Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    Default Ideas for Secular High School Science

    Hi all,
    I have a current 8th grader and am (due to my own anxiety) already starting to think about next year. When I was in high school in Canada, there was an option to take night high school classes to get ahead or redo a course if you didn't get the mark you needed. Our family is now living stateside and I am wondering if such a thing exists here. I guess I mostly worry about the science so she could do labs etc versus doing one at home or even online and having to purchase a lot of expensive Science equipment. Any thoughts?

  2. T4L In Forum Oct19
  3. #2

    Default

    I can't vouch for any online courses.

    For materials, if you end up buying, the cheapest places I order science materials from are Home Science Tools and Cynmar. They are 2 of the very few places you can order a single something (beaker, spring scale, etc) and not have to purchase a case. Compare prices between the two...inexplicably, sometimes one is higher on some products and not on others. Quality of both seem fine.

    Geology and physics tend to be subjects where you can make some of your own equipment or buy locally (hardware store). Biology tends to be slides and possibly dissection, so a bit more costly, especially if you don't have a microscope yet. Perhaps check with your local library--might they have something you can check out?

    Astronomy can also be inexpensive...watching the night sky, documentaries, etc. You can also find simulations online. I did a quick search and this is just one of many that came up.

    When she's older, are there local campuses where she could enroll and earn dual credit? I had my kids take chemistry that way. I could teach it, but there was no way I wanted the necessary chemicals for labs in my home.

    Don't panic too much. High school seems overwhelming, but once you get going, things seem to work out.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3

    Default

    There are a lot of online options for secular science now. Open Tent and Blue Tent have some. Derek Owens has some. Conceptual Academy has some (though no labs on that one). Clover Creek is secular (if you can get in). There's FLVS and PA Homeschoolers. There are MOOC's and Great Courses that can form the basis of a non-lab course. There's a bunch of options. Some of these include labs and you have to buy a kit and do them at home. Sometimes the labs use mostly everyday items, which can be good enough.

    For home study, there's Oak Meadow. There's lots of textbook options. There are lots of lab kits. QSL makes good ones, but there are other options. We're doing a QSL kit for high school science this year. It's very thorough.

    In person, there are community college classes most places. Some places let you take high school classes. Some places have special homeschool science courses. That's very dependent on where you live. Some areas have tons of options and some have almost none.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?
    http://simplify4you.com/

  5. #4

    Default

    I have been thinking a lot about science also. We (are probably) going to be doing biology next year, and I know that colleges are apt to have higher demands for us in this, based on prior posts I have read b/c my son wants to go into math.

    The problems I have are with the life-skill aspects of labs, meaning that currently if anything involves heat, dangerous chemicals or sharp instruments, I do them as demos, for safety reasons, due to my son's fine motor skill issues. I would rather not go into that with colleges (but am aware I may have no choice.) In addition there is no way he is going to want to have anything to do with dissections, even if they are computer sims b/c he thinks even the idea is terrible.

    I have a microscope, but it is terrible, so we are going to have to upgrade, and I am not sure how many bio labs I need to do to make it count to colleges as a lab subject. Right now we have been doing one lab per week, but heavily scaffolded for safety and sensitivities as outlined above.

    Is there a way to make this work?
    Last edited by HobbitinaHobbitHole; 10-27-2018 at 07:29 AM.

  6. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbitinaHobbitHole View Post
    I have been thinking a lot about science also. We (are probably) going to be doing biology next year, and I know that colleges are apt to have higher demands for us in this, based on prior posts I have read b/c my son wants to go into math.

    The problems I have are with the life-skill aspects of labs, meaning that currently if anything involves heat, dangerous chemicals or sharp instruments, I do them as demos, for safety reasons, due to my son's fine motor skill issues. I would rather not go into that with colleges (but am aware I may have no choice.) In addition there is no way he is going to want to have anything to do with dissections, even if they are computer sims b/c he thinks even the idea is terrible.

    I have a microscope, but it is terrible, so we are going to have to upgrade, and I am not sure how many bio labs I need to do to make it count to colleges as a lab subject. Right now we have been doing one lab per week, but heavily scaffolded for safety and sensitivities as outlined above.

    Is there a way to make this work?
    I think I mentioned above that we're doing a kit for high school physics. Nothing sharp, no chemicals. I think there's one with heat? We're not to it yet. It's okay to skip a few. Chemistry could be an issue.

    But look... for the vast majority of colleges, he'll need 2 lab sciences. That means two science classes that included a lab component. He will need 3 sciences overall (though doing a 4th is good... but it sounds like he's not bound for a science field). One should be a physical science. The other should be a biological science. That doesn't mean that physics or chemistry have to be the physical science or that general bio has to be the biology. Again, you have to check individual colleges - some do want to see those things, especially for a STEM applicant. But most don't. So maybe you do "Botany" as your biology - dissect and grow plants. Or maybe you do general bio but you do more microscope labs and fewer of some of the others. Maybe you do astronomy as your physical science - do lots of observations and calculations. Or physics - like I said, the kit we're doing is highish level and seems fine for your parameters. I mean... there are lots of options.

    Also, just in terms of you helping... if he has a documented disability, then obviously that's going to be okay if you're doing some of the actual hands on stuff. Writing the lab reports is just as important - and really, maybe more so than being the one to actually do the cutting. In a school setting, kids are often in a lab group. Not every kid is doing the hands on piece for every single thing. It's the participation, the observation, and... they all write up the lab report.

    Basically, yes, there's a way to make that work.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?
    http://simplify4you.com/

  7. #6

    Default

    We arent quite to high school yet... but...

    We found a microscope on amazon, it seemed better than the more sturdy and professisonal looking one that our charter lent us.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I also buy slightly outdated college 100 level texts for my own knowledge. A meteorology and a cooking book were my last ones... they would allow a much greater range of choices than simply Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. (Yes, I will read textbooks for fun.) New books are expensive, but obsolete editions are often $20 or less.

    BYL8 uses this astronomy book, formatted as a series of labs. Its a little outdated (calendar of lunar eclipses isnt current), but for high school level, it is still appropriate.
    https://www.amazon.com/Astronomy-All...y+for+all+ages
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

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

SecularHomeschool.com was created to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with secular homeschoolers across the world. Secularhomeschool.com 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.

SecularHomeschool.com 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 SecularHomeschool.com, 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, SecularHomeschool.com 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
Ideas for Secular High School Science