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Stella M
08-11-2010, 08:15 AM
Hi all,
I've just joined here :) I live and homeschool in Australia and one of my "issues" atm is trying to find a
good, secular homeschool science curriculum that's suitable for highschool ( I think you call it junior high in the US ? My eldest daughter is in 7th grade this year ). It seems like every time I get a recommendation and look it up, it turns out to be a heavily Christian resource. I haven't had this problem previously as we've just used lots of story type science plus books of experiments - now I'm looking for something a bit more put-together, kwim ?
Any suggestions would be super! Thanks so much.

Melissa ( who is yet to work out how to set a signature line! )

MamaB2C
08-11-2010, 10:34 AM
What have you used up until now? Do you have a specific goal for science in mind?

Marmalade
08-11-2010, 11:09 AM
I second the question-what are you looking for in a science curriculum besides being secular?

Science is one subject that we are heavily eclectic on-we don't follow a curriculum at all...we do science projects, read about animals/earth/space, nature walks, visits to the zoo, star gaze....you name it.

Teri
08-11-2010, 11:56 AM
You might try Real Science 4 Kids. http://www.gravitaspublications.com/

When you are looking for a science curriculum, my strategy is to look for the ones that meet "state and national standards". They can't delve into creationism and other Biblical stories if they meet the standards.

jennywilliams
08-11-2010, 12:01 PM
We're going to use CPO Life Science this year. CPO is real science that's secular. http://www.cpo.com/home/Home/tabid/119/Default.aspx It is intended for grades 6, 7, 8 kind of ages, though I'm using it for 4th. We haven't started using it yet, but I'm very pleased by what I see. You can get the books used on Amazon, which is where I got them. The "Focus On" books are almost the same, but are California's standards instead of national standards (I guess).

laundrycrisis
08-11-2010, 04:23 PM
You might try Real Science 4 Kids. http://www.gravitaspublications.com/
.

According to this table:

http://www.hsfreethinkers.com/curricula/sciences

Real Science isn't completely secular, but it looks like perhaps it's not overtly religious either.

allison
08-11-2010, 05:12 PM
We LOVE superchargedscience.com Not ONE religious iota so far...after 3 months of fairly heavy use :) Aurora is great. Seriously, I wish I could get the word out to more people.

Shoe
08-11-2010, 06:59 PM
Melissa ( who is yet to work out how to set a signature line! )

1. Top right of the page...click on "Settings"
2. Far left of the page...go down to "Edit Signature" (in the My Settings section, below Edit Avatar)
3. Add your desired signature in the box, and modify it, if you wish, using the various buttons and modifiers on that page.
4. a. Press "Preview Signature" to ensure that it is right.
4. b. If you like it, press "Save Signature"
5. You're done.

Kylie
08-12-2010, 12:33 AM
According to this table:

http://www.hsfreethinkers.com/curricula/sciences

Real Science isn't completely secular, but it looks like perhaps it's not overtly religious either.

From my reading reviews at amazon the author is a christian, whilst it is basicaly a secular program I believe some things are simply left out, like DNA....but this is just from me reading amazon reviews. I would recommend you look more closely for yourself as opposed to taking my word for it though hehehe ;-)

Stella M
08-12-2010, 01:28 AM
Thanks everyone for these ideas, I'll check them out.

What am I looking for in a curriculum ? Hmmm..dd isn't passionate about science ( and neither am I! ) so what I want is something that will guide her towards a level of scientific literacy that will let her understand the world and the issues around her at a general level. High interest but at a general level.

Actually, thinking about that makes me think that maybe we should be looking for science books written for the general reader and work our way through those ? Any suggestions ?

Thanks.

Melissa.

MamaB2C
08-12-2010, 11:47 AM
What am I looking for in a curriculum ? Hmmm..dd isn't passionate about science ( and neither am I! ) so what I want is something that will guide her towards a level of scientific literacy that will let her understand the world and the issues around her at a general level. High interest but at a general level.

Science is a passion of mine, and I am using Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (http://www.amazon.com/Building-Foundations-Scientific-Understanding-Curriculum/dp/1432706101/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281624396&sr=8-1). It's written for k-2, but the concepts are general enough that anyone of any age can use them and learn from them. (I am learning from it myself!) The author does have a higher level version coming out if you can wait a bit, but really I am so in love with this book I can't express it.

I chose it because my goal was for DS to be a critical thinker: I want him to understand scientific inquiry, and scientific methodology, to have a concept of how the Universe works, and how to use that knowledge to solve problems and find answers. BFSU fits the bill for me.

laundrycrisis
08-12-2010, 07:36 PM
Science is a passion of mine, and I am using Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (http://www.amazon.com/Building-Foundations-Scientific-Understanding-Curriculum/dp/1432706101/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281624396&sr=8-1). It's written for k-2, but the concepts are general enough that anyone of any age can use them and learn from them.

I am also using this. I'm using it as an outline and starting point for each topic and building each topic up with other books and activities. Used this way, I agree it can work way beyond K-2. I think it will take us through several years of science. I can't wait for the second book to come out. I wish my own science education had been this well organized. A lot of the information in the book is stuff I was not well exposed to until college !

Stella M
08-13-2010, 04:03 AM
OK, thanks for that, I'll check it out. :)

Dutchbabiesx2
10-27-2010, 02:30 AM
I just got our Noeo Biology 1 in the mail today. we are very excited to get started. it is planned out well, great hands on experiments and very science based. the parent hand book does reference scripture in the first 2 pages, but that is it! Most of the books are Usborn books, nice illustrations and easy to get a lot of information out of a couple of pages.
the lessons are a few pages a day, last day usually for an experiment. Many days include writing in a science journal - they are good to always mention younger kids might be better to narrate and also do a drawing. The experiments are more advanced than what I have seen in the public school setting.
Many of the books list experiments that can be also be done if you feel up to it, I also will be making some 'field trips' around the lessons.
My boys are 8 and nearly 7, very strong in science and math, i have a biology background (nursing) and I feel this is a good program for advanced science even for younger kids.
The whole curriculum is set up for families that plan many years of homeschooling, each year is dedicated to either Biology, Physics or Chemistry, then repeat in any order. total of 6 years, but each 'lesson set'- one years of one subject, is sold separately. We bought Biology 1 for a little over $150 + s/h.
Hope my review can help someone.

Wilma
10-27-2010, 08:21 AM
We're going to use CPO Life Science this year. CPO is real science that's secular. http://www.cpo.com/home/Home/tabid/119/Default.aspx It is intended for grades 6, 7, 8 kind of ages, though I'm using it for 4th. We haven't started using it yet, but I'm very pleased by what I see. You can get the books used on Amazon, which is where I got them. The "Focus On" books are almost the same, but are California's standards instead of national standards (I guess).

I have been interested in this one for a while. We were using Prentice Hall Science Explorer and liked it, and it is very cheap on ebay. However, CPO has a cleaner layout with fewer distractions. I just wonder how hard it is to get the lab materials. On their website they sell kits for schools, which are expensive.

As for RS4K, we used it in co-op last year. It is very good. We thought the experiments were a little too simple, but there is a middle school chemistry. The author is a chemist, so that is her interest. They have a very active yahoo group. It is what I would call neutral. She covers some pretty advanced concepts in an engaging way and does not promote evolution, ID, or creationism. I don't know how the author was able to achieve this (IMO) neutrality, but she did. However, they are not upper grade texts, so it might be easier to do this in the younger grades.

McGraw Hill has some beautiful science books. Rainbow Resource is also selling secular science programs from Holt. I have a couple of their older texts I have picked up at garage sales and they look quite good.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
10-27-2010, 01:21 PM
I just got our Noeo Biology 1 in the mail today. we are very excited to get started. it is planned out well, great hands on experiments and very science based. the parent hand book does reference scripture in the first 2 pages, but that is it! Most of the books are Usborn books, nice illustrations and easy to get a lot of information out of a couple of pages.
the lessons are a few pages a day, last day usually for an experiment.

I have been looking at Noeo for science--I really like the format, which syncs up with our Charlotte Mason style. Can someone using Noeo can tell me if I can get away with just purchasing the Instructor's Guide and maybe some of the Usborne books? I'd get the other books from the library and skip the experiment kits altogether (I'm sure we can find alternate experiments elsewhere). I'd rather not spend $150 for one subject!

Dutchbabiesx2
10-27-2010, 03:13 PM
it looks on the website as though you can just purchase these items. But i would not purchase the instructors manual, it is just 'read pages _ to _ in _book' the experiments correlate directly to the reading. I don't think it is a cut and paste program, unfortunately.
You can, however, look through the listed books, pick the ones you like then read sections and do lessons based on those. Most days are 4-6 pages, a little drawing about what they learned and be done with it! the lessons are 15-20 minutes with assignments all together! Some of the books also include some projects that are not part of this program but could be done.
e-mail me if you want more information.

Pefa
10-27-2010, 03:21 PM
Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" is fabulous. There are tons of general science books out there - Natalie Anger is a solid science journalist who has collected some of her essays into a decent book "The Canon". "The Poisoner's Handbook" by Deborah Blum is a fun read. "How to Teach Physics to your Dog" by Chad Orzel, "Superbug" by Maryn McKenna and "The Remarkable Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot are all great.

I'm sad that the author of Real Science 4 Kids is apparently a young earther and I wouldn't recommend her books for older kids, but I used her physics last year w/BOO and it was great. Totally secular, good basic explanations that he could get through and a workbook that is set up to teach real lab report writing.

I would recommend both Conceptual Physics and Conceptual Chemistry as good, accessible textbooks. Campbell's Biology is ostensibly a college level text but we've been using it since B1 was about 7

Have fun.

Stephany
10-29-2010, 12:02 AM
We choose to spend most of our money on lab equipment. I have a rockin' lab. (is there a nerd smilie?) Then I use Rebecca Rupp’s Home Learning Year by Year to figure out what to cover and some of Van Cleave's experiment books which I got for free off paperback swap.

49cats
11-24-2010, 02:20 PM
From my reading reviews at amazon the author is a christian, whilst it is basicaly a secular program I believe some things are simply left out, like DNA....but this is just from me reading amazon reviews. I would recommend you look more closely for yourself as opposed to taking my word for it though hehehe ;-)

I wish I had known this before I bought the REAL Science4Kids books. I searched, but just didn't happen on the right info. I'm not completely unsatisfied by the books, they do introduce "real" scientific ideas and terminology in a pretty good way, easy for the younger child to understand. But not alot of material is covered in each book (each book is VERY thin, with BIG print, and I feel, pretty pricey). I recently collected the 15 book series by Glencoe, and National Geographic--used. The series is geared towards 6-9th grade, but closer to 6th, in my opinion. It has TONS of information and resources, web links, is straightforwardly explained, and doesn't as a rule leave you "hanging" as to understanding the "why" of things. Glencoe also has a website that supports its materials with quizzes, links, and I think some demos--I haven't explored it completely, yet.

leav97
11-24-2010, 02:56 PM
Elemental Science. We're 5 weeks into the Biology and are really enjoying it.

jdavidhale
12-02-2010, 01:14 AM
Hi Mellisa, I have been working on an online space science education program after teaching a rocket and physics program for a homeschool coop (we launched solid fuel rockets!). I have one middle school rockets and science class ready and will develop more classes when I get students. The solid fuel is optional (need to work with a local rocket club), you can use air and water rockets instead.
See:
http://ed-sites.com/inspace/contact/services.html

sallymae
12-02-2010, 08:31 PM
I look on the Pearson publishing site and select science student and teacher text and the get ISBN number and type into browser and get reviews, links to buy used. I get a lot of used books from amazon,com/books. You can also open an account and buy from publisher too. Hope this helps

Ellie's mom
03-20-2011, 03:45 PM
The 15 book series sounds great 49 Cats.
Any idea how to get hold of them? I didn't find them even on the McGraw site for sale but that is perhaps me being incompetent...

cheers!

Work_of_Childhood
03-21-2011, 07:29 PM
We are using R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey (http://www.pandiapress.com/real_science.htm) and LOVE it so far!! My understanding is that it is completely secular and the writer even addresses the question on the website...
http://www.pandiapress.com/faq.htm#Question3
ETA: Duh, now I see you mentioned high school...RSO won't do much good for HS at the moment...hopefully they eventually will though!!

Fiddler
06-17-2011, 10:57 PM
Has anyone used ClassiQuest Science (http://www.classiquestscience.com/) yet? It appears to pick up where R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey leaves off. But I am a little distressed not to find any books besides science encyclopedias and Janice VanCleave's Biology for Every Kid required, so I have a feeling we'll be [sigh] secularizing and beefing up Sonlight Science E (http://www.sonlight.com/science-f.html), instead. Though I like that ClassiQuest teaches critical thinking, something I'm sure Sonlight's science courses do not.

Accidental Homeschooler
06-18-2011, 12:34 PM
We are using Singapore science. I bought the 7th/8th grade set and it is totally secular. We use the theory workbook with it and so are light on the labs. I did not buy the lab book because is intended for a classroom. We have been able to include some experiments I found from the internet. My dd will go to ps for science in 9th grade (that is the plan for now anyway). It is definitely a textbook/workbook approach but she likes the text book compared to the ones she was getting in ps. I was just lookinng on amazon last night at the Usborne biology and chemistry books and really want to try them. Have you checked them out?

dbmamaz
06-18-2011, 01:23 PM
Fiddler, have you looked at the Jason project (i think thats what its called)

Fiddler
06-18-2011, 02:05 PM
Thanks for the ideas, Cara and Accidental. I'm specifically looking for biology--with an emphasis on human biology and health. I'll look at both of your suggestions and see if there is anything to fit the bill.

fbfamily111
06-19-2011, 09:06 PM
Someone may have already linked to the free PDF of CPO Earth/Life/Physical but if not here it is
http://www.nhusd.k12.ca.us/node/52

Fiddler
06-19-2011, 09:27 PM
Thanks, fbfamily111. I've had trouble loading this in Adobe Reader (I think it just takes a l-o-o-ng time and I'm impatient) but will keep at it, as it would be nice to have a free (except for the cost of printing a high-color doc) curriculum to use at least parts of as needed. I will not be using Sonlight science, after all, as that company and I have reached an irreconcilable difference (unless they back down on a certain point, but I don't think they will). But I might still use many of the books used in that program.

Fiddler
06-19-2011, 09:35 PM
The CPO website (http://www.cpo.com/home/ForStudents/MiddleSchoolLifeScience/tabid/247/Default.aspx) has powerpoint presentations for what looks like every section of every chapter of at least the Life Science unit.

amberd
09-01-2011, 07:50 PM
Science is a passion of mine, and I am using Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (http://www.amazon.com/Building-Foundations-Scientific-Understanding-Curriculum/dp/1432706101/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281624396&sr=8-1). It's written for k-2, but the concepts are general enough that anyone of any age can use them and learn from them. (I am learning from it myself!) The author does have a higher level version coming out if you can wait a bit, but really I am so in love with this book I can't express it.

I chose it because my goal was for DS to be a critical thinker: I want him to understand scientific inquiry, and scientific methodology, to have a concept of how the Universe works, and how to use that knowledge to solve problems and find answers. BFSU fits the bill for me.

Thanks for sharing this. This looks like it is just what I was looking for.

squiremouse
09-08-2011, 02:15 AM
I use Mr. Q Science in a co-op with 7th, 5th and 4th graders. It is really good at explaining things and has a nicce 3 day a week plan (we do it in 2) Then I suppliment with RS4K critical thinking cog. This really helps develop critical thinking skills.

Mia

CatInTheSun
09-08-2011, 05:22 AM
Might check out Joy Hakim's Story of Science. Explores science from a historical perspective in 3 books (Aristotle, Newton, Einstein). I think covering science historically gives it some relevance and you can see connections between the scientists, their lives and the times in which they lived (much more than in most texts that give a one-liner about the times). Now I know which scientists had daddy issues! LOL

They also have manuals for experiments to go along with it. The books are published by the Smithsonian and the manuals written by folks at John Hopkins U, so pretty solid and DEFINITELY secular.

They are aimed at middle school, there are 3 books, and you can get them half-price as a homeschooler from the publisher. I've been reading the first (Aristotle...) but haven't used it with dc yet. They have samples. I plan to use it as science and history combined, btw.

http://www.joyhakim.com/

bcnlvr
09-10-2011, 10:31 AM
Didn't know where to post this, but I found a handydandy little chart for those who need a little orientation to some of the science curricula: Science Spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?authkey=CI28ruwN&key=0AhUJB5nahkOtdHhWTFRyS3ZrRjhPZkh3VV93Q0tvdFE&hl=en&authkey=CI28ruwN#gid=0).

HTH, Bcn

Shoe
09-10-2011, 10:35 AM
Didn't know where to post this, but I found a handydandy little chart for those who need a little orientation to some of the science curricula: Science Spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?authkey=CI28ruwN&key=0AhUJB5nahkOtdHhWTFRyS3ZrRjhPZkh3VV93Q0tvdFE&hl=en&authkey=CI28ruwN#gid=0).

HTH, Bcn

Thanks for posting that -nice resource.

CatInTheSun
09-10-2011, 11:25 AM
The CPO website (http://www.cpo.com/home/ForStudents/MiddleSchoolLifeScience/tabid/247/Default.aspx) has powerpoint presentations for what looks like every section of every chapter of at least the Life Science unit.

You can look at (and download) full e-books of the student texts and workbooks for the 3 CPO sciences at:
http://www.nhusd.k12.ca.us/node/52

Marty
09-12-2011, 09:20 PM
My daughter is also in 7th grade and according to the state standards, she should be taking life science. Because of my daughter's learning style and because of my familiarity with the curriculum, I chose Holt Life Science for middle school. The homeschool kit comes with the text and two cd's, one with parent resources and one with reproducible worksheets, lab sheets, quizes, tests, etc. The text has SciLinks.com codes for extra activities and information. It's secular and easy to follow. Good luck!