I just read your special report and think it was very well done. Lots of great tips for saving money and giving parents confidence to strike out on their own a bit more. I was surprised to see that you suggested skipping Biology or doing it with media applications (online or video) instead of hands-on. In Arizona, the state universities are very particular about the high school sciences being first-hand LAB courses. This is something that I have stressed with my contacts and in my workshops--not just Biology, but any high school science needs to be documented actual lab work. Tell me what you have encountered that puts a lighter emphasis on the labs. Is this more a state-by-state emphasis or is there more of a trend toward "softer" science coursework? Keep up the good work. You are doing many of the things that I dream of doing and can't make happen all by myself.
~Holly in Arizona
"The NRC report committee concluded that there exists no commonly agreed upon definition of laboratories in high schools amongst researchers and educators."
Fresh roadkill is great for dissection, and it's free. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to convince my husband of that :-( He hasn't yet let me bring anything dead home except a salmon a fisherman gave me ;-)
I just had a thought about science and testing. I have always taught science through a Christian perspective. Is that going to mess them up with sat testing?
Great question! I just answered that question today with another mom, too! The answer is no, it won't mess them up on the PSAT, SAT, or ACT. There are hardly ever questions that are very specific, only some passing references to "Billions of years ago..." Not enough to really affect a score, and most homeschoolers are savvy enough to answer correctly anyway. I'll blog post on that topic later, though. It's interesting!
Would a Nature Study count as a lab science? My girls are neither one interested in science - one is going into music, the other film production. We're doing biology now, and I suspect we'll either do chemistry or physics, but the thought of doing both is a little...exhausting to thing of to my two non-science-centered girls.
And another question...would earth science count as a lab science? We covered astronomy, weather, etc., oceanography, etc. and built lots of weather forecasting items and built a telescope to study the stars.
We dissected a snake the cat left dead in the front yard. We broke apart a cheap razor and used sewing pins in a cardboard mat. Not the best methods but for a 9 year old he was thrilled. Luckily I had dissected dogs, cats, etc in college so I was past being squeamish.
Your idea sounds like a good one but, fresh road kill is NOT a great idea. You could actually get rabies from them. You have probably already thought about that since posting this. You can read more at this site.
Food Chemistry is a great way to get some chemistry into our students. I love the Magic School Bus series that deal with more aspects of science. We need to think more out of the box when describing life experiences that have taught our students more than what can be taught in less than 170 hours in a classroom setting...
Describing a child's passion in terms of what they have learned is a much better approach to science. Observations, experiments and the all important recapping of their experiences in a written form are excellent ways of accomplishing lab work.
I'm quite surprised that science isn't required by more universities, because it's probably the most wide covering subject studied. Only basic maths is ever needed in a regular job (and not even that anymore) and obviously English is important but science covers a lot more of what we actually understand in life.
Science IS required for admission by almost all colleges. Some colleges allow some flexibility, and others are more specific about the types of science or the lab experiences they require.
Most colleges also require 3-4 years of math - as possible for the student. Some colleges allow some flexibility on WHAT math you teach, and others are more specific, and want to see Algebra 2 or Pre-calculus.
Here is an article that may help you think about math:
Hi, We work with horses,my high school girls go to the barn almost every day. last year we were riding as a p.e. class.
we actually have two equine classes one happens to be equine science and equine horsemanship.
While the girls have a lot of hands on things with the horses this year was rough, our personal horse coliced and then foundered and then had to be put down. Lots of people asked what i did for school for the last two weeks while we took care of him 24/7 and i replied it is science. hands on/lab science. tempature, injections, caring for a sick horse...now i am havng second thoughts can i use that as a lab?
thank you for imput
There is no real definition of what a high school lab science entails. If you would like support, become a member of the Gold Care Club and we can discuss it: http://www.thehomescholar.com/gold-care.php. The issues can be complicated, and it really depends on your situation.
Do the video labs count? We buy those as the kits were way too expensive. I thought that as long as the child had the lab workbook and filled it out as they watched the video that it would count for lab. Now I've been told that isn't true, that the student has to get their hands dirty.
You can read my full article about lab sciences here: http://www.thehomescholar.com/high-school-science-labs.php. Some public schools can't afford lab kits, and they use videos. Independent homeschoolers get to choose what is best for their children.
I guess this is a follow-up to what Colleen asked or just a clarification. Generally speaking, video dissections can be counted as labs? if your child is not going into a science based career?