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My son and I have been really frustrated with science the last couple years. He’s now in 9th grade. I tried doing Apologia General Science last year and it didn’t go so well. That may have been because he wasn’t putting forth best effort. So this year I thought, “He likes knowing how things work and putting things together. Let’s try Physical Science this year.” Well, that was very frustrating for him also from day one. We put it aside after the first term and I had him just reading a living science book for term 2. This term we pulled it out again to try. Nope. He is still struggling and when I try to help him, I can’t even understand what the book is talking about. Physics is not my thing. They might as well be speaking in a foreign language. I much more enjoy and understand earth science-animals, trees and plants, etc. So how can I expect him to understand and do the work when I don’t understand it, and can’t help him? I feel like his whole first year of high school science was wasted because we spent so much time trying to figure this stuff out. And today I am ready to just shelve the books, but then what? I don’t know where to go from here? I know it’s not about the grades but about how much he knows and cares, and about his relationship with God through creation, but it won’t look good on his transcript when I can’t put anything down for science his 9th grade year. And what about next year? Should I keep trying Apologia or switch to something else? Any advice from my fellow homeschool parents would be greatly appreciated.CrystalNParticipant
Apologia is not everyone’s cup of tea. I know the homeschool community in general loves it and it is recommended here at SCM, but we really don’t care for the way it is written. It almost feels like homeschool blasphemy to admit that! My kids prefer Abeka. It is a bit less hefty. More concise I think. Or maybe it’s just that the lab portion is in a separate book. Not sure. It just felt less wordy. I have not had to be very involved. We did labs at a co-op. My oldest is NOT strong academically and he was able to get through Abeka Biology mostly without me. My daughter is doing Physical Science now. Masterbooks has courses that feel less text booky. Sabbath Mood uses living books and is CM.alphabetikaParticipant
Any chance he could take science online?MissusLeataParticipant
If I were the one teaching science, my kids would NOT be doing Apologia. It’s just not my thing. There are other great options out there. I’d find one of them. (Answers in Genesis has some science courses on videos. That’s what I’d be using if we didn’t have science at the co-op!)retrofamParticipant
Some ideas are The 101 DVD series (biology, chem, physics), Guest Hollow, Sabbath Mood, Friendly Biology and chemistry, Highschool Biology(and others) in Your Home, or PACworks.
Thank you, ladies, for your advice! I will look into some of those.GrammaTink1961Participant
Is Apologia the “Exploring Creation Through…..”? My older two did the physical science last year in 9th grade and did very well. It has videos that go with it and a student workbook. They are doing Exploring Creation Through Biology this year and again, doing well. Neither are brainiacs but the student workbook is laid out very well with each days assignments and the videos give further insight & instruction. I got the dissection kits for them cuz where else can you find that stuff? They did Abeka in 8th grade and it would go better with a teacher and it has many experiments to demo – the teacher is supposed to do them for the students, plus alot of quizzes, pop quizzes and homework. I wish we had done the Apologia for 8th grade too.
Yes, that’s what we’re using, although ours says Exploring Creation WITH, rather than THROUGH, but I think we’re talking about the same thing. My son has been working through the notebook, but he’s having a really hard time understanding the information. And frankly, I don’t understand physical science myself, not when I’m trying to learn it from a book, so I’m not much help to him. It’s just not a good fit for him, so I’m going to look to go in a different direction.LovinMyFamParticipant
Devotional Biology by Compass Classroom. Love, love, love it! It is 50% off right now.
My older 3 children hated Apology. Not sure why we tried it so many times!
Thank you for sharing, lovinmyfam. Unfortunately, I think it’s out of our price range, which is a bummer because it looks really good. I love that he places God at the starting point to science.froggerParticipant
If he loves to build things or learn how they work, you definitely want to pursue physical science or Physics. In following with the theme of choosing authors or teachers who love their topic CM style I could make some recommendations.
https://learnscience.academy/ Conceptual Academy started with Paul Hewitt who wrote a very well known and loved Conceptual Physics book. They added videos here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzfPYsDenQo0XYHq4SmfG0Q
which you can access for free but having the videos, plus homework questions, plus reading assignments all put together for you is worth a lot. I just started the Physical Science with my third high schooler so I can only really review the first part of it. This is not a Christian curriculum but it isn’t really an issue with forces and motion and such. Biology and Geology is where you will find the most disagreement with secular textbooks.
My oldest and youngest sons have taken classes at Potter’s School and their reviews range from fairly good to good. I didn’t think my third child could keep up though as he is very active, hands-on and doesn’t really like school so we chose the Conceptual Academy for him. He can do it in 12 months instead of 9.
I would also recommend Great Courses. Once again these aren’t Christian so you probably won’t like the Biology and Geology but the “How Everyday Things Work” or what I’m currently watching with DS 3, “Understanding the World’s Greatest Structures” is really good and has no controversial stuff. It is stuff you would learn in college engineering but they don’t make you do all the math which is really the hard part so you can still get the concepts.KimParticipant
Seems like you mentioned you are on a budget, however there is another online science courses site you could at least look at: https://journeyhomeschoolacademy.com/
They have elementary/middle school/high school level science courses such as biology, chemistry, astronomy, earth science.
My child was perfectly happy with the biology and astronomy.AndreaParticipant
I’m going to be using Sabbath Mood Homeschool. There is an Electronics course which is very hands on. I don’t know if it’s what you’re looking for, but the lessons seem well-structured and the readings clear from living science books. Perhaps have a look: F3-4 Electronics | Sabbath Mood Homeschool. High School Science Curriculum | Sabbath Mood HomeschoolkdanielsParticipant
This is going to be out of left field for most, but my kids, when it comes to science, love Abeka Biology as long as they can go at their own pace. I know it smacks of being too traditional, but my boys love the headings and to the point information. They love the labs we did (there are more than you’d ever want to do, but that gives a lot to choose from). AND Abeka biology has activities in the section reviews that are very CM, like making a collection of pressed flowers, etc. Quizlet has a lot of resources online for free to drill terms etc. My kids are required to use this as an opportunity to take notes from a textbook, which they will need to do in college. My kids hated Apologia. Just hated it. But they love Abeka Biology. We do dissection labs via you tube except for one or two that they choose to do at home. We don’t do all quizzes and tests. I use their scores from quizlet for grades. Just print a screen a shot and you have a record for gpa. Just a thought.CrystalParticipant
Masterbooks has a biology curriculum that is affordable, and much more reasonable to read than Apologia. Master Books Homeschool Curriculum – Master’s Class High School Biology Set
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