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Best Science Curriculum for hs that prepares well for college?

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I'm researching now for next year so that I at least have options to give to my boys. I don't mind if the text is secular or Christian. I would however like both sides of the debate to be presented if applicable. I want my boys to articulate what they believe and know why. In the end it's their decision to make.


I think we'll start Biology in 9th grade? Both boys will also be doing algebra I next year as well, if that makes a difference.


In your opinions in what order should the courses be taken?

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I would not say that there is necessarily a best, but there are ones that are best for certain students. For us, my oldest is in public school (a sophomore this year) and our second is homeschooled and a freshman. I looked over my oldest son's textbook to see what was covered and also checked out the state's education website to see what is recommended to cover in highschool science. My oldest wants to attend the School of Mines in either South Dakota or Colorado, so we checked the school websites to see what they want from potential students. For now, we have decided to follow the pattern that my oldest is doing:


9th- Physical Science with some smaller labs where you learn observation and notetaking. Our many textbook is Apologia Physical Science but we are also doing labs and units from Discovery Education- mainly regarding elements and the Periodic Table.


10th- Biology with dissection labs as well as other labs, this will also include an intensive study on the human body. We have not yet decided on the curriculum, but will do so around the first of the year once we have evaluated how we like what we are doing and know what my oldest has been covering.


11th- Chemistry with many labs and observations, will really be working on lab reports and documentation. My oldest is intending to take an intense chemistry course and we will evaluate the curriculum we use then.


12th- Physics with many field observations, some labs, and lots of documentation. My oldests is planning on this as an AP class and we hope to follow that. In 12th, my oldest is also planning on Chemistry 2 but I do not know if our second one will want to do that, we will decide that in a couple of years.


Overall, the recommendation is 3 years of science with 2 of those years including labs and 1 of those years being either Chemistry or Physics. The curriculum you choose should depend on your child's learning style- visual, hands on, repetition, etc. There are several good ones out there but no matter how good one is, if your child does not like it, it will not be good for them.

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In your opinions in what order should the courses be taken?
I am strongly in favor of physics first, because chemistry is based on physics, and biology requires a good understanding of chemistry because of all the biochemistry involved. My kids start with an algebra/trig based physics course in 9th, chemistry in 10th, and biology and calc based physics in 11th and 12th in whatever order they prefer.

This won't work for you, since your students have not yet had algebra; there are conceptual physics courses out there which are a good alternative for a student with strong prealgebra skills.


I have found the best materials for high school science to be introductory college texts for non-majors. For biology, we like Concepts and Connections by Campbell. For algebra based physics, we use Knight, Jones and Field College Physics, and for chemistry Chang General Chem.

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our plan is


9th - Apologia biology w/labs and TT Algebra 1

summer - start TT Algebra 2 over the summer

10th - Apologia chemistry and complete TT algebra 2, then do TT geometry

11th - Apologia physics and TT pre calc

12th - Apologia advanced physics with an eye to doing the AP physics exam

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Totally secular, but i just opened up the chemistry textbook from the Singapore Math website, and i'm quite impressed. However, they dont have home-schooler friendly labs.


They also don't provide answers for the Chemistry program, so if you wish to do the workbook, you are stuck coming up with answers on your own.

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