Some of us are art people; some are literature people; some are even math people. And, some are a strange breed known as science people.
I am not a part of the latter. I love to read, analyze poetry, write, and solve an equation or two. But, I am not a fan of science.
In college, I waited until my senior year to take Fundamentals of Biology. I was horrified at the small, recently deceased mouse that lay on my table. I couldn’t even begin to touch it, much less dissect it.
So, when my daughter exclaimed she wanted to become a forensic scientist I thought “Great!”… for her. And, then I realized I’m responsible for her high school education. How on earth was the girl who gagged her way through biology lab going to be able to teach high school science to her teen?
I thought that my daughter’s ideas of pursuing a career in forensic science would die out after she finished binge-watching NCIS. But, nope, she was even more determined to be Abby Sciuto, and she wanted to learn everything she could about this area of science. I’ll admit that my knowledge of this area was limited, but the truth is that my knowledge of all things high school science is limited. So, I had to figure out how to teach high school science when I’m not all that science-minded.
High School Science for Dummies
I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person. At one time I’ve been a CPA, high school math teacher, and business owner. So, it mystifies me that I can’t balance a chemical equation. I just don’t do science, and it makes me feel inadequate and unprepared to guide my child to graduate. Then I start questioning our entire homeschool and everything turns upside down. This is not a road I wanted to travel… again. I needed a plan that would put a halt to all these destructive thoughts.
My plan started like all good research plans do – with a scroll through Pinterest. This gave me just the boost I needed to realize that not all things science are scary, gross, or boring. In fact, some of it is quite interesting. And it also gave me the courage to come up with a lesson plan that I could apply to all of our science courses.
How to Create A Curriculum for High School Science
Step 1: Find an area of interest
This was an easy step because of my daughter’s love of all things forensic science. But, she will need to branch out into other areas of science later. So, it’s a good starting place.
Think about what interests your child. What would they like to explore? Are there areas they are naturally inclined to investigate? Does nature science appeal more or would they prefer chemistry or physics?
Ask your child to suggest ideas, experiments, and projects that intrigue them. Follow their lead and see where it takes you. If your child needs specific courses for graduation requirements, think of how these areas of interest could fit into one of their requirements.
Step 2: Find books on the subject
Now that you have an area of interest, look for books on the subject. These can be any type of book, not necessarily textbooks. Of course, if you can find a textbook you like that fits your area, then go for it. But, don’t limit your choices to textbooks and workbooks.
Since my daughter had chosen forensic science, we looked for books that revolved around that topic. We found two that fit the bill, Forensics for Dummies and Beyond the Body Farm. I accidentally purchased the audiobook of Beyond the Boyd Farm, but it turned out fortuitous. She loves listening to her book while she’s exercising!
Step 3: Find a course or lab to guide you
One of my biggest concerns with teaching high school science was the lab component. Remember the grizzly dead mouse scene from earlier? I did NOT want to do any labs. So, you can imagine my relief when I came across College Prep Science!
College Prep Science has live classes that use a high-quality virtual lab service. It allows students to actually perform tasks in the lab! It’s a very realistic experience for students who are able to experience and participate in many labs not typically possible before college. Students are able to virtually pour liquids and chemicals, light burners, move things in the lab, weigh things, measure temperatures, record results, etc. And, the best part? I don’t have to help her dissect a thing!
College Prep Science offers several courses like:
- Pre-Biology (6th-9th)
- Biology – College Prep (9th-12th)
- Life Prep Biology (8th-12th)
- Pre-Chemistry (6th-9th)
- Chemistry – College Prep (10th-12th)
- Life Prep Chemistry (9th-12th)
- Pre-Physics (6th-9th)
- Physics – College Prep (10th-12th)
- Life Prep Physics (9th-12th)
- Pre-Anatomy & Physiology (6th-9th)
- Human Anatomy & Physiology (9th-12th)
- Exercise and Sports Physiology (8th-12th)
- Embryology – The Magnificence of Human Development (9th-12th)
- Introduction to Biochemistry / Microbiology (9th-12th)
But, I was most excited to see this one, Forensic Science & Human Anatomy (8th-12th). Yes! Everything was falling into place!
Step 4: Let your child explore
Give your child the opportunity to take ownership of their education and choose their own curriculum. Guide them to resources that will be helpful, but let them be a part of the process. Our goals as parents should be to prepare our children to make important decisions in their lives. Putting them in the driver’s seat of their education is the first step.
Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…