Science is one of those subjects that makes parents nervous as they look ahead to the high school years. Is it possible to teach high school science, especially if it’s a subject you’re not strong in? Teaching well does take work, but it is possible to give your student a solid science education in high school. Here are some tips for teaching science to your high school student.
Tips for the Learning to Reason Stage
Science is a required course for both high school graduation and college admission. Your student will most likely need three or four credits of science, with at least one being a life science and one having a lab portion. Higher level science and math can sometime dissuade parents from homeschooling in the high school years, but there are ways to provide a quality science program while homeschooling.
- Choose a high school science curriculum that was developed for homeschoolers. Most will use equipment and materials that homeschoolers can easily obtain.
- While many traditional schools teach physical science, biology, chemistry, and physics, sometimes with an advanced biology or general science option, your science curriculum does not have to follow that pattern. Check your state’s graduation requirements and consider your child’s future career plans, but don’t be afraid to choose topics like botany, astronomy, or marine biology.
- Do experiments. There are many experiments you can do with items you already have at home, but you can also purchase dissection materials, chemistry equipment and supplies, and lab kits online. There are science supply companies that have homeschool proportioned items instead of having to purchase enough for a whole class.
- Make sure that your child has successfully completed prerequisite math courses before moving into the corresponding courses in science. Students will do much better in chemistry if they have completed at least Algebra I, for example, while completing Algebra II will help your child succeed in physics.
- You can purchase preserved dissection specimens online, but if you aren’t comfortable with this option, there are websites that show detailed dissections or YouTube videos that you can watch. (Note: Keep in mind that this isn’t the best option for a child who is interested in a career in a biology or medical field.)
- Just because you aren’t comfortable teaching higher level sciences doesn’t mean you can’t homeschool high school. Consider options such as co-oping with another family or group of families, having your child take an online course, or dual enrolling your child in high school or college just for science.
- Include science options in your field trips to show how science is used in the real world.