I’ve mentioned before about my issues with so called “neutral” homeschooling science materials. While I was configuring the changes for our science learning I really tried to tell myself that I could handle the term “neutral” when it comes to Physical Science, Chemistry, and Physics. But I can’t. So what am I going to do? Well let me backtrack a bit about my plans and then I’ll tell you my solutions.

We currently do a Space/Earth/Biology combo when it comes to science. I’ve decided starting next year we will add in Chemistry and Physics/Physical Science. I also want to add in more structure *for myself as far as planning* to ensure that they get some core information. I really wanted something to use as a guide to ensure I hit important topics, and to also use as a fall back when I just can’t come up with some sort of activity for the topic at hand.

At first I considered using Real Science 4 Kids *Chemistry and Physics*, but the more I learned about the author the more disinterested in the product I became. So then I found myself in a tough situation, where would I turn to solve this problem in front of me? I decided to look at public school textbook sellers again, even though I wasn’t happy with the bundle I purchased at the start of the year, I figured looking again wouldn’t hurt.

So I searched around and came across THIS. It is Prentice Hall Science Explorer, one of the top middle school science programs in America. Yes I said middle school. I searched through the elementary programs and found them mediocre at best. I guess for students who have never been exposed to very much in the way of science the elementary programs are great, but in our home they would serve as mere paperweights.

So I will be using middle school textbooks as our guide in science. I personally feel we dumb down scientific education in America to start with, and we underestimate the abilities of children. Just take a look at the table of contents for the Prentice Hall Science Explorer books, a lot of it is very simple basic stuff. Especially, since we will be using it as a guide and adding in reading books to further teach the topics *so we can go in depth as needed for their level of maturity and attention span*.

I’ll be purchasing the Physical Science one to meet our Physics/Chemistry learning for next school year. I’m going to alternate years, starting next year will be the Physics/Chemistry year, then after that will be our Space/Earth/Life combo. Once we end our Elementary years I’ll purchase some high school level science books and we will spend a year on each topic *Space/Earth, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics*, from there they will be entering their high school years and should be ready for intro college level science.

Am I crazy for tackling our science this way? Possibly. But then again I’m probably crazy for home educating so this really isn’t a big departure from my overall craziness. I also have flipped through enough textbooks in my day to know that what a middle school science book has to offer is something an elementary student with time, support, and a library card can figure out and actually understand. Which I’m sure says something about the current state of Science in America.

But I’m sure I don’t really need to spell that something out for anyone reading here.

Copyright(c)2010 Rayven Holmes


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