Wednesday 30 January 2013

HHSC - Science in High School

"Can I teach 
high school science?
As your student gets older, 
your role changes from 
teacher to fellow learner."

I find that science is one of those subjects that people fear in the High School years and in some ways this has a valid cause but in others it need not be something to fear.

When I first started homeschooling over 15 years ago there were very few curriculum's for the high school years and the Internet was something only geeks accessed and never mind owning a computer that was unheard of. The fear of what are we going to use was huge and made science a daunting thing to think about.

We had no means of researching topics, curriculum or how do I ? We had to rely on what others were doing or what ever was recommended by the latest home school catalog or home school support group.

Today we have a multitude of platforms at our disposal from satellite classrooms to university laboratories and somewhere in between all that we have Google (a quick search on Home school High School science revealed +/- 10,600,000 hits!) . In some ways we have far to much choice and that can be a paralyzing factor in itself.

I would like to encourage you that it is not as huge a task as you envision.  There is plenty available to support you on your journey whether you choose to learn alongside your student or encourage their independent study.

Things to consider
  • Research your options while they are in the primary school years so that you have a clear pathway before you.  
  • Be clear on your expectations.
  • 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.  
What did my science program look like?
What influenced my choices/selection?
  • I really like a Charlotte Mason approach of twaddle free literature and Sonlight has always ticked the boxes on this front.  
  • The subject matter was interesting and there were no textbooks until Science 250.  
  • The Sonlight® Ultra Microscope was value for money that I could not pass by. I have never been disappointed with their quality and in fact this microscope has surpassed my every expectation.
What others are saying on the www
Some Curriculum out there today
I would like to encourage you not to fear but embrace the high school science years.  See it as an opportunity to learn and discover more thoroughly what you have always wanted to know.  Secondly remember you can not teach it all.  There is no A-Z list for you to tick off and say right now I have taught science and we are finished.  This is a subject that is exploding with information at an exponential rate and would be physically impossible for you to teach all there is to know.

I would love to read your thoughts on Science in high school please leave a link to your post in the comments.

This post is part of the Home school High School Carnival.  Don't forget to pop on over to LaPaz Home Learning (post to go up in the first week of February) to read what others are saying about this topic.

The Homeschool Village This post is linked to Ultimate Homeschool Link-up #5 over at The Homeschool Village and Featured at  Ultimate Homeschool Link-up #6


  1. What a great post! My kids are all young right now, with the oldest in 2nd grade. I have 4, though, so I'm starting to get a bit freaked out about what I'll do as they get older. This gives me hope that it won't be as complicated as I think it will be to find a great curriculum for them. Thanks! :)

    1. Thank you Jenn you are welcome. Enjoy the junior years they fly with the wind :)

  2. My oldest (13) pretty much does science all by himself now - ever since 7th grade actually. We love Apologia!

    1. I ♥ Apologia too :) I have decided to learn Latin with Sir N this year so that we are better prepared for the high school science years !

  3. What a great post! Thank you for sharing!
    Science for Kids Blog

  4. Very interesting post. We use Apologia for our high school...well, we started using it in 7th grade. My son loved reading the books for fun back then. The high school science, of course, is a little more intense, but Apologia makes it easier to read than most curriculum I've found. I recently found is a great site to use for the scientific terminology/vocabulary. I create our own vocabulary list and the kids use it to play 'sentence match it' games and other games to test their knowledge or understanding of the unit. We have found it very helpful before taking the unit tests!
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks for the post. My husband doesn't get why I am always searching and planning ahead in science and math with my kids. I know the early years are setting the stage for high school.

    Thank you for listing some other options for science. I am always looking at different curriculum that may be a fit for us.


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