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Physics lectures by the Great Courses. Which do you prefer?


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Physics and Our Universe: How it All Works

 

Classical Physics Parts 1&2

 

Physics in your Life

 

My 9th grader - algebra and geometry under his belt - wants some lectures to watch, and I checked my stash and do not have any. Oceanography, Chemistry, Astronomy, biology,  algebra - calculus, tons of history and the arts, and Literature. No physics - I had some years ago on VHS for dd and they are worn out. I'm not even sure our VHS player still works anyway. He could handle some trig concepts though he hasn't had algebra 2 yet because dh and I would assist him (he's extremely solid in his basic algebra skills) or his older brother who is in the middle of trig/pre-calc and thriving on math. We have Conceptual Physics by Hewitt. I've never done physics this early in high school, but it is where his passion is so we would probably follow this after he has completed pre-calc with a more robust course. I think I would list it on his transcript as Physics and Advanced Physics since I'm not certain if he will sit the AP physics exam or not. He may end up taking the SAT II physics because a couple of colleges he is interested in want a SAT II math and science from homeschoolers. He might do both. I don't know right now.

 

Which course do you like best and why?

 

Thanks!

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I would start with the Hewitt book (since you have it) and supplement it with videos for 9th grade (Kahn Academy etc) - I would call this course "Conceptual Physics".  This is the course title a charter school in my neck of the woods calls its 9th grade Physics class. 

 

I would call the next course "Honors Physics"  and have the appropriate amount of advanced material in it.

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No need to purchase videos when there are such great ones online for free:

 

Walter Lewin's MIT OCW mechanics and electricity & magnetism (plus a few more topics) videos

 

Annenberg Learning's The Mechanical Universe series (out of Caltech)

 

Be aware that AP Physics B is discontinued as of 2014-15 academic year & is being replaced with two separate algebra based physics courses & exams called Physics 1 and 2. There will be a definite lack of review materials for the first year, so you might want to wait.

 

SAT 2 physics has broad coverage of all topics, so if that's his goal, you'd probably be best served with a book like Giancoli or Knight instead of Conceptual Physics.

 

I personally think that two years of algebra based physics would be boring & redundant. Instead, do algebra based physics next year and then wait and do calculus based physics later on.

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The Great Ideas of Classical Physics series uses the Hewitt book, so it would go really nicely with the textbook that you already have.  I haven't seen the other two.

 

In addition to the online courses Kathy mentioned, Coursera has a few good ones:  The How Things Work course by Lou Bloomfield is awesome, though it just covers mechanics.  There is a new course coming up this fall that I really like the looks of:

 

https://www.coursera.org/course/particles2planets

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Physics and Our Universe: How it All Works

 

Classical Physics Parts 1&2

 

Physics in your Life

 

My 9th grader - algebra and geometry under his belt - wants some lectures to watch, and I checked my stash and do not have any. Oceanography, Chemistry, Astronomy, biology,  algebra - calculus, tons of history and the arts, and Literature. No physics - I had some years ago on VHS for dd and they are worn out. I'm not even sure our VHS player still works anyway. He could handle some trig concepts though he hasn't had algebra 2 yet because dh and I would assist him (he's extremely solid in his basic algebra skills) or his older brother who is in the middle of trig/pre-calc and thriving on math. We have Conceptual Physics by Hewitt. I've never done physics this early in high school, but it is where his passion is so we would probably follow this after he has completed pre-calc with a more robust course. I think I would list it on his transcript as Physics and Advanced Physics since I'm not certain if he will sit the AP physics exam or not. He may end up taking the SAT II physics because a couple of colleges he is interested in want a SAT II math and science from homeschoolers. He might do both. I don't know right now.

 

Which course do you like best and why?

 

Thanks!

 

Faith,

 

You are looking at your Memorial Day Great Courses discounts, aren't you? :D

 

 

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