Wednesday, July 17, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL PHYSICAL SCIENCE IN YOUR HOME schoolhouse review crew review 2013 #hsreviews #hsscience

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Sometimes we need a little change from our normal way we learn things, this is why I was elated when we were given the opportunity to review Bridget Ardoin's Science For High School. There are a few choices for your picking with her curriculum, for us we chose High School Physical Science In Your Home. This curriculum is geared for homeschool students in grades 9-12. This fit perfectly for us with Alyx just finishing 9th grade and Taylor just entering 9th grade, I thought this would be a great start to High School Science for them as a pair. 

Now you might be wondering why I said a change in the way we learn things?? Well, I am so glad you asked. The way this curriculum is set up is not your traditional text book and work book. This learning is based on research. There are set things you need to learn with each lesson but you also learn as much as you want depending on how deep you dive into your research. The other thing I loved about the curriculum is it is student driven, which lends itself to how we have been encouraging the boys to work more independently in certain subjects to prepare for college which in reality is not too far off. There are also labs that go along with each unit of study that use many common household objects, there is a comprehensive list that is given so that you may gather the items needed to complete them. 

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   We were given the Student Manual, a set of quizzes and test and the Teacher's Guide, this set retails for $79.99. You may also purchase extra student manuals for $24.99.   The course is divided into 2 semesters with a total of 25 units. Each unit takes about a week to complete based on the research questions, the labs, and the quizzes and tests. The list of supplies needed for the labs is included in the Teacher's Guide but Lab Kits are available to purchase from the website for a fee of $45.

    Each week starts off with a list of questions and a due date. They are to work independently to find the answers to these research questions by utilizing all available resources, these can include books, internet searches, library tools, and encyclopedias, the options are only limited by your children's mind. We have tons of science books in our homeschool so this was not a hard task to complete even when our internet was being uncooperative, and we always had the iPad to do research on as well.   When the due date arrived I would sit with the boys and go over their answers and research notes. This was easy to do with the help of the handy Teacher's Guide. Then we would work on the Lab that was associated with that lesson. Each week was a new topic that pertained to physical Science, my boys' favorite was the part on Astronomy, we even ended that unit with a fieldtrip to the Planetarium. They loved it so much they cannot wait to go again, and I am pretty sure a telescope will be our family gift this coming Christmas. We did get a star finder app for our iPad and it is neat to look at the starts and constellations hear at camp where the sky is much cleared than down in the city.

   We are still working along in the first semester but when we complete it there is also a final exam included which makes grading for the class a complete package. I do not have the burden of creating my own final exam. This is a much appreciated tool that is included in the package.  My boys are truly enjoying this way of learning and it is opening up many avenues of learning that a traditional text book may not have afforded. To me it is a likeness to imaginary open ended play. When you have a toy, you use it with the intended purpose. With traditional textbooks you are given the question and you answer it. In this instance you are set off to explore your answer, leaving it up to your imagination how you are going to come to the answer. This is much like giving a kid some sheets and furniture and seeing how their fort will turn out with no intended plan. This has somewhat been hard for my kids, as with their Asperger's Syndrome, Imaginative play was always hard and did not come as natural as most kids. This has been a fun learning experience for my kids and I to watch them blossom and steer their learning and research. I am definitely exploring the next set of books to continue on with Science for High School with the boys, I think we may do Biology next, but the kids are really interested in Chemistry so we will have to see.

   I highly recommend this curriculum for anyone who wants a change in their curriculum and the way your kids learn, or if you enjoy research based learning already then this is right up your alley. This is also a wonderful curriculum for independent learning, so if that is something you are interested in as well, this is certainly a great option. Be sure to check out the other crew reviews as there is a review for each of the books in the curriculum set, you can do this by clicking on the banner below.


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