extra paragraphs of background information for the teacher at the beginning of each section, but nothing more than you could find looking up the topic in an encyclopedia. It has the answers to the reading comprehension questions in the text, but they're mostly pretty self-explanatory anyway if you've done the reading. At least one of the answers was incorrect, which I verified by phoning up my dad (retired professional research biologist) and my brother (who has recently taken a lot of high level chem classes in preparation for medical school). It had a number of suggestions as to teaching methods that would utilize various alternate learning modalities--nothing a homeschooler with half a brain wouldn't think of on her own, though (ie. visual modality: "have students make a poster showing..."), and a lot of them seemed silly, borning, or just busy-work-ish. I still have it, but haven't used it at all in teaching.

 

I also know myself well enough to know that I'm not going to be scrambling every week to modify the labs in the SE books and dig up the right materials even for the ones that use stuff I can find at home. So I correlated the lessons with a Thames and Kosmos kit for the labs, which is making it much easier. Most of the stuff needed comes in the kit, and I've made a list of what doesn't so I don't have to figure it out that week, just find the ruler and tape and cup of water, or whatever that's on the list. I just do better if I have it spelled out for me in advance. And the instruction booklet has clear instructions as well as a little blurb about "why" it works the way it does, which I like. It helped me to coordinate the experiements with the SE readings so that ds is doing at least SOMETHING that he's just been reading about. It's working out well.

 

Copies are for sale here if you're interested.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name=Pongo;1182622 Although I kinda like the Apologia Books for the upper mid-H.S levels' date=' they are still weak on labs. I am having my 5th grader work through 1/2 of the Apologia GS and on top of that she is doing beefed up labs, and enjoying the hands on I do with the younger two.

 

[/quote]

 

:ohmy: Your 5th grader is doing beefed up Apologia General? Wow! My 7th grader is doing Apologia and it's more than enough for him. I can't even IMAGINE beefing it up! I'm almost embarrassed to admit that Apologia General practically freaks *me* out! I'm a non-science mom, though, and quite frankly I'd be happy just analyzing the mold that grows on the leftovers in the fridge and calling it done for science...But I know I could never get away with that ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have only used General and Physical but I find Apologia more than complete science texts for the middle school years. I appreciate the fact that the concepts are backed up with labs that use everyday objects and therefore do not seem like foreign concepts that can only be proven in a multi $$$$$ lab with lots of lab equipment. Most of the time (but not all), the labs are just as effective in reinforcing the concepts as more elaborate labs. I look at the objective of the lab and see if it accuaraely taught my child what it was meant to teach. If it did, then it gets an "A". I remember finishing many labs in school and not having the slightest idea what I was supposed to learn from them. The basic concept had been lost in all of the fancy equipment and lengthy prodedure. By the way, I am also a BSNRN bakc for my masters.

 

After really considering my options, and knowing that there are only so many hours a day to teach my 5 children, I opted to focus on the 3 R's and lots and lots of character building during th younger grades. We did things like home science adventures and Living Learning books with my younger students (and still do!). My children have had no trouble transitioning into a more thorough science curriculum in 6th or 7th grade. Angela

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree very much with the original post. I have spent hours looking for science material for homeschool without success. We finally adapted our own mish mash of materials to make it work. We are very heavy science here so I'm not surprised we haven't found anything. While I was looking for curriculum when I first started HS I was amazed at how light PS is now on history and science compared to when I was in school, and even more surprised that there isn't more good homeschool science available.

 

My oldest DD9 is now using the Glencoe Life Science middle school textbooks with Plato Science middle school classes and we still throw in more books and heavier experiments. I did get the teachers manuals for the Glencoe books, I found them used online, and do like having the answers at this level. We used RS4K last year but found it way to brief. I do use the Teacher's Guide for some experiments for my younger kids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:ohmy: Your 5th grader is doing beefed up Apologia General? Wow! My 7th grader is doing Apologia and it's more than enough for him. I can't even IMAGINE beefing it up! I'm almost embarrassed to admit that Apologia General practically freaks *me* out! I'm a non-science mom, though, and quite frankly I'd be happy just analyzing the mold that grows on the leftovers in the fridge and calling it done for science...But I know I could never get away with that ;)

 

The readings are not beefed up, just the labs. I have added two labs to each module, attempting for the next to build on the last. I am a stickler about lab reports. I think it's because I taught a home school science group 2 years ago, they were 11th graders and I was shocked at the lab reports they passed in. Upon further research I realized that I could not find an adequate resource that taught the report, it just seems to be expected at some point to know how to do it. Nothing to be embarrassed about, I love science, now Art is another story.:tongue_smilie:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have only used General and Physical but I find Apologia more than complete science texts for the middle school years. I appreciate the fact that the concepts are backed up with labs that use everyday objects and therefore do not seem like foreign concepts that can only be proven in a multi $$$$$ lab with lots of lab equipment.

 

:iagree:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My high school biology teacher required very very difficult and detailed lab reports. Her class was HARD!! We had to do the lab reports on graph paper. I spent HOURS studying and preparing lab reports...But I got an 'A' every quarter. I'm loving the lab report work in Apologia. It's great practice for my ds.

 

The readings are not beefed up, just the labs. I have added two labs to each module, attempting for the next to build on the last. I am a stickler about lab reports. I think it's because I taught a home school science group 2 years ago, they were 11th graders and I was shocked at the lab reports they passed in. Upon further research I realized that I could not find an adequate resource that taught the report, it just seems to be expected at some point to know how to do it. Nothing to be embarrassed about, I love science, now Art is another story.:tongue_smilie:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My high school biology teacher required very very difficult and detailed lab reports. Her class was HARD!! We had to do the lab reports on graph paper. I spent HOURS studying and preparing lab reports...But I got an 'A' every quarter. I'm loving the lab report work in Apologia. It's great practice for my ds.

 

But see, you said it .." I spent HOURS studying and preparing lab reports". What I got looked like something scratched out in the back seat on the way to the movies. I find that lab reports really need to be taught, it should not be as simple as filling in a blank or preformatted page. It takes research, time and plenty of effort. This is why I would rather move slowly through the information at this point and get the lab reports down, so they don't become a big surprise to her later:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Is it just me, or do you sometimes wonder if science is "dumbed down" for all of us homeschool parents who have trouble understanding it?

It's clearly not just you, based on the replies here, but I can't say I share your line of thought. Based on my own schooling, and what I know of current science education in schools, I think most programs used by homeschoolers are up to snuff.

I bought RS4K Chemistry this year thinking it would be a great program. My husband took one look at the book and said, "I could teach this whole book to ds in about a week."

We could say that about any number of programs. Critics do say that about SOTW, for example ~ that it's just a book which can be read in short order. And that's true. But few of us would race through it cover to cover. (Actually, even if we did, our students would still glean some good information.) Likewise, RS4K can be used (if not taught) in a jiffy, but that wouldn't be maximizing the program.

Granted, I was only expecting it to last 1/2 a semester, but boy that was an expensive program to be so "meatless"!!

Now, see, when I looked at RS4K I thought it contained plenty of information ~ for 10 lessons, that is. And because it is only 10 lessons aimed at 4th-6th graders, I honestly don't know what else you'd expect.

 

Edited by Colleen
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it just me, or do you sometimes wonder if science is "dumbed down" for all of us homeschool parents who have trouble understanding it? I think homeschoolers have a reputation for being really bright in the English/literature area but severely lacking in the sciences. I bought RS4K Chemistry this year thinking it would be a great program. My husband took one look at the book and said, "I could teach this whole book to ds in about a week." Granted, I was only expecting it to last 1/2 a semester, but boy that was an expensive program to be so "meatless"!! Has anyone found a science program for the middle grade that you feel is competitve with what the public schools are using?

 

Do you also purchase a teacher's edition to teach the Prentice Hall? Are the experiments easy to do in a home environment? Science has always been so hard for me to understand. Whenever I have the classic nightmare about not knowing I was enrolled in a class until it was time for the final exam- it's always a science class!!!
:confused: The first quote asks for meatier, the second asks for easy?

 

I'm honestly NOT try to be rude, I'm just trying to figure out what is truly wanted.

 

Based on these two quotes, I'd probably go with Rainbow Science too, as another poster mentioned, though it's hard to find things that are meaty AND easy....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...