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Can you list the best programs/resources for science for non-sciencey people?

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Guest DogLover







I hate british (yes common b) publishers, especially the one who published the above books. But! These are an exception. I self studied from these and made A's in my O levels.


After this, teach12.com

is your best bet.


If you are looking for a solid foundation, read those three books. They are so fun, you will get through them in a week tops.

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David Attenborough videos for biology. My favorites are the Life of Birds, Life of Mammals, Life in the Undergrowth, Private Life of Plants (and I think there was one on reptiles too?)


Here's a taste:


Be sure to listen past 1:55 where the bird starts imitating cameras and car alarms.


Darwin's Dangerous Idea (the video, not the book) is also a good intro to Darwin and evolution.


They aren't a complete course, by any means, but they do whet the appetite and I found the kids actually learned quite a bit of "real" material from these videos.


We have also used How Nature Works (Burnie) and some others in that series. It's a bit juvenile in approach, but my daughter did fine with it in 8-9th grade. It gets the job done, without a lot of excess, if you're looking for something really quick.


(I think we also did earth science with How the Earth Works. We didn't do any of the actual experiments. We just thought about them.)


And you might try the Khan academy, although I haven't watched any of his biology ones:


I don't know that he covers everything that would be in a biology book, but no course covers everything that would be in a biology book anyway.

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And I forgot Thinkwell -- which we're trying for biology. We haven't gotten too far, so I don't really know how it will go.


The lecturer is engaging, but the quizzes are pretty much worthless (they don't cover the material covered and/or they have factual errors). Having a bio background, I find some of the lecture material a bit aggravating, as he's making up research (when I happen to know the actual research that he's basing it on). He's doing it to make it more understandable. I guess. I suspect he could have reported the actual research without making it any more difficult to understand.


It could be that Thinkwell bio is just way too in depth for what you want.


Another thing you could try, is online lectures at Berkeley (if they have ones in bio -- nonmajors classes would probably be more what you're looking for). I haven't listened to the bio ones so I can't say for sure, but they are free. They might be worth a look. Some of the history and astronomy ones are good for a quick look at a topic.


I'm thinking that a non-sciency person might get a lot out of just listening to the lectures and not worrying about a lot of reading and memorizing. (Hmm, I just started the Bio 1A at Berkeley and that looks a little intense)


We tried some at Yale or MIT (or was it both?) and my impression was that they didn't actually cover biology. The professor just came in and talked about what interested him that day. The actual biology was getting covered in section with the TAs, which is not online. Those lectures might be interesting if you just want an intro to interesting topics in bio, but they might also just go over the head of someone who didn't know biology. You might give it try, though.


I just looked at the syllabus and watched a couple minutes of:


That actually doesn't look so bad, except that the slides are hard to read. It's only the evolution/ecology portion, but it could be that the rest of bio is on that site somewhere if you hunt around.

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Ds is using (and I think enjoying, though with him it can be hard to tell) DK's Universe: The Difinitive Visual Guide and Earth:The Difinitive Visual Guide this year for Earth Science reading. These are both pretty thick books, but they're not as scary as they look. They will have a section that tells all about something--galaxies, or mountains, or whatever--and then a section that shows a number of examples of that formation (or whatever). We're reading the explanations in full, but just skimming through the examples. I also got the Earth Science The Easy Way study guide from Barron's in case we needed more explanation, but we haven't actually used it that much. I think the two DK books do a pretty good job explaining things, and what I'm going for here is just basic literacy in earth and space science topics, not an AP course. We're doing some lab stuff too, mostly "Science in a Nutshell" things with his little sister, who is studying the same topics (from an Usborne encyclopedia), which I know is below his level, but he gets to take the lead and teach her, and I think teaching something to someone else is a really good way to learn it yourself. We are pulling some other activities in from the internet and other sources. And of course he has to write about it.

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Science is only my oldest love, and he loves Apologia (I don't like it..ha ha) he is in high school and is flying through the CDs. I can't do the on the puter, I need a book. He has different ways to learn. Plus did I say he loves Science and math!?


Now, my youngest 3, Science was the last thing we want to do! I mean last!

Then I was recommended to try:

Christian Kids Explore series. It is written by a homeschooling mom! That was a plus to me! It is on a 2 day a week plan! I love it!

We are 1/2 way through Biology, and have had a blast, learning and doing!! I also added a supplement to it with full kits from Homeschoolscience.com

These boxes have EVERYTHING you need to do experiments and worksheets! I had a problem with the microscope, and left a message and they personally called back and I laughed with the owner! She was so awesome!

I have learned to almost love Science (at least Biology) and look forward to next years! My kids enjoy it! We do science for an hour 2times a week!

I have pics on my blog of different days of science! It is pretty cool...come on over; read and enjoy!


Now to master apostrophes!

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David Attenborough videos for biology. My favorites are the Life of Birds, Life of Mammals, Life in the Undergrowth, Private Life of Plants (and I think there was one on reptiles too?)


Here's a taste:


Be sure to listen past 1:55 where the bird starts imitating cameras and car alarms.




Okay THAT was awesome! :D


I can't believe how that bird can imitate the camera and stuff!!

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Both of my creative dc liked Apologia Biology. Dd is doing Apologia Chemistry right now. She is doing well, but it takes her a long time to do it. For chemistry, since it is SO hard for creatives, I like Real Science 4 Kids. I still may succeed in getting dd to switch!


Ds enjoyed BJU Space and Earth Science. Even though it is an 8th grade text, it is definitely high school material. You may need to beef up the labs, though.

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