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High School Physics & Chemistry

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I need advice please on good solid texts (or curriculum or whatever

ideas you have) for High School Physics & High School Chemistry.

DS is very mathy and very focused.

We need very thorough, very complete books, curricula,

or courses. DS is interested in both Physics and Chemistry.

I don't need fun or colorful (but I don't mind it).


I don't want AP though. Just a good solid thorough high school



I just bought CPO Foundations of Physical Science,

but just found out there are many mistakes; I

have Conceptual Physics but also need a mathy course, and I

own Barron's Physics and Schaum's Physics Outline, which I

may use for supplementing. We were

going to do A Beka for everything,

but found out there may be gaps in the A Beka

high school curriculum.


So I don't have a curriculum or course that

I feel is a real course for Physics and Chemistry yet.


If it's expensive, I'll bite the bullet as long as I feel it will

be worth it.


Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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We used Derek Owens distance learning for physics in 9th grade. Algebra 1 is the requirement. It is very mathy. Here is my review:


A little background on our middle school science studies: We used a combination of Science Explorer, Exploration Education, and TOPS attempting to create a balance of textbook reading and hands-on experiments.


For 9th grade, we used Derek Owen’s Physics class for distance learners. The website is http://www.derekowens.com. The cost of the class was $58/mo with a $15 registration fee.



• Even before payment, sample lectures and syllabus are available on the website. The syllabus provides clear assignments and deadlines for the entire year.

• User-friendly and well-organized website.

• Able to access the entire year’s course with first payment.

• Videos provide instruction with an electronic blackboard, Derek’s voice is very pleasant, and some of his graphics are amusing.

• Student Workbooks are filled in as student watches the lecture, keeping them engaged.

• Homework, labs, and tests are emailed/faxed in and graded by someone other than mom.

• Homework, labs, and tests are returned to student and parent generally within 24hrs along with cumulative grade report.

• Only one lab item, an equilateral triangular prism, had to be ordered. The rest of the lab supplies were on hand or easy to find locally. 10 labs total.

• Instructor generally answered questions via email within 24 hours.

• The course is based on Giancolli’s Physics text (usually used for AP Physics B), but adapted to be more accessible for those who want to study physics at a high school level (ie, not AP level).

• Regular and Honors options available. The student is allowed to try out the Honors option for a month or longer, and switch to the Regular option if desired. Ds took the Honors option and it was challenging for him. With 20/20 hindsight, it might have been better to stick with the Regular option for 9th grade.

• Monthly payments (as opposed to payment in full in spring for fall start). We were able to pay for August through November, take December off, and January through May.



• Solutions to the practice problems and tests are available to the student on the website. I would prefer that they were available to the parent, but not the student.

• Test review would be helpful. Test review was provided for the 2 semester exams. I re-used (or pre-used) these problems for the chapter tests.


Overall, I found Derek Owens pleasant to work with, professional, and accommodating. For example, with the first payment, we were able to access the entire year’s course including the tests. Having the tests easily accessible made me uncomfortable. When I approached the subject with Mr Owens, he offered to make them unavailable for my student. Occasionally, Mr Owens would send a video with the solution to a particularly challenging homework problem (after homework had been submitted and graded). At times, my son was given the “opportunity” to re-submit homework and re-take (alternate version) tests. I highly recommend Derek Owens high school Physics course.




P.S. If you do a tag search on Derek Owens, you will find a few threads with more information.

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Derek Owens here too! Dd is going into aero engineering, very math and science oriented and LOVES physics. She had a lot of areo physics before his physics class and still thinks it's challenging enough.


She really likes his calculus too. Had to switch from another online class becuase the teaching method wasn't meshing with her. She very much understands his calculus class.

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