View Full Version : Exploration Education anyone??

01-31-2013, 10:51 PM
( I had this posted on the curriculum forum and didn't get any feedback, so I thought I would try over here on the ms/hs forum. Thanks!)

I have yet another question about a science curriculum. Science seems to be the only academic area I constantly doubt myself and second-guess what is best for my kids. My oldest will be 9th grade next year, so doing high school. I really feel the pressure to have an organized plan for her science for the next four years. It's making my head spin. She is a lover of biology and life science type topics. I've let her do a lot of that the last few years. This year, she is doing chemistry. She's not excited about it, but she's doing well. I figure in high school, she will need biology, chemistry, physics, and one other science topic--could be anatomy and physiology, marine science, earth and space, environmental science, etc. Or, she could take an advanced class in one of the 3 basic science subjects. Gosh, I am rambling all over the place. Sorry!!

I guess I got on here to ask what people have done for a 4 year plan for high school and also to ask about a specific curriculum that I came across when researching this evening. The program is called Exploration Education and it's a physical science curriculum that is hands-on and very project based. It looks like fun and seems to cover a lot of concepts that I know she hasn't covered well in the past. If anyone has any thoughts or opinions, I would sure appreciate hearing them. Thanks!

02-01-2013, 03:15 AM
I found that curriculum earlier this year and was also intrigued. I hope you get some responses, I'll be listening in. :) My daughter will also be 9th grade next year, and is not science-y at all (nor am I) - highschool scares me...

02-01-2013, 07:16 AM
We have a highly eclectic mix for science for our kids. This is our cobbled-together 4-year science plan for each kid.

For dd:

9th grade: Biology. We used this text book Pearson Prentice Hall: Web Codes (http://www.phschool.com/webcodes10/index.cfm?wcprefix=cbk&wcsuffix=9999&area=view) and it's lab book, both purchased relatively inexpensively at Abebooks. I bought most of the lab materials through Home Science Tools.

10th grade: Physics. We use Giancoli's physics texts and labs from all kinds of places. I'm a former high school physics teacher, so putting this one together was easy for me.

11th grade: Chemistry at local satellite campus of state college. I could teach it at home, but being a huge proponent of hands on labs, there is no way I'm having those chemicals in my house.

12th grade: Descriptive Astronomy at local campus.

For ds:

8th grade: College level geology using Essentials of Geology by Marshak and a physical geology lab book. He's been a geology nut for years, so we decided to start his science credits early.

9th grade: Physics (with his sister--see above). He's also advanced in math, so this hasn't been a problem.

10th grade: Chemistry - at local campus

11th grade: Biology - yes, he's doing this in typically reverse order, but he's a self-described "anti-squishy-things" kind of kid, so we put it off until his junior year.

12th grade - Either astronomy or more advanced physics or chemistry, most likely at the local campus.

02-01-2013, 10:18 AM
my attitude is, if its teaching them something, call it a class. If your child is college-bound, you need to figure out some likely schools s/he might be interested in, and majors s/he might be interested in, and check to make sure you will meet the school's requirement. I am aiming my son at a 2-year degree from a community college, so i'm not too worried.

8th grade: Dr Art's Guide to science; 1st half of a very old miller/levine biology text i got on amazon, supplemented with videos from discovery streaming and a few activities, like cell coloring pages and a k'nex dna kit

9th grade: Hakim's Story of Science, which is the history of math/astronomy/physics and includes a conceptual explanation of the science.

10th grade: 2nd half of the biology textbook and an outsourced dissection lab. some random science labs over the summer jointly w younger brother

11th grade: a chemistry textbook i got from singaporemath.com which i now regret as it is really not very homeschool friendly. we took a break at one point because robotics was taking up so much time. we are also going to some brief lab classes at the science museum

12th grade i plan on using a computer-based physics program (http://www.kineticbooks.com/index.html). dont click on homeschool, that only includes math. hopefully i can homeschool the physics!! sigh

also check out ck12 flexbooks, Brand New Site! | Science For High School (http://www.scienceforhighschool.com/2012/brand-new-site/)

02-04-2013, 11:42 PM
Thanks for the replies. I think I'm going to order the Exploration Education physical science program and give it a try. I will do it with both my girls--12 and 14. For the 9th grade next year, I'm leaning toward doing biology.I found a program called Shepherd Science. The author is a homeschool father and a scientist. He does present creationism but also teaches evolution. I can live with that and just leave out the creation stuff if it gets too think. What I like is that the program comes with a DVD showing him doing all of the labs. I think that will be very helpful. I tend to blow off doing labs if I'm not 100 percent sure what I am doing . I wrote to the author with several questions. I don't mind the Christian slant as long he's not a young-earth believer. That is just nonsense to be and I couldn't let my daughter use a book that pushed that agenda. If he gets back to me and it looks good, I think we will use that next year. After that, I am not sure yet. Thanks for all the good suggestions though. I will look into them.
Also, thanks for mentioning that we should look at what colleges are expecting incoming students to have covered. I think my daughter has a few colleges in mind. I will take a look at their requirements. Good suggestion!

02-13-2013, 06:57 PM
We used Exploration Education advanced physical science last year for 8th grade. It is a very hands on program. My ds really enjoyed it. He really liked that it was on the computer with a work book to record answers in. He built a LOT of projects. I also really enjoyed doing it with him. I feel like he really learned a lot.

This year we are doing earth science. I put it together myself using a couple of different books and a lab kit. It isn't nearly as interesting but I think it's just that earth science isn't a subject we really enjoy. I have no idea what he will pick as a science next year...I will encourage a life science.

05-03-2016, 10:27 PM
Hi Yocumdeb,
Just wondering if you ended up doing the Exploration Education course a few years back. Did they like it? Was it thorough? Your two cents appreciated. I am considering buying the grade 4-6 kit for my kids.

05-04-2016, 08:37 AM
We used the advanced physical science course for our daughter (8th grade) and ended up returning it. We felt there was too much time spent on putting together the projects and not enough actual science content. I do think it would be fine for a younger student, but we were looking for a high school level course and it didn't work for us.


05-04-2016, 09:23 AM
Agree with Erica: We used the advanced for 6th grade, DD enjoyed it but then she's science-mad. The standard (4-6) set does not have a ramp lesson though and that's pretty crucial to understanding physics, so if you get it you might need to supplement. For kids who like to put things together to understand how things work, it's a fine program for that.

05-04-2016, 06:10 PM
Oh nuts. Thought I had finally found a good one. I wish they something nice and solid like apologia but without all the religion. Rso only has advanced biology and I am not looking for that right now. Elemental science did not go over well. If you guys have other suggestions would love to hear

05-05-2016, 01:53 PM
We haven't done any Physical science really so far (my younger son prefers life science), so I am interested in this. He's been wanting much more "hands on" type of work for science, and this looks like it might be interesting for him. Do you think it's enough for a 7th grade science year? Not looking for high school level work, but not opposed to it, either. Just a good, interesting physical science course.

05-05-2016, 02:02 PM
Groovymom, yeah I think the advanced one would be fine for a 7th grader in science. I do recommend the program, just that it is hand's on, self-paced. If your kid likes it (like mine did) he might burn through the program. DD finished waaay before I thought she would, like end of Feb. So we had to hustle to find "the next thing."

Physics typically takes algebra so no, it's not a high school level class. But as far as solidifying concepts etc. then it's totally good for that.

05-05-2016, 02:54 PM
Thanks! He might burn through it, but that would be fine with me. We are working on him managing his schedule, and he typically plans 2-3 days per week to do science (rotating with history), so it will work well, I think. And the "complete" concept is appealing to me-I'm so tired of pulling all.the.things. together. High school for my older one may just kill me!

05-05-2016, 03:37 PM
What about "Noeo (http://www.logospressonline.com/noeo-science-chemistry-3/)" level 3? The only religious part I remember is a sentience about god in the front.

05-06-2016, 12:01 AM
I checked Noeo as they are a classical and charlotte mason mix which is usually right up my alley. My issue is what they are using for their text. We were using the Usborne Science encyclopedia this year for Elemental Science and I really didn't like the way they were presenting the information. This was unusual as we usually love anything Usborne puts out but not this one. Now I am wondering about Real Science 4 Kids. They have these building blocks books up to grade 6 and then I think you use their "focus on" books for 7 and 8. Anyone heard anything about this series. I can't believe how hard it is to find a decent science curriculum. History was so much easier, lol.