Thursday, January 28, 2010

2010 School Plans - Science

Well, this is a bit embarrassing. I started this series some time ago but never finished. Here is is almost February now! Part of my hesitancy about putting my school plans all out there was because I don't always follow the plan. Oh, the irony that I didn't even complete the series. I already covered Bible, math, and history - a little over half done. That sounds about right...

Next up is science. This is an easy one because I actually have a pretty good plan for science with great follow through. Ok, never mind that I actually outsource science for one of my children. The main thing is it gets done, right?

This is my daughter's third year taking Apologia science through an online class. I have no problem teaching science on my own, but I wanted some sort of outside grade for her in just one subject. I desired she experience homework, tests, set schedules, and grades because that was not something we normally did in our homeschool at the time. The reason we ended up doing this for science was more about convenience than anything else. I found a class that was using the text I had already planned on using (Apologia's General Science) with an online school that I had already heard good things about, Potter's School. The schedule worked, so I registered her.

Now, if something works well, I tend to stick with it. The online science worked well. She liked the text and the teacher. She learned some study skills and it was an overall good experience that first year. Last year, we continued on to Biology with the same teacher. This year, the teacher started teaching at Apologia Academy and we followed him there for Marine Biology. We went out of the recommended sequence for a few reasons. 1) My daughter really liked Biology, and I thought the continuation would not only be enjoyable, but better reinforce the previous year's work. 2) Her teacher was not teaching Chemistry, typically next in the series, and she preferred to stay with this teacher one more year. 3) While I know she was capable of the chemistry work, I decided to give her break given her other coursework. I knew Marine Biology would be less of a load. 4) We started the series early, and could afford a buffer year for exploration. So, we went with the Marine Biology, which is typically a high school elective if the student doesn't want to go on to the advanced texts but still have four years of high school science. It has worked out beautifully this year. My only complaint is the shark dissection was a bit smellier than the others!

Now, my son isn't nearly as structured with science, but I do have a plan! Last year I discovered Apologia's Young Explorer series when I reviewed Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. He absolutely loved the text and we got through most of it before summer hit. This fall, I decided to have him try an online class of his own and enrolled him in an 8-week electronics course with Quick Study Labs, which I had been eying for a year or two. He liked the class and the teacher, but our schedule was a bit hectic and our wallets a bit thin, so I decided we'd finish up Flying Creatures instead of continuing after the holidays. I mentioned to him my grand plan only to find out he had read the rest of the text on his own. I would have liked to have worked through the text together, but I'm not complaining that he actually likes his science textbook enough to read it for pleasure reading! I just purchased Apologia's Swimming Creatures, which will use through the end of the school year.

I think science is the one area where I fumble around the least. Next up will be language arts, which is a different story.


Debra said...

I was thinking I hadn't seen a language arts post yet. I know that was my last one. Ugh. Still not happy there.

Devildogwife said...

We went from Apologia Biology to Apologia Marine Biology as well. We just started up with it this week. My daughter is really excited about it.

Sadly, we're in the middle of the desert this year. Had I know that we'd be here this year, we probably would have done the Marine Biology first as we were near the ocean prior to moving here.