Monday, June 14, 2010

Next year's science

I've been thinking long and hard about the programs offered here: . In particular, the high school biology and chemistry. Those are the two that most interest dd and the chemistry would work for much of Bob's upcoming high school work. I hadn't ordered and I think I figured out this morning why: the program is so simply set up (which is FANTASTIC), that, other than the convenience of having the labs already decided and the quizzes already written up, I don't really need it. It's $80US (not counting shipping) per subject, just for the basic materials. Since Bob needs to at least meet Alberta Program of Studies outcomes, and dd will do the same, I think I would be much better off simply taking the outcomes and the text, creating assignment sheets for the week based on what they are actually supposed to know--instead of going through Biology/Chemistry in Your Home and figuring out what's missing--and taking it from there. It also encourages me more to prepare some things in French for dd, rather than just have her use the English book.

Are my thoughts making sense? It's not even 6am and it was probably about 11:30 before I fell asleep last night!

In any case, I do very much like the approach. The students are given weekly assignment pages and are expected to research the answers. It actually sounds like something that would be done in a Montessori high school. They can use any resource they wish, have to learn to budget their time for the week, are involved in seeking out answers, rather than simply reading through a textbook and taking notes, then doing practice problems, etc. That's another issue, actually: Alberta curriculum IS different and covers more than the standard US high school science class, getting into what is usually honors or AP.

For those who don't know what to teach for high school science, these are a God-send, I think. I already know what my kids have to learn to meet Alberta outcomes--or rather, I have available to me a document that says what they have to learn--so that's not really the issue. Just trying to find a more interesting, active approach to the subjects rather than just reading a textbook!

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