*This review was unsolicited and I was not compensated in any manner for it. This is a product I purchased for use in our homeschooling. This review applies only to the chemistry program, I have no experience with the others*
There are two things that people often cite when giving reasons they cannot homeschool high school: Math & Science
We’ll deal with math in a future post (because I had to get super creative with that one!) but I want to share with you a pretty cool science program I stumbled across.
Science for High School Chemistry is a rare gem, a secular science curriculum for high schoolers! (I discuss the secular aspect more in a bit!)
I’ve spoken before about my requirements for a science program, and while I wrote that specifically referring to elementary school my requirements aren’t different for high school.
To recap, any science curriculum brought into our home must:
1. Meet the needs of multiple learners of varying ages
This program meets the needs of any high school-aged kid (or an advanced middle schooler) who needs a high school credit in chemistry. It just so happens that I only have 1 high schooler this year, my oldest graduated and my other kids are in middle & elementary, but when I say it’s time for chemistry my younger kids love to gather around the table and watch the experiment.
2. Be hands-on and high-interest
This program is hands-on from the start! Each lesson, completed independently by the student, is followed up with a short lab activity.
3. Be affordable with labs that use common items
High school science programs are expensive but this was one of the more affordable programs. You can buy the entire curriculum for around $110, a little bit more if you need to purchase basic safety equipment and an alcohol burner. That’s not cheap but in the world of homeschool science curriculum it’s actually a really, really good price.
4. Be published by a company that takes a firm stand on the Creationism Vs Evolution debate, isn’t afraid to disclose it, and teaches evolution.
Sometimes we have to relax our standards to get the job done, and while I don’t necessarily like that, it is what it is. I couldn’t tell from the Science for High School website if this curriculum had an assigned worldview so I contacted the author of the program, Bridgt Ardoin, via email. I was pleasantly surprised when I received a phone call a short while later. It really meant a lot to me that the author cared enough to pick up the phone and call me to reassure me that while she is Christian the chemistry program deals with just chemistry and nothing else. After some thought I decided that this was good enough for me because let’s face it, the market isn’t exactly dripping with affordable & secular science options for high schoolers. I read through every single lesson and I am comfortable calling this a secular science curriculum.
Again, I have no idea if the other programs are secular or not, I haven’t looked at any others. If you have any questions I suggest asking the author.
Ok, with all of that aside let’s talk about the program some more.
Science for High School Chemistry is great for independent learners. If you’re looking for a program that will spoon-feed the information to your child, this isn’t the program you are looking for. I happen to think that’s a good thing. The program presents your child with a series of questions they are to research and answer, each lesson followed by a short lab activity.
Science for High School Chemistry takes very little teacher prep which is perfect for those of us with limited time and little desire to actually do preparation. I give my son the lesson, he finishes it, and I supervise the lab and help with any math as necessary. It’s a perfect match for my hands-off teaching style.
Science for High School Chemistry is good for those with basic science knowledge and those who are more advanced. My kid has never been in a science lab situation and because this program starts with the basics of safety it’s a great option for him. This is also why Science for High School Chemistry is great for parents who graduated high school a long time ago, if you catch my drift.
I’m very pleased with this purchase and with the curriculum. Actually, I like it A LOT, it’s pretty much the perfect match for both my teaching style and my son’s learning style. I think we’ll hit physics next year and I’m actually looking forward to it!
Meg Grooms is a decades-long secular homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle, currently calling Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.