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Science for non-sciency child?


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I'm scheduling my daughter's 8th grade year and I'm struggling. We've been a little more relaxed and last year we spent a lot of time trying to help her to understand math. I've decided the best option for her at this point us to go with TT Algebra 1. We've always used CLE and so this is a pretty big change from such a rigorous program.

 

With that being said, we never even got to Science last year. She dislikes Science. My plan was to have her do Apologia, but she read part of the book and was bored to tears. I was going to out her in an outside class for labs because this mom is not sciency either and I could use a bit of a break this year.

 

I have explained to her that she does need Science and doesn't have much of a choice. She will be in high school next year and needs to prepare to work towards her high school credits. Of course, she will never go after a career that is math or science related. She wants to be a make up artist. Shes more of the creative type.

 

If it were up to her, she would just read lots of literature related to Science, but I don't even know how to go about doing something like that and wish there was a curriculum like that.

 

Does anyone else have a girl that is very non sciency? What curriculum have you had success with? I really want something that I can continue through high school. Possibly even start working on a high school credit this year and do it over two years. My other thought was to attempt Apologia Physical Science and just take our time with it using it as a high school credit.

 

Her best homeschool year was when she used HOD. She was happier than she's ever been, relaxed, and content. I am just not really familiar with using HOD throughout high-school and have read mixed reviews.

 

Thoughts?

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like she doesn't inherently dislike science, she just dislikes science textbooks? You could definitely just study science with living books prior to high school. I think she'll have to deal with the more math-heavy aspects of chemistry or lab-heavy aspects of biology in h.s. but this might be a good time to break down her prejudice against science.

 

Here's a good list of science living books. And another list.

 

Audible has science themed Great Courses that she could listen to.

 

You could do nature study with her using really beautiful books like Nature Anatomy and Animalium (a companion plant book called Botanicum is due out in September).

 

I really like A Really Short History of Everything, The Magic of Reality, and The New Way Things Work.

 

For fiction, she might enjoy Calpurnia Tate, My Side of the Mountain, and A Natural History of Dragons.

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I don't know that I would push a non-sciency girl into doing high school science during middle school. I understand the appeal of stretching out a science credit over 2 years from the perspective of pacing, but that might backfire if your daughter feels like the course is going on f.o.r.e.v.e.r. with no end in sight. I think high school science may feel more manageable if she knows she only has to do 9 months of Bio in 9th followed by 9 months of Chem in 10th before being able to do a more fun, creative credit in 11th. And I would want to let her enjoy the low-pressure environment of middle school for 1 more year before pushing her into textbooks and formal experiments.

 

There are several things that my science-hating daughter enjoyed. One was the Story of Science series. I think it felt more like a fun sequential history book for her, but there is a lot of physical science tucked in there, particularly in the last book (Einstein). It has also helped to use interesting, real books instead of textbooks. She particularly like The Way Life Works, an illustrated book on biology, and The Elements, a photo book of each of the elements in the periodic table. She has also really enjoyed grownup-type science coloring books. She has colored the DK Human Body Coloring Book, The Marine Biology Coloring Book, and a couple others. The have felt more fun and creative to her, but she has actually learned a lot of science facts along the way. She also enjoys science documentaries, and I've worked those in where I can.

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What about a history of science course instead? That would expose her to lots of the big ideas and scientists through the ages, and it won't feel like a science textbook. Hakim wrote a Story of Science trilogy of books that's in chronological order. My rising 8th grader will use them with lots of extra books scheduled in Build Your Library's 8th grade history of science course, but he is all science all the time. For yours you could just work through the Hakim books, maybe adding some library books for particular topics.

 

Science Matters by Hazen/Trefil would be a good one for you two to read through together. It's a short paperback.

 

I also wouldn't spread Physical across two years. My science = kryptonite kid crashed and burned with Apologia biology in ninth, and it did end up taking us two years to get him through a decent amount of biology. By the end of it we were both sick of it and it certainly didn't help him appreciate science any better. He did better with off the beaten track science courses instead, like earth/astronomy, forensics, and such. (There was no way I was ever going to get that boy through the traditional bio/chem/physics.)

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I have always loved HOD middle school science!  We used CtC, and it was one of our favorite science years.  We don't use HOD anymore, but I have followed their pattern for science and created my own for a few years.

 

For 7th grade last year dd did: Rainbow Science, just the physics portion of the book and added Eureka videos for the first half of the year.  The second half was The Story of Inventions, Tiner's Exploring the World of Chemistry and a chemistry set.  She basically just read and summarized or took notes.  answered the questions in the Tiner book.

 

For 8th grade we have scheduled: Signs and Seasons, The Mystery of the Periodic Table, The Elements flashcards, and periodic table worksheets from The Five J's. I'm not sure of what all the output will be yet. Hoping to find some good astronomy videos.

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If you're secular, she might like doing BYL's evolution study, which uses Calpurnia Tate.

 

Really, there are a ton of nature themed literature books out there that lend themselves to a year of reading and science. Things like...

 

Owls in the Family

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Chasing Redbird

My Side of the Mountain

Julie of the Wolves

Gone-Away Lake

Operation Redwood

 

And she could read real nature study books to go with it. Maybe even classic things like Silent Spring.

 

There's also the George's Secret Key books. And there's the Quark Chronicles books.

 

And you could just make a giant pile of good nonfiction books. Lots of people have their middle schoolers read adult pop science books like The Disappearing Spoon. Oh, and Groovy Kids has a chemistry class for kids around that book that she might think is fun and it would take it off your plate for a semester.

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What about a history of science course instead? That would expose her to lots of the big ideas and scientists through the ages, and it won't feel like a science textbook. Hakim wrote a Story of Science trilogy of books that's in chronological order. My rising 8th grader will use them with lots of extra books scheduled in Build Your Library's 8th grade history of science course, but he is all science all the time. For yours you could just work through the Hakim books, maybe adding some library books for particular topics.

 

Science Matters by Hazen/Trefil would be a good one for you two to read through together. It's a short paperback.

 

I also wouldn't spread Physical across two years. My science = kryptonite kid crashed and burned with Apologia biology in ninth, and it did end up taking us two years to get him through a decent amount of biology. By the end of it we were both sick of it and it certainly didn't help him appreciate science any better. He did better with off the beaten track science courses instead, like earth/astronomy, forensics, and such. (There was no way I was ever going to get that boy through the traditional bio/chem/physics.

I'm looking at these now. Thank you for the suggestions. She now says she would like to do the Apologia General Science to "warm up" for having to use textbooks throughout high school. I don't want her to feel like she has to do that though if I can find a way around textbooks for Science. I don't want her to hate Science. I want her to learn to enjoy the subjects she has to learn over the next four years so high school isn't a miserable experience. I mean that's one of the reasons we homeschool, right? :)

 

 I am going to miss reading real literature for every subject. I guess I'm just nervous because high school is right around the corner. I have graduated one daughter already, but it's been years. She was originally not college bound, but ended up in college so I know that once again, I must be prepared for a changed mind even though I'm being told Culinary School, makeup artistry, or cosmetology. 

 

I also have a 7th grade son who is very Sciency. My plan was to keep them together originally which is why I was thinking Apologia. He wants to do Apologia, but last year was a nightmare for us so I'm trying to make life easier on me a bit so I don't go into extreme burnout after 15 years of homeschooling. I'm almost there. :(

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I have always loved HOD middle school science!  We used CtC, and it was one of our favorite science years.  We don't use HOD anymore, but I have followed their pattern for science and created my own for a few years.

 

For 7th grade last year dd did: Rainbow Science, just the physics portion of the book and added Eureka videos for the first half of the year.  The second half was The Story of Inventions, Tiner's Exploring the World of Chemistry and a chemistry set.  She basically just read and summarized or took notes.  answered the questions in the Tiner book.

 

For 8th grade we have scheduled: Signs and Seasons, The Mystery of the Periodic Table, The Elements flashcards, and periodic table worksheets from The Five J's. I'm not sure of what all the output will be yet. Hoping to find some good astronomy videos.

 

 

This is exactly what I'd love to do, but then where do you go for High School? Do you immediately just switch to a textbook? That would be awfully overwhelming I would think. We did CtC too. That was the most amazing year. That was 6th grade. She talks about it often. But, I also had both of my boys in public school at the time who are both home now again. We had a lot of one on one time and it was just amazing how much she got from it. I think it would be different being done more independently. 

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This is exactly what I'd love to do, but then where do you go for High School? Do you immediately just switch to a textbook? That would be awfully overwhelming I would think. We did CtC too. That was the most amazing year. That was 6th grade. She talks about it often. But, I also had both of my boys in public school at the time who are both home now again. We had a lot of one on one time and it was just amazing how much she got from it. I think it would be different being done more independently.

Well, my plan for now is to finish Signs and Seasons combined with the physics portion of the PAC curriculum (recommended in HOD WG) and the Physics 101 videos for a year of "Physical Science"
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I used Conceptual Physical Science for one of our middle grade science years.  It covered physics, chemistry, and earth science in a nice way.  [Conceptual Integrated Science adds Biology as a topic.  We used an older edition of the Conceptual Physical Science book.]

 

With my older kids, I did Science 101: Ocean Science along with the requirements for the boy scout Oceanography merit badge*.  They also did the JetStream online weather school for Meteorology that year.  

 

*Even though only registered boy scouts can earn the merit badge patches, I think the requirements can often be a good starting point for a unit study or coming up with some outputs that are on an introductory level.  MeritBadge.org has requirements, links to resources and even worksheets that can be used for some of the requirements.  There are a lot of science related badges, so you might be able to use them as a framework for a year's study.

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