Science for both of my kids has been a little bit up and down this year. Both are working on the same course - the Survey of Science History & Concepts from New Leaf Publishing Group. Landon chose it as an elective, and Kennady chose it as a general science credit.
We started out with both following the suggested order of study, understanding that they would need to share the textbooks. That didn't present any problems, but Landon was finished with the first book (Exploring the World of Mathematics) much more quickly than Kennady. He had moved on to Exploring the World of Physics while Kennady carried on with Mathematics, and finished that as well. In the meantime, Kennady misplaced the mathematics book - I think it was accidental, but I can't be sure! - so I got her to skip ahead to Biology. Turned out that was probably very wise, because Biology is much more interesting and manageable to her, and she is getting a lot more done. Landon is now working on Exploring the World of Chemistry, and will complete the Biology book last. So now that we've rearranged the order that they are working in, they are both getting the work done in good time, and I'm breathing a sigh of relief that we are back on track for both to finish the course by the end of the school year!
Overall, the course gives an overview of Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics; with some foundational concepts in each of these branches of science. It's not a rigorous course, but is well-suited for an elective with reasonable academic value or as a general or introductory science course for a freshman. Each book in the series highlights the contributions of Christian scientists and thinkers throughout history, and the ways in which scientific discovery lines up with what the Bible says about the world and how God designed it.
Exploring the World of Physics by John Hudson Tiner covers laws of motion, gravity, and simple machines; and includes suggestions for hands-on activities and descriptions of real world application of the concepts in history and in the modern world. For example, the chapter on gravity discusses Johannes Kepler's three laws of planetary motion, Isaac Newton's calculation of gravity, and how calculating the center of gravity is important in modern transportation applications of airplanes and trucks, and even to an Olympic high jumper. Chapters on energy, heat, and states of matter highlight scientists from James Watt and his invention of the steam engine to Daniel Bernoulli and how his discoveries about fluid and kinetic energy are applied to modern day sports cars. Wave motion, light, electricity, and magnetism are all covered - from the historical aspect of the development of theories to the modern day applications. Nuclear energy and the future of physics are also discussed.
If you're looking for a good introduction or refresher on Physics, this book may be a good choice. Tiner takes a branch of science that many people think is complicated and difficult and explains concepts in a way that makes sense. History and scientific theory are blended together along with lots of facts and real-world applications that help you understand why the study of physics is such an important (and fascinating!) one. By using the Parent Lesson Planner combining this book with the three others, we've been able to cover quite a bit of scientific ground with manageable reading assignments, comprehension quizzes, and a few tests so that each of my kids will have a decent base of knowledge in science concepts to build on if and when they decide to further their study.
Leave a comment and let me know what science courses you've used and liked, and link up your posts about homeschooling high school here. Visit your neighbors, comment, and share!
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