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.
How Can Your Homeschool Student Receive College Prep Science At Home?
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.
So how do the 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
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.
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?
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 K-6 Grades
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
basic physics and simple machines,
the Earth’s place in the solar system,
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
the physiology of plants, animals, and human anatomy,
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.
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,
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
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.
Your student will need a firm grasp of 7th grade math to do the calculations presented.
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
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 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.
It is quite surprising to know that many parents, who homeschool their kids, are of the view that audiobooks or listening to a book isn’t really beneficial for their kids, especially in comparison to silent reading. There is no evidence in support of this argument. As a matter of fact, audiobooks are considered beneficial for all listeners, especially for those kids who struggle with reading books. In this blog, our aim is to help parents understand that there is no harm in using audiobooks. They will only help your kid learn better. We have listed some benefits of audiobooks. Let’s take a look at them. Continue reading Parents Should Definitely Consider Using Audiobooks While Homeschooling Their Kids
With each passing year, increasing number of parents are deciding to homeschool their kids. Usually, there are two groups of parents when it comes to homeschooling. The first group of parents are excited to teach their kids in the comfort of their home and spend time with them. The other group of parents feel nervous and worried as to whether they will be able to teach their kids properly. In either case, parents want to make sure that they do not make any mistakes while homeschooling their beloved kids.
In this blog, we will share with you some common mistakes that parents tend to make. Try your best to steer clear of the below-mentioned mistakes when homeschooling your kid.
When you homeschool your child, you watch them learn and grow. You know how your child processes new information. You develop an understanding of your child’s learning style. And it is pure bliss to see your child expand their pool of knowledge. But, at-home schooling comes with a few challenges that parents have to navigate.
Does your child spend more time in front of the television than with their books? Are they lagging in their high school science course sequence? Whatever may be the problem responsible for those unproductive days, lack of motivation is usually at the core of most of them.
No matter how long you have been homeschooling, or if you’re brand new to home education, you should attend an annual in-person homeschool convention this year.
Are you a homeschooling parent or interested in one day making the jump into home education? The decision to educate your children at home is not new. Parents today are seeking a more personalized learning approach for their children.
Homeschooling is quickly gaining a large following due to the freedom and flexibility it provides both parents and their children.
What is the best way to learn more about homeschooling?
The best way to learn more about home education is to attend a homeschool convention.
This guide will help you pick the best convention for your family. Plus, you’ll get some help with getting the most out of your experience. Using this guide, you can achieve the goal of a successful and rewarding homeschooling convention trip.
Attending an in-person homeschool convention is like earning an unofficial “crash course in home education” certificate.
To renew this unofficial certification, attend each year to keep your knowledge of laws, requirements, and the latest curriculum! You will learn much from attending whether you’re a new homeschooler or a veteran.
First Things First: Research Conventions In Your Area
Do a little research. Read over what conventions are offered in your area. The state you reside in may have one or more homeschool organizations which offer annual events. There are also conventions put on by groups specializing in multiple conventions across the country.
Take a look at the list of speakers and workshops to see if the topics seem interesting. Do any of the session summaries tackle your burning questions?
Once you determine which convention is your best fit, buy your tickets. Make hotel reservations and travel arrangements if needed.
Most home educators benefit from a general homeschool convention, preferably in their home state.
A state-sponsored convention will keep you updated on current state laws about homeschooling. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to meet new homeschooling families from your area.
Budgeting Both Time and Money at the Convention
Conventions cost extra money and time. You may need to set aside an entire weekend to attend. Hotel reservations, travel, and dining out can be expensive.
In this world of streaming entertainment and one-day shipping, is it worth it to use your valuable time away from home?
The short answer is yes.
You will have greater success as a home educator if you carve out enough time to attend a convention in person.
Remember, most businesses provide training to their employees.
If you treat the responsibility of educating your children as a career, you will need some instruction and camaraderie as well!
Investing in your training is easy to overlook as a homeschool parent, but neglecting your education leads to Burnout City. You don’t want to end up discouraged and frustrated living there with your children!
Scholarships and Volunteer Opportunities
For many families, money is a struggle, but there are many ways to attend a homeschool convention without paying a cent!
If money is a concern, including a convention in your budget may seem out of reach. Yet, the discounts and further education you receive make the experience worth the expense.
There are attendance scholarships available for parents who need further help to homeschool their children. Another option? Volunteer a few hours at most conventions.
State organizations often offer discounts or free attendance if you are a member of the organization.
There’s So Much Information At A Homeschool Convention! What Should Be My Focus?
An essential list of your state’s homeschool guidelines can determine what you will need for each child for your school year.
This is the most valuable piece of information to keep in mind as you prepare for the homeschool convention.
The required courses will provide structure around which you can plan the rest of your student’s studies.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed By Comparing Yourself To Others
In the words of a wise homeschooling mom, keep your eyes on your own homeschool.
Don’t try to keep up with the homeschooling Joneses.
Grab some paper and begin by brainstorming. Describe your ideal homeschool day.
Remember, no two families are alike. In the same way, no homeschool will look precisely like yours.
Using a clean piece of paper for each child, list the subjects they will be studying next year with curriculum ideas. It’s time to take some notes while you learn about your kids and their preferences.
Study Your Children Before Attending A Homeschool Convention
Time to watch your students.
What motivates them?
Look at their favorite subjects and books. Are they colorful? Is the text easy to read and visually stimulating? Ask your kids! You know they have an opinion, so use their honesty to benefit your research.
Why is their favorite subject their absolute favorite? If you are willing to ask, be ready to completely change your mind if necessary if you learn something new about your child. It won’t be the first time your child teaches you something new.
After talking with your students, go back to your papers and then to the internet for research.
Is there a curriculum that presents your student’s least favorite subject information in a manner similar to their favorite topic? Write down your findings.
The more you educate yourself on your students’ needs, the more effective a home educator you will be.
Open-minded and curious teachers create lifelong learners.
I Found A Great Curriculum, But I Want To Look At It In Person
Is there a curriculum choice that you keep returning to online but were hesitant to purchase because you couldn’t interact with the curriculum before deciding?
When you get to the convention, make visiting these booths a priority.
The perfect way to decide which curriculum will benefit your students the most is by holding it in real life.
Look through the table of contents.
Check the topics covered in the book. Are the illustrations engaging or distracting?
Did the publisher leave enough visual white space for your child to process the information presented?
These questions may seem trivial, but all play a vital role in the curriculum’s usability for your student.
The greatest reward of a well-planned convention trip is a smooth sailing school year.
If you were online, you would probably stick to your original plan. A slight deviation from your plan and discovery as you shop for listed items is an excellent balance.
In-Person Conventions: Better By Far Than Virtual
While it may be more convenient to seek online assistance, using the internet as a general research tool before attending an in-person convention will be a much better use of your time than trying to answer all your homeschool questions online.
Save some time. Take your questions to the convention and seek out the people that can quickly clarify your questions and help you plan your best school year yet!
It’s hard for most people to feel the friendliness and solidarity of an in-person convention behind a computer screen.
Face-to-face interaction levels the playing field between you, the homeschool consumer, and them, the homeschool suppliers and experts.
Virtual interaction can be highly one-sided as it unintentionally positions the speaker to appear superior to the audience due to the limitations of a virtual teaching platform.
This vertical approach limits the engagement between the speaker and the listener. Also, the mind wanders or can get caught up in the inevitable distractions no matter how entertaining the speaker may be!
There is less wiggle room to bounce ideas around or ask a speaker questions virtually with time delays, technology glitches, and presentation-focused instruction.
Dr. Wile’s Opinion Of In-Person Conventions
Dr. Wile speaks passionately about the importance of in-person conventions.
As a scientist, he understands the value collaboration plays in reaching a deeper understanding of any topic. Meeting real people in person makes your home education journey so rich.
It seems obvious, but with the online world connecting us so well virtually, we often forget the tremendous benefit of face-to-face interaction.
The Value of Organic In-Person Conversations
The conversation is not organic online. Tone and inflection are challenging to interpret via the world wide web.
Dr. Wile believes spontaneous conversations between families, vendors, and students are the most valuable part of any homeschool conference.
“You meet the most interesting people face-to-face.” Dr. Jay Wile
These horizontal conversations offer excellent opportunities for the student interactions he’s enjoyed over the years. Conversations outside the online classroom are enriching for both instructors and students alike.
Often, these interactions uncover an interest or fresh idea the student has that the instructor would not have known without this in-person exchange.
Conversations overheard around café tables often reward the new homeschooler with golden nuggets of information from veteran homeschoolers.
These opportunities are the perfect time to ask questions and get answers real-time. Remember, networking is a two-way street.
In-Person Conventions Can Foster Lasting Friendships
Do you want to meet other homeschool mothers? Online conventions are not the best place to foster lasting local friendships.
While online support bridges the gap during the long school year for home educators, relying primarily upon it year-round is not ideal.
Use the yearly in-person homeschooling convention to make local connections for your family.
While you’re there, ask about local co-ops and regular gatherings.
If you have homeschool acquaintances, attend the convention together for even more direct support.
Making the Most of Speakers and Classes At A Homeschool Convention
There will be descriptions in the program guide next to every seminar, session, workshop, demonstration, or class offered during the homeschooling convention.
Take advantage of these experts and gather the information you need from the learning opportunities available.
However, be flexible. You will not be able to attend all the exciting sessions because there are simply not enough hours in the day, nor duplicates of you.
Prioritize The Sessions You Most Want To Attend
Then, attend the sessions you have prioritized.
Things to remember:
Focus on keynote speakers and anything of serious interest to you.
Build your schedule around the speakers that are the best fit for your needs.
Ask yourself: Which sessions do you think will foster the most interaction between speaker and listener?
Think about the speakers you would most enjoy having a conversation with.
If you and a friend want to attend similar sessions and workshops, divide and conquer. Attend separate sessions, then trade notes at the end of the day.
And remember, most sessions are recorded and will be available for purchase. You can listen at your leisure after the convention, but you won’t have the advantage of in-person follow-up questions.
If there is any speaker you want to interact with, make a point to go to their session.
Even if they do not open the floor up for questions, often they will remain at the front for those wishing to continue the conversation.
If they must hurry back to their vendor booth, follow them! (At an appropriate distance, no stalking.)
When they are available at their booth, ask your burning questions. They will be excited that you attended their session and want to chat more.
Convention Sessions Or Vendor Hall?
Also, be willing to walk away from a session if you need more vendor hall time. The hall will be less crowded during daytime speaking engagements.
If you need quiet time to think and shop:
Use this time and purchase the mp3 recordings of the sessions to listen to at your convenience at home.
Use this precious time to speak with vendors about your concerns and questions.
Give yourself time to learn, digest information, and make informed decisions.
Lighten Up At Night
The nightly entertainment is light on information but heavy on entertaining!
The convention reserves one night as a mom’s night out, and the other night is a family fun night.
Both nights are equally enjoyable. The nightly entertainment is usually an additional cost, but it is worth the price to relax at the end of a day chock full of information and learning.
Let your mind rest, sit back, laugh, and relax.
Mom’s night out can be the first or second official night of the convention.
The most inspirational of the keynote speakers will deliver a message directed at homeschooling or motherhood.
Sometimes chocolate is involved, but there is no guarantee every convention will have chocolate. Bring your own if necessary.
You will most assuredly find laughter, encouragement, and time to visit with other homeschooling mothers. Take the time to strike up a conversation with another mom.
Finding A Community Of Likeminded Friends At A Homeschool Convention
Finding a community of friends is essential at every stage of our lives, and the season of homeschooling our children is no different.
It is always better to have others walking alongside you.
What you haven’t discovered in your never-ending pursuit of the perfect curriculum, another mother might have discovered.
But keep it in perspective. There is no perfect curriculum.
There are always more beneficial choices and less helpful choices based on your student’s learning style.
Women who attend these “extra cost” break-out sessions to meet friends and hang with the girls always come back laughing!
The other night of the convention will be a night to bring the kids or bring the whole family.
All ages will enjoy a comedian who keeps you in stitches with good clean humor.
Other conventions will feature a children’s storyteller. No matter what your literary preference, these talented performers will astound you. You will be on the edge of your seat, captivated by their fascinating tales.
Some conventions open the stage up to family talent as well. The amount of hidden talent in the audience at a homeschool convention is impressive. Bring your talented family, or come ready to enjoy the talent of other newfound family friends!
Bringing The Kids To A Homeschool Convention
If your children travel to the convention with you, they will have a fabulous time.
There are programs for children, teens, and some have childcare available.
If you have babies, they are welcome as long as they are not disruptive.
But there is no need to fret; these parents know the challenge you face.
Smile and look around.
Get your babies settled.
Have your items organized during the session in case you need to make a quick escape.
Rest assured, most of the moms there have been exactly where you are now.
Children’s Programs At Homeschool Conventions
The volunteers and convention staff organize the children’s program to run like a well-oiled machine.
Vacation Bible School-style learning units will fill your elementary student’s day as you take care of needed planning.
Teens are encouraged to volunteer to help out during the convention if there is no set program for them.
Assisting at the convention is beneficial to both your student and the convention. These service hours can be logged as volunteer hours for their transcript!
If you have a child with special needs, choosing a large convention will give you the option of assistance during set times of the convention. You can attend sessions or shop knowing that your children are cared for by well-trained volunteers.
Remembering Why You Homeschool
A refreshed mindset will allow you to approach your school time with renewed energy and perspective.
Attending a convention gives home educators the confidence to approach another year without fear.
They find continued excitement planning the year ahead.
Some years are plain hard, and it is difficult to cross the finish line at the end of the school year.
A weekend away will benefit your children’s future education and bring you headfirst into an exciting adventure of learning together with your children!
You should take the time to attend a conference if your plans for the next year include homeschooling your children.
Bring a flexible attitude, a smile, a friend, and something to carry your purchases- rolling is best.
If you are thinking about moving your children from the public school system to homeschooling, you are not alone. With the COVID-19 pandemic upending life all around the world, many parents have found themselves considering keeping their children out of the classroom for the rest of the school year, and some have even decided to entirely switch over to homeschooling. Homeschooling, although quite beneficial, may present some challenges. Every family’s experience will be different and may present unique obstacles to be overcome. One of the biggest challenges that you will have to deal with is in making that transition from the traditional school setup to homeschooling. And it is completely normal especially since most of us have only ever been a part of the public school system.
Homeschool parents are gifted with a unique perspective about their children. By watching them grow and learn, home educators have direct access to how their students process new information.
Knowing and understanding this learning process, labeled “learning style”, is beneficial to creating a homeschool environment suited to both parent and student. Working with your child’s learning style aids in their understanding and retention of the information you explore in your homeschool.
“A learning style is the way in which a person sees or perceives things best and then processes or uses what has been seen. Each person’s individual learning style is as unique as a signature. When a person has something difficult to learn, that student learns faster and enjoys learning more if his or her unique learning style is affirmed by the way the teacher teaches.” Marlene D. LeFever from her book Learning Styles
If you’ve asked the question, “What is my child’s learning style?”, we’ve got your answer.
In this guide, we explore different styles of learning and discuss complimentary teaching strategies to help you and your child get the most from each modality.
There are more than 2 million homeschoolers in the US today, with the numbers rising significantly in 2020 because to the school closures due to the pandemic. Despite the many benefits provided by homeschooling, it can turn out to be an overwhelming experience for both the parents and the students. There is a constant need to create structure in the learning environment, which can often be a source of frustration for everyone. Students become more prone to missing out on deadlines or falling behind on their assignments. Additionally, there are the mental and emotional challenges of at-home learning. If you are a beginner who is starting out in the homeschooling journey, here are some tips to navigate its many nuances: