Believe it or not, science is a pretty hot topic amongst homeschoolers! It’s incredibly important to determine your worldview on things such as evolution, creation, and other scientific topics before purchasing a curriculum. While it is possible to teach high school science for free, you’ll need to decide where you stand on the aforementioned divisions and keep that in mind as you wade through available materials.
What’s Included in High School Science?
High school science courses are probably some of the most intense science classes your students will ever do (unless they have a science-based major for college). Whether your students are doing Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, or some other branch of science, there should always be a lab component to the program. Not only does that make the science more hands-on and thorough; it also helps satisfy college entrance requirements.
As for what’s covered specifically, that depends on the science course your student is doing. Biology deals with life science, so there will be dissections involved. Chemistry has to do with chemical concoctions, which means you can expect to see many mixtures and developing new compounds. Physics has to do with the physical world and the laws that explain how and why actions and reactions take place. If your student chooses to take an AP level course, he or she will need to do the “regular” level first to develop some background knowledge. From there, your student can enjoy the same course at a college level while still in high school.
Planning Your High School Science Curriculum
To be sure you cover everything needed for a high school science course, make sure you cover each level thoroughly. We’ve put together this simple set of guidelines to help you stay on the right path for the three main courses (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics).
- Biology – For Biology, you’ll want to teach cell biology, reproduction, genetics, and plant and animal classification. In addition, a well-rounded Biology course will cover ecology, behavior, and human structure and function.
- Chemistry – In Chemistry, you’ll want to be sure your students understand how to organize and classify matter, the atomic theory, radioactivity, and the periodic table of elements. They’ll also need to understand principles of chemical reactions, heat, molecular motion, and chemical bonds. In addition, you’ll want to cover energy, chemical reactions, equilibrium reactions, chemical solutions, acids and bases, salts, electrochemistry, and carbon and its compounds.
- Physics – A Physics course will generally cover motion, vector analysis, the effect of force on moving bodies, energy, and momentum. They’ll also cover thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, wave motion, and modern physics.
Teaching High School Science for Free
With all that’s required to thoroughly cover science at a high school level, you may (understandably) expect it to cost quite a bit. Believe it or not, there are plenty of resources available that enable you to cover high school science at no cost!
- When you’re teaching Chemistry, you’ll find that your students will need to reference the periodic table of elements regularly. While they don’t need to memorize it, they do need to at least understand its components and what each letter or number means. To assist with this, there are TED Talks on each and every element on the periodic table.
- You’ve probably heard of Steve Spangler science, but did you know he has a whole listing of science experiments at his website? Feel free to infuse some of these experiments into your lessons!
- At this website, you’ll find several free high school science courses – from the basic level to advanced/AP level courses.
- Do your students enjoy LEGO blocks? If so, this site has three great LEGO Chemistry lessons that they may enjoy! There is one on chemical reactions, one on photosynthesis and one on air.
- The Free High School Science Texts project has made available free Biology, Chemistry, and Physics textbooks.
- Is your student taking any Apologia science courses during the high school years? If so, enjoy the FREE Apologia science co-op classes from Virtual Homeschool Group! (NOTE: Enrollment begins August 1, 2018.)
While your students have likely learned some of the same basic topics at the middle school level, it’s important to have them learn Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at the high school level and to include a lab component. That said, it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. With the multitude of science resources available, we know you’ll be sure to find your best fit!