Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1

    Default Science Options~ Textbooks? DIY?

    I'm so lost on what to do w/ my 8th grader next year. We have done RSO bio, watched most of the HHMI videos and I feel biology is pretty solid- especially for her age. I have no idea what to do! We also did Ellen McHenry Chemistry- it was light but enough that she sort of gets it. So, what for 8th grade? I can't find anything that looks like a good fit! This is a very bright/gifted kid, she is capable of HS level science but it will not count toward HS credit if she does anything in 8th grade so I thought we'd just do a year of whatever she wants. First she said Marine Biology... but she's already read most books at the library on that. I considered a textbook, but all I can find are college level (which may be okay?) and one HS level one that didn't look like it had anything in it she didn't already know. Now I'm looking at just doing Earth Science with some physics thrown in. I do need a schedule, this kid will read oand do anything I ask, but without a schedule nothing will get done (and I won't have anything to base it off of without a book). I am considering several HS and MS level textbooks like HOld/McDougla (some have on-line access codes for part of it- not sure how it works but it's on RR website)

    Holt McDougal Earth Science Interactive Online Edition 1 year (062518) Details - Rainbow Resource Center, Inc.

    Holt Science & Technology Earth Science Homeschool Package (029679) Details - Rainbow Resource Center, Inc.

    Other ideas I have are to

    research a scientist each week- lots of work for me finding resources
    Science Current Events journtal- I am pretty sure we will do this regardless- find an article a few times a week and write about it in a journal- I'm thinking of having her compare it to apologetical articles to compare/contrast and talk about the importance of good references, bias, ect.

    For those what HSed all through High School, what would you recommend? I need something easy to me to implement, I'm not as picky on worksheets as I am on comprehension type questions. Any help greatly appreciated!
    Marine Biology- just buy the college course and see how much of it we absorb? Marine Biology, 6th Edition: Peter Castro, Michael E. Huber: 9780073215778: Books maybe also get the marine biology specimins- did I mention we are totally land-locked, 10 hours to the ocean?
    Mom to 5 great kids~

  2. T4L In Forum Nov19
  3. #2


    How about a semester of astronomy? Crash Course has a great astronomy course, we just finished it and I have an upcoming 8th grader. The other crash course science videos are more at college level but the astronomy is great for anyone. She could read some of Phil Plaits books too. I think Build your Library has an astronomy book that it recommends for 8th grade. I used a dvd, The Universe at Your Fingertips, from an astronomy association that was absolutely filled with great activities (no telescope required). We basically did a bunch of astronomy as part of our Big History class last year. The dvd is $30 and its FILLEd with activities, images and articles - you could just assign those instead of using a text.
    Stay at home physicist - Mom to C (18 & off to college)) and J (15)

  4. #3
    Senior Member Arrived skrink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010


    We weren't blown away by the BYL astronomy book choice, plus if I'm remembering correctly it's out of print. Have one for sale, though.
    Skrink - mama to my 14 yo wild woman

  5. #4


    I haven't used BYL's astronomy book so good to know. You could just go with crash course and search the internet for the topic of the week.
    Stay at home physicist - Mom to C (18 & off to college)) and J (15)

  6. #5


    What I remember of community college oceanography was that it was easier than my high school science classes. It was the *life sciences* class for those who didnt get into the Human Sexuality class. I dont imagine it would be harder than high school level, unless you find the textbook thats generally used for Oceanography majors.
    That would be a nuisance to try doing labs for it, so it sounds like an ideal interest-led, no lab science.

    And it gives both of you a chance to dabble with a *serious* textbook.

    IN Joy Hakim's History of US series, there is an accompanying studybook for elementary levels, and one for the middle/high school levels. Ive inadvertently (tried) using one of the high school level ones and the questions *over the same reading material* were too hard.
    So maybe you could use the textbooks, and just make the *questions* simpler?

    Id say go for it, though! Let her pick the book, too.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  7. #6


    On about The Great Courses? Our Night Sky | The Great Courses

    They have pretty good options for science, generally speaking....if you like lecture based, and they come with a guide book component with some question/answer type work that could be fleshed out with assigned essays. Our local library carries some of these too....maybe your does?!!
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  8. #7


    Following this, because we're looking for opinions on textbooks, too. My DD11 really likes textbook work, now, and I have a Prentice-Hall Science Explorer book on Life Science: Animals...but it's really incomplete because it relies on a subscription to an online interactive learning service they (Pearson) also offer.

    I just want a good textbook that stands on its own, like they used to make in the 90's and 80's! Except I don't want old, outdated science info, and a lot of new discoveries about DNA and RNA, and the cosmos, etc have happened, making some old texts obsolete or worse, really inaccurate.

    Anyone have a favorite science textbook to recommend, that does not use an online supplement for a subscription fee?
    Middle-aged mom of 4 kids spanning a 10-year age range, homeschooling since 2009, and a public school mom also, since 2017.

  9. #8


    I ended up ordering the first one I posted, we just got it in the mail and so far I think it will be fine w/o the supplement. If you are looking for stuff on DNA, ect, I would suggest RSO Biology 2 along w/ the free videos from HHMI. You may also find some college level texts to have more/better information. I'm not sure how much detail they put into a Middle School level text, the more I look at them, the more I think that we should just move on to HS level textbooks instead. I have Miller-Levine picked out for High School biology, and I have found some blogs where teachers have made up worksheets and the authors also have a page...
    Mom to 5 great kids~

  10. #9


    crunchynerd - Have you checked out the CK-12 textbooks?

    Also in iBooks there are a few science textbooks that are free. You can see them here:

    And some for a fee

    I was just poking around in the iBooks and wow there are lots of textbooks there for reasonable prices.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 11-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  11. #10


    Thanks for the suggestion. I took a look, and I will still peruse the selections more thoroughly, but the writing in the 6th grade Earth Science downloadable textbook was terrible! Let me provide an example:

    is the study of the solid Earth. Geologists study how rocks and minerals form. The way mountains rise up
    is part of geology. The way mountains erode away is another part. Geologists also study fossils and Earth’s history.
    There are many other branches of geology."

    I couldn't resist writing a parody of that style to illustrate its problems:

    "It reads like a child's paper. It uses short words. It uses short sentences. Avoiding commas is important. Writing must be clear. Writing must be simple. Simple is easier to read."

    And that ironic bit I wrote above, if extended to textbook-length, would make anyone cross-eyed and brain-numbed in short order. But I think the mania toward lexile levels, and automated evaluations based on number of commas, average number of words per sentence, and average number of syllables per word, is to blame for this hideous trend toward dumbed-down reading material.

    Hope you're not taking this as poor gratitude; I do appreciate your suggestion, and I will look at the 9-12 materials and see if they are any better.
    Middle-aged mom of 4 kids spanning a 10-year age range, homeschooling since 2009, and a public school mom also, since 2017.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
About us was created to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with secular homeschoolers across the world. aims to be your one-stop shop for all things homeschool! We will be highlighting information about wonderful secular homeschool resources, and keeping you up to date with what is going on in the world of secular homeschooling. But that is only the beginning. SHS is your playground. A place to share the things that are important to you. A place to create and join groups that share your interests. A place to give and get advice. There are no limits to what you can do at Secular Homeschool, so join today and help build the community you have always wanted. is a community and information source where secular homeschoolers ARE the majority. It is the home for non-religious homeschoolers, eclectic homeschoolers, freethinking homeschoolers AND anyone interested in homeschooling irrespective of religion. This site is an INCLUSIVE community that recognizes that homeschoolers choose secular homeschool materials and resources for a variety of reasons and to accomplish a variety of personal and educational goals. Although, and its members, have worked hard to compile a comprehensive directory of secular curricula, it does not attest that all materials advertised on our site, in our newsletters, or on our social media profiles are 100% secular. Rather, respects the aptitude of each individual homeschool parent to fully research any curriculum before acquiring it, to ensure that it holistically meets the educational, personal, and philosophical goals of each homeschooler.

Join us
Science Options~ Textbooks?  DIY?