How to Homeschool High School Science: You Can Do It!

Worried about how to Homeschool High School Science? Here’s encouragement: You Can Do It!

How to Homeschool High School Science: You Can Do It! 7SistersHomeschool.com

Whether your high schooler likes it or not, he has to have it. Whether you enjoy it or not, you have to make sure she learns it… science!

Some kids were born loving plant and animal physiology, chemical formulas, and propelled objects’ vectors. Praise God for that. But even the kids who don’t like it, can grow and experience the wonder of God’s created universe through a good high-school science curriculum.

Each state varies on exact requirements for science, so check HSLDA’s website for state laws (and join, too). Also, check what local and interesting colleges are looking for (ie, physics is not required for graduation in Delaware, but students who would like to attend University of Delaware will need it).

Here is a good rule of thumb for high school. Students need a minimum of 4 credits in science:

  • 1 credit biology with at least 30 hours lab time
  • 1 credit chemistry with at least 30 hours lab time
  • 1 credit health or human development
  • 1 credit specialty science- physics, psychology, anatomy, advanced biology, astronomy, marine science, food science, or other interest

Note: In many cases, 3 of the 4 science classes will need 30 hours lab. Biology and chemistry must have the labs. You choose the other course to earn lab hours.

Here are some curriculum suggestions (courses our various kids have used; we are not affiliates with any but 7Sisters).

Students going into a science major or having a gift or interest in science should use a college-prep science curriculum:

 

Our homeschoolers received hazmat suits at one of field trips
Our homeschoolers received hazmat suits at one of field trips

Students who are not gifted or interested in science will do better with an average high-school science curriculum:

Students who struggle with learning and need a remedial-level science:

  • Pearson Education Pacemaker Biology (secular text, but excellent for this level learner)

Science Labs for High School

Science labs are a necessity. Usually 3 high school sciences will need 30 hours of lab work each. Biology and chemistry are two of the courses requiring labs. You and your student will choose the third.

Here are some ideas for earning lab hours:

  • Many texts include labs within the text or a lab manual. These often come close to 30 hours.
  • Field trips- a wealth of hours. Go to zoos, aquariums, arboretums, museums, laboratories (if possible)
  • Science lab co-ops- We have often done monthly science co-ops where 5 or 6 moms each take an experiment and the kids spend the morning running through each project. Fun as a group (except one time when I almost burned my friend Karen’s house down *sigh*).
  • Google: easy biology or chemistry at home for fun experiments

Be sure to record your student’s time and what he did OR have her write a lab report with time indicated.

 

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

10 Replies to “How to Homeschool High School Science: You Can Do It!”

  1. Going back in the recesses of my mind here… One child volunteered with a Veterinarian and got to see operations, visit zoo animals and horse and cattle farms.
    We co-oped with several families and for our last child the group of us hired someone to teach Chemistry for 8 students (retired gentleman who loved to teach)
    Now that I’m working for a science research lab, I realize that we take on several high school and college volunteer positions every summer. If you child loves science this is a great way to go.
    Retired home schooler Kate from Cleveland

  2. While I love science (at least the life sciences) my children did not all share my interest. We used simpler textbooks with lots of labs to keep it interesting.

  3. Thanks, Vicki!

    Great timing. My youngest girls and I have just begun talking about next year’s science plans. They LOVE science!

    Great help to think of the many options and the variety of ways to do them.

    Is there a particular sequence you find that works best for the sciences?

    • I varied sequence a bit from kid to kid. Often Biology in 10th grade and Chemistry in 11th grade.

      That left 9th and 12th for Health (we did Human Development) and things of interest to them such as psychology and earth science (and the oldest 2 did physics in 12th).

  4. One of my sons did an online (and very thorough) course on ecology one year. It was quite interesting; we both enjoyed it. And it was a nice break from the textbooks he had been using.

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