Wednesday 26 August 2015

Math, Science, Biology and History in the High School Years

Welcome to the third edition of this years Homeschool High School Blog Hop. This months topic covers a wide variety of subjects.

We will be looking at Math, Science, Biology and History. I have shared in depth on these topics here over the years so I will be sharing a short introduction to each subject area and linking to my other posts where you will be able to read more about my in depth thoughts on the particular topic at hand.

I will also share some links to FREE curriculum you can access from around the web and links to my posts introducing curriculum from around the web to get you started on your research.

One of the things I realise now in retrospect is that you do not need to change the way you teach when you reach the high school years.  I was under the impression that I needed to change a whole heap of things because my students were now home schoolers and this in turn caused my children stress as well as myself.  Enjoy the journey and allow your students to set the pace for the change.  As they grow and change so will your methods and requirements slowly change along with your relationship.  It is far easier on you and your student to allow this change to naturally occur.

Things to consider before the high school years
  • Research your options while they are in the primary school years so that you have a clear pathway before you.  The high school years arrive far quicker than you realise.  Use the first four to five years of homeschool to research your options and plan ahead.  Without a plan you will end up floundering.
  • Be clear on your expectations. This is imperative for both you and your student. It's important to know what you want completed in order to graduate from high school at home.
  • Have an understanding of the level of maths required to tackle different areas in the high school sciences.
  • Research and save for more expensive items such as a microscope.  Do you have to have a microscope ?  No but it is a great hands on learning tool that makes the sciences come alive in your home.
  • Find out where to purchase the items you need to do the practical labs.
  • Consider the scope and sequence before changing curriculum or you might end up repeating what you have already done.
  • Get to know your student and what their long term study goals are and work towards those. Make it a priority to achieve what they need to accomplish their tertiary goals in the science arena. 
  • Research your State/Country requirement for graduating High School.

Math in High School

One of the things I insisted on my children completing was math up to the level of Algebra 1 and Geometry. Needless to say this was one of their biggest complaints!  Why do we have to do that Mom? was a question often heard in our home during the high school years. Math is a subject that is imperative in helping our students develop higher order thinking. 

Math seems to be one of those topics within the homeschool environment that often comes up in conversation. As homeschooling parents we need to be-careful that we do not transmit our personal negative experience of math at school onto our children.  During our high school years I came to realize this with my first two children that as long as we moved at their pace they were able to easily learn what I found to be difficult at school.

In our home I chose to use  Teaching Textbooks during the high school years. It's like having a personal tutor on call 24/7! We would work through the lesson in the book. Answer the questions. Pop in the disk and watch the tutor teach the specific sums we got wrong. I like the fact that they don't assume you know the steps. The tutor breaks down the sum into step by step and explains each step as they go through the complete sum.  

Before we transitioned to TT we used to call on a friend who was a high school math teacher to help us with any sums we became stuck with.

Here on the blog I've shared

For me one of the defining moments of understanding teaching math came after I read the article History and Research on the Teaching of Math I highly recommend you read this article before you make a decision on your math curriculum.

Scope and Sequence
When looking at changing math programs remember to take  scope and sequence into account.

  • Scope refers to the content.  In other words these are the topics covered (A to Z)
  • Sequence is the order in which the scope is taught (IE the order in which things are covered within the program)
It is important to know this about your math product or you might end up redoing math your child is already familiar with or you might end up skipping a whole lot of important content that your child needs in order to succeed at math.

Please go to my Math Curriculum page for a full page of links to resources.
Here are a few links to get you started.


Science & Biology in High School

"Can I teach high school science?  NO. As your student gets older, your role changes from teacher to fellow learner." Dr. Jay L. Wile
Define: Science

  • The word science comes from the Latin "scientia," meaning knowledge especially knowledge based on reproducible data.
  • Science is the systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. 
From this definition we can see that science is not solely about science labs and microscopes, formulas and chemicals it's all about the world around us. The sciences need not fill you with fear the high school years can be a wonderful time of learning alongside your students and discovering amazing things together.

  Here on the blog I've shared
Please go to my Science Curriculum page for a full page of links to resources.
Here are a few links to get you started.

History in High School

The story of life is one of my passions.  I loved history in high school and I've grown to love it even more especially after studying it for two years chronologically with Timothy and Jane in junior high.  In fact I loved the experience so much I am doing it for a second time with Nathaniel now and am planning a third trip through with more of a Charlotte Mason focus when he is in High School.

his·to·ry noun \ˈhis-t(ə-)rē\

  1. tale, story 
  2. a : a chronological record of significant events (as affecting a nation or institution) often including an explanation of their causes
    b : a treatise presenting systematically related natural phenomena
    c : an account of a patient's medical background
    d : an established record  
  3. a branch of knowledge that records and explains past events
Studying history in the high school years is an adventure in itself.  Students ask interesting questions and it's a time for deeper understanding.  It's a marvelous time for digging deeper and comparing notes and seeing the cause and effect more clearly of the different things that are happening concurrently in the world.

There is no need to change the method you use to teach history.  Keep using whatever is working well for you.  Once again watch for the scope and sequence if you want to change curriculum.  The source texts become a little more complex but generally speaking history is an adventure in discovery!

Here on the blog I've shared
Please go to my History Curriculum page for a full page of links to resources.
Here are a few links to get you started.

Home School High School Hosts Share this Month:

Home School High School Topics

Over the next seven months we will be sharing some insights into the following aspects of home educating through the high school years
  • Planning for High School {How and When,ways to/how we're planning to earn college credit while still in high school, Meeting High School Requirements, how to assign credit when there aren't tests, What records do you keep? How do you present them? What influences your method, your emphasis in certain areas?}
  • Electives in the High School Years {Following Passions, following interests, fitting a job in with school, and Being intentional in Preparing for what comes after high school, Life skills.}
  • Math, Science, Biology, History {What do you use ? Why do you use ... ? What influences your choices/selection? }
  • 30 September - Language Arts {Poetry, Literature, Composition, writing, What influenced your choices/selection?}
  • 28 October - "How am I going to teach High School ...?" {Addressing the fear factor of teaching subjects we struggle with or know nothing about, How to achieve credit in subjects your student *hates*}
  • 25 November - How do you fit it all in ? {homeschooling high school alongside homeschooling the others, Fostering Independence, Do you generalise or specialise? Schedules,}
  • 30 December - Graduation { Fostering Independence, How do you know when they are done ?}
Until next month.  Happy blog hopping

1 comment:

  1. I have read your blog it is very useful for me. I want to say thanks to you. I have bookmark your site for future updates. science assignment help


I love to hear from you so please leave your comments below ♥