Friday, July 12, 2019

Let's Talk About...Science

I know for some of you the only thoughts you have on your mind right now are pools and summer camps and picnics.  It's summer, I get it!  But for homeschoolers everywhere the new year is quickly approaching, or has already started, and curriculum is consuming their brain space.  Ask me how I know this!

After 21 years of homeschooling, I can honestly say I have seen a lot of curriculum come and go through this house.  Well, multiple houses, but you get the point.  We have used A LOT of stuff.  Being a reviewer of said curriculum just about doubles that on any given day.  There have been a few that have fallen flat in our eyes, but for the most part let me just say there are a lot of good resources out there to help you educate your children.

Because I have been doing this homeschooling gig F-O-R-E-V-E-R (trust me some days it feels like that!) and because I am passionate about helping newbies to this lifestyle get started, I get a lot of emails and texts about curriculum and what we use and like.

For the next several weeks we are going to talk curriculum- one subject at a time.  

Most I have used, all I would recommend.  I am not getting paid by anyone to endorse their products, though some I have reviewed in the past and then decided to continue using.  These are just my thoughts and experiences, and I will link the individual reviews when that is applicable to give you more details if you need them.

How can I recommend several products for the same age group?  Because every child is different and learns differently.  What might work well for one child might not for another- my kids are a perfect example.  Sometimes we start one thing to find it is not the best fit and we have to change things up.  Needless to say, having a closet full of curriculum has its advantages!

So first up- SCIENCE!

Let me start by saying I am not a huge science fan.  Actually, that is particularly true.  I like early-ed courses, but the high school level makes me cringe.  Labs and such overwhelm me, often seem pointless and too messy, and well, I am a boring mom.  I am also a mom who firmly believes school should be FUN not drudgery, especially in the early years.  You will see that reflected in my top choices!

Nancy Larson Science- This came to us at the perfect time!  I was worn out teaching and needed an all inclusive, easy to use curriculum.  It is pricey, but worth it!  It comes with  everything you need for labs, has booklet type reading material, and uses workbook pages.  My son adored it for several years.  It covers the basics well, but is not from a Christian specific worldview so proceed with caution.

Jeannie Fulbright's Exploring Creation series- Yes, we have used them all!  If you do not want to study one thing all year, look for something else, but otherwise these are great books and the newer notebooks you can buy to use are top notch and are available in two levels.  We have done some fun projects with these books and The Human Anatomy and The Solar System ones are our absolute favorites if I had to pick the top two.  A beautiful Christian perspective of God's Creation for elementary and middle school ages!

Abeka Online- I mention this because we used this for a year with a lot of success.  It would not be how I would normally teach a child because I am not a huge fan of online programs, but it filled a need for us and my son loved it.  It is an old classroom feel complete with memory drills and recitation and old fashioned quizzes and tests, but learning from someone else and taking you out of the teaching equation sometimes has its advantages.  If you child likes that type of thing, I think ABeka online is the best place to start and is available at all levels.

The 101 Science Series- This is another example of needing something different for a different kind of learner.  After trying multiple products for Chemistry we landed on this one with our third child and liked it.  Read here- managed to understand everything and not be at war with my child daily over science!

Geology for Kids- A Biblical Approach to Earth Science and Earth History- This is obviously Geology specific, but I can't not talk about this program.  We loved it and learned so much and it is HARD to find a Geology program with a Christian worldview.  Patrick makes learning fun and the rock kits made my son super happy.  There are several sets available and video courses as well.  A great addition to your curriculum, I promise!

Friendly Biology- OK, this is one I have not used, but it is in my que to review soon for Timberdoodle Co.  I have heard good things about it and am looking forward to checking it out.  I will let you know what we think.  Luckily we are still a few years out of our last child having to take Biology, but I know we are in need of something different so I am hopeful this will fit the bill.

*A quick word about high school level sciences- If possible, sometimes it is easiest to have your child take a college science course and dual-credit it.  Colleges are looking for science courses with labs, sometimes as many as 3, and we have had some issues with homeschool labs not fitting their parameters.  (I know, don't even get me started!)  That being said, I would just advise you to be vigilant with your record keeping and ask questions of your state's laws and college requirements.  (Especially a state you randomly move to in your child's junior year that has rules that differ from those you have operated under, just saying)

Are there other Science programs out there?  Absolutely!   And equally as good, I am sure.  This is just what we have used and been successful with.  The best advice I can give you is know your student, do your research, and don't be afraid to try multiple products if needed.  The right fit is out there just waiting to be found!

What do you use and love?  We would love to hear from you!



  1. Thank you for the note about high school labs...I am making note of it so I can revisit the subject of what our teen wants to do after high school.

  2. Great overview of some excellent options! Thanks for sharing!


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