How to Homeschool High School Science: You Can Do It!

Worried about how to Homeschool High School Science Classes? Here’s encouragement: You Can Do It!

How to Homeschool High School Science: You Can Do It!

How to Homeschool High School Science

Whether your high schooler likes it or not, he has to have it. Whether you enjoy it or not, you have to make sure she learns it… Science!

Some teens were born loving plant and animal physiology, chemical formulas, and propelled objects’ vectors. Praise God for that. But even the kids who don’t like it, can grow and experience the wonder of God’s created universe through a good high-school science curriculum.

Each state varies on exact requirements for high school science classes, so check HSLDA’s website for state laws. Also, check what local and interesting colleges are looking for (ie, physics is not required for graduation in Delaware, but students who would like to attend University of Delaware will need it).

Before you get started, enjoy this interview about engaging students in Science with Dr. Kristin Moon, homeschool mother and virologist (and Science teacher at a couple of the online schools listed below).

Here is a good rule of thumb for high school science classes. Students need a minimum of four credits in science.

This includes one credit each of:

  • Biology with at least thirty hours lab time
  • Chemistry with at least thirty hours lab time
  • Health or Human Development
  • Elective or Specialty Science, such as physics, psychology, anatomy, advanced biology, astronomy, marine science, food science, or other interest
Human Development 7SistersHomeschool
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Note: In many cases, three of the four science classes will need thirty hours lab. Biology and chemistry must have the labs. You choose the other course to earn lab hours.

Here are some curriculum suggestions (courses our various kids have used; we are not affiliates with any but 7Sisters).

Students going into a science major or having a gift or interest in science should use a college-prep science curriculum:

How to Homeschool High School Science
Our homeschoolers received hazmat suits at one of the field trips

Students who are not gifted or interested in science will do better with an average high-school science curriculum:

Also note that many online homeschool organizations provide live or asynchronous science classes

The level of rigor (college prep, honors, or average) will vary by school and course, so check with the particular school. Here are some of our favorites:

Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective Online, self-paced course from 7SistersHomeschool.
Click image for more details.

Students who struggle with learning and need a remedial-level science:

  • Pearson Education Pacemaker Biology (This is a secular text, but it is excellent for this level learner.)

Science Labs for High School:

Science labs are a necessity. Usually three high school science classes will need thirty hours of lab work each. Biology and chemistry are two of the courses requiring labs. You and your student will choose the third.

You and your homeschool high schoolers do not need to be intimidated by the idea of science labs. These labs can be almost anything. Here are a couple of favorite resources:

Note: Lab requirements are not “set in stone”. We got this number from college admissions advisors at various colleges, when we were asking what colleges like to see in homeschool applicants.

Here are some ideas for earning lab hours:

  • Many texts include labs within the text or a lab manual. These often come close to 30 hours.
  • Field trips- a wealth of hours. Go to zoos, aquariums, arboretums, museums, laboratories (if possible)
  • Science lab co-ops- We have often done monthly science co-ops where 5 or 6 moms each take an experiment and the kids spend the morning running through each project. Fun as a group (except one time when I almost burned my friend Karen’s house down *sigh*).
  • Google: easy biology or chemistry at home for fun experiments

Be sure to record your student’s time and what he did OR have her write a lab report with time indicated.

Still worried? You might want to read these top tips for teaching science.

 

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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

10 Replies to “How to Homeschool High School Science: You Can Do It!”

  1. Going back in the recesses of my mind here… One child volunteered with a Veterinarian and got to see operations, visit zoo animals and horse and cattle farms.
    We co-oped with several families and for our last child the group of us hired someone to teach Chemistry for 8 students (retired gentleman who loved to teach)
    Now that I’m working for a science research lab, I realize that we take on several high school and college volunteer positions every summer. If you child loves science this is a great way to go.
    Retired home schooler Kate from Cleveland

  2. While I love science (at least the life sciences) my children did not all share my interest. We used simpler textbooks with lots of labs to keep it interesting.

  3. Thanks, Vicki!

    Great timing. My youngest girls and I have just begun talking about next year’s science plans. They LOVE science!

    Great help to think of the many options and the variety of ways to do them.

    Is there a particular sequence you find that works best for the sciences?

    • I varied sequence a bit from kid to kid. Often Biology in 10th grade and Chemistry in 11th grade.

      That left 9th and 12th for Health (we did Human Development) and things of interest to them such as psychology and earth science (and the oldest 2 did physics in 12th).

  4. One of my sons did an online (and very thorough) course on ecology one year. It was quite interesting; we both enjoyed it. And it was a nice break from the textbooks he had been using.

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