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Our 13 yo is interested ultimately in science or engineering.  She is both exceptionally or profoundly gifted and ADHD, probably with a side of dysgraphia.  Her ADHD is only moderately well controlled with meds, so she will study if she is interested otherwise its very painful.  I'm looking for a suitable high school curriculum for science.  I promised her I would accelerate her to something more interesting than MIddle School Apologia when she gets a hang of science tests and lab reports.  Last year  we conquered the read and regurgitate test (at least mostly) but the lab reports were not done well.  So we're mostly focusing on labs for now.  However, its getting very very boring because we did physical science elementary and it seems like there's definitely some recycling of material.  We're looking for a science program that will be math heavier, light on writing (though with enough lab reports to stay fresh and develop scientific thinking), not mostly memorize and regurgitate, and probably not AP or community college because of the ADHD piece making her fairly immature.  I was thinking maybe Novare?  But open to suggestions.  

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  • 1 month later...

 

These obviously are not textbooks or programs, but my son who is now MIT did these two projects at the age of 11 and 12. Definitely not boring or full of memorizing. LOL

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Posted (edited)

What's your kiddos' math levels? What are they interested in studying? We basically did high school science in middle school using high school or college non-major materials but that was because dd had a high school friend for labs. Even so, we de-emphasized rote tests and focused on good lab skills and reports.

They had fun, although we might have done more unconventional science if not for the science friend (which she really needed at the time. They are still friends).

Edited by MamaSprout
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8 hours ago, MamaSprout said:

We basically did high school science in middle school using high school or college non-major materials 

That's pretty much what we did last year. He got about 1/3 of the way through Conceptual Integrated Science (about half of the physics portion and we skipped ahead to the back of the book where they cover astronomy), and I'm planning on continuing with that same book this year.  I think Chemistry will be a hit. He's reading a science fiction novel involving radioactive elements now and is loving it.

We didn't do any formal labs, though. He just explored with the demos that they illustrate in the book. I think I need to add lab reports and a long term project this year. His writing and planning skills both need a lot of work so I'm expecting some pushback from him. I'm trying to balance keeping it fun because he really loves this stuff and pushing him to be a little more rigorous than he would be on his own. Actually a lot more rigorous; if I let him decide, he would probably just watch hours and hours of youtube physics videos every day and do nothing else (and I would be sitting right next to him saying "wow, that's so cool" or "what? I didn't know that!" every five minutes or so - ha!)

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21 hours ago, MK2222 said:

That's pretty much what we did last year. He got about 1/3 of the way through Conceptual Integrated Science (about half of the physics portion and we skipped ahead to the back of the book where they cover astronomy), and I'm planning on continuing with that same book this year.  I think Chemistry will be a hit. He's reading a science fiction novel involving radioactive elements now and is loving it.

So... I wasn't going to post, but I guess I will. What is the goal of using this book? For a student who going to see material again later when they have the math chops to handle it, it could be a waste of time. Unless he really loves what you are doing, look at some of the less conventional sciences- geology, astronomy, environmental science... whatever. I mean, if he can handle the math in a regular high school chemistry course, then sure, go ahead and do it. It could get super boring though if he's going to see this again at the high school level and then at the college level.

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I personally don't see the need to spend a lot of time on lab reports until they are taking sciences that will be on their transcripts for their high school sciences.  We don't use textbooks until they are at that level as well.  The focus prior to high school science crs is exposure to concepts.  Mastering writing a good lab report can easily be done via a single course during high school.

We don't outsource much, but 2 science courses that are high quality and that I am glad my kids took are Derek Owens's honors physics and Clover Valley Chemistry (We have only used the honors course, but I would not recommend it for a younger student due to the workload.  I would recommend the regular course.  Connie is a fabulous teacher.)

I wouldn't recommend Apologia sciences for gifted students.  The books are incredibly dry and the focus is on knowledge level mastery (the regurgitation aspect referred to in the OP) vs application to unique concepts.

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Echoing what 8 said, dd really only needed one course to master the lab report thing. We did choose to do it then because her friend that she was working with was in high school and it just seemed natural at the time. After that class, we really only did 3-4 full lab reports a year, although we did continue to emphasize good lab practices. Dd did great in her first DE lab class.

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On 7/2/2021 at 10:58 AM, MamaSprout said:

So... I wasn't going to post, but I guess I will. What is the goal of using this book? For a student who going to see material again later when they have the math chops to handle it, it could be a waste of time. Unless he really loves what you are doing, look at some of the less conventional sciences- geology, astronomy, environmental science... whatever. I mean, if he can handle the math in a regular high school chemistry course, then sure, go ahead and do it. It could get super boring though if he's going to see this again at the high school level and then at the college level.

It covers a lot of different topics - ones that he hasn't learned about yet, but not in much depth and is very light on math. There are also videos that go with it, and he really likes that. We kind of just use it as a spine to get general background information, then he reads more or watches more videos. If we can get the materials, we test out the ideas that he's learned about, but nothing fancy. I'm not worried about him being bored in high school.

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There are more science topics out there than it is possible to cover.  If a student is bored or science topics are becoming repetitive,  then the issue isn't science topics but how science is being addressed.  There is zero need for a student to take a physical science course.  Every single high school science starts at an introductory level with zero assumption of prior knowledge.  Students do not have to study just chemistry, biology, and physics.  They can study geology, botany, astronomy, meteorology, marine science, oceanography, ecosystems, etc.

I have a ds who graduated from high school with 3 astronomy credits on top of his other sciences (he graduated with 11 science crs bc he also DE for upper level physics).  I have a dd who is an earth systems science major (meteorology) who took geology and meteorology in addition to her other sciences.  Another dd had a credit for an ecological biodiversity course.

Prior to high school credits, science is a wide open interest-driven subject.  Whatever topics they want to study, they do.  THey read, research, watch documentaries.  No labs.  No tests.  No worksheets.  When they have hit high school and college, they have all thrived.  3 of my kids have pursued science fields (chemE, physics, and meteorology).  My physics geek is gifted and was an accelerated student (he completed 5 physics major physic courses and 4 math courses beyond cal BC.  Enjoying the opportunity to explore science topics beyond the standard ps fare is the beauty of homeschooling.  It does not mean that they are not progressing or being prepared.  It means that schools don't have all the answers about how to study subjects.

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