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I am planning for the next school year and (as usual) am stuck on science, sigh. We have been using R.E.A.L. science up to this point, grades 1-4, and it is ok I guess, nothing amazing but no serious issues with it either.

 

So, here are my wants/requirements, please someone, tell me what programs fits this description :001_smile:

 

- must be secular

- middle school level, about 5th-6th grade level for the coming year

- I would prefer a series that covers the entire middle school time frame to avoid jumping around between books

- textbook based is best for DD

- dd also prefers to work alone or with minimal parent involvement

- minimal preparation required

- you must be able to get it shipped to australia (you would not believe how many homeschool resources cannot be shipped here). If it is available as a pdf download even better.

- either inexpensive or non-consumable (or both!). I need something I can either use for all 4 kiddos as they get to that level or something cheap enough that I can just replace it each year as needed.

 

Please tell me there is this exact program out there just waiting for me to find it! TIA

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We've done well buying used on Amazon (Prime takes about 3-5 weeks to get here from the U.S. fwiw) the Holt Science and Technology books with Review worksheets. It covers Life, Earth and Space, and Physical Science (includes Chem chapters). An independent minded kid could definitely complete the chapter review and section review questions. The book could be re-used as well with younger kids too. :)

 

If you google Holt science and technology, there are websites with free worksheet links as well to get an idea of what it covers. You can also view the table of contents pages on Rainbow Resource. 

Edited by waa510
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Free Middle School Chemistry:

http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com/

 

CPO Science:

 

You can find presentation slides, graphic organizers, practice sheets,etc. Here:

http://www.cposcience.com/home/2/ForEducators/MiddleSchoolPhysicalScience/tabid/268/Default.aspx

 

Free pdf Textbook for Life Science:

http://www.nhusd.k12.ca.us/userfiles/file/CPOScience/LS%20student%20ebook.pdf

 

Free pdf Textbook for Earth Science:

http://www.nhusd.k12.ca.us/userfiles/file/CPOScience/ES%20student%20ebook.pdf

 

Free pdf Textbook for Physical Science:

http://www.nhusd.k12.ca.us/userfiles/file/CPOScience/PS%20student%20ebook.pdf

Edited by StillStanding
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My list looked a lot like yours (except we are in the U.S.) I never did land on one curriculum. There is a free South African program that was graphic novel based my DD read through. I might be linked above. If not I'll link it later.

 

We did CPO Earth (sometimes you can find a digital copy online that a school has loaded and put it on an iPad). We did not love this- but it worked. DD isn't really an earth science kid.

 

Derek Owens Physical Science (at that time it was a package).

 

Ellen McHenry stuff. Her free stuff and her programs. We did Botany and Elements and most of the free stuff. I own Cells, but haven't decided if we'll use it. We didn't do Life in fifth. Our sequence was

 

Galore Park Junior Science 3, TOPS and Elements

CPO Earth Science and McHenry Botany

Derek Owens Physical Science (requires strong PreAlgebra skills)

Next year- life science/ high school biology. Waiting to see how math falls out. I have a couple of options on the shelf.

 

I would also look at Galore Park- their middle grade stuff is now spread out into 3 books (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) intended for 2 years. If you did it over three, you could add Ellen McHenry, TOPs, etc. We liked the corn and beans and radishes TOPS, but not the others so much.

 

I have a Biozone Biology work text here might use as a first pass through biology.

Edited by elladarcy
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This has always been tough for me. I insist on secular science, but we're allergic to traditional textbooks for science.

 

For my current middle schooler, DD11, this year in 5th we did a year of Botany in a co-op class built around Ellen McHenry's book but with a lot more added in (fabulous teacher). Next year for 6th grade, she'll do Derek Owens' Physical Science concurrently with Algebra 1, and the following year (7th), we may do Clover Creek Physics, followed by WTMA Bio in 8th. That's the plan for now, however it is subject to change.

 

In your situation, I'd either use one of the good textbook series mentioned up thread or get the electronic downloads of Ellen McHenry stuff.

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We've done well buying used on Amazon (Prime takes about 3-5 weeks to get here from the U.S. fwiw) the Holt Science and Technology books with Review worksheets. It covers Life, Earth and Space, and Physical Science (includes Chem chapters). An independent minded kid could definitely complete the chapter review and section review questions. The book could be re-used as well with younger kids too. :)

 

If you google Holt science and technology, there are websites with free worksheet links as well to get an idea of what it covers. You can also view the table of contents pages on Rainbow Resource.

 

  

We don't use textbooks for middle school science, but I have heard good things about CK12 Physical Science.

I can speak to both these. Our middle school uses HST. I got used copies and studied along with Ds. The books have been written and vetted by an extensive number of authors, reviewers, etc, accurate, reliable. The content is suitable for middle school. Iirc, mathy concepts are in separate boxes, and the text talks you through the problems. The series is good for self study, with vocabulary lists, key concepts bolder, good headings, excellent charts and illustrations, end of chapter and end of section questions, multiple choice, short answer, long answer.... Well done, complete textbook. I love this series.

 

CK12 is very different. I admire the project of distributing free books. They are in a different category from free iBooks, which are designed to be read. CK12 are designed to be customizable by individual teachers. The books don't have the quality or quantity of study aids or illustrations of HST. They would not be my choice for a spine.

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We have just started using a secular middle school curriculum called Plethora. Its pretty new and based on the CK-12 textbooks (which are free).It's $50 for the year which gives you online access to a schedule, printables/worksheets, quizzes, experiment suggestions, book recs, video links, etc. So, it really expands on what are essentially just the basics in the CK12 book. We have found it straightforward and easy to use. My kids are really enjoying it. Finally. I can't even tell you how long I have been searching for a good, secular science program. They are going to be releasing a few more classes in the Spring....middle school life science and high school biology, I think. You can google plethora homeschool and it should come up:)

Edited by hsbaby
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I have used Glencoe science since I found the books on ebay super cheap.  It has a good online resource for quizzes, virtual labs and dissections, research projects and Brainpop videos.  Here is a link to the 7th-gradeprogram: http://glencoe.mheducation.com/sites/0078693896/index.html.  The online textbook requires a password, but the rest of the site is accessible.  I am sure you can other publisher sites like this with google as this program is a little dated.

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My Pals Are Here offers an international edition for 5th and 6th grades. The only consumable part is the workbook, but you could circumvent this by having your student use a notebook. These books are sold at Christianbook.com and Rainbow Resource.

Edited by sagira
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