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What do you do when your child outgrows you in an academic area and you have nowhere to outsource said subject to?

 

Autumn is very... STEM focused. I'm not able to teach science beyond this year, really. She *needs* a full lab and a teacher who can answer her questions and teach her how to learn the answers herself. My husband works far too much to be of much help in this.

 

There is a local classical academy that allows partial enrollment for homeschooled students, but it's affiliated with Bob Jones university (also here)... uses teachers from there and their books/they are, therefore, creation based science... and we aren't comfortable using them. Other than that, we have nothing really.

 

I know there's a simple answer to this, but I can't seem to find it right now.

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Is there an online class she could take? With a lab component you could purchase?

 

Is she old enough to take a class at the local community college? I am guessing no, but you never know.

 

What about having her run her own experiments? Something along the lines of what Ruth has suggested in the past. She has her kids do a 'science fair' project where they do original research on a question. It doesn't have to involve lots of expensive equipment, just time and good record keeping.

 

If you combined that with some teaching company classes it could work.

 

Or, you could enroll her in school. You wouldn't be the first person I have known to have enrolled a kid so s/he could get more academic work than was possible at home. It would be more applicable in high school.

 

I am just trying to think of lots of options.

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Is there an online class she could take? With a lab component you could purchase?

 

Is she old enough to take a class at the local community college? I am guessing no, but you never know.

 

What about having her run her own experiments? Something along the lines of what Ruth has suggested in the past. She has her kids do a 'science fair' project where they do original research on a question. It doesn't have to involve lots of expensive equipment, just time and good record keeping.

 

If you combined that with some teaching company classes it could work.

 

Or, you could enroll her in school. You wouldn't be the first person I have known to have enrolled a kid so s/he could get more academic work than was possible at home. It would be more applicable in high school.

 

I am just trying to think of lots of options.

I'll have to look into the online idea. She is dyslexic and this limits our options on some levels; she has a difficult time learning from the computer if there are high level reading assignments. Right now we are using TOPS units and we will until we run out of those options. My husband does things with her on the weekend... but it isn't frequent.

 

We are tossing with the idea of enrolling her, but the private Catholic schools here will simply put her at grade level and there will be nothing "extra" gained there for science specifically. There aren't any options other than religious private schools here (baptist, episcopal, or catholic).

Okay, I digress. We have a public STEM middle school and a public STEM high school but both are not schools we will consider for obvious reasons (they aren't well known for being good schools, socially).

 

The idea of tutor is tempting, but I haven't the faintest clue where to go about finding a science tutor. Reading and math, sure; science?

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Maybe you could find a student from a local university to tutor? Definitely not an ed. major, but someone who's actually in and pursuing the sciences.

 

Might be even more fun for your daughter if you could find one or two other students with the same keen interest in the sciences as your daughter and study as a small group with the tutor.

 

Easier said than done, probably.

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Maybe you could find a student from a local university to tutor? Definitely not an ed. major, but someone who's actually in and pursuing the sciences.

 

Might be even more fun for your daughter if you could find one or two other students with the same keen interest in the sciences as your daughter and study as a small group with the tutor.

 

Easier said than done, probably.

Finding other STEM focused girls is difficult. Most of the robotics clubs or other clubs here are all boys. It's actually got to the point where Autumn doesn't WANT to be STEM focused because she doesn't want to be "different" - which is one reason we are reconsidering sending her back to school next year (we were going to, but her desire to conform suddenly is making us rethink that).

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More ideas to help you start thinking "outside the box":

- Jason Project

- PLATO Learning: Science

- Bob Jones Distance Learning DVD science -- AND substitute or supplement with non-creation-based resources as needed

- Derek Owens Physical Science (for 9th grade) -- online class

- FOR HIGH SCHOOL, for more visual instruction or supplement, check out Thinkwell CD science lecture/lessons; The Teaching Company science lecture series, Khan Academy video tutorials on science topics

 

- Consider READING the textbook of a more rigorous program or for an online class to your DD -- our younger DS has mild dyslexia, and that worked well for us; the side benefit -- you'll be learning the concepts alongside her and be better equipped to help mentor as needed.

 

- Do a google search or talk to local school teachers to find what your local and regional science fair options are -- in our area, we have an organization that highly promotes the annual science fair with mentors, teaching materials, and scholarship prizes.

 

- Trade homeschooling subjects with another nearby homeschooler who is good with science -- have them teach your DD with their child(ren) and you teach their student(s) and your DD a subject that is your strength.

 

- See if a local 4-H group has a science component -- or if a local middle school/high school has a science club, robotics, club, or other after-school science option that your DD could join. AND, I just did a google search for "STEM for girls", and "science clubs for girls" -- and there are girl-only programs out there! These links have a way to search for local groups:

* Science Club For Girls

* The GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math and Science) Club

* Here's a listing by ZIP CODE of local programs around the country that encourage girls interested in STEM areas

 

And here are examples of local girls-only STEM groups:

* Tech Trek (southern CA)

* GO (girls only) STEM! (southern IN)

* Harvard Square: Science Club for Girls (MA)

* Brain Cake (Pittsburgh PA; and AZ)

* Cool Girls Science & Art Club (Boulder, CO)

* Saturday Science Club for Girls (San Diego, CA)...

 

- Supplement with summer science camps at the local university or community college. Don't know what state you're in, but a google search for "STEM. Here is a great list of high school level camps by state: http://www.careercornerstone.org/pcsumcamps.htm

 

- Try for a national summer science camp: U.S. Naval Academy Summer STEM Program (for rising 8th-11th graders).

 

- This short article may have more resource ideas: "Girl Scouts: Tips for Girls Interested in STEM fields"

 

 

BEST of luck in finding a great match-up for DD's interest in science! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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More ideas to help you start thinking "outside the box":

- Jason Project

- PLATO Learning: Science

- Bob Jones Distance Learning DVD science -- AND substitute or supplement with non-creation-based resources as needed

- Derek Owens Physical Science (for 9th grade) -- online class

- FOR HIGH SCHOOL, for more visual instruction or supplement, check out Thinkwell CD science lessons; The Teaching Company science lecture, Khan Academy video tutorials on science topics

 

- Consider READING the textbook of a more rigorous program or for an online class to your DD -- our younger DS has mild dyslexia, and that worked well for us; the side benefit -- you'll be learning the concepts alongside her and be better equipped to help mentor as needed.

 

- Do a google search or talk to local school teachers to find what your local and regional science fair options are -- in our area, we have an organization that highly promotes the annual science fair with mentors, teaching materials, and scholarship prizes.

 

- Trade homeschooling subjects with another nearby homeschooler who is good with science -- have them teach your DD with their child(ren) and you teach their student(s) and your DD a subject that is your strength.

 

- See if a local middle school/high school has a science club, robotics, club, or other after-school science option that your DD could join.

 

- Supplement with summer science camps at the local university or community college. Don't know what state you're in, but a google search for "STEM. Here is a great list of high school level camps by state: http://www.careercornerstone.org/pcsumcamps.htm

 

- Try for a national summer science camp: U.S. Naval Academy Summer STEM Program (for rising 8th-11th graders).

 

 

BEST of luck in finding a great match-up for DD's interest in science! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Oh! That reminds me! This year our state passed a law that allows our children to participate in after school clubs/sports in our school district! I'll check it out for next year (too late now for this year). Thanks! I'm hoping there will be something other girls are involved in :)

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Does your school district allow you to enroll for just a few classes? Here we can enroll in non-core classes and electives. My dd took band in the public school last year. This year she will do band and science. I'm excited about the science--a full lab program with 140 labs through the year and a well-respected teacher. I would not be able to duplicate that at home. My dd had a really good experience with band last year, so I hope expanding it with one class will be good too. We are planning to put her in the public high school, so this fits our own personal goals all right.

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Does your school district allow you to enroll for just a few classes? Here we can enroll in non-core classes and electives. My dd took band in the public school last year. This year she will do band and science. I'm excited about the science--a full lab program with 140 labs through the year and a well-respected teacher. I would not be able to duplicate that at home. My dd had a really good experience with band last year, so I hope expanding it with one class will be good too. We are planning to put her in the public high school, so this fits our own personal goals all right.

No. We can only register for interscholastic activities that do NOT occur during the school day (i.e. after school sports and clubs).

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Well the *labs* from the BJU stuff are very good, even if you don't agree with the text. So if you were able to get a largely *lab* class with that co-op, you'd probably still be happy. The BJU labs are quite thorough.

 

My dd isn't really a hand her a textbook and walk away kind of person either. We're doing the labs from the BJU physical science and PH Concepts in Action and tossing the textbooks. I have a few (BJU, Hewitt, etc.) lying around if we need them. It's not actually that HARD to implement the labs, just a little time-consuming. Given her age and what you've previously done, I'd suggest the life science. So you could get the lab books for the BJU science and any others you like, cull them together into a weekly plan (I ripped my books apart and put week dividers between them, so it's all really obvious in a big fat notebook). Then just fill in the cracks with books from the library or websites.

 

My plan after this is to go into the Illustrated Home Guide to... series. The dude who wrote them was SN himself, hence it being so hands-on driven. I know that's initimidating, but on the other hand all these labs have published supply lists. You basically just buy the stuff and you're good to go. The instructions are printed, just like what you're used to in TOPs. I mean it's not THAT huge a step; it just feels that way. And with this methodology I have a long-term plan that I know can work for us. And the materials overlap, so the biggest expense is the first year, getting setting up.

 

As far as time, I'm planning it to be our big Friday thing, probably 4 hours, not much else put on that day except maybe math or a little writing. I'm sending the toddler out to Grandma's those days, cuz he's WAY too rambunctious to be around during labs, oy!

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Well the *labs* from the BJU stuff are very good, even if you don't agree with the text. So if you were able to get a largely *lab* class with that co-op, you'd probably still be happy. The BJU labs are quite thorough.

 

My dd isn't really a hand her a textbook and walk away kind of person either. We're doing the labs from the BJU physical science and PH Concepts in Action and tossing the textbooks. I have a few (BJU, Hewitt, etc.) lying around if we need them. It's not actually that HARD to implement the labs, just a little time-consuming. Given her age and what you've previously done, I'd suggest the life science. So you could get the lab books for the BJU science and any others you like, cull them together into a weekly plan (I ripped my books apart and put week dividers between them, so it's all really obvious in a big fat notebook). Then just fill in the cracks with books from the library or websites.

 

My plan after this is to go into the Illustrated Home Guide to... series. The dude who wrote them was SN himself, hence it being so hands-on driven. I know that's initimidating, but on the other hand all these labs have published supply lists. You basically just buy the stuff and you're good to go. The instructions are printed, just like what you're used to in TOPs. I mean it's not THAT huge a step; it just feels that way. And with this methodology I have a long-term plan that I know can work for us. And the materials overlap, so the biggest expense is the first year, getting setting up.

 

As far as time, I'm planning it to be our big Friday thing, probably 4 hours, not much else put on that day except maybe math or a little writing. I'm sending the toddler out to Grandma's those days, cuz he's WAY too rambunctious to be around during labs, oy!

I appreciate the suggestion, but on principle we would not use the BJU program as they have always been unapologetically anti-Catholic; we choose not to use anything affiliated with them. Also, it isn't a co-op that uses them (we only belong to a local Catholic co-op) - it's a private school that allows homeschoolers in for a class here and there, so it is largely text based with, probably, a lab once a week or so, I would imagine (it would be a daily class I think). It would require full enrollment into that *class* (wish we could just sign up for lab days! Lol).

We do have conceptual physical science (Hewitt, I believe, which you mentioned); I didn't know that they have a Life (do they?).

I will definitely look into the Illustrated Guides. That definitely sounds like something we would be interested in.

 

Wish we had a grandma close by! I'm having an anxiety attack just thinking about the 3 year old "helping" with labs. Lol.

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AimeeM,

 

You have posted numerous panic threads about science. Regentrude (she is a physics professor w/advanced children) and I have both tried to offer you low-stress options to reduce your sense of "not being able to do this." At 11 yrs old, what you do for science is a simple a choice. What an 11 yr old does for science isn't going to impact their ability to study science in the long-term. Science at that age is not sequential. They do not have to study this subject before that subject. They do not have to cover xyz before they can open textbook abc. That is reality. The only pre-reqs you have to worry about are math for chemistry and physics, and it is helpful (dependning on the text) to have chemistry before biology........but this is not until the high school level.

 

This is a time for your child relax and simply enjoy *something* about science. It not a time for thinking that what they are learning is going to make or break science in the future.

 

I have a 16 yr old dyslexic advanced math student who didn't even learn to read on grade level until probably late 4th grade. In 5th grade, any science he did was completely minimal b/c in 5th grade I had to focus on reading and writing b/c his writing skills were so far behind from focusing on reading skills. In 6th grade, he did ***whatever*** for science. I simply have no idea b/c science was simply reading from whatever books he wanted on science topics.........and trust me, b/c of his reading issues, these were not complicated science books. His reading energies in 6th grade were focused on trying to keep up w/his older sister in LL fLOTR. I wanted to stretch his reading skills with difficult books he really, really wanted to read b/c reading skills were/are far more important to his future than anything he did/could have done for middle school science. For a struggling w/reading/language arts student, regardless of their future plans, those skills should have top priority. If reading books on biology and anatomy are something she would enjoy, use those. There is no right answer. The only wrong answers are to not cover any science at all and to not work diligently on her reading/writing.

 

As hard as it may be to accept that hard-core science-focused education is not necessary in middle school for future scientists.......

 

My oldest never used a science textbook until 8th grade= now a successful chemical engineer.

 

11th grader= never used a science textbook until 8th grade. From 8th grade up, he has taken alg physics, chemistry, AP chemistry, astronomy 1 and astronomy 2 (both of these using the same textbooks as Berkley's astronomy dept), is currently taking cal physics at a university as well as completing an independent study on dark matter. (at the end of 11th grade he will have 8 science credits, 3 earning a total of 17 college credit hrs (8 for AP chem's 5 score, 5 for university physics 1, and next semester 4 for university physics 2) (this is my dyslexic advanced math student......he is also taking multivariable cal the university.)

 

FWIW, my kids at home lab experience is restricted to high school level courses. And, these labs were simple high school labs right out of the science text/lab manual. I am not a scientist. I am very below my older kids science abilities. Regardless to the 1000s of posts on the forum to the contrary, non-lab focused science has not impacted my children's success in science. (heresy, I know. LOL!!:lol:)

 

(FWIW, science STEM camps are where I would put my $$ for a child that is in love w/science. There they are around professionals that love the same topics they do and kids that are eating it up in the same way. Fabulous memories and encouragement for future scientists. But, it is unrealistic to maintain that level of experience on a daily basis. Well-rounded education means the drudgery takes its equal footing during the school yr. ;) I would also let her watch as many science documentaries as she wants. :001_smile: )

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Finding other STEM focused girls is difficult. Most of the robotics clubs or other clubs here are all boys. It's actually got to the point where Autumn doesn't WANT to be STEM focused because she doesn't want to be "different" - which is one reason we are reconsidering sending her back to school next year (we were going to, but her desire to conform suddenly is making us rethink that).

 

My girls are also STEM focused. My 16 year old senior is applying to chemical engineering programs for next fall.

 

Honestly, you may never find other STEM focused girls, so I would help her take pride now in being "different." Help her find women who can be cool role models! If you live near a university with an engineering program, see if they have a chapter of SWE (Society for Women in Engineering). We've found that college women in engineering make great role models, and they've often dealt with feeling different through their school careers. We've spent a lot of time finding and pointing out positive role models, and my daughter is a very confident card-carrying "geek girl." (It helps that I'm a geek mom. Hah!)

 

Although my dd participated in every STEM camp, class and program we could find, she really didn't make close friends with other science-minded girls up until this past year, when she attended a couple of programs at her first choice engineering school. The first was a leadership institute specifically for women in the sciences, and the second was a "Women in Engineering" program for high school girls. Again, I'd suggest looking at the summer science programs for universities in your region, to see if there's anything that might appeal to your daughter.

 

I don't think sending her to school is going to help much. If anything, she'll learn there that it's less acceptable for girls to be into STEM stuff.

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I understand and I agree (and am grateful for the advice) - but she WANTS more... badly. I'm afraid that if I don't give it to her, she will certainly end up back in school by next year (and there's no debate on that; it's already a possibility, but this is certainly fueling the fire).

 

And you're right, I need to drop it. I feel like a failure right now because her one (and sole) area of interest is something I can't give her; it's making her want more, away from home. I don't want that for her.

 

AimeeM,

 

You have posted numerous panic threads about science. Regentrude (she is a physics professor w/advanced children) and I have both tried to offer you low-stress options to reduce your sense of "not being able to do this." At 11 yrs old, what you do for science is a simple a choice. What an 11 yr old does for science isn't going to impact their ability to study science in the long-term. Science at that age is not sequential. They do not have to study this subject before that subject. They do not have to cover xyz before they can open textbook abc. That is reality. The only pre-reqs you have to worry about are math for chemistry and physics, and it is helpful (dependning on the text) to have chemistry before biology........but this is not until the high school level.

 

This is a time for your child relax and simply enjoy *something* about science. It not a time for thinking that what they are learning is going to make or break science in the future.

 

I have a 16 yr old dyslexic advanced math student who didn't even learn to read on grade level until probably late 4th grade. In 5th grade, any science he did was completely minimal b/c in 5th grade I had to focus on reading and writing b/c his writing skills were so far behind from focusing on reading skills. In 6th grade, he did ***whatever*** for science. I simply have no idea b/c science was simply reading from whatever books he wanted on science topics.........and trust me, b/c of his reading issues, these were not complicated science books. His reading energies in 6th grade were focused on trying to keep up w/his older sister in LL fLOTR. I wanted to stretch his reading skills with difficult books he really, really wanted to read b/c reading skills were/are far more important to his future than anything he did/could have done for middle school science. For a struggling w/reading/language arts student, regardless of their future plans, those skills should have top priority. If reading books on biology and anatomy are something she would enjoy, use those. There is no right answer. The only wrong answers are to not cover any science at all and to not work diligently on her reading/writing.

 

As hard as it may be to accept that hard-core science-focused education is not necessary in middle school for future scientists.......

 

My oldest never used a science textbook until 8th grade= now a successful chemical engineer.

 

11th grader= never used a science textbook until 8th grade. From 8th grade up, he has taken alg physics, chemistry, AP chemistry, astronomy 1 and astronomy 2 (both of these using the same textbooks as Berkley's astronomy dept), is currently taking cal physics at a university as well as completing an independent study on dark matter. (at the end of 11th grade he will have 8 science credits, 3 earning a total of 17 college credit hrs (8 for AP chem's 5 score, 5 for university physics 1, and next semester 4 for university physics 2) (this is my dyslexic advanced math student......he is also taking multivariable cal the university.)

 

FWIW, my kids at home lab experience is restricted to high school level courses. And, these labs were simple high school labs right out of the science text/lab manual. I am not a scientist. I am very below my older kids science abilities. Regardless to the 1000s of posts on the forum to the contrary, non-lab focused science has not impacted my children's success in science. (heresy, I know. LOL!!:lol:)

 

(FWIW, science STEM camps are where I would put my $$ for a child that is in love w/science. There they are around professionals that love the same topics they do and kids that are eating it up in the same way. Fabulous memories and encouragement for future scientists. But, it is unrealistic to maintain that level of experience on a daily basis. Well-rounded education means the drudgery takes its equal footing during the school yr. ;) I would also let her watch as many science documentaries as she wants. :001_smile: )

Edited by AimeeM
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FWIW, my kids at home lab experience is restricted to high school level courses. And, these labs were simple high school labs right out of the science text/lab manual. I am not a scientist. I am very below my older kids science abilities. Regardless to the 1000s of posts on the forum to the contrary, non-lab focused science has not impacted my children's success in science. (heresy, I know. LOL!!:lol:)

 

 

Thanks for posting this. We use some labs, but I try to choose judiciously. I often wonder if I'm missing something because I am not completely sold on many of the labs. I guess it depends on the child.

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I understand and I agree (and am grateful for the advice) - but she WANTS more... badly. I'm afraid that if I don't give it to her, she will certainly end up back in school by next year (and there's no debate on that; it's already a possibility, but this is certainly fueling the fire).

 

And you're right, I need to drop it. I feel like a failure right now because her one (and sole) area of interest is something I can't give her; it's making her want more, away from home. I don't want that for her.

 

I still don't understand this. What does she think she is going to get out of science at school that is not restricted to a science textbook and a few labs? (other than tests on vocabulary and a few simple concepts?) I don't think she has a realistic vision of what is going on in the classroom. The opportunity for engaging/interesting science is far more likely in a home environment than in a classroom.:confused:

 

I don't have a clue where you are located, but STEM camp opportunities for girls or co-ed are numerous and it might give her a sense of something to look forward to. Here are just a few I found in a quick search for biology camps for younger students.

 

http://www.stthomas.edu/engineering/outreach/steps/default.html

http://www.uncw.edu/marinequest/

http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=9599

 

Just search for availability in your area. Have her participate in a talent search and see if she qualifies for CTY/EPGY type camps/courses. http://cty.jhu.edu/programs/index.html

 

Is there a state/national park near you? You could see if a ranger would have any suggestions of local opportunities for nature observations/study (my kids have studied swamps, trees, animal tracks, pond life, etc).

 

But.....simply doing repeated labs is NOT what constitutes science if that what she expects.

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I understand and I agree (and am grateful for the advice) - but she WANTS more... badly. I'm afraid that if I don't give it to her, she will certainly end up back in school by next year (and there's no debate on that; it's already a possibility, but this is certainly fueling the fire).

 

And you're right, I need to drop it. I feel like a failure right now because her one (and sole) area of interest is something I can't give her; it's making her want more, away from home. I don't want that for her.

 

What is it that she wants from science? Can she articulate her desires?

 

My youngest daughter is very STEM-focused. Very! She would spend all her time building trebuchets or wandering the neighborhood with rock, tree and wildflower field guides or watching birds through the binoculars or looking through the telescope or programming the Lego Mindstorms robot or messing with bits of electronics or watching videos... The only part of science she doesn't enjoy is anything to do with non-botany biology :tongue_smilie:

 

We pulled dd from her (very good) Catholic school because of math and science. There was no way her needs and interests would have been accommodated. I looked at all the public, charter, parochial, and private schools in this area and no school fit her needs for lots of science and math------until high school!

 

I sure wasn't going to make her wait four years. By then she could have gotten the horrible erroneous message that "girls don't do science." I didn't pay attention to that message (my parents were both chemists) but my friends sure did!

 

Dd does a combination of textbook science and interest-led science for school. She is one of two girls on a neighborhood First Lego League team. She is on the Science Olympiad team for our homeschool group. Last year as a sixth grader she earned three medals at the state competition (Division B for 6th through 9th grades). She had the opportunity to attend a STEM/robotics camp at the university this summer, but the dates conflicted with her ballet intensive.

 

If you can find out from your dd just what she wants from science, we'd be glad to help you :001_smile:

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I understand and I agree (and am grateful for the advice) - but she WANTS more... badly. I'm afraid that if I don't give it to her, she will certainly end up back in school by next year... I feel like a failure right now because her one (and sole) area of interest is something I can't give her; it's making her want more, away from home. I don't want that for her.

 

 

Agreeing with 8FilltheHeart -- if this is really important to you to homeschool her, you CAN address her desire for "more" science.

 

DON'T wait until next year, start looking NOW! Lots of groups let you start NOW, a few weeks into their programs. And many programs don't start until September -- or in the spring! Google search, talk with local teachers and other homeschoolers and find summer science camps, school-year after school science clubs (check local schools, the library, or a teen community program), 4-H science group (link to find a group here), and science fairs to participate in.

 

Find a few female college-age STEM ladies who might be willing to meet with her, or let her "intern" with a project they are working on.

 

If schooling at home is the decision that you have made that is best for her, then do that, and get creative with the "more" part if you don't want to oversee that part yourself -- and simultaneously encourage DD to take ownership of her interest and learn how to do some self-education! The two of you can do this! :)

 

Be brave and start your own science club and get a couple of college STEM students to lead it the informational part and you do the organizational part! One or two of the links in my post above are to girl-STEM groups and tell you how to start your own! (As a woman of faith, I can tell you that if you ask the Lord, He WILL provide what you need -- even to helping YOU do it; you just have to be willing to ask AND to go where He leads. That's how I ended up leading a public speaking class for my DSs and other homeschoolers, and I am terrified of being in front of people; I was SO blessed by that class thru my willingness to trust the Lord's strength and leading!)

 

If she loves hands-on, enjoy doing more kits at home. Check out Home Science Tools for loads of materials.

 

Include some Prentice-Hall middle-school textbooks -- do them as read-alouds together to reduce the dyslexia stress AND gain the benefit of YOU learning more about science alongside her. Or, just go each week to your local library, check out books, and all week have her READ books from the children's non-fiction section, or together read books from the teen's non-fiction section. Have her write up her findings in a special science log or journal.

 

Do a little research and find some science websites for her to explore -- let her do her own research, reading, and make a report once a week (great practice at her own speed for reading and writing!!) For example: PBS Savage Earth (and LOADS of other PBS companion websites). Check out the Rader's science for kids sites (Chem4Kids, Physics4Kids Biology4Kids, Geography4Kids, Cosmos4Kids. Get some of the Janice VanCleave books from the library and plan to do some science fair projects at home to go with the research, if you can't find an organized science fair elsewhere to participate in. See her website for ideas.

 

Seek out science videos/programs (NOVA, Nature, Mythbusters, Planet Earth, Building Big series, Schlessinger Media educational videos...) free online from the library, purchase as streaming online, check out from Netflix, or purchase them. Do a search on this Board for more science video ideas. Also, check out these FREE educational science videos:

- Bright Storm

- Learner's TV

- Bozeman Biology

- Derek Owens Physics

- Chemistry, Physics with GPB Education

- Top Documentary Films (science category starts about half-way down the list)

- Khan Academy (and here is a video of a few samples of projects students have used with the Khan Academy videos)

 

 

You can do this! Just take a baby step out there: decide on one thing to start with. Move into it. If it's working, consider expanding it/adding to it; if it's not working then do a little thinking, praying, research and change to something else. Choose to make THIS year the best science year so far! You can do it! Wishing you the very best! Warmly, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Since your dd loves science, here is a list of terrific science books that was compiled by another mom here for her dd. My dd has enjoyed reading through the list.

 

That is a great list. We have read through many of the same books. I think you would enjoy reading these books along w/your dd.

 

Another source for books is http://www.nsta.org/publications/ostb/default.aspx?print=true (ETA: I hadn't been to this site in ages. I think their first pt on the main page is important for students like your dd that struggles with reading. These types of books help build literacy skills while learning science content. Most books like these and the other linked list are written in a FAR more interesting manner than textbooks and will help engage a struggling reader.)

 

I think Lori's suggestion of 4-H is a fabulous one! Lots of girls and science topics and typically found everywhere in the country.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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would encourage any STEM focused girls!

 

My now teen girls were very academically ahead scientifically, language arts wise when I placed them in public school thinking they would get more.....

 

HA! They got into boys and cheerleading and wearing provocative clothes more.

 

They are no longer STEM focused and started fluniking classes and these are my straight A kids through elementary school! What happened! PEER PRESSURE. SOCIAL CHANGES.

 

They have a better chance staying home and having you enrich them in other ways than sending them to school.

 

You get a bunch of middle school girls together with some boys in the classroom and it sucks the STEM out of them. It is a social thing. I heard there is this new saying in middle and high school right now called "being yellow" meaning you only live once and go ahead and do it cause you live once---"it" being all the things us moms/dads do not want our kids to be doing.

Tatoos, drinking, drugs, piercing, having multiple sex partners, whatever

 

At this point, I fear talking to my teen kids cause I just don;t want to hear/know anymore. It is totally disturbing.

 

 

Suggestions:

College educated science tutors

AIMS

Local science museums-volunteer there and participate in classes

Focus on her weaknesses as those will slow down the STEM focus as the years go on

Science videos/books, living books

BYU, not BJU--it has non sectarian subjects.

Science fair projects

Science Olympiad

4-H

Edited by happycc
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Just to add, while I am in the UK the school science teaching experience we had with my now 12 year old in school sound similar to what other OPs have said

 

My DD was in school until last year and she hated science and maths. Its just not a girly thing to do and as they become teens the pressure to confirm becomes even intense.

 

We managed to find a science curriculum that suited her and she has completely turned around at home. She lives and breaths chemistry and it by far her favorite subject, its really amazing what you can do at home. Have confidence in your capability. I only did general science in school and would call myself more arts-y as I studied Politics yet it looks like my daughter is now heading more in the STEM direction.

 

She is going to spend 3 weeks somewhere in Africa with street children and she asked if she could share her love of Chemistry with them. We have found some experiments that she will now go and demonstrate with them. I am explaining this to let you realize that you really can direct a STEM focused child at home. In fact I think there is a LOT more you can do at home. In the summer my daughter attended an intermediate Chemistry summer school at a University. That meant she had use of proper university standard labs if that is what you are worried about. Here in UK there are loads of science outreach programs. She has attended some one day events too as well as science museums. There are plenty of similar programs I have seen on here available in the States, I actually drool at the choice and more stuff you guys have.

 

 

I am skeptical about what schools can offer particularly in science (especially a bog standard average school) In my neck of woods VERY few girls do sciences and even so most of what they learn is dry and hands off due to health and safety regulations.

 

We started with http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com and that has suited both of us perfectly. It comes with teacher's guide which is easy to understand. Its free but you need money to buy the materials, reckon these materials may cost around $200.

Edited by munashe
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ETA: I have reread this post and I think I am standing on a very high horse. I will leave it be because I still think it might help you, but know my angst is not aimed directly at you or your daughter. I need to think where it is coming from....

 

I completely agree with previous posters that middle school science is NOT great. You are looking at easy textbooks, regurgitation tests, and perhaps 10 1-hour labs for the year. Unless you have a science magnet school or are very lucky and get a really good teacher, your dd will be disappointed.

 

It sounds like your dd wants what many kids think of as science -- those wizz bang science labs and the excitement of playing with beakers and chemicals and stuff. Or the cool physics demonstrations where the professor stands on the desk or pulls out the fancy equipment. This is not science, this is just a magic show. And of course kids would love to go to a magic show every day. I would. Science is hard work, and I think that your daughter needs to be more self driven and show passion to work hard at science rather than looking to be entertained. (this might be totally off the mark, but read on)

 

What I think you need to do is have a long talk with your daughter about her responsibilities versus yours. Be clear that school will not offer her much in middle school, but that you can tailor a program to her interests with some guidance from her.

 

Her responsibilities:

1) she needs to decide what she wants to study (or you can do this together)

2) she needs to read the books that you find

3) she needs to do the labs independently, and be persistent if there are difficulties because you won't be able to hand her the answer.

4) She needs to ask questions and find answers -- this is what scientists do.

 

Your responsibilities

Once the two of you have settled on a topic for the year,

1) you need to find the resources: good books and good documentaries

2) you need to organize 8 field trips (1 per month) in science. These can range from going to the science museum to going to a pond and capturing tadpoles. Make sure she knows when they are coming up so she can study up, plan what to bring, and get excited.

3) you need to find or create a social outlet for her. A club, a summer camp, an internship, something.

4) you need to find hands on lab kits for her. If she is interested in biology, get her some dissection kits. If she is interested in chemistry, buy her a chemistry set. If she is interested in electronics, get her a electronic kit and then some old electronics to pull apart.

 

If you can promise her to provide the above resources and she can promise you to use them independently, then she will have a wonderful science experience.

 

But I think that *you* need to believe that *you* can do this. You need to put in the time to find and organize the resources. You do not need to teach her. She needs to understand that science is not about being entertained. Science is about asking questions and finding answers. Tell her to go outside everyday and ask a question. Why do the birds sit on that wire but not the other one? Why do the same species of tree get leaves at different times in the spring? She needs to be curious. She also needs to struggle to find answers - whether it is through experimentation or by looking things up on the internet. You do NOT need to answer these questions for her - she needs to find the answers.

 

TALK to her about her expectations AND her responsibilities. Design a course of study for her to follow. Lay it all out and explain the differences between what she can do at home vs what she will be given at school. Tell her you will facilitate her learning, but she is old enough to do the rest. You need to be clear and confident in your role, so that she can take responsibility for her education.

 

HTH,

 

Ruth in NZ

Edited by lewelma
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But I think that *you* need to believe that *you* can do this. You need to put in the time to find and organize the resources. You do not need to teach her. Science is about asking questions and finding answers.

 

Totally agree and if you find the right curriculum she will just see the results herself and there is very little need for you to explain anything. The curriculum we have used is inquiry based meaning they learn through hands-on inquiry-based activities.

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What do you do when your child outgrows you in an academic area and you have nowhere to outsource said subject to?

 

Autumn is very... STEM focused. I'm not able to teach science beyond this year, really. She *needs* a full lab and a teacher who can answer her questions and teach her how to learn the answers herself. My husband works far too much to be of much help in this.

 

There is a local classical academy that allows partial enrollment for homeschooled students, but it's affiliated with Bob Jones university (also here)... uses teachers from there and their books/they are, therefore, creation based science... and we aren't comfortable using them. Other than that, we have nothing really.

 

I know there's a simple answer to this, but I can't seem to find it right now.

I outsource science labs to tutors and classes for dd9. Science Fusion middle school modules are perfect for dd currently. We read a lot of science and watch docs.

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AimeeM,

 

You have posted numerous panic threads about science. Regentrude (she is a physics professor w/advanced children) and I have both tried to offer you low-stress options to reduce your sense of "not being able to do this." At 11 yrs old, what you do for science is a simple a choice. What an 11 yr old does for science isn't going to impact their ability to study science in the long-term. Science at that age is not sequential. They do not have to study this subject before that subject. They do not have to cover xyz before they can open textbook abc. That is reality. The only pre-reqs you have to worry about are math for chemistry and physics, and it is helpful (dependning on the text) to have chemistry before biology........but this is not until the high school level.

 

This is a time for your child relax and simply enjoy *something* about science. It not a time for thinking that what they are learning is going to make or break science in the future.

 

I have a 16 yr old dyslexic advanced math student who didn't even learn to read on grade level until probably late 4th grade. In 5th grade, any science he did was completely minimal b/c in 5th grade I had to focus on reading and writing b/c his writing skills were so far behind from focusing on reading skills. In 6th grade, he did ***whatever*** for science. I simply have no idea b/c science was simply reading from whatever books he wanted on science topics.........and trust me, b/c of his reading issues, these were not complicated science books. His reading energies in 6th grade were focused on trying to keep up w/his older sister in LL fLOTR. I wanted to stretch his reading skills with difficult books he really, really wanted to read b/c reading skills were/are far more important to his future than anything he did/could have done for middle school science. For a struggling w/reading/language arts student, regardless of their future plans, those skills should have top priority. If reading books on biology and anatomy are something she would enjoy, use those. There is no right answer. The only wrong answers are to not cover any science at all and to not work diligently on her reading/writing.

 

As hard as it may be to accept that hard-core science-focused education is not necessary in middle school for future scientists.......

 

My oldest never used a science textbook until 8th grade= now a successful chemical engineer.

 

11th grader= never used a science textbook until 8th grade. From 8th grade up, he has taken alg physics, chemistry, AP chemistry, astronomy 1 and astronomy 2 (both of these using the same textbooks as Berkley's astronomy dept), is currently taking cal physics at a university as well as completing an independent study on dark matter. (at the end of 11th grade he will have 8 science credits, 3 earning a total of 17 college credit hrs (8 for AP chem's 5 score, 5 for university physics 1, and next semester 4 for university physics 2) (this is my dyslexic advanced math student......he is also taking multivariable cal the university.)

 

FWIW, my kids at home lab experience is restricted to high school level courses. And, these labs were simple high school labs right out of the science text/lab manual. I am not a scientist. I am very below my older kids science abilities. Regardless to the 1000s of posts on the forum to the contrary, non-lab focused science has not impacted my children's success in science. (heresy, I know. LOL!!:lol:)

 

(FWIW, science STEM camps are where I would put my $$ for a child that is in love w/science. There they are around professionals that love the same topics they do and kids that are eating it up in the same way. Fabulous memories and encouragement for future scientists. But, it is unrealistic to maintain that level of experience on a daily basis. Well-rounded education means the drudgery takes its equal footing during the school yr. ;) I would also let her watch as many science documentaries as she wants. :001_smile: )

 

:001_wub: I wish I could hug you irl, 8! I have been spending way too much time looking at the science books and curriculum I used with Ds that I NEVER got around to using with Dd (who is 10). I even started making a plan for how to go through them quickly before starting her in the biology course I have planned for her. She's doing biology so I can let her sit in on Ds's labs.

 

I so needed to read what you posted. I already knew it, and it's ridiculous that I can't just get it through my thick head that Dd doesn't need to 'catch up'. It certainly helps when someone else says it. Thanks!

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So I ordered the following for her (based on her interests and a few things her dad wants to do with her when he has the time):

 

The Way Things Work

LOF Physics

George and the Big Bang (if she likes this book, we'll continue with the series?)

a couple TOPS units

the Horrible Science books

and she has a Snap Circuit set

 

... just for her to do as she wants and give her more independence with it all, does this sound like a good list? I have Behold and See 6 on the back burner if she proves to need more structure with it.

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ETA: I have reread this post and I think I am standing on a very high horse. I will leave it be because I still think it might help you, but know my angst is not aimed directly at you or your daughter. I need to think where it is coming from....

 

I completely agree with previous posters that middle school science is NOT great. You are looking at easy textbooks, regurgitation tests, and perhaps 10 1-hour labs for the year. Unless you have a science magnet school or are very lucky and get a really good teacher, your dd will be disappointed.

 

It sounds like your dd wants what many kids think of as science -- those wizz bang science labs and the excitement of playing with beakers and chemicals and stuff. Or the cool physics demonstrations where the professor stands on the desk or pulls out the fancy equipment. This is not science, this is just a magic show. And of course kids would love to go to a magic show every day. I would. Science is hard work, and I think that your daughter needs to be more self driven and show passion to work hard at science rather than looking to be entertained. (this might be totally off the mark, but read on)

 

What I think you need to do is have a long talk with your daughter about her responsibilities versus yours. Be clear that school will not offer her much in middle school, but that you can tailor a program to her interests with some guidance from her.

 

Her responsibilities:

1) she needs to decide what she wants to study (or you can do this together)

2) she needs to read the books that you find

3) she needs to do the labs independently, and be persistent if there are difficulties because you won't be able to hand her the answer.

4) She needs to ask questions and find answers -- this is what scientists do.

 

Your responsibilities

Once the two of you have settled on a topic for the year,

1) you need to find the resources: good books and good documentaries

2) you need to organize 8 field trips (1 per month) in science. These can range from going to the science museum to going to a pond and capturing tadpoles. Make sure she knows when they are coming up so she can study up, plan what to bring, and get excited.

3) you need to find or create a social outlet for her. A club, a summer camp, an internship, something.

4) you need to find hands on lab kits for her. If she is interested in biology, get her some dissection kits. If she is interested in chemistry, buy her a chemistry set. If she is interested in electronics, get her a electronic kit and then some old electronics to pull apart.

 

If you can promise her to provide the above resources and she can promise you to use them independently, then she will have a wonderful science experience.

 

But I think that *you* need to believe that *you* can do this. You need to put in the time to find and organize the resources. You do not need to teach her. She needs to understand that science is not about being entertained. Science is about asking questions and finding answers. Tell her to go outside everyday and ask a question. Why do the birds sit on that wire but not the other one? Why do the same species of tree get leaves at different times in the spring? She needs to be curious. She also needs to struggle to find answers - whether it is through experimentation or by looking things up on the internet. You do NOT need to answer these questions for her - she needs to find the answers.

 

TALK to her about her expectations AND her responsibilities. Design a course of study for her to follow. Lay it all out and explain the differences between what she can do at home vs what she will be given at school. Tell her you will facilitate her learning, but she is old enough to do the rest. You need to be clear and confident in your role, so that she can take responsibility for her education.

 

HTH,

 

Ruth in NZ

 

My answer was to work hard myself to ensure that my child did not outgrow me completely.

 

I agree with both of these. First of all, if this is her interest, it is not your job to teach it all. She needs to learn to self-educate. It is simply your job to find materials for her.

 

And second, I am finding that as my kids get older, my job is to self-educate as well. I don't have to learn everything in order to teach them, but I don't think they get as much out of their studies if they don't have someone (me) to discuss it with.

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So I ordered the following for her (based on her interests and a few things her dad wants to do with her when he has the time):

 

The Way Things Work

LOF Physics

George and the Big Bang (if she likes this book, we'll continue with the series?)

a couple TOPS units

the Horrible Science books

and she has a Snap Circuit set

 

... just for her to do as she wants and give her more independence with it all, does this sound like a good list? I have Behold and See 6 on the back burner if she proves to need more structure with it.

 

That looks like a fabulous list. When I woke up dd9 this morning for her online class I saw a pile of LOF books next to her (Geo, adv alg, alg). Dd8 fell asleep reading Beast. Books are an excellent resource for independent study. Videos also. My girls don't watch tv so they think it's a real treat to watch NOVA or Brian Greene on the iPad in bed. STEM is part of our everyday lives here. It feels natural -- not contrived or forced.

 

This year I am outsourcing many of their classes for a variety of reasons. Whether they learn from me or an outside teacher, each day my girls learn a lot about their world. Every day they make progress and enjoy the journey. I don't need to be right there with them in the process. What dd is learning in her online classes are so far beyond what I could offer. I am watching dd do her class with Rachna right now. She is in heaven. Asking questions. Graphing velocity word problems. A bit of science. A lot of math. I love it!

 

Outsourcing is fine. Using materials that are computer-based are fine. I haven't done bio or chem since 1990. I'm not about to 'teach' that content nor am I called to.

 

I am not homeschooling because I want my dc educated at home by me as their sole teacher. I am not a teacher. I am homeschooling because I have the freedom and flexibility to find the BEST resources for my dc for their age/stage. Some of it is at home. Some is outsourced. Some is online. Some is in our basement school room. My girls LOVE it. The way I do it isn't cheap. I consider myself an administrator of a private school. I plan & hire whom I choose. This hybrid method has worked beautifully. We are able to learn at our own pace, travel, experience the world (locally & beyond), with ample time for sports, music, art.

 

I admire the parents who are willing & able to do it all. Each family has a unique calling. You need to find out what you are called to do. You have received advice from some who do it all at home with mom or dad as the teacher. You have received advice from those who outsource. Only you can decided what is best for your family.

 

Don't compare. It's a trap. Be inspired by parent-teachers here but don't try and replicate what they do at your house. My favorite posters here over the years have inspired me to create the homeschool that is uniquely suited to my family. For that I am thankful. :)

 

 

And second, I am finding that as my kids get older, my job is to self-educate as well. I don't have to learn everything in order to teach them, but I don't think they get as much out of their studies if they don't have someone (me) to discuss it with.

I spend hours each week self-educating because I enjoy it and have the time. God is good. :)

Edited by Beth in SW WA
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:001_wub: I wish I could hug you irl, 8! I have been spending way too much time looking at the science books and curriculum I used with Ds that I NEVER got around to using with Dd (who is 10). I even started making a plan for how to go through them quickly before starting her in the biology course I have planned for her. She's doing biology so I can let her sit in on Ds's labs.

 

I so needed to read what you posted. I already knew it, and it's ridiculous that I can't just get it through my thick head that Dd doesn't need to 'catch up'. It certainly helps when someone else says it. Thanks!

 

What 8 wrote is what I witnessed with a family member who didn't do much lab work during middle school, actually none, but read a lot, tinkered with gadgets, and took apart all sorts of things. He has a PhD now and is well-known in his field. Also, apparently Asimov's books inspired him.

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