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WTM science sequence question (espcially on the self teaching guies)...

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So today I was explaining to my kiddos how we are going to follow the WTM approach for science and they were thrilled. They are so close in age I was going to combine them, then separate them in High School.


But they don't want to be separated.


So how much difficulty is this going to cause me? Can the Physics Self-Teaching Guide be done by a 10th grader? Is it going to really mess up their transcript?


My kids are so close in age there is no ideal way to schedule it for all of them, how would you all go about it?


In other words I need a vision to move forward, even if it is changed later.





Edited by siloam
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For example, if we just follow the oldest it looks like this:


7th grade do Chemistry with 5th grade dd following along.

8th grade do Physics with 6th and 5th grade dd's following along.

9th grade do Biology with 7th and 6th grade dd doing the logic level.

10th grade do Astronomy with 8th, 7th and 5th grade following along at logic level.

11th grade do Chemistry with 9th grade sister; 8th and 6th grade siblings do logic level recommendations.

12th grade do Physics with 10th and 9th grade sisters; ds at 7th grade does logic level physics



See how weird it gets? Yet it seems like a waste to have them working separately when they can do it together.




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This is exactly what I'm doing. We did biology this year (dd13, dd11, ds8, dd5). We are doing astronomy this summer until we are done. Physical science in the fall. Beyond that will come physics and chemistry and then beginning with biology again.


Yea, we aren't nuts! ;)


I was working on a couple of possible schedules and came up with this:


7th, 5th, 4th Biology (kids request to do that one first)

8th, 6th, 5th Physics (I stick physics here because I don't want my oldest doing it alone as a 10th grader)

9th, 7th, 6th, 4th Astronomy

10th, 8th, 7th, 5th Chemistry

11th, 9th, 8th, 6th Biology

12th, 10th, 9th, 7th Physics Not loving my 3rd dd being in 9th grade, but she would have 2 helpers.

11th, 10th, 8th, Astronomy

12th, 11th, 9th Chemistry

My 2nd dd is more timid so her finishing with easier levels in which she is leading the other two would serve her well.

12th, 10th Biology

11th Physics

12th Astronomy

I would prefer my ds did Physics with his sister before she graduates.


7th, 5th, 4th Physics

8th, 6th, 5th Biology

9th, 7th, 6th, 4th Astronomy

10th, 8th, 7th, 5th Chemistry

11th, 9th, 8th, 6th Physics (This might be easier on my oldest, given only one sibling is under the ideal "age")

12th, 10th, 9th, 7th Biology

11th, 10th, 8th, Astronomy

12th, 11th, 9th Chemistry

Again I like that my timid dd finishes with easier levels and isn't the oldest in Physics.

12th, 10th Physics

I like that ds does Physics with someone before he is on his own.

11th Biology

12th Astronomy

DS finishes with easier levels that he will do without the group the girls will benefit from, which I like the idea of better than finishing with Physics.


Of course I am assuming Physics will give them the most problems through all of this, which might not be a good assumption.


So far I like the second option the best.



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A few thoughts: physics and chemistry both are fairly math-dependent. Do you have a sense yet of your kids' relative mathematical abilities? If one or two of the oldest are advanced and the youngest are not or need more time once they hit algebra, you'll have a wider spread than their ages might indicate. Or the reverse is possible, of course, and you'd have a group much closer in ability levels.


Secondly, keep in mind that by the time they're that age, you may be able to look for a tutor for them in at least one of the courses that is the most difficult -- a local student, a retired teacher, etc. The tutor could help with adjusting difficulty levels among the different kids. I have also read about science-minded kids who have e-mail relationships/tutorials with scholars at various universities; there used to be a formal program set up to mentor students in that way. So there are ways to scale up or down that are not related to the group lessons they may be doing.


And finally, you may be able to have them work together in a different way than you imagine -- i.e. same subject, not the same textbook approach for different levels. Younger kids may be still doing lots of hands-on demonstrations and reading non-textbook books; older kids may be ready to understand, write and discuss the same demonstrations mathematically or in more complex and theoretical ways. They don't all have to be working through the same textbook at such varying ages if they're not ready, but neither would that mean they'd have to be doing completely separate programs. I think you could find a middle ground.

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