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Homeschool Science Curriculum For All Ages

mom helping high school girl with homeschool science

Homeschool Science with Berean Builders

At Berean Builders, we are committed to helping you create critical thinkers in your homeschool through our science courses covering every grade level. Whether science is your favorite subject, or it gives you pause, our courses bring clarity to scientific ideas and engaging experiments that bring the concepts to life.

Dr. Jay Wile has created a series of science courses created to help you teach science at home.

Wondering where to begin?

Take a look at your homeschool needs. We offer a list of questions and suggestions to help you get started.

Ready to dive into building critical thinkers? Let’s take a look at our courses designed to simplify teaching science at home while offering your student a well-defined path to understanding and solid preparation for further studies in college.

Homeschool Science Curriculum Options For Elementary School

For students at the elementary level, we offer fun and engaging learning opportunities through our chronological journey of science through history. If you’re excited for your student to follow along from the earliest scientific discoveries to modern-day advancements, this series is for you!

Elementary students are just starting to notice the science of the world around them. What better way to apply their wonder than to introduce basic scientific concepts found in everyday discoveries. While they are learning to read and write and perform mathematical operations, they can use their new-found skills to explore science through our courses.

Begin at the beginning with a look at the science of Creation. Dr. Wile presents the basics in an easy-to-understand format that opens up the world for your student to discover more. Dive into kitchen science with our hands-on experiments that follow along with the textbook concepts to help your student understand the science behind the explanations.

Throughout our Science through History courses, your student will follow the scientists of the ancient world and beyond to see how critical thinking played an enormous role in scientific developments.

From the ancient to the medieval to the scientific revolution ages your student will continue expanding on the information they gathered, hanging details on the hooks of their previous discoveries, all while improving those basic reading, writing, and math skills they’re learning  by documenting their studies in notebooks.

Our engaging elementary courses take your student from Creation to Marie Curie and offer a clear view of the science of our world in a way your elementary student will enjoy.

Science Curriculum For Homeschooling Middle School

Middle school and junior high courses take learning up a notch and bring students into the atomic age, along with our in-depth earth science course designed to go deeper into the elementary concepts your student has already learned.

By this stage, your student may be interested in online studies. Our courses create a dynamic environment for learning, participation, and feedback.

What if your student’s style doesn’t quite line up with our presentations? You’re in luck. We also offer self-paced recorded classes so your student can take their time over a concept or power through something they quickly understand.

The middle school science courses are customizable for your homeschool student, which makes Berean Builders science a good fit for many different learning styles.

High School Homeschool Curriculum For College Prep

High school science can sometimes be intimidating, but we got you. We offer high school level science courses in biology, chemistry, and physics, plus online classes and direct access to Dr. Wile for questions about concepts that may be puzzling.

Our courses present the sciences with an undercurrent of wonder about the design of our world and universe. With clear explanations and hands-on experiments, your high schooler will develop critical thinking skills that are necessary and applicable in college and university levels of learning.

Unsure which you should teach first in high school? Check out this article on the order of courses. (Hint: it has to do with math skills!)

Interested in offering your student honors courses to further ready them for college? Any of our high school courses can earn an honors credit when specific conditions are met. We detail these here.

Berean Builders In Your Homeschool

Whether your student wants to learn from a textbook or online, use audiobooks or pre-recorded lessons, Berean Builders has science presentations designed to fit all learning styles.

With plenty of real-world experiments to conduct right in your home, your student will have first-hand experiences with the concepts from our courses.

And when something is just not clicking, we’re here for you.

Science questions, course questions, experiment questions, technical support? Everything you need to bring science to your homeschool from elementary to middle school to high school is available right here at Berean Builders.

Start building your critical thinkers today.

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DNA and RNA: Homeschool Learning Resources

DNA and RNA learning resources

To properly study genetics, students must understand the fundamental components of DNA and RNA, the molecules of genetics. Not only will this knowledge enrich your students’ appreciation for God’s creation, this subject can also be a springboard into many other scientific discussions in biology and even biotechnology.

So how do you go about presenting DNA and RNA in your homeschool?

DNA and RNA Basics

Since DNA and RNA are complex concepts, first build a solid foundation of understanding. Begin with the basics, explaining that DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) are essential molecules that carry genetic information.

You can use simple, age-appropriate analogies to make these concepts more accessible. For example, compare DNA to a blueprint that holds all the information needed to build and operate a house (the cell), while RNA is like a set of instructions that are read from the blueprint to create different components of the house.

DNA and RNA Structure

Students should understand the structure of DNA and RNA. Use models, diagrams, and visual aids to explain how DNA is composed of two long chains of nucleotides twisted into a double helix. Meanwhile, RNA is a single-stranded molecule with a similar nucleotide structure.

Use simple craft projects to help students create DNA and RNA models, which can be a fun and hands-on way to reinforce their understanding of these molecules. Even older students will enjoy building models to help them better visualize the microscopic intricacies of DNA.

Extracting DNA from a strawberry or banana is a popular activity for all grades where students can follow the process and see the strands that contain the instruction manual directing the growth of the fruit.

The Function of DNA

Introduce the primary function of DNA. Explain that DNA is the hereditary material that contains the instructions for building and maintaining an organism. Encourage students to think of DNA as the “data bank” that holds the information necessary for life.

Connect this to the study of genetics and probability by creating a family tree or pedigree chart to show how genes are inherited and passed down through generations.

DNA replication is a fundamental process in genetics that enables cells to make copies of their DNA. To help students grasp this concept, use a hands-on activity. You can compare DNA replication to unzipping a zipper and then zipping it up again, with each zipper side serving as a template for creating a new strand of DNA. This will make the process of DNA replication more tangible and understandable for young learners.

Label a paper zipper model with A, T, C, and G cutout shapes to show how these nucleotides fit together like puzzle pieces. Explain that this DNA “alphabet” forms DNA “words” which join together to form the “sentences” we call genes.

Along with teaching DNA is the study of RNA. Explain that RNA acts as a messenger, carrying instructions from DNA to the cellular machinery that builds proteins.

Variations and Mutations in DNA

To make the lessons more engaging, introduce the concepts of variations and mutations. Explain that mutations are changes in the DNA code that appear during replication. These “edits” can result from various factors, including exposure to radiation or chemicals or may simply be an error in translation.

You can use simple, everyday examples like a typographical error in a book to help students understand how mutations can lead to genetic variation and sometimes diseases. Explore interesting variations such as why some people think cilantro tastes like soap.

Genetics in General

Bringing the world of genetics into real-life contexts can make learning more meaningful. Discuss how genetics plays a role in various aspects of life, from the production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to understanding the genetic basis of inherited diseases.

Explore the work of famous geneticists and their contributions to the field, such as Gregor Mendel, James Watson and Francis Crick. You can even explore recent breakthroughs in genetics, like gene sequencing, cloning, and CRISPR gene editing, to showcase the evolving nature of the field.

DNA and RNA in Berean Builders Science Courses

We introduce Gregor Mendel in our Science in the Industrial Age course and explore DNA in our Science in the Atomic Age course and our Discovering Design with Biology.

Your homeschoolers will enjoy the conversational tone of our courses and the hands-on experiments we provide to bring science to life for your students. And as always, we provide plenty of resources and encouragement for you and are happy to answer any questions you or your students may have.

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Genetics and Probability: Homeschool Learning Resources

Homeschool life science and biology courses dive into the wonderful world of genetics and probability. While this can seem like a daunting subject, the courses at Berean Builders introduce these topics with conversational language and hands-on experiments to help students understand the complexities of how they work.

Family Genetics: Physical Traits and Medical History

You can begin to introduce the concept of genetics to your elementary school students by studying your own family and how some relatives carry the same hair color, eye color, or other traits through the generations.

And since our genetic makeup often determines our health and chances for medical problems, younger students can understand genetic tendencies to heart disease or other inherited issues in their family history.

Genetic Probability for Elementary Students

Heredity is complex and based on dominant and recessive gene characteristics, but your younger students can grasp probability with a simple activity using colored beads and a set of dice. Connect the colors to genetic traits and have them answer questions or create graphs related to how often a number or color appears.

You can also provide coins marked with various genetic traits and have the students keep up with the outcomes of a certain number of tosses. Include different traits, such as facial features, then have your student draw that face, or choose a pet and let probability determine its characteristics.

Of course, working with a small Punnett square can offer a clear comparison of simple traits that are dominant or recessive. Introduce Gregor Mendel, then use dog traits, flower traits, or even design-your-own-alien traits to make the activity fun.

Hands-On Genetics Experiments for Homeschool

Experiment with growing plants that can be cross-pollinated to chart leaf shapes or flower colors. Show how genetics is used in breeding programs to develop crops with desirable traits, such as drought resistance and higher yields. This microcosm of genetics can help students understand the bigger picture of traits in other plants, animals, and humans.

You can also cover animal husbandry to discuss how genetics is applied in animal breeding to enhance the quality of livestock throughout history and in modern day farming and ranching.

Teaching Genetics in High School

As your homeschool student moves into higher grades, you can expand the scope of study in genetics and probability. Include current events and related science announcements to encourage questions to research.

Explain the make-up of chromosomes and where genes are located. Explain that certain characteristics are carried only by X or Y chromosomes, making some traits (and diseases) more likely to appear in a specific gender. Show the basics of DNA structure and explore the double helix design. Include hands-on models to magnify the intricate workings of DNA.

Investigate blood types and how they are inherited, how transfusions work, and who can give blood to whom. Get an inexpensive blood-typing kit and test everyone in the family. This is another opportunity to sleuth out familial patterns as well as potential blood disorders that could appear in future generations.

Taking basic Mendelian concepts a step further, your student can explore more complex traits that involve multiple genes and environmental factors. These calculations require a bit more math knowledge and a few probability equations.

Explore how our environment affects our genetics. Can what we drink, eat, and breathe cause genetic mutations in our bodies? Knowing how mutations occur is a stepping stone to understanding how outside influences can cause changes in our bodies.

Introduce cloning and how the offspring are intended to be genetically identical to the parent. Open up a discussion about the ethics of genetic modification.

Notebooking Homeschool Genetics Lessons

We encourage you to have your students keep notebooks for their science courses. In these journals, your student can write, draw, paste pictures, and create charts and graphs of the interesting and important details they cover while learning about genetics. These notebooks are also excellent receptacles for experiment notes, plus they make great study tools for comprehension tests.

Homeschool Genetics from Berean Builders

Genetics surrounds us, and you can find many opportunities for your homeschool student to investigate and explore the great mysteries printed in our code of life.

Find genetics discussions and experiments in the following Berean Builders courses:

Science in the Industrial Age

Discovering Design With Biology

And if you have any questions about teaching genetics to your students, we are here to help with plenty of resources and reassurance.

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States of Matter: Homeschool Learning Resources

One exciting concept to explore in elementary and middle school homeschool is the states of matter. You can keep it simple for younger students and expand on the knowledge for a deeper exploration in middle school including non-Newtonian fluids and plasma.

Need some ideas about how to teach the states of matter for homeschool science? Let’s go!

What are the States of Matter?

Matter can exist in three primary states: solid, liquid, and gas. How the atoms and particles are arranged in a substance determines its state.

  1. Solid: In solids, particles are closely packed and have a fixed position. Solids have a definite shape and volume.
  2. Liquid: Liquid particles are more loosely arranged and can move past each other. Liquids have a volume that depends on temperature but take the shape of their container.
  3. Gas: Gaseous particles have a lot of space between them and move freely. Gases have a volume that depends on pressure and temperature but take the shape of their container
  4. Plasma: The most common state of matter in the universe, this very state makes up the Sun and stars. It consists of positively-charged particles and free electrons. While it can be made in a lab, it does not exist naturally on earth.
  5. Non-Newtonian Fluids: Solid or liquid? Yes! Depending on how much stress they are under, these fluids, like ketchup and oobleck, can take on the properties of a solid.

Learning About The States Of Matter

Start With Observation

One of the easiest ways to introduce your child to the states of matter is by engaging their natural sense of curiosity. Point out various objects during the day that show examples of the different states of matter. Pick up a rock or a stick on your walk. Touch the milk in the glass. Smell perfume or blow bubbles.

Use simple, everyday examples to illustrate the differences between the states of matter. Show how water can exist as ice (solid), liquid water, and steam (gas) at different temperatures.

Conduct Hands-On Experiments

Hands-on experiments are a powerful way to make abstract concepts more tangible. You can find experiments online, in books, and in our courses. Here are some simple experiments you can try:

  1. Freezing and Melting: Place water in an ice cube tray and observe how it changes from a liquid to a solid when you freeze it. Conversely, watch it melt back into a liquid when it warms up.
  2. Evaporation: Leave a container of water outside and monitor how it disappears over time, evaporating into the air.
  3. Balloons and Air: Blow up a balloon to illustrate the properties of a gas.
  4. Good Morning Coffee: A great way to start the day with states of matter is to observe the solid mug, the liquid coffee, and the steam rising from the coffee.
  5. Sublimation: Set out some dry ice and watch it turn directly to vapor.
  6. Oobleck: Explore the properties of a non-Newtonian fluid right in your kitchen.

Use Visual Aids

Visual aids like diagrams, pictures, and videos can help reinforce the concepts of states of matter. Use diagrams to illustrate the arrangement of particles in solids, liquids, and gases. Videos can show real-world examples of matter transitioning between these states.

Put your student’s creativity to work in their notebooks as they document their understanding of the topic. Or have them create a collage of pictures representing the different states of matter.

Dive Deeper into Each State of Matter

Solids

Explore the properties of solids in more detail. Discuss how the particles in solids are tightly packed, leading to their fixed shape and volume. Here are some activities to reinforce this concept:

  1. Molecular Models: Use molecular modeling kits or household items like building blocks to create solid structures. This hands-on approach can help kids visualize the arrangement of particles in solids.
  2. Classification: Encourage your child to classify objects around the house as solids. Discuss their properties, such as rigidity and inability to flow.

Liquids

Investigate the properties of liquids and their transition from solid to liquid and vice versa. Some activities for this phase include:

  1. Mixing Liquids: Explore how different liquids mix and interact. For example, mix oil and water to show that they don’t readily blend.
  2. Water Cycle: Discuss the water cycle to explain how water can change from a liquid to a gas (evaporation) and back to a liquid (condensation).

Gases

Teach your child about the properties of gases and how they differ from solids and liquids. Activities to consider include:

  1. Invisible Gases: Discuss how gases are all around us, even though we can’t see them. Use simple examples like the air we breathe or the scent of a flower.
  2. Gas Expansion: Illustrate the concept of gas expansion by spraying some perfume in a room.

Plasma

Explain how the sun and stars are made up of plasma. Then bring the concept to life at home:

  1. Play with a plasma ball to observe how the gas inside interacts with the electric coil to make lightning-like arcs.

Relate States of Matter to the Real World

To make learning more relevant and interesting, connect the states of matter to real-life examples:

  1. Cooking: Explain how heat changes the state of matter in cooking, for instance, melting butter or boiling water.
  2. Weather: Discuss how temperature affects the state of water in the atmosphere, causing rain, snow, or clouds. If it’s winter, try to find a location where you can see snow, water, and clouds at the same time. Water in its three states of matter in one place!
  3. Phase Diagrams: Introduce phase diagrams to show how substances change states under varying temperature and pressure conditions.
  4. Gas Laws: For older students, you can explore gas laws like Boyle’s Law and Charles’s Law to explain how gases behave under different conditions.
  5. Tesla Coils: Investigate Tesla coils to learn more about the characteristics of plasma.

Understanding the states of matter is a basic concept for science students of all ages they can apply to higher knowledge throughout their lives.

States Of Matter With Berean Builders

If you are looking for an integrated and more in-depth curriculum to help your child learn about the states of matter, we recommend Science in the Beginning.

 

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Berean Builders: College Science Prep For Homeschoolers

homeschool students in college science lab

When your homeschool graduate gets to college, will they be ready for science?

How can you be sure?

Most of us remember science classes and labs in school. The smells, the jars and bottles of strange and wonderful substances and all those instruments! Plus mounds of new and exciting information.

Our teachers guided us through the systems and methods of high school science and lab work, and some of us took that to college where we realized…

We didn’t really know all that much about post-secondary science OR labs.

Our professors had to toss in some remedial instruction so we could succeed without blowing up the chemistry lab or cross-contaminating our petri dishes in the biology lab.

Not to mention the basic stuff we should have brought with us from high school.

And honestly, the last thing a college professor wants to do is fill in the blanks left by a high school teacher, no matter how talented that teacher was.

If you remember those days, or if you are concerned that you can’t possibly prepare your homeschooler for science in college, we’re here for you.

One of the most common homeschool parent worries is how to be sure their student is ready for college. And it’s a legitimate worry.

However, if you are presenting science courses from Berean Builders at home, your homeschooler is already getting college-prep science training.

College Prep Science For Homechoolers

First of all, Dr. Wile is a university professor.

He already knows the skills your student needs to be successful in college-level science.

Not only can Dr. Wile pass on this knowledge through the detailed material and extensive labs included in each Berean Builders science course, but he also helps students hone their critical thinking skills.

Critical thinking is vital, not only in science but in other subjects, as well as life after college.

Secondly, high school science is intended to give students a solid knowledge base on which they can build once they reach college.

This knowledge base is imperative.

In Dr. Wile’s words,

“You can’t stop to Google every time you have a problem.”

Some facts and processes need to be readily available in the quick access section of a student’s memory.

Berean Builders science courses build that base.

Your homeschool graduate will have the body of knowledge in their head that a university professor expects them to know.

Science courses from Berean Builders prepare students for college

The method behind our science courses combines comprehension checks throughout each lesson with reviews and knowledge tests at the end.

The reviews and tests help your student understand the facts presented, and the comprehension checks train your student how to think like a scientist.

These checks and reviews are balanced to help your student gain the facts they need and the thinking skills to apply them.

Why does this matter?

In order for your student to get the most out of college-level science courses and their associated labs, they can’t have facts at the exclusion of thinking skills, and vice versa.

Rote memorization may result in good grades in high school, but facts without critical thinking skills won’t help them advance in higher learning.

Conversely, thinking skills without facts won’t help them much either. Remember the Google comment above?

With Berean Builders, you can be confident you’ve provided your homeschool student the same level of instruction they would receive from high school college prep courses…if not better.

After all, they’ll be getting their high school education from a university professor. Which means your homeschool students will already be learning science skills at a college prep level.

University Professor On Standby For Your High Schooler

Not only that, Dr. Wile is easily accessible if your student has questions.

He’s only an email away, and he is eager to help his science students comprehend the concepts he presents in the courses.

Berean Builders brings science to your homeschool with professional labs designed to be conducted right at home.

To be sure your homeschool graduate has a well-rounded science education, include Berean Builders science courses in your planning for next year.

We’re here to help you determine the best sequence to present science subjects, and we’re looking forward to working with you as you help your student get ready for college and life beyond.

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The Periodic Table: Homeschool Learning Resources

the periodic table

Arguably one of the greatest contributions to the field of chemistry, the periodic table of the elements is more than just a graphical arrangement of symbols and numbers. Who was responsible for this monument of scientific history? And how can we as scientists make the most of the periodic table in our studies?

What is the periodic table of the elements?

The periodic table is a structured grouping of the 118 identified elements in our world. The table is organized into rows called periods and columns called groups. The groups contain elements that have similar chemical behavior.

Each block on the periodic table is a snapshot of one element that lists its:

  1. Chemical symbol
  2. Atomic number
  3. Average atomic mass of its isotopes.

You can investigate the periodic table to find patterns for yourself.

In a given period, the farther to the right the element is on the table, the smaller it is, the more electronegative it is, and the higher its ionization energy. By contrast, in a given group, the farther down the element is, the larger it is, the less electronegative it is, and the lower its ionization energy.

You will also find that the elements can be separated into metals, nonmetals, and metalloids. Most periodic tables use color to identify these categories, but the elements far to the left are metals, the ones to the far right are nonmetals, and some of the elements in between are metalloids.

The periodic table is a wonderful resource for solving chemistry problems and equations.

 

The names and letter symbols of the elements come from various sources such as 

  1. Latin (aurum for Au – Gold or natrium for Na – Sodium) 
  2. Greek (kryptos/stranger for Krypton or baris/heavy for Barium)
  3. Other languages (Spanish platina/little silver for Platinum or the old Anglo-Saxon/Celtic word ludaihe for Lead and the Latin word plumbum which became lead’s symbol Pb)
  4. People (Curium or Einsteinium)
  5. Places (Americium or Ytterbium)
  6. Planets and Asteroids (Plutonium or Cerium)

In addition to using this valuable resource for high school chemistry, younger homeschool students can familiarize themselves with the periodic table through word and number games, or hands-on discovery of elements around them.

  • Find interactive tables that list actual everyday uses for all of the most common elements, and let your students find these common items around your home.
  • Use the chemical symbols on the periodic table to spell words or create puzzles.
  • Decorate graphic artwork or create fun science-related greeting cards with chemical symbols.
  • Color the periodic table based on a properties key.
  • Find books about the periodic table to bring the information to life.
  • Create a card deck of the elements and make up games.
  • Use sticky notes to build a periodic table on the wall as your students learn new elements.

How many more fun ways can you find for your younger students to explore the periodic table?

The History of the Periodic Table

So how did we get this graphic marvel of modern chemistry?

Dmitri Mendeleev gets credit for organizing the elements into his periodic table in 1869, Previous earlier attempts by other scientists rarely get noticed, but were excellent examples of people trying to wrangle the elements into some semblance of order.

Way back in 1789, Antoine Lavosier began listing certain substances he believed were broken down as far as they could be. He called these substances “simples”.

Then John Dalton produced a table in 1805 of atomic masses derived from mixing elements to determine what they created. Although the measurements were primitive since the ratios were unknown, Dalton did develop the atomic theory.

In 1862, Alexandre-Emile Beguyer de Chancourtois devised a 3D model he called a telluric screw. This device, when rotated, displayed the atomic weights of certain elements at regular intervals and clearly showed a “periodic” occurrence of these weights.

John Newlands also noticed patterns among the atomic weights of elements and created an arrangement in 1865. His Law of Octaves compared these patterns with musical notes arranged in scales. The reason he used intervals of 7 is because the noble gasses hadn’t been discovered yet, and didn’t leave spaces for future discoveries. But he was on the right track and eventually got credit for his discovery.

Around the same time as Mendeleev was designing his periodic patterns, Julius Lothar Meyer recognized the periodicity of elements. At first, he played with just a few elements and made a chart of how they combined with each other, then later added the transition metals. His chart was very similar to the one Mendeleev published, but Meyer’s work was published a year later, so he deferred to Dmitri as the first.

Mendeleev sorted and arranged the elements into the original precursor table of our current table. He intuitively placed elements in their places based on their atomic weights as well as their properties in relation to similar elements. Since he was fond of card games, Dmitri initially used paper cards with atomic weights and arranged elements into groups he called “suits”.

An important feature of his table were the gaps he left for undiscovered elements and he even made predictions as to the characteristics of five of them. These predictions turned out to be accurate. Then when the noble gasses were discovered in the 1890s, they fit right into the table, further proving Mendeleev’s work.

It turns out, Dmitri’s table even anticipated and provided evidence to prove atomic structure, something scientists of the time had not discovered.

Mendeleev said of his discoveries:

“Before the promulgation of this law, the chemical elements were mere fragmentary, incidental facts in Nature. The law of periodicity first enabled us to perceive undiscovered elements at a distance which was inaccessible to chemical vision.”

He also said:

“Elements arranged according to the size of their atomic weights show clear periodic properties. All comparisons which I have made…lead me to conclude that the size of the atomic weight determines the nature of the elements.”

Finally, in 1913, Henry Moseley used x-rays to measure the wavelengths emitted by certain elements and then used a frequency calculation to figure out that atomic number actually represents the number of protons in the atoms that make up the elements.

Even in 1945 scientists were still making new discoveries and expanding the usefulness of the table. Glenn Seaborg made a discovery concerning a group of elements that modified the arrangement of one portion of the table, giving us the current version.

The Periodic Table in your homeschool

As you can see, many scientists contributed to the methodical organization of the elements in our world, and the periodic table continues to evolve today. With Mendeleev’s periodic law, the table continues to provide opportunities to discover new elements, and the periodic table as we know it today is a most useful scientific tool.

You will explore the periodic table of the elements more in our courses Science in the Atomic Age and  Discovering Design With Chemistry.

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How to Homeschool High School Science and Why You Should

You’ve mastered elementary and middle school science with your students. Keep up the good work with your homeschool science adventure as you dive into high school. We’ll help you!

Exploring science in the early grades is fun and exciting, but the prospect of introducing biology, chemistry, and physics to your high schoolers can be daunting.

Let’s explore how to transition from middle school to high school science to maintain your momentum.

Getting Ready For High School Science

If you’ve been homeschooling a while, you’re familiar with the laws in your state. You can find more information here. Review the requirements for high school graduation in your state to help you set educational goals.

If your student is college-bound, see what (if any) requirements your state has for high school graduation in a homeschool setting.  Just remember, even students who may not intend to go to college can use solid high school science knowledge in many different trades. Plus, if they change their minds, you’re all one step ahead.

Make your high school plan based on your research. Here at Berean Builders, we suggest teaching high school science in a specific order since math knowledge and science course progression go hand in hand.

Using a Curriculum for High School Science

Maybe you’ve enjoyed a child-led exploration of early grades using an eclectic mix of learning opportunities. You can still do that in high school, but to assure a more thorough science education, consider adding a curriculum designed to cover what your student will need after graduation.

A prepared curriculum offers lessons in a logical order that allows students to build on previous knowledge when presented with more complex concepts.  If you do not feel equipped to provide a solid science curriculum for your student, coops and online classes can be utilized as a way to aid independent study at home.

With high school science, your student may complete much of their work on their own. Sit down with them to determine a schedule of study so they can stay on track and understand what is expected of them by certain dates. Set aside days to review their work and take regular assessments as the year progresses.

You don’t have to know high school science to facilitate your student’s education in the subjects. Be creative, be resourceful, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Transitioning from Middle School to High School Science for Homeschoolers

Early years of homeschool consist of plenty of guided lessons. Once your student is ready for high school, you can begin to guide less and encourage more independent study. This not only takes some of the pressure off you to actually teach science but sets up your student for self-guided learning that will serve them well in college and life beyond.

Middle school science covers general ideas through life, earth, and physical science courses. This builds a framework for your high schooler to expand upon as they cover deeper concepts through biology, chemistry, and physics.

Your student may spend longer on a specific topic than they did in middle school. And while you may have presented engaging experiments to bring an idea to life then, in high school, your student will be much more methodical about lab work.

Notebooks are one possible way to study however, some students prefer notecards, some use highlighting and margin notes, and some prefer making outlines.  As your high schooler investigates a topic, have them write or draw their understanding of the idea. This can can be used later for study and will also give you insight into how well they are learning a subject.

High School Science Labs at Home

Typical graduation requirements for high school include science labs .  You can find many virtual labs for high school science that broaden your student’s understanding of concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics. However, It is important to note that virtual labs are not accepted by universities.  Real labs are necessary to meet their requirement.

At Berean Builders, we understand how important hands-on learning is for science. Which is why we provide appropriate labs and experiments with clear instructions to immerse your student in the current topic of study.

Put lab time on your student’s schedule and make it a priority to fulfill those lab credit requirements.

Join Homeschool Science Groups

Clubs and co-ops can make high school science even more exciting for your high schooler. Not only will your student be introduced to new friends, but they will get a feel for working with a group of like-minded individuals. This may help them at university, or even set them up for success in a scientific field after graduation.

Seek out science groups in your area or find an online group if that better suits your situation. Your student can discuss concepts, participate in experiments, play games, and compete in challenges all while increasing their circle of friends and acquaintances along with their scientific knowledge.

High School Science as Life

Homeschool parents know it is impossible to compartmentalize individual subjects, so you take that to heart as you find the science, history, and math in everyday learning.

Knowing this allows you to explore the science in other subjects.

It also allows you to use science as a springboard into historical events or even activities in your own life such as cooking or gardening. Science is woven into every aspect of our days and nights, and you can create plenty of opportunities for observation and wonder. That they learn science is indeed a bonus.

In addition, by applying lessons to life, your student will not have to ask, “When will I ever use this knowledge?” They will be able to see the significance immediately.

Let Your High Schooler Lead Within a Framework

Having a well-planned curriculum can make your high school science year easier, but what if your student becomes deeply interested in a particular topic? In elementary and middle school, you could go off on tangents and then swing back to the main plan.

What about high school? Can you still take a deep dive into one fascinating topic?

The beauty of homeschool is that your student is able to explore one idea for an extended time without getting too far off schedule. All that delight-directed learning satisfies high school requirements, more so if hands-on experiments are included. The curriculum will be waiting when they return.

They’re Never Too Old for Field Trips

Your younger students probably spent many happy hours on field trips for science. Do they have to give up that fun for high school? No!

High school science offers even more opportunities to learn away from home. Older students are often welcome to take tours of places younger kids can’t go. Take advantage of factory tours and career days so your students can meet experts and ask lots of questions. They may even get inspired about their future!

You can also arrange visits to science departments at nearby colleges and universities. What better way to get a taste of science on campus than to see it in person?

High School Science Does Not Have to Be Boring

Keep in mind that fresh feeling of discovery when your students were in earlier grades. Bring that joy along for the homeschool science adventure in the upper grades.

Forget the sleep-inducing textbooks of your high school science experience. Today you have many more resources at hand to make high school science fun.

  • Work with a textbook that is conversational, not dry.
  • Present in-home lab experiments that are engaging.
  • Incorporate videos and nonfiction books into your plan for the year.
  • Allow your student to follow their interests.
  • Join high school science groups.
  • Make plenty of field trip memories.
  • Experiment with online classes if your student enjoys lecture-style learning.
  • Seek support from educators and scientists to deepen your student’s understanding.

Your student can enjoy high school science, and you can relax, and rest assured you’ve given them the very best homeschool science experience.

High School Science at Home

With all the resources available to you, high school science at home is not only possible, but also recommended! You homeschooled through the lower grades, and you know your student better than anyone.

You don’t have to love or even be good at science to offer your student the very best high school science education that will take them right into college or the trade of their dreams. Plus, a solid science base can help your homeschool student be at the top of the list for STEM scholarships at their preferred college or university.

Remember, Berean Builders is here to help you with science, and we have even more resources for you.

How to Choose the Ideal Homeschool Curriculum

Find out why we teach the sciences in a specific order: biology, chemistry, physics

Homeschool Physics? Yes!

Science Courses Online? Here are the benefits!

Science Labs at Home

Preparing Your Student for College Science

Looking For Specific High School Level Science Resources?

Berean Builders offers a variety of excellent courses for your high school level learner as well.  We have all of your high school science needs covered with our comprehensive approach.

Discovering Design with Biology

Discovering Design with Chemistry

Discovering Design with Physics

Discovering Design with Earth Science

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Why We Teach The Sciences In A Specific Order

Remember when you were in high school? You probably took science in this order: Biology, Chemistry, Physics.

What is the reason for this sequence? To keep the subjects in alphabetical order?

Far from it.

The study of each of these sciences requires a certain level of understanding in mathematics for each. This discourages lower grades from leaping right into physics.

Conceptual Physics For Lower Grades: The Pros and The Cons

Some educational institutions have attempted to circumvent this by offering something called conceptual physics in lower grades.

And while it may offer a basic grasp of physics concepts, conceptual physics does not lead to a deep understanding of the science behind the equations.

Math-based physics is a superior approach in order for students to have an appreciation for the operations they are performing to demonstrate a physical concept.

A statement attributed to prominent physicist Ernest Rutherford is,

“All science is either physics or stamp collecting.”

In other words, we must understand the processes of biology, chemistry, and the other sciences through the lens of physics, or we’re simply gathering disconnected facts.

Physics, Or Natural Philosophy, Is The Basis For All The Sciences

Early scientists were all physicists. At the time, physics was called natural philosophy and focused on understanding the laws of the universe.

Speaking broadly, physics is the basis of everything, and to comprehend this broad natural philosophy, scientists needed to understand math.

Galileo stated it best when he said,

“Philosophy is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols, in which it is written.

This book is written in the mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.”

And to comprehend physics, students must have a firm grasp of trigonometry.

We Teach High School Science Backwards: Teaching Sciences In A Specific Order

So, we teach high school science “backwards”.

  • Our courses begin with biology, which only requires basic math skills.
  • Then we offer chemistry, which needs an understanding of algebra to grasp.
  • And finally, we dive into physics after the student has moved through geometry and trigonometry.

Alphabetical order, maybe, but for a very concrete reason.

If we were to begin with the hardest subject, even though it’s the basis for all science, we’d turn some students off, as they would struggle without strong math skills.

In short, no trig, no physics.

The Importance Of Keeping Students Engaged In Science Courses

Even students who don’t naturally gravitate toward the sciences are more likely to stick with science courses if they start with the easier math-based subjects before they move on to physics.

And it turns out, students who have taken trig-based physics (versus conceptual physics) in high school do better at university with a calculus-based course.

As you’re looking through our course sequence, you’ll notice we have math prerequisites listed for each.

Once your student has mastered the specific math levels, you can confidently approach that science for the year.

Not Ready For Higher Level Sciences In Your Homeschool? No Problem

But what if your student isn’t mathematically ready for the next subject?

You can fill in their science requirements with any one of the other basic courses we have available while you wait for their math skills to catch up.

Give your student the best chance at learning and appreciating science by following our course schedule to offer the appropriate subject based on the level of math they have mastered.

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Finding The Right Science Curriculum For Your Homeschool: K-8

which science course should I choose

When planning out your homeschool year, you want to include engaging science information to help your student understand our amazing world.

But which course should you choose? And in which order should you use the available courses?

Finding The Right Science Curriculum For Your Homeschool: K-12

Let’s start with the elementary years.

The good news: you can pick any one for elementary grades!

Since elementary years are all about becoming proficient in reading, writing, and math, your student will spend a lot of time practicing these skills.

We want to make science fun while helping your student learn to observe, record, and marvel at the universe around them.

Which is why you can begin your elementary homeschool science adventure with any one of these engaging courses.

We even make it easy by letting you know what concepts your student should already know when beginning a course.

If they need to know a bit more about a topic than the course offers, a quick online search will fill in the gap.

 

Let’s examine the sequence of the science courses offered.

Although the courses explore scientific developments chronologically, you may choose to present them in any order depending on your other homeschool subjects or the time period that interests your student.

For Students in Grades K-6

Science in the Beginning

You can start with this course to give your student a solid foundation of how our world was created.

Using the days of creation as an outline, the material covers basic concepts such as

  • the properties of light, air, and water,
  • basic botany, zoology, and human physiology,
  • and our solar system.

This examination of how the world began helps students understand the beauty of the Creator and the wonder of His works.

Science in the Ancient World

Follow the Beginning with a look at how ancient scientists explored God’s creation to learn more about the Creator.

Covering the years 600 BC to 1500 AD, this course covers the work of these naturalists and philosophers, both the concepts they got right and the mistakes they made.

Since this course examines early science as it was developed, your student will discover a wide range of new ideas including

  • early medicine,
  • basic physics and simple machines,
  • the Earth’s place in the solar system,
  • astronomy,
  • botany,
  • and the effects of erosion.

As they are introduced to the science and the men who furthered fresh ideas, your student will also come to understand the later scientists for the devout Christians they were.

Science in the Scientific Revolution

Expand on the fresh scientific ideas from the ancients with the next book in the series.

The time covered in this course is less than 200 years, and the advances made in the basic areas of science were vast.

Also covering science as it was developed, the topics included echo those in Science in the Ancient World, but on a deeper level.

Your student will increase their understanding of

  • astronomy,
  • the physiology of plants, animals, and human anatomy,
  • basic physics,
  • and the scientific laws developed during this time.

The scientists who investigated the world around them from 1543 to the end of the 1600s were pioneers and curious about the world around them. They were also men of God interested in learning more about the Creator and His creations.

 

Science in the Age of Reason

Continuing the tour through the history of scientific development, this next course explores natural philosophers from the early 1600s to the early 1800s as they built on previous discoveries to further their understanding of the world around them.

Topics include

  • astronomy,
  • basic chemistry and physics concepts,
  • human physiology, botany and zoology,
  • and atmosphere and weather.

Not only will your student see how new science discoveries begin with older ideas, but they will also understand how the worldview of the scientist can affect their conclusions.

 

Science in the Industrial Age

The final book in the elementary science series covers discoveries made from the early 1800s to the early 1900s.

As scientists continued to explore the world, they made a multitude of new discoveries and advancements.

Your student can follow these discoveries in

  • medicine and human physiology,
  • basic physics and chemistry,
  • evolution,
  • and explore the development of new scientific laws.

They will also learn the beliefs of the scientists and how those worldviews directed their theories and conclusions.

A Well Rounded Tour of Elementary Science

These five courses follow science through history and demonstrate the growth of scientific discovery and understanding.

Each course includes many hours of hands-on activities to keep the lessons engaging for elementary students, plus three levels of review exercises so you can choose the depth of understanding you wish for your student.

An added benefit of these five courses is they are multi-level.

This means even if you are diving into homeschooling in the later elementary years, you can choose any course to begin your scientific journey.

In addition, you can teach several ages/grade levels using the same course by assisting younger children with the experiments or using the more thorough review exercises for older students.

Middle School Science for Students in 7th and 8th grades

When your student is headed into the middle grades, you may wonder which courses to choose next.

The most important factor in deciding on a course is your student’s level in mathematics.

Since the courses offer problems involving calculations, you’ll want to be sure your student comprehends that math level before you dive into a course to assure their success.

In addition to observing and recording their experiences, your student will be asked to learn and apply specific concepts, both in the abstract and in the concrete with hands-on experimentation.

 

Science in the Atomic Age

Science in the Atomic Age

Modern scientists have furthered our understanding of the world around us, and this course covers these discoveries.

From atoms to biomes, this course covers the organization of our world and God’s design in nature.

Because this is a laboratory-based course, your student will have plenty of hands-on experiments and activities to help them grasp the concepts presented.

The topics build on what the student has already learned in earlier science studies, and the experiments can be performed using common household items easily found in local shops or online.

Discovering Design with Earth Science TextbookDiscovering Design with Earth Science

This course explores earth in great detail from the formation of rocks to the properties of water and the interaction of each on our earth’s crust.

Your student will need a firm grasp of 7th grade math to do the calculations presented.

Your student will be able to exercise critical thinking as they are presented with the opposing ideas of uniformitarianism and catastrophism.

Each of these concepts is presented in a fair and balanced examination with plenty of follow-up questions to generate thoughtful contemplation.

This course also includes 55 hours of laboratory instruction using hands-on activities and experiments.

A kit containing laboratory materials is available for purchase, and some of the experiments can only be performed with items from the kit.

 

As you can see, these seven courses cover science from creation to modern day exploration.

You and your student can decide which of the elementary topics to cover and in which order.

And your middle schooler can move confidently into more complicated science when they have the math proficiency to do so.

We hope this helps simplify your homeschool science curriculum choice!

We’re available to answer any questions and to help your student explore God’s world through hands-on science.

Looking For High School Level Science Resources?

Berean Builders offers a variety of excellent courses for your high school level learner as well.  We have all of your high school science needs covered with our comprehensive approach.

Discovering Design with Biology

Discovering Design with Chemistry

Discovering Design with Physics

Discovering Design with Earth Science

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How to Choose the Ideal Homeschool Science Curriculum

How to choose the ideal homeschool science curriculum

Choosing the ideal science curriculum for your homeschool can make the year exciting and fun for your students. But how do you know which curriculum will work best?

You homeschool because your child comes first. You know them better than anyone! Let’s take a look at some criteria you can use to make the best science curriculum choice.

What Is Your Student’s Learning Style?

How does your child learn best? We all learn in many ways including visual, auditory, and hands-on, but most people have a dominant learning style.

To explore this topic more, take a look at this post to see what learning style describes your student.

This dominant style will help you determine the best way to present your science curriculum. What will they enjoy most?

  • Textbooks?
  • Visual aids?
  • Audio books?
  • Videos?
  • Keeping a journal?
  • Watching lectures?
  • Hands-on experiments?
  • Exploring the world around them?

All of these items and activities will help your student recall and retain science concepts, even if you focus more on their particular learning style by using primarily one or two options.

What Are Your Science Goals For The Year?

As the saying goes, you can’t get to your destination if you’re not sure what it is. What are your homeschool goals for science?

Is your student just entering middle school? The world is your classroom, and science learning can be broad and inclusive. Introducing your student to a wide variety of science concepts can lay a strong foundation for more focused courses in high school.

Do you want to stick with a specific grade science course? Or do you prefer to let your student’s interest determine the lessons?

How about high school science? The subjects get narrower and deeper in high school. The best gauge for which curriculum to choose depends on your student’s path after graduation.

Will they be going to college? Choose a curriculum that prepares them for higher education using university-style lessons.

Are they interested in following a trade instead? A more relaxed approach to science can be both fun and educational while preparing them for the world.

What Is Your Worldview?

Speaking of the world, your science curriculum choice will hinge on the worldview your family embraces. Do you want lessons that are faith-based? Secular? Or somewhere in between?

As you research, the science programs you encounter will define themselves by one of these three criteria. Choose the best fit for your homeschool and your family.

How Involved Do You Want To Be In Homeschool Science?

Let’s face it, science isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And having a productive homeschool year is important to you.

Your curriculum choice can help! Perhaps you enjoy working with textbooks and planning out lessons for the year.

Or maybe you’d rather have the lessons planned for you including appropriate experiments to help your child learn the concept.

You could even prefer to have someone else help out by offering audio lessons or video lectures.

Your desired level of involvement can help you determine which curriculum will work best for your homeschool.

How Much Tracking Do You Need For Your Homeschool?

Some of the available science courses will provide you with ongoing assessments so you know exactly what your student is learning.

Others will require you to create your own tests and assessments for your records.

Determine what assessments you need for your state and local, as well as personal requirements, then let those help you choose the curriculum that offers the most direct path to their fulfilment.

How Much Support Will Your Student Need?

Maybe science is your favorite subject, and you can’t wait to share the wonderful world of knowledge with your students.

But maybe you or your student will need some extra support to make sure the course goes smoothly.

When choosing a science curriculum, look for the level of support included. If your student is stuck on a concept, is there a question-and-answer service? How about a help line if they’re stuck on an experiment?

Additional science resources will help expand your student’s learning. Genuine support when needed can make your science year more enjoyable for all.

How Flexible Should Your Science Curriculum Be?

Do you want to stick to the curriculum as is, or will you need to adapt it to your student’s interests and learning pace? Your student may learn slower or faster than a rigid curriculum. A flexible and customizable approach may help take any stress out of your homeschool science.

What Is Your Homeschool Science Curriculum Budget?

With every homeschool science curriculum comes various purchasing options. Evaluate your budget then seek those courses that fit within your family’s spending plan.

Does the curriculum include everything you need for the year’s science? Will you need to purchase additional materials, books, or access to digital resources or online support?

Can you do the science experiments with what you have on hand at home, or will you need to include instruments and harder-to-find materials?

Do you have the option to pass on some of the pricier additions or does the course require their inclusion?

Have your budget in mind when you’re researching available science curriculum and don’t forget any extras you may need.

Are You Teaching Homeschool Science To Multiple Students?

Are your students close enough in grade level to learn together? Or will you need to teach them independently?

Is the curriculum designed to be used with multiple students by offering additional resources and materials in a customizable package?

Can you reuse the curriculum again and again as your other students reach that particular level?

Consider your students’ grade levels and abilities to determine the best multi-student science curriculum available.

What Do The Reviews Say?

Probably the most utilized methods of choosing a curriculum are getting recommendations and reading reviews.

Just remember, a glowing recommendation or a great review on an awesome science curriculum doesn’t mean that particular curriculum will work for your family.

Evaluate your science needs with all these questions to help you narrow down a science curriculum that fits your homeschool the best.

Still have questions?

We at Berean Builders can help you decide if one of our courses is exactly what you’ve been seeking. Contact us! We’re always excited to help.