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Please share your favorite textbooks and supplemental books for science


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I am planning science for our high school years. I would really appreciate suggestions for textbooks and supplemental books for these years.

 

What textbooks and supplemental books are your favorites for:

1. Biology

2. Earth Science

3. Chemistry

4. Adv. Biology

5. Physics

 

Thank you!

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I found the typical high school texts not rigorous enough and would always prefer an introductory college text for my children.

 

I like Campbell Reece for biology; a younger student might want to begin with Biology- Concepts and Connections. My DD used it last year.

Hewitt Conceptual Physics is a good introduction to physics, but not rigorous enough for my taste. I have my DD use Knight/Jones/Fields College Physics which is an algebra/trig based text. Another good option would be Giancoli.

If the student had calculus, I would suggest Halliday/Resnick or the other Giancoli.

 

For Earth science I like the text by Tarbuck.

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I didn't like Hewitt's Conceptual Physics at all, but I do like Giancoli's Physics. Hewitt's had so little math that my dd couldn't make sense of the concepts. I didn't like the approach the book took at all. There just wasn't enough to it. Giancoli's is much better. It has solid explanations and plenty of problems available for you to choose from.

 

I didn't like Miller&Levine's Biology at all, but I thought Holt Biology was okay. Biology isn't my thing, so I can't go any further than that. I will make sure that my youngest does Chemistry BEFORE Biology.

 

I didn't like Spectrum Chemistry because it just didn't go in depth enough. The coverage was neither deep nor broad. My dd was able to complete the textbook reading and the problems for the week in less than 1 hour and she is not into science. I think it had a plenty of material for a one-semester course, but not enough for a full year. The labs were very good. I'm planning to use Prentice Hall Chemistry next year.

Edited by AngieW in Texas
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Thank you ladies!

 

Kareni, I will be reading from the links you provided...thank you.

 

Regentrude, is this the right physics text?

 

http://www.amazon.com/College-Physics-Strategic-Randall-Knight/dp/080530634X

 

Angie, I will take a look at these.

Is this the right physics text here?

http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Principles-Applications-Douglas-Giancoli/dp/0130606200

 

For Earth Science I do have the text by Tarbuck.

 

 

 

Does anyone like the texts from Singapore? (Biology Matters, etc.)

Edited by Kfamily
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Regentrude, is this the right physics text?

 

http://www.amazon.com/College-Physics-Strategic-Randall-Knight/dp/080530634X

 

Yes, this is the older edition. A new edition just came out, but the changes are minor - go with the old one to save money.

I can highly recommend the workbook that goes with the book. The workbook's new (2nd) edition has more and better problems; it is no problem to use the old text with the new workbook.

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http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Principles-Applications-Douglas-Giancoli/dp/0131846612/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1288065983&sr=1-1

 

I linked the one that I have above.

 

I have the solution manual and would definitely recommend it even for folks who know what they're doing. I have a master's in physics, but it has been a VERY long time since then.

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Well, we have a very different take on math/science -- much more relaxed and not heading towards math/science fields as the above posters, so we have enjoyed some of the materials they have not liked. But, hey, different curriculum connects for different families, and that's why there's so much out there to choose from! :)

 

I believe Kinetic Books has some science options, and 8FillsTheHeart is really liking Spectrum Chemistry for her high schooler this year. Other supplements to consider are the Thinkwell visual lectures on CD-Roms for Biology or Chemistry; or Thinking Company lecture series on DVDs; or the free youtube videos on various science topics from Khan Academy. Below are items we have personally used, with what were pros and cons for us. BEST of luck in finding what is the best fit for YOUR family! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

Biology

- Apologia = did not care for this; "chatty" repetitive text; the layout is difficult to read (text runs margin to margin on extra-wide pages and not enough visuals and/or sidebars); too vocabulary/test driven; not as many experiments as we would have liked, and too many were just looking thru a microscope; no anatomy section (only in Apologia Advanced)

- Prentice-Hall = used the anatomy section; much more interesting visual layout; fairly easy to adapt to homeschool use; had to figure out ways of adding our own labs

- we can recommend these book supplements: John Tiner's History of Medicine (at a middle school reading level, but very enjoyable)

 

 

Chemistry

- Apologia = better than biology, but still chatty, poor layout, too vocabulary/test driven, and not enough experiments

- Conceptual Chemistry = wonderful visual layout; has companion website with loads of additional materials, including short video lessons, worksheets, etc.; a very gentle non-mathy chemistry, ideal for non-science/math majors; really understand the concepts and principles; all the experiments in the text are quick and simple, use things you really do have around the house, and they WORK

- we can recommend book supplements: John Tiner's History of Chemistry (at a middle school reading level, but very enjoyable)

- we can recommend these experiment supplements: TOPS Analysis; TOPS Solutions; TOPS Oxidation

- we do not recommend: Microchem Kit (Apologia experiment supplement); many of the experiments are not working, are not explained, or are difficult to do as written

 

 

Physics

- Conceptual Physics = wonderful visual layout; a very gentle non-mathy chemistry, ideal for non-science/math majors; really understand the concepts and principles; all the experiments in the text are quick and simple, use things you really do have around the house, and they WORK

- supplements = there is a teacher textbook, a lab manual, and a workbook with additional work problems; not needed the teacher textbook, the lab manual experiments all require equipment only a school would have, and the few we have tried were rather tedious or difficult to succeed

- we can recommend book supplements: John Tiner's World of Physics (at a middle school reading level, but very enjoyable)

- we can recommend these experiment supplements: Homescience Tools Intro to Physics kit; TOPS Motion; TOPS Kinetic Model; TOPS Heat

Edited by Lori D.
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Thanks Angie, I definitely would need a solutions manual!:D

 

Thank you Lori D. so much. This is extremely helpful! I already know that the Apologia series won't work for us, as we have had a chance to look through these. These other options are just what I was looking for. Thank you too for listing your favorite supplements. I am keeping the Spectrum Chemistry in mind too.

 

 

Still curious about the texts from Singapore...Biology Matters, Chemistry Matters and Physics Matters. Has anyone used or seen these?

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I am planning science for our high school years. I would really appreciate suggestions for textbooks and supplemental books for these years.

 

What textbooks and supplemental books are your favorites for:

1. Biology

2. Earth Science

3. Chemistry

4. Adv. Biology

5. Physics

 

Thank you!

 

For biology, I like Campbell (definitely my choice for AP level work) But for a student that isn't ready to dive head first into that for their first high school biology course, surprisingly (for me anyway!), I really like Abeka.

 

I don't have a recommendation for earth science for the high school level. Plato's middle school level was enjoyed by my ds in 7th grade. It was only a about 3 months worth of material though.

 

Gosh.....we have used so many chemistry texts. I do not like Apologia nor Holt's Modern Chemistry. I like Prentice Hall, but the labs we used (both PH's virtual labs and the microchem set) were complete duds. NOT worth the money. Spectrum's labs are awesome and worth every penny. Ds is doing fine with the text, but we will definitely be following it with Zumdahl's for advanced chemistry. We also use TC's chemistry dvds as part of our chemistry courses.

 

The advantage of Spectrum's chemistry is that it is definitely a solid introduction to chemistry and since the reading is light (definitely agree with that assessment), ds is doubling up in science this yr. You didn't ask, but The Cosmos (by Flippenko), TC's Understanding the Universe, and CengageNow (online testing which accompanies the textbook) make a great astronomy course. :D

 

Ds took Kinetic book's physics last yr and absolutely LOVED the course. The virtual labs are fantastic.

 

You didn't ask about anatomy and physiology, but Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology (which has an excellent student workbook), the Anatomy Coloring Book, and TC's Anatomy and Physiology lectures combined with dissections makes a great A&P course.

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I second the rec for the Tiner books. Nice questions at the end of each chapter, plus Action/Reaction points in each chapter in Chemistry we are reading so far. I like having a light component, with history, that uses correct terminology and history. (not light for a younger student, but this thread is about high school.)

 

Totally supplemental for Physics (disclaimer:I researched and purchased these but have not used yet, and am not a physicist or even "science-y" teacher)

 

The Flying Circus of Physics WITH ANSWERS by Jearl Walker

(has answers in special section in the back)

and Mr. Walker sends out a long quarterly e-mail that is really neat, I just got one, will forward to anyone who wishes to see it. I got older, orange edition. The TOC is similar but slightly diff arrangment from current 2nd ed.

 

Thinking Physics Practical Lessons in Critical Thinking by Lewis Carroll Epstein (has answers printed upside down right after the problem) I believe I have the 2nd ed., and the 3rd ed. is out.

 

Both books' reviews talk about "real-world problems, great explanations, offbeat problems in the real/everyday world, lighthearted, fascinating even for informed physicists."

 

I got older editions quite cheaply at Amazon. These may be (ahem) "bathroom" reading for some who like rigorous study, have physics interests, but to me, they make a subject like physics, which many seem to regard as too difficult to teach, very accessible and fun for my son (and me.) I love these two books, and can envision them used for younger students or older, depending on the course you teach and the kid's interest level.

 

Hope this helps,

LBS

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Thank you all so much!

 

Kareni,

Thank you for those links. From reading through those, I'm starting to think the Singapore books might not be a good fit for us.

 

8FilltheHeart,

This is just the kind of information I needed. I would love to add some Teaching Company dvds to all of this. I will keep your suggestions in mind.

I still can't decide in what order we should do this, so as soon as I sort that out I'll know which level of text to use when. :lol: For example, we may use a text like the Abeka text for Biology in 9th and then use Campbell's text later...

 

Chris in Va, thanks for the recommendation for Hakim's Story of Science. This style of book along with the Tiner books are the type my humanities loving girl would appreciate.

 

LBS and Kathy, I love the physics supplements. I really like Thinking Physics Practical Lessons in Critical Thinking.

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