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High School Science question


alexfam
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I think my ds may be ready for High school Science courses. However, I have 2 questions.

 

1. Is there an order to high school science that we have to follow?

2. How about math skills? Ds is on a 5th grade math level will this hurt him? Is there a science that he can do until his math catches up?

 

Ok, so there are more than 2 questions. Oh, by the way son is 7 and will turn 8 at the end of the month.

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Honest answer.......I don't think a child on a 5th grade math level is ready for high school science. I wouldn't recommend starting any high school science until a minimum of co-enrollment in alg. Other than biology, all high school science requires a minimum of alg skills. I have made the decision to alter our high school sequence of courses to chemistry prior to biology b/c modern biology incorporates high levels of bio-chem (unlike biology when I was in high school.)

 

There are so many wonderful science topics and ways to study science without relying a high school course. This site has wonderful whole book recommendations that can take you for yrs. http://charlottemason.tripod.com/ I personally don't like science textbooks and my kids don't use them until typically 7th or 8th grade. We take a whole book approach. It provides an excellent foundation for all upper level science.

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I think my ds may be ready for High school Science courses. However, I have 2 questions.

 

1. Is there an order to high school science that we have to follow?

2. How about math skills? Ds is on a 5th grade math level will this hurt him? Is there a science that he can do until his math catches up?

 

Ok, so there are more than 2 questions. Oh, by the way son is 7 and will turn 8 at the end of the month.

That is, what part of it is he ready for? More critical thinking? more labs? more writing?

 

I agree with Momof7 that in general you need to wait for the math before you move ahead in science. You could probably do a "conceptual" science class (generally I think those are the ones that are lighter on math), but it might or might not be "high school level" depending on how you did it...

 

What has he done for science so far? There might be some good resources that would match with his math level while giving him more to think about too....

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Yes, he needs algebra competence to do highschool chemistry or physics. Algebra is fundamental to doing those subjects at a highschool or more advanced level. I'd require that at least beginning algebra be completed before attempting either.

 

Some biology courses will depend on algebra, depending on the text, subject matter, etc. Some might not. Most probably don't. Co-enrollment in algebra would likely be fine with most curricula.

 

Chemistry will require a high degree of responsibility to safely do any labs. Physics is most forgiving in that area. Biology intermediate in lab riskiness. Until your child can safely prepare a meal following a recipe from a grocery-store-cookbook-level cookbook, I wouldn't consider them at all ready for any lab science at even a middle school level. (And I mean you're comfortable being in the other room while he uses the food processor, stove, range, sharp knives, etc.) and uses chemicals that could kill him if he didn't follow all the instructions. . .

 

What science has your son done so far? What is he using now? What do you want more of? deeper of? labs?

 

I'd take what he's doing now and look at moving it up a notch. RS4K is pretty techincal and could provide that techical challenge w/o high risk labs. . . PLATO science appears to be quite rigorous but is all online so no lab risks (and the middle school levels will likely not assume algebra). . . There are many choices. NOEO looks good to me. So does Elemental Science. . .

 

The Story of Science by Hakim could enliven science studies if he is able to be interested in that kind of thing at his age.

 

Ask yourself more questions to define exactly what aspect of more advanced science you are looking for. . . then choose something and try it out! If it is too easy, send it back (or resell it if it's too late) and try again!

 

HTH

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Ok, I want to know where you people went to high school because besides a tiny bit of basic (pre) algebra in chemistry, we didn't do math in any science course I took (except I can't speak for physics because I didn't take physics). And no I didn't take the fluffiest courses my high school offered.

 

So I'm not sure mine was representative ;) But what DS is using right now does require algebra - even for biology. There's rather a lot of starting with raw data and working out what equation would fit the numbers (not always a linear relationship, either!), plus calculating amounts for different molar solutions.... that's so far....

 

Physics is traditionally the heaviest math -- lots of formulas that start out with algebra and progress to trigonometry (like when you have to split a vector into components), and at the AP level, calculus. The ideas of physics can be made accessible without so much math, but when you're wanting to call it high school level, I think the math is expected.

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This thread is about another 7 year old ready for advanced science:

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1190476

 

I myself followed the interests of my kids and did little to no formal science until they actually were in high school, and yet they were quite well prepared for rigorous, AP level material. There is so much out there that is meaty and interesting for a young and enthusiastic scientist -- Teaching Company videos, United Streaming videos, podcasts, books and magazines. Not to mention all the wonderful lesson plans and labs you can find on the internet.

 

So, pick an area of interest and start googling and searching your library's catalog, and have fun!

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Unless you think your son will be graduating early and going straight to college, you could start high school sciences now and revisit them again later at a more intense level. Some kids really crave science, so why squash the interest? I see both sides of the coin. I went to a rural, poor public school that was very lacking in the science area (no math required until physics ... well, there was some simple math for balancing equations in chem, but no algebra). I learned a lot on my own (above what the classes offered) and really enjoyed it. I later minored in science in college and learned what I imagine a good AP high school class would've taught if that had been an option back then.

 

As for order, you'll find the least amount of math in general or earth sciences and biology (some people combine general and earth, but they can be done separately). You'll find more in chem and a lot in physics. My high school was also very lacking in math, but I did great in college physics. It was my favorite of all the classes I took. I wonder if it was because math became real to me? It was no longer numbers on a page. It was the hows and whys for things all around us.

 

Ask yourself how strong math as a whole has been for your son compared to other subjects. Does he pick it up easily? Does he do well with word problems? If you start general, earth, or bio now and then pick up chem in 2-3 years, will he only be in 7-8 math, or do you expect he'll be doing Alg 1 or 2 by then? Give it a try. You'll never know what he's capable of if you don't let him try. If he gets frustrated, back off and try again the following year. If you think he's ready at age 7, he's obviously not lagging behind, so it's ok to back off later if necessary.

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My son was reading Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking at 10.

 

The problem is, Feynman uses advanced Calculus. My son hadn't even started pre-algebra at that point.

 

Could he grasp their concepts? Absolutely. He even wrote up a new theory about black holes and sent it to Hawking (and received a note back from one of his grad students!).

 

However. There is a wall that is very quickly reached in "real" science w/o mathematics. All of the TTC videos, etc. aside, there is no true, modern science book that doesn't require Algebra and up. It isn't like back when some of us were in high school - Biology is now Bio Chem. Chemistry is now quite advanced. Physics requires a solid trig, if not calculus background.

 

Can you find programs that *don't* require any of this? Of course you can. And at such a young age, those would be the ones I would be looking for. But I wouldn't be planning on checking them off as "kiddo has done a high school level bio/chem/physics class". Technically, I suppose he would have, but as far as a university looking at a very advanced student would be concerned, no, he would not have.

 

We opted for kiddo to simply read any science book he wanted to read (skipping whatever he couldn't understand due to math constraints), and to take a rather loose and groovy approach to science while in grammar school. We did informal studies in botany, biology, physics and chemistry. By the time he reached high school, he was more than ready to utilize appropriate texts (advanced, but in line w/ math skills).

 

HTH

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there is no true, modern science book that doesn't require Algebra and up. It isn't like back when some of us were in high school - Biology is now Bio Chem. Chemistry is now quite advanced. Physics requires a solid trig, if not calculus background.

 

Can you find programs that *don't* require any of this? Of course you can. And at such a young age, those would be the ones I would be looking for. But I wouldn't be planning on checking them off as "kiddo has done a high school level bio/chem/physics class". Technically, I suppose he would have, but as far as a university looking at a very advanced student would be concerned, no, he would not have.

 

 

 

:iagree: Science is not what it was when I was in high school. The amt of bio chem in introductory level biology is exactly why I have decided to switch our order of high school science sequence to chemistry first. Biology used to focus on ecosystems, kingdoms, simple genetics, etc. Now, in depth cellular level chemical reactions are the focus.

 

I have not taught a single chemistry course that did not require alg.

 

There are conceptual courses that do not require as much math. However, I agree with Asta. For a strong student, I would not count those as a high school credit. They would be simply introductory materials that would lead to a more standard high school course.

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I agree on the math. My DD10 (yesterday) is very advanced in science, but is just beginning algebra. We are using some of the more advanced middle school to what are considered beginning level high school textbooks right now until she gets a little further in math.

http://glencoe.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/007877800x/student_view0/ is the book we are using now with supplement from PLATO middle school science (which is CTY's middle school science program). This text is considered an Intro high school science by some of the online schools and some local high schools. (:001_huh:) For many these are middle school material and are represented as such by the publishers. They are also great with advanced science students at younger ages. We plan on the Physical Science with Earth Science and PLATO classes if she finished this before she finishes Algebra. Some of the other publishers besides Glencoe are Pearson and Holt McDougall if you want to go the textbook route.

 

I would still hesitate to use them with an advanced 7 year old. I would instead look for off the grid material in a topic of interest and run with it. I also use RS4K with this age as another post mentioned. (My twins will be 7 next month.) There are also many books available, I have picked some from the NoeoScience site (although I only use their books) to give an example. And last but not least there are a TON of labs that can be done at this age, my DC's favorite part of science. You can also do things like Time4Learning where they can spend a month or two and just do all the science. We have done that and BrainPop. There are also many publisher online sites that are free to visit and explore. :)

 

There is plenty of time to do advanced/ honors high school science in the 6-8 grade range (traditional chronologic age) and at very high levels in the high school range with all the AP options available today. Science is much much more than it was when we were in school.;)

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Also, for future reference, many engineering schools do not view courses like earth and physical science as "high school courses" but middle school courses and they make students less competitive in admissions than students that have courses like biology, chemistry, and physics and advanced courses in those topics.

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Also, for future reference, many engineering schools do not view courses like earth and physical science as "high school courses" but middle school courses and they make students less competitive in admissions than students that have courses like biology, chemistry, and physics and advanced courses in those topics.

 

:iagree: I was utterly amazed with some of the materials that high schools are using and giving credits for. I wouldn't think any science or math related school/major would consider these classes as high school. It is actually really sad that standards are that low in some cases. (And our high school is considered a really good school.) Luckily my DD has her eyes on four or five different AP classes she wants to take. Who knew there was an AP class just on Biology of Plants?

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Conceptual science courses just might be right up your alley. There is more than one Conceptual Physics by Hewitt. One is at a grade 9/10 level that might be perfect for you. I haven't seen it, since we have the college level one. Check out his website to see if it tells you which is which. Or you could do a search for this book on the high school forum since at one point or another some of the ISBN numbers have been given, and possibly a link to the website.

 

Taking conceptual science courses before mathematical ones can be fabulous. There are high school Chem students who get A's in Chem with the math, but don't really understand what it's all about. There is a Conceptual Chemistry book by Suchocki (sp) that is for college liberal arts majors, depending on the reading level of your ds. If you get the 3rd edition, there is a CD-Rom with lectures which are a lot of fun to watch.

 

Real Science 4 Kids Chem 2 is for grades 7-9, and you may want to do that before Conceptual Chem. There's not much math in it, and the lab book is awesome.

 

We haven't done the Teaching Company courses, but are thinking about doing the conceptual Calc course at some point.

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:iagree: I was utterly amazed with some of the materials that high schools are using and giving credits for. I wouldn't think any science or math related school/major would consider these classes as high school. It is actually really sad that standards are that low in some cases. (And our high school is considered a really good school.) Luckily my DD has her eyes on four or five different AP classes she wants to take. Who knew there was an AP class just on Biology of Plants?

 

I hadn't realize that there are so many AP courses. Dd is going to do AP Chem later on. She's doing a college level Conceptual Chem first for a credit (we're doing a lab with it) because I'm sold on getting the conceptual part of it down first. Plus, she complained so much about math last year; this year she told me, rather strongly, that of course she could be doing the math with it :glare:. However, I still like what it's doing for her understanding of the theory & concepts and she's learning lab procedures, etc.

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:iagree: I was utterly amazed with some of the materials that high schools are using and giving credits for. I wouldn't think any science or math related school/major would consider these classes as high school. It is actually really sad that standards are that low in some cases. (And our high school is considered a really good school.) Luckily my DD has her eyes on four or five different AP classes she wants to take. Who knew there was an AP class just on Biology of Plants?

 

Just because a textbook is listed in the AP section of the catalog does not indicate that there is a corresponding exam -- the only AP exams are the ones listed on the College Board's website. The text you found may very well have been intended either for part of AP bio or for a textbook for students who have already surpassed AP bio and wish to do more, but I don't see a Plant Bio exam listed.

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Not to spin off too much from the OP...

 

I, too, agree that it is amazing what some high schools are giving credit for. But I'm more astounded by what some homeschoolers seem to think is "college preparatory" science.

 

Perhaps I've just become jaded because I have a "science-y" kid, but I don't *expect* a science curriculum to be "easy to implement" or that I will be able to figure out all of the answers - it has been a LONG time since I took these courses, and they were much, much 'simpler' when I took them.

 

I expect to have to use multiple sources to teach kid bio, chem, physics, etc. at a level that will prepare him for the kind of things he wishes to do at uni. If he wanted major in social sciences? Eh. It would be much easier (not digging on the social sciences, but mom here only needed one lab science in college...).

 

I want kid prepped for any level he decides to do. Kuddos to the OP for wanting to follow kid's interest stream.

 

 

a

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Not to spin off too much from the OP...

 

I, too, agree that it is amazing what some high schools are giving credit for. But I'm more astounded by what some homeschoolers seem to think is "college preparatory" science.

 

a

 

:iagree: Gee, I get to use that a lot lately. ;) I hadn't had much experience with this until I got on these boards. (That's what happens when you only frequent GT boards, altered perspective.) I have even seen HS parents on these and other boards using materials I am using this year with my DD and giving HS credits. It seems to be primarily in science and history but I have seen it in math as well. It astounds me too.

 

As to the exams. I haven't gotten that far, I'm sure my DD will take plenty of science and high level science. :) I'm pretty sure there are only about 6 AP science exams covering your basics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science. There are many many classes that are AP "courses" that are advanced or college level classes. I'm unsure if my DD will be taking all of her high school credits at home or what she will just take at the CC. I plan to follow her interest so it's very possible we may be doing Introduction to Plant Biology, which I'm sure, like you mentioned would just have materials that would carry over to an AP exam.

 

The other thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to take any one specific class in order to take the AP exams. There are recommended labs in prep for the exams and a general outline of material but otherwise it is very open as to what material can be used. That is where the dozens of courses comes in.:)

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From OP - Thank you all for your feedback. I have never heard of Conceptual Science so I will check that out. DS did a middle school/high school earth science text last year and enjoyed it a lot. This year we are doing a Virtual School and ds HAS to do 3rd grade science. Really to easy for him. He will be finished with it by the end of the month. Ds will then start on an online program called Explore E Learning. It has science up till high school and math till college. It gives him online experiments do to in the online lab and then questions to answer and a test. DS really gets math and he will be doing alg. in 2 years. I think we will just play it by ear and not get so serious. DS seems to be interested in Chemistry a subject he hasn't delt with. I think I may look at some of the programs ya'll suggested and see if there is a Chemistry for middle school. so, that he gets a good intro to Chem.

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Ok, I want to know where you people went to high school because besides a tiny bit of basic (pre) algebra in chemistry, we didn't do math in any science course I took (except I can't speak for physics because I didn't take physics). And no I didn't take the fluffiest courses my high school offered.

 

I guess I must have either forgotten, or my school was that lame.

 

The honors chemistry class I took in high school had an Algebra II co-requisite. Honors physics had a calculus co-requisite. The regular college prep chemistry & physics did not have the math co-requisites. So I think it really depends on the individual courses.

 

AP Environmental Science is supposed to be the easiest of the high school sciences (at least that's what I've heard). There's a free online course available that might be a good place to start.

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