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Science for 7th and 8th - options?


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What I know:

I don't want to use Apologia General and Physical Science

I don't want something history/biography heavy

I've never done these years well, IMO. 

Secular or Christian is fine

What is out there? 

 

Thanks,

Kendall 

 

 

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How hands on with the teaching do you want to be? Is there a particular subject you'd like to cover?

You can do something like ACS's Middle School Chemistry, which is great, but which requires you to do a lot of prep and teaching. Or you could all watch a Great Courses series together or read some books and call it done. 

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My oldest worked a little more than halfway through Apologia General. I was determined to try and complete it. I emailed with Apologia a few times for help before I finally gave up on making it work for us. It was not a good fit and ds was losing the love for science. 😞 He used ABeka video Earth Science for 8th and enjoyed Mr. Enders' class, but there were tons of quizzes and tests. Next time around I think I would like to try The Rainbow for middle school by Beginnings Publishing. I think the lab based science would be very engaging.

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My dd took a Groovy Kids class for 10 weeks in the fall, then I assigned a lot of narrative non-fiction related to her favorite tops over the winter, and now in the spring she is watching a zoology great course and taking notes on the guidebook (so notes on notes, but I wanted her to learn note-taking:)) 

We also have Ferret Ecology on hand for the last few weeks, and I have a BIozone workbook that she occasionally uses. 

For 8th though we are outsourcing her science, though I am thinking about having her do a course on Bird Behavior through the Cornell Ornithology website. It would just be an elective. 

This year I FELT like I wasn't doing well, but she has been learning a ton.  It feels scattered but their brains are pretty scattered anyway in middle, lol.  I think one full year of a science with textbook, workbook and tests wouldn't have worked for this kid. 

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We are using Novare for the first time this year, and it has been a big hit. It is a more traditional science curriculum. DD wanted a jump on high school credits so she is doing Introductory Physics.

We also have put together more interest-led sciences for middle school. Last year we did chemistry and food science using Ellen McHenry's Carbon Chemistry and a food science curriculum from 4-H called What's on Your Plate? That was super fun! Middle school is a great time for interest-led before you get into high school.

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Thanks for the suggestions so far. Several have been mentioned that I haven't looked at before. We've been just doing books and videos (101 series). Maybe they are learning enough and I shouldn't worry about it.  I am drowning in 3 high schoolers so unfortunately my two kids that are below high school can't get any more of my prep/teach time than they already have for grammar/math/Latin/Writing. 

 

 

 

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Dd used Science Shepherd's Life Science in 7th. Science is not her love, so we did it in a get-it-done way. She read and outlined. We discussed. She took the tests. 

Good intro before Bio for her since we have unschooled science through early years. The organized approach and learning to use a textbook were helpful. 

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My DD is doing Rainbow Science next year for 8th.  I'm going to have her do it all in one year, by working 5 days a week and doubling up on some of the readings.  

My DS is currently doing Exploration Education.   He absolutely LOVES it.  He is very engineering minded and can do it almost entirely on his own.  The only thing that is slightly frustrating for me is that the textbook is all online with no optional print book, so it can sometimes be hard to find information if he needs help with a test or quiz.  

Both of these programs come with EVERYTHING.  That is my requirement for science from now on!  

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My 8th grader is using Novare Earth Science.  We just started, so I can't give much feedback, but I like the layout of it.  No complaints about the readings.  The science experiments look do-able and interesting.   

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  • 1 year later...
On 3/30/2019 at 11:22 PM, wehave8 said:

I've struggled in this area in these grades, too.

For our last son, of 8 children, we are going with Master Books options.

Well Master Books was not for us.  We are doing BJU 6th for 7th grade and not liking it.  We just never found our love for science.  😞

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  • 3 weeks later...

My 7th grader is using Holt Physical Science and outlining the SWB way. It is going well. Next year she will do Holt Earth Science. The reading level is perfect for middle school and the photos, diagrams and conversational tone add a lot. We supplement with you tube  on each topic. There are a lot of experiment videos that are well done. 

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Following this ... for those who like Novare but may need a non-religious curriculum, many of the titles are available from Centripetal Press in non-religious formats.  The paper quality isn't as wonderful, because there isn't enough demand for the CP books to warrant the more-expensive materials, but the books are good quality and the content is at Novare's high standards. 

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  • 1 month later...

If he has any interest in Marine Biology,  the curriculum by The Good and the Beautiful is wonderful (and free in printable form...just scroll down), but it might not be enough for a whole semester.   I would supplement with "The Seaside Naturalist."  It has built in quizzes and explains things really well (the author is from The East Coast so it does have a focus on East Coast marine life, but regardless is excellent. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My 7th grader is doing Oak Meadow's 8th grade Physical Science.  I've been pleasantly surprised at how good it is!  Excellent overall coverage and the labs are very well designed for doing at home. (The lab book really shows that OM has been at this home education curriculum design thing for a while.)   My 10th grader is doing AP Physics and we've been struck by how much synchronicity there is between the two programs. Obviously AP Physics is at a considerably higher level but some weeks both boys have essentially done the same lab, just with DS15 doing more and more complicated calculations.

 

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For 7th grade next year, I just wrote this elsewhere:

'But, I"m putting together an agriculture-based class for my middle schooler next year.  It will have some hands-on work like soil pH testing, some labs like measuring and graphing number or timing of sprouting, some generalized learning - life cycle of different plants, basic botany, pollinators, insect and fungal pests and their treatment, and some hands-on planting and picking 

My current high schooler did a combo of Life of Fred Physics and Life of Fred Chemistry, combined with illustrated books like The Elements and science comic books, as a physical science class. 

If you're into workbooks, The Critical Thinking Company's Science Detective books are good.  I know they go through 5th/6th but I haven't looked to see if they go through 7th/8th.  

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