Is it just me or does it seem that there are not many options for a quality, homeschool science curriculum? For our family, we have several things we seeking in choosing a program:
- Accurate Scientific Information: I know this seems a given, but many of the options available are so watered down the information becomes incorrect. Let's face it! Today's child is inundated with information from a variety of resources. Mythbusters and other Discovery Channel shows are some of our children's favorite shows. I am confident they can handle the "real deal
- Hands On Fun: Really, shouldn't all learning be fun? Science should be more than simply reading, filling in diagrams and recording vocabulary terms. Science should be experienced!
- Inquiry-Based: The buzz around the "powers that be" in education centers around promoting learning through critical thinking. Many of us who homeschool have been doing this for years. Why give kids the answer when they are naturally curious beings. As educators, we should feed on that, nurture it properly, and watch it grow into something wonderful!
As you can see, we may have high standards and I seem to run across the same struggles each and every year when faced with choosing a science curriculum. Some are too easy while others are too biased. Yet, others are just plain boring! As a result, I end up gong with something as a guideline and spend hours trying to find ways to supplement the material to make it interesting and fun.
For this year, I am excited to report that I have found three programs that may fit our needs and save me valuable time: Pandia Press R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey, ClassiQuest Science Study Guide and CPO Science.
- R.E.A.L. Science: I have used R.E.A.L. Science Level 1 in the past and have been extremely pleased. What I am excited about now, however, is the release in February 2013 of their Level 2 Biology materials. Building on their level 1 courses, the level 2 program seeks to actively engage learners by bringing high school level material to middle school student. Exciting! For those interested in learning more about these courses, they offer both print and ebook formats, as well as, a "try before you buy" option. Currently, all of their ebooks are 25% off until September 30, 2012.
- ClassiQuest Science: I actually stumbles across these study guides this morning. What a find! These guides follow the classical education model and correspond to the Logic Stage appropriate for 5th-8th grades. Using the The Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia, 3rd edition and a few other resources as their spine, students are actively engaged in labs, research, and quality learning experiences.
- CPO Science: Our oldest daughter has been using CPO Science for the past two years. This is a rigorous science course that integrates math and problem solving throughout each chapter.
Hopefully, this will provide some of you with options to consider when choosing your science programs for homeschooling. As usual, I welcome feedback and/or discussion.