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I'm looking for a complete science program, secular in nature for my middle schooler that loves science. I'm hoping for something that isn't dry but that can continue to keep his interests going. He tends to do a lot of reading and watching of the discovery channel but is hesitant to do actual, science work, anything structured. He's getting to the age where I feel he needs more structure. I'm probably asking for a lot, but I'm hoping too that such program can be adapted to my second grader too--also a science fanatic.

 

Does such a program exist? Any suggestions?

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Elemental Science has mostly grammar stage but just came out with Logic Stage Biology. They are very good. ClassiQuest is another option that has Logic Stage Biology currently ready, Earth/Space is due in a month or two and Chem and Physics to follow in late 2011 or early 2012 (according to the last info I heard).

 

Heather

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K12 science is pretty good.

 

Science Explorer and CPO are both good textbook programs.

 

Thanks Heather, I've not heard of either of those. Off to look them up.

 

I've been using Science Explorer, but don't think I'm doing so as effectively as I should. He enjoyed the reading, and we did some of the experiments, but not much more. I have used K12 when he was in second grade and really liked it. It's been in the back of my mind, the price is just a little scary, you know? It's an option though, and I've not looked at if for logic stage, so I may need to do that.

 

keep the recommendations coming! I'd love to hear how you all use science explorer.

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NOEO has Chemistry available for middle school, and they are supposed to be working on Physics and Biology. Though the publishers are religious, I have found the curriculum to be secular. It uses living books and experiments.

 

There's also this, by the American Chemical Society. I first read about it here on the boards. Unfortunately, I haven't found anything similar in other sciences.

Edited by floridamom
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From my experience, Oak Meadow science is very light for a sciency-kid. It is better used as a supplement to something more meatier. I have used 5th and 6th OM science.

 

Though not secular but not overtly Christian/Young Earth, to my knowledge, Rainbow Science is excellent and all the bits come with it. Mine got hold of the textbook a few years ago (He is 12 now.) and read the entire thing twice on his own.

 

Secular homeschool friendly SOLID science is hard to come by almost as much as history is for this age. High School is even worse.

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NOEO has Chemistry available for middle school, and are supposed to be working on Physics and Biology. Thought the publishers are religious, I have found the curriculum to be secular. It uses living books and experiments.

 

There's also this, by the American Chemical Society. I first read about it here on the boards. Unfortunately, I haven't found anything similar in other sciences.

 

 

I've seen NOEO mentioned often lately, but knew nothing of it. This might be the way to go! From what I've seen, I like how it's very much laid out. DS would like the experiements. I think the level III would be good for him too, since we've already done the Science Explorer Building Blocks of Matter--or whatever that one was. Or maybe even Physics II since we haven't really done much of that yet.

 

Thanks for the suggestions! This has been a very informative thread.

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We've been using Holt Science and Technology - if you use the online supplements found here - http://go.hrw.com/hrw.nd/gohrw_rls1/pKeywordResults?HS5%20MASTER%20TOC and do the labs that are adaptable to a homeschool setting (which is most of them), you should find it to be pretty thorough. We supplemented it by sending her to the library and saying 'The next chapter is on the atmosphere. Go find some stuff on the atmosphere,' and just checking to make sure that whatever supplement she chose was appropriate (Bill Nye video on the atmosphere, fine; CD from a band called 'Air' was not ;) ) My five year old would sometimes join in on the simpler labs, or when we had a video.

 

My goal with choosing Holt Science and Technology was to pick something that would prepare her to handle a standard high school text by 8th grade, as our plan is to take high school Bio, Chem, and Physics in 8th, 9th, and 10th & then community college science courses for the last two years. She wants to be an engineer tho, so we focus more on science than many homeschools do.

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I'm looking for a complete science program, secular in nature for my middle schooler that loves science. I'm hoping for something that isn't dry but that can continue to keep his interests going. He tends to do a lot of reading and watching of the discovery channel but is hesitant to do actual, science work, anything structured. He's getting to the age where I feel he needs more structure. I'm probably asking for a lot, but I'm hoping too that such program can be adapted to my second grader too--also a science fanatic.

 

Does such a program exist? Any suggestions?

It is secular, structured, meaty.... I don't think the middle school level would be particularly well-suited to adapting to a 2nd grader, because it ties in rather well with Singapore math... which in 7th and 8th grade is Algebra and Geometry. They do have an elementary program - My Pals Are Here - that your 2nd grader might like too.... I've actually never had problems finding secular materials, but more than half of that is just using Singapore products. I'm sure they're not for everyone, but we've been extremely happy with everything we've used from there.

 

(I "tagged" this with Singapore Science so you can find other threads... we used the middle school level before the last edition change, so I'm hesitant to write too much in the way of review - some of it will have changed!)

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I'm using ClassiQuest Biology for my very science-y dd, and my little one participates in our labs as a lab assistant. This is our first successful attempt at formal science. Last week me made slides and studied the difference between animal and plant cells. You can view our slides here for an example of what we are doing. Each week has reading from several science books and a lab, and it is easy to add easier books on the same topic for younger kids and videos and more reading if needed. What I have like about it is the systematic way it is teaching them to do lab reports.

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It is secular, structured, meaty.... I don't think the middle school level would be particularly well-suited to adapting to a 2nd grader, because it ties in rather well with Singapore math... which in 7th and 8th grade is Algebra and Geometry. They do have an elementary program - My Pals Are Here - that your 2nd grader might like too.... I've actually never had problems finding secular materials, but more than half of that is just using Singapore products. I'm sure they're not for everyone, but we've been extremely happy with everything we've used from there.

 

(I "tagged" this with Singapore Science so you can find other threads... we used the middle school level before the last edition change, so I'm hesitant to write too much in the way of review - some of it will have changed!)

 

 

Do you have a link?

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Singapore Science has My Pals are HEre 5/6 and Interactive Science for 7th and 8th grade. But there's no earth science and the biology is narrower in scope. However, whatever there is very meaty.

 

Is this easily done at home? I checked out one of the labs, and I'm not sure where one would get the chemicals. this does look more of what I had in mind though. Thanks!

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NOEO has Chemistry available for middle school, and they are supposed to be working on Physics and Biology. Though the publishers are religious, I have found the curriculum to be secular. It uses living books and experiments.

 

It's less secular then neutral on evolution (which in my book makes it religious - no secular text or program would seriously consider neutrality on evolution a valid stance). It would require supplementation.

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It's less secular then neutral on evolution (which in my book makes it religious - no secular text or program would seriously consider neutrality on evolution a valid stance). It would require supplementation.

 

Is that the biology? We've only done chemistry so far, but I agree with you. Truly secular science is not neutral on evolution.

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It's less secular then neutral on evolution (which in my book makes it religious - no secular text or program would seriously consider neutrality on evolution a valid stance). It would require supplementation.
This is true, and would require supplementation in the form of additional lesson plans; however, many of the required books do mention evolution, and those that don't do so because it's not relevant to their topic. I would characterize the materials as secular.
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This is true, and would require supplementation in the form of additional lesson plans; however, many of the required books do mention evolution, and those that don't do so because it's not relevant to their topic. I would characterize the materials as secular.

I wish someone would write a curriculum on evolution.

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I wish someone would write a curriculum on evolution.

 

Joy Hakim, in her Story of Science series, has more volumes coming on the life sciences. I recently wrote to her about them and this was her reply -

 

"I have two books in process--both biology, different approaches. (I hope I will finish both, kind of bogged down right now.)

In this book I start with Francis Bacon, wend my way to Darwin, Thomas Hunt Morgan, Crick and Watson, to Carl Woese, and finally to the genome crowd.

The fifth volume (half done) starts with the forming of Earth, then we get microbial life, then fish, then dinosaurs, etc. This is not a people book, life forms carry the story.

Sixth volume? That was projected to be an original documents book. Do you think anyone would use it?

 

joy"

 

I wrote her back to tell her YES I definitely thought people would use it! :) You can go to her Facebook page and tell her that you would like to see the books, hopefully if enough of us do that it will spur her on to finish the books and get them published!

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however, many of the required books do mention evolution,

Yes. Most of the books are third party secular books, and aren't written by the publishers.

 

 

and those that don't do so because it's not relevant to their topic. I would characterize the materials as secular.

 

:iagree: I don't expect to see evolution information in basic chemistry or physics. I do however, expect it in life science.

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I wish someone would write a curriculum on evolution.

 

Not a curriculum per se, but for middle school level I would be grudgingly content using a trio of graphic novels:

 

The Stuff of Life

Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth

On the Origin of Species

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Not a curriculum per se, but for middle school level I would be grudgingly content using a trio of graphic novels:

 

The Stuff of Life

Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth

On the Origin of Species

Thank you so much for the suggestions. The only book I would know to try would be The Top Ten Myths About Evolution, but I read this as an adult, so wouldn't know when it would be appropriate, or if it would be enough.

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Prentiss Hall Science Explorer Series. We are using Earth Science and saving Life Science and Physical Science for later years.

 

It is meaty, interesting, and contains labs and activities that will teach your ds how to think, analyze, observe, make conclusions, gather data, etc.

 

We love it.

 

I wouldn't throw it all out, but it just seems good to know about errors in textbooks. This is specifically about one thing in the PH Science Explorer, you can do searches for other complaints:

 

http://www.textbookleague.org/123oxy.htm

Edited by jadedone80
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Biozone Evolution is FABULOUS! It is a high school text, so bookmark it for a few years from now. It is a worktext, where the top half of the page is a textbook and the bottom half contains difficult comprehension questions at many levels. It is CHEAP (like $10 or something for 100 pages).

 

I am currently adapting it for middle school. What this requires is:

1) I read the difficult stuff out loud and then we discuss it.

2) We have skipped a few spreads (6 pages out of 100) that were just too tough.

2) He interprets the graph, diagram, pictures etc for each topic (1 or 2 pages per topic) on his own, while I sit silently and sip my tea.

3) We discuss the comprehension questions, and I help guide him how to shorten his answers and make sure he has answered the question (GREAT writing experience.) He then writes the answers.

 

He is advanced in science, but at 10 he is LOVING it. And asks to do it everyday.

 

Ruth in NZ

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I lucked into a used set of the Open University "Discovering Science" course for my middle school child. These are wonderful, well-designed, and completely secular. The DVD/CD-ROM was more than I wanted to spend, so I don't know how much it would have added to the course. One thing I especially like about it is that the biology section takes evolution for granted, without making a big deal about how we really have lots and lots of evidence for evolution (like secular American biology textbooks tend to); it just teaches biology.

 

If you can get a set of the 11 volumes (block 12 isn't a book, and the materials weren't with the set I bought, but it didn't seem necessary to the course), I highly recommend it as a general science course for early high school or a science-y middle schooler.

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I lucked into a used set of the Open University "Discovering Science" course for my middle school child. These are wonderful, well-designed, and completely secular. The DVD/CD-ROM was more than I wanted to spend, so I don't know how much it would have added to the course. One thing I especially like about it is that the biology section takes evolution for granted, without making a big deal about how we really have lots and lots of evidence for evolution (like secular American biology textbooks tend to); it just teaches biology.

 

If you can get a set of the 11 volumes (block 12 isn't a book, and the materials weren't with the set I bought, but it didn't seem necessary to the course), I highly recommend it as a general science course for early high school or a science-y middle schooler.

 

This looks really good. I don't understand how to register/purchase though. The register page says "not found" What would I look for if I was going to look for it used? Are you selling yours ;)

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This looks really good. I don't understand how to register/purchase though. The register page says "not found" What would I look for if I was going to look for it used? Are you selling yours ;)
I'm honestly not sure how you buy it. It may be that you have to enroll for the course? At any rate, you can buy the books used in various places, such as here. Look for course S103, "Discovering Science." I bought mine used here in the U.S.; I guess some expatriate Brit had sold them off!

 

I will be keeping mine for the next two children, and the littlest is only 3, so.... :D

 

 

ETA: Okay, further exploration of the OU site shows that S103 is no longer offered, and seems to have been replaced by S104. And for a mere 700 pounds, you can enroll. Hmm. Maybe one of the British board members can be helpful here? You might start a thread....

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Yes, but, but, but.... that University Book Search site had them all for only 40 pounds! Plus whatever shipping from the UK....

 

But what the heck does 40 pounds translate too-and it's the shipping that would get ya! And I wouldn't get the on-line aspect would I? Or is it a CD type thing?

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I lucked into a used set of the Open University "Discovering Science" course for my middle school child. These are wonderful, well-designed, and completely secular. The DVD/CD-ROM was more than I wanted to spend, so I don't know how much it would have added to the course. One thing I especially like about it is that the biology section takes evolution for granted, without making a big deal about how we really have lots and lots of evidence for evolution (like secular American biology textbooks tend to); it just teaches biology.

 

If you can get a set of the 11 volumes (block 12 isn't a book, and the materials weren't with the set I bought, but it didn't seem necessary to the course), I highly recommend it as a general science course for early high school or a science-y middle schooler.

It introduces the disciplines of biology, chemistry, Earth sciences and physics and shows the links between them.
:drool5:
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But what the heck does 40 pounds translate too-and it's the shipping that would get ya! And I wouldn't get the on-line aspect would I? Or is it a CD type thing?
The British pound is $1.63 right now; the dollar's pretty weak. Yes, it's the shipping that would hurt.

 

As for the on-line aspect, I didn't use anything but the books (there are answers and explanations in the back to the end-of-section questions and problems), and felt like it was a perfectly adequate course. There was a CD-ROM (later a DVD) that went with it, which you can order from OU online, but I didn't and it didn't seem necessary.

 

Looking at bookfinder.com and doing a search in keyword for open university discovering science, it looks like one can buy the books ("blocks") individually for a dollar or two, plus the usual $3.99 shipping. If you're interested, I'll give you the titles and ISBN numbers of the books for easier hunting. And again, one of the British WTMers might have more useful information.

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Yes, but, but, but.... that University Book Search site had them all for only 40 pounds! Plus whatever shipping from the UK....

 

Thanks, Sharon, for sharing! I just bought that listing.:D The shipping made the total $115 for the set. I think this will be an excellent addition to our science program.:001_smile:

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Thanks, Sharon, for sharing! I just bought that listing.:D The shipping made the total $115 for the set. I think this will be an excellent addition to our science program.:001_smile:
Aaaaa! I hope you like them, or I'm going to be feeling very guilty!

 

Actually, I just asked dd15 (who is about to go off to chemistry camp) if she thought it had been a good series, and she confirmed that it was awesome.

 

Just don't be startled by the thinness of the books; UK curricula tend to less bulky than US curricula, in part because they don't have so many extras (big photos, long introductions, index, etc.). Like Singapore Math vs. those big math textbooks from high school.

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Well, I guess if we hate them, I can sell them to Ann in Iowa, right? ;):lol:

 

No, I think it will be good--I agree in theory with the European idea of studying more than one science at a time, but always struggle with the actual application of this concept. Maybe now I can make it happen a bit better.:D

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Well, I guess if we hate them, I can sell them to Ann in Iowa, right? ;):lol:

 

No, I think it will be good--I agree in theory with the European idea of studying more than one science at a time, but always struggle with the actual application of this concept. Maybe now I can make it happen a bit better.:D

 

Sure! :cheers2:

And if you love it then I might just have to hunt some down for myself!

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Can you share the link you got these at? I am having trouble finding this.

 

I found them here by searching for S103: http://www.universitybooksearch.co.uk/search.asp?startsearch=TRUE

Sharon says this course has been discontinued and to search bookfinder.com for the blocks; or you could see if the above site has any of the replacement course, which is S 104. :001_smile:

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I lucked into a used set of the Open University "Discovering Science" course for my middle school child. These are wonderful, well-designed, and completely secular. The DVD/CD-ROM was more than I wanted to spend, so I don't know how much it would have added to the course. One thing I especially like about it is that the biology section takes evolution for granted, without making a big deal about how we really have lots and lots of evidence for evolution (like secular American biology textbooks tend to); it just teaches biology.

 

If you can get a set of the 11 volumes (block 12 isn't a book, and the materials weren't with the set I bought, but it didn't seem necessary to the course), I highly recommend it as a general science course for early high school or a science-y middle schooler.

 

If you wouldn't mind :D, could you post the ISBN for these?

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Okay, all of the books are sub-titled

 

"S103 Science: A Level One Course"

"Discovering Science"

"The Open University"

 

Now the individual books:

 

Block 1: Water For Life

ISBN 0 7492 8187 1

 

Block 2: A Temperate Earth?

ISBN 0 7492 8188 X

 

Block 3: The Earth and its place in the Universe

ISBN 0 7492 8189 8

 

Block 4: Unity within diversity

ISBN 0 7492 8190 1

 

Block 5: Energy

ISBN 0 7492 8191 X

 

Block 6: Our world and its atoms

ISBN 0 7492 8192 8

 

Block 7: The quantum world

ISBN 0 7492 8193 6

 

Block 8: Building with atoms

ISBN 0 7492 8194 4

 

Block 9: Continuity and change

ISBN 0 7492 8195 2

 

Block 10: Earth and life through time

ISBN 0 7492 8196 0

 

Block 11: Universal processes

ISBN 0 7492 8197 9

 

The books range from 68 to 195 pages in length. There is a "Block 12," but it's not a book, it's apparently a set of materials.

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