Friday, January 9, 2009

Science For High School- Physical Science

Bridget Ardin's Science For High School curricula is an eclectic, non-textbook homeschooler's dream. It's a High School Science curriculum that is not merely read the text, answer the questions, and do the experiment. Instead, the student researches the information on their own, through using the public library and Internet as well as any science books in your own homeschool library. They discover the answers themselves, thereby owning the information and retaining it longer.




High School Physical Science In Your Home
is a "Researched-Based Independent Study Guide for Home School Families". It contains a full year of study and covers topics such as Weather, Astronomy, Simple Machines, Light, Electricity, Magnets, Chemistry, Earth Science, Geology, and more. Quizzes and Final Exams are included, as well as Weekly Experiments and a Lab Manual.

The Student Manual comes three-hole punched and ready to be placed in a binder. The instructions are written directly to the student at the beginning of the manual. The remaining pages contain questions for each week that the student is to research and answer before meeting with their parent for discussion. After discussion, there is a weekly experiment and the Lab Manual is tabbed and easily found towards the back of the book. The pages are clean and uncluttered and the experiment instructions are written in a simple, easy to follow manner.

The Teacher's Guide contains much more information on how to use the program and answers frequently asked questions such as "Does this meet High School requirements?" (Yes.). There is a detailed supply list, broken down by the week, with the more difficult to find items in bold. The manual is tabbed and divided by Semesters, Quizzes, and Labs. In the Semester sections, you have all of the weekly questions from the student manual along with the information your student should have discovered in his research. These can be used during the weekly discussions to ensure the student has researched properly. You can always fill in areas you feel are important that may have been missed as well. The Quizzes and Final Exams section is pretty self explanatory and contains the answer keys. The Lab Manual contains probable hypothesis and observations.

I love the philosophy behind this program. I know that when I research and plan a unit study for my children, I learn so much more than they! One of my goals in homeschooling has always been to teach my children HOW to learn. We will always have gaps in our education as it it's impossible to teach everything. They key is to give our children the skills to discover information on their own. By High School, they should be capable of researching and finding information on their own. This program allows for this, as well as for using living books as well as more technical ones.

My biggest concern with this curriculum is a personal flaw on my part. If I don't have a materials kit that contains everything I need for experiments, I tend to skip them. Yikes, I know, bad mom. But it's the truth. If I was able to purchase a materials kit with all my supplies, I would be ecstatic. They do offer a kit with the more difficult to find items, which I appreciate, but I want it all! If you are anything like me, I would suggest putting together your own kit when doing the yearly curriculum shopping.

Physical Science is available for $79.99. The Total Package, which includes the hard to find lab items, is $110. Sound interesting? Sample pages can be found at their web site!

Science For High School Biology and Chemistry also available!

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