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I have a special needs 15 year old with reading comprehension at about a 6th grade level. I also have his twin sister and younger twin siblings that are 13 and performing at or above “grade-level”.
My 15 you daughter will likely do BJU’s Physical Science course. It is a high school designated course and I have all the materials for it including the video course. This will enable her to take biology and chemistry before graduation.
My 15 yo special needs son and my 13 year olds I will likely put together for science. I’m just not sure in which direction I want to go.
Here is what I’m considering:
1) “Beefed-up” Apologia Young Explorer series Exploring Creation with Chemistry & Physics and the lab kit that goes with it. I would create tests after each lesson and require more “formal” lab reports for the more major experiments. Also I’d add in some topic-related living books for each lesson.
2) Apologia General Science – a good “formal” science course for all of them since they haven’t had a formal science course before.
3) Apologia Physical Science – this is geared toward middle school. In this case everyone would be doing physical science at the same time.because I will likely have my 15 yo daughter doing the BJU Physical Science along with the DVD course (BJU’s is high school level).
4) Berean Builders Science in the Atomic Age – while my 13 yo’s are 8th grade and SCM recommends this for 7th grade, they have not had formal science so I feel like I should start there. This seems equivalent in scope to Apologia’s General Science.
I should add my state does not have any homeschool graduation requirements or standards I must meet.
If it were me I would go with Physical for all. Then you could do labs together. I would just let my youngers enjoy labs with my high schooler.
Another option – Berean Builders Discovering Design with Earth Science. It is suitable for 8th grade as well as high school, which means everyone can do it and get high school credit…
That is what my 9th grader is going to do next year. It looks like fun. I am all about teaching the same curriculum to everyone whenever it is possible. One of the reasons I love SCM so much.Karen SmithModerator
If you want to ease your children into a more formal science course, then I’d start with Berean Builders’ Science in the Atomic Age. Atomic Age can be used for either 7th or 8th grade because Discovering Design with Earth Science can be used for either 8th or 9th grade. So you get some “wiggle room” in the middle school grades. Earth Science is definitely high school level and is a step up from Atomic Age.
All of Berean Builders’ middle school and high school science courses are written directly to the student assuming there is no one else in the house who knows science. Dr. Wile’s writing style is very conversational, almost as if he is sitting across the table from you. If your student happens to get stuck on a concept, Dr. Wile is available for help or you can purchase a video lesson on a single chapter or for the whole book. Berean Builders’ also has audio books of each science course if it is helpful for a student to hear the chapter being read instead of reading it himself.
My concern with using Atomic Age for my 15 yo is whether I can give him high school credit for it. I’d love to but how can I?
I don’t know what to do because I can’t give him a 10th grade course when His reading comprehension level is at 6th grade. And modifications like audio books don’t help due to his developmental delays in receptive language.
I feel like I only have two choices for him – 1) he can take a HS level course and take it super slow and stretch it out over 12-15 months or 2) take an elementary or middle school course written more at his level where he can be more independent with it and finish in one school year. I can add on assignments to make it more worthy of high school credit.
I don’t think he’ll go to college but I want him to be prepared in case he does or needs a transcript like for a job.
I mean, I’m really struggling with figuring this out when I wonder how do kids with special needs make it through public school when they clearly can’t do the work? How do I consider his needs, which are below high school level, while at the same time considering high school requirements because of his age?
this is especially difficult because he has a twin sister who excels at everything and younger siblings who are quite independent learners.
I dont know how flexible your state is, but you did say there are no grad requirements, and he wasnt likely college bound. I think you have more options than you think, you just need to be creative. You could give him half credit for “Survey of Science Fields” using Atomic Age and maybe some videos. Or allow two years for a standard high school science, just put the credit on the transcript when the course is complete, nobody needs to know how long it took. So maybe his transcript has a Physical Science credit in 10th grade and a Biology credit in 12th grade. Or maybe he gets to follow his interests with unconventional science. Something totally different than sister, and therefore no comparisons. Maybe earth science, astronomy, geology. Masterbooks has some very interesting looking science courses that seem a little less rigorous, but give HS credit. I think you have a number of options, but you have to think outside the box. If you choose an unconventional route he may need to make a pit stop at a junior college before a 4 year school, but that is ok. He will be more ready. If he gets along in his HS career and decides he wants a degree in a science/math field there is always summer school or extra science as electives. I wonder if HSLDA would have some tips for transcripts.Karen SmithModerator
Karen Smith – WOW! Thank you so much! I took a quick look and there’s a ton of great info and helps here. They also mention special needs help at HSLDA. We’re members so I think I will seek help there, too.
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