Worried about how to Homeschool High School Science? Here’s encouragement: You Can Do It!
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:
- Apologia Science, A Beka, Bob Jones- Biology, Chemistry, Physics
- 7 Sisters Human Development, Psychology (adaptable to levels- note, Human Development and Psychology are Social Sciences, so are elective sciences, make sure they are acceptable with your supervising organization)
- Saxon Physics
Students who are not gifted or interested in science will do better with an average high-school science curriculum:
- AGS Biology, Chemistry
- Westfield Studios 101 Series Biology, Chemistry, Physics
- Wiley Chemistry Concepts and Problems- Clifford Houk
- 7 Sisters Human Development, Psychology (adaptable to levels)
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.