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Special considerations for curriculum choices - advise needed

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I've been doing some research on jr and sr high science  and history curriculum and I'm realising that my needs are a little different from most normal families so typical reviews are less helpful to me.


Here's our situation. We're preparing to move overseas within the next couple of years probably to a remote, poor part of the world so we need a few good books and curriculum that doesn't require internet supplementation or other extras. We want to provide a quality education but we're not aiming for college. We just don't want to close that door completely. We have a large family so curriculum needs to cover our bases and be applicable to all comers with various interests (assuming none of my littles are special needs). I also value inexpensive options that get the job done.


So far I'm considering Conceptual Chemistry, Physics and Biology. I'm just not sure how well they would work without the internet supplementation. I really like the idea of covering science in a conceptual manner because then all my children, those that want to go further and those that don't can get a decent grasp on how the world works without getting bogged down in the math. Any of my children that are keen can do the course early and then do a regular math based course after that. What do you think? Would this work?


I'm also considering CLE for history because it lines up with our theology better than others.


We're committed to using MEP for math. It's just so transportable and excellent quality for the price.


For English we're using R&S probably through yr8 and WWS probably for all three years. I may add the Creative Writer next year. I don't know if I'll do anything beyond that. I'll cross that bridge when I get closer to that.


I should add that if we stay here longer then we're planning we don't have any regulations on us requiring anything specific.


Any thoughts or suggestions?

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If Christian is ok, you might consider Apologia Science using their full course CD's. I don't think they have them on all the new versions, but some used shopping can get you Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Everything you need on one little disc, no supplementing necessary. Being able to print the worksheets is nice, but even just looking at the questions onscreen and writing answers and solving problems on paper is enough.


History is flexible. Knowledge of history (or lack thereof) won't keep any student out of college, because it isn't on the ACT or SAT. CLE is fine if you like it. Choosing a textbook for each subject would also work. Take some digital books. There are many autobiographies and other quality older books that work as great history supplements available free for download.

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Publishers to check out:

History:Beautiful Feet Books (history and lit together), Notgrass history, Veritas Omnibus - you could pick and choose or do all....., Yesterday's Classics website

I also like Memoria Press for middle school history. Their guide for the D'aulaire Greek Myths is very good, as well as the Famous Men Series, their Geography books have been a blessing to my family too. We are doing Veritas Omnibus for High school history.


English/Grammar:  If R S does not work out.... English for the Thoughtful Child vol 1 and 2 have been great for us for beginning grammar and comp for grades 2 - 3. No workbook needed, May be done on paper. We then follow up with Robin Finley's Analytical Grammar. (The Jr level is good for elem, but the regular version is good for high school grammar) AG does require the workbooks. AG is the most clear grammar I have seen.


Solid Writing?  I love Sharon Watson's The Power in Your Hands and Jump In. Great teaching. You can just use paper! Also Robin Finley's Essay and Research Paper supplementary writing - as well as her Beyond the Book Report series.  If you like writing through imitation - check Memoria Press composition series


Yesterday's Classics website has a great deal on ebooks that would be an awesome supplement for multiple levels of history, literature, and science.


We like Apologia Science for high school. Though I may go for Dr. Wile's new book for Chemistry.  I also used Answers in Genesis for many years due to the multi level approach. I coupled the AIG with the reading list in the old Well Trained Mind Lists. Masters Books has very nice high school science about subjects like archeology, caves, geology, pre-med things... loads of sets. If I were in your position, it might be worth checking out. I also like Memoria Press science. They have nice study guides with clear teaching. We have enjoyed them.. 


Best Wishes as you gather ideas and prepare to start a new life. :)


 Here are some links:









https://www.veritaspress.com/   The reading levels on Veritas are a bit advanced for my family, so I check out the suggestions for younger levels for ideas. The catalog is worth having for ideas


One more book that has helped me is called Invitation to the Classics. It is a book with overviews to lots of classic literature books. It has helped me greatly over the years in choosing and teaching literature to my children.





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 I think your idea of using Conceptual Physics (and others like it) is a sound one.  Better be, because that's where I'm currently going with one of mine...


Another great book to help with general science knowledge:   Science Matters


For history:


Churchill's 4 vol. History of the English Speaking Peoples is a great read...


and so is Boorstin's The Creators and The Discoverers


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Rose M.


I have been thinking about your post initial question. You might get some more people involved in sharing if you ask about one subject at a time. If the subject is in the forum question title, it might be a help.


I was also thinking about you and history. If I were in your situation, maybe the Peace Hill Press High school version of Story of the World would give great narratives of history chronologically. My library has a few of these and I like them very much. If you had a Western Civ college textbook, you could use that as a spine. BJ Press has a World History on high school level that other people have used as a basic spine. I'm sure many publishers would have spine options.


For science, A few days ago, someone else posted a link to science plan for conceptual science for several levels - even high school. Guest Hollow. I was able to look at the individual titles and portions of the year plan without buying - just by digging deeper on the website. I have decisions to make about high school chemistry for next year (with in mind, my younger children will study the same general content at an age appropriate level.)  Since it is conceptual perspective, it might be worth checking out!



Lee Binz' website and newsletters have been a help to me in learning basics for high school level courses. She usually has free ebooks via Amazon a few days each month. These books are concise and, for me, have been a good springboard in making decisions. She even has books guiding parents how to put together a customized course. Her webinars have also been helpful to me.


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Conceptual Physics is a great choice.  My oldest really enjoyed that program.  It is not math heavy.

Science Shepherd is a solid biology program that includes anatomy and physiology.  It is a bit more bio-chem heavy IMHO than BJU

For chemistry, oldest used BJU and youngest used Zumdahl.  We did not need internet for either.


Apologia Science has 2 books per subject:  Biology, Adv. Biology, Chemistry, Adv. Chemistry, Physics, Adv Physics.  You don't need both books for a credit, but you might have a student that wants more.  Also, Biology doesn't cover A/P, that is Adv. Biology. 


Just a thought,  CLE is made up of units.  How well will they pack, travel, and keep through mulitple users? 


What are you thinking for physical science?

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