Our Favorite High School Math and Science Resources

This month’s Homeschool High School Blog Hop is all about high school curriculum for math and science. I almost feel a tad bit hypocritical about writing this one. Here’s how real life conversations go.

Friend: “Oh, you’re still homeschooling through high school?”
Me: “Yes, I now have two high school students.”
Friend: “Wow, I could never do that because I don’t know how I’d ever teach high school math!”
Me: “Um…”
Friend: “And what about chemistry lab?”
Me: “Um…”

Math and science curricula for homeschooling high school

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The truth is that high school math and science are out of my league. But, I believe we are called to homeschool. I believe God has directed us to continue homeschooling in high school. And even though I personally am not all that great at upper level math and science, I’m positive that God is. As we’ve needed classes, we’ve found them. And as the kids age and learn, I also age and learn (well at least learn). We have found some good resources that have been what the kids needed to learn- without involving me to have much preknowledge. And, amazingly, I’ve learned quite a bit along the way.

High School Math

  • Kahn Academy- If you haven’t yet come across Kahn Academy, you’re missing out. Besides high school math and science courses, there are lower level math courses, history, art appreciation and computer science courses online at Kahn for free. We’ve used Kahn as a supplement and as a primary course. I do have a word of caution. We began using it as a primary course for Algebra 2 last year. I didn’t keep up with any other means of recording actual grades. Kahn shows progress through the program but not grades. This threw me as I had to figure out what to do for a transcript! But as a supplement, it’s a great program with video lessons and practice problems that can be completed in a given path- that Kahn assigns based on placement testing- or as single lessons on a needed topic.
  • Alpha Omega Lifepacs– This is our first year to use Lifepacs in our homeschool. Before I had my own children, however, I tutored a homeschooled high schooler who used them, so I was very familiar with them. I chose the math and science Lifepacs for Charles (9th grade), and so far it’s been a great fit. Charles does well with mastery learning, so the Lifepacs really fit him. With Lifepacs, each course is divided into 10 worktexts. Students complete lessons and tests within each, moving on only if they reach a certain level of mastery. Both of us love that it has a very complete answer key with all of the problems worked out in detail. This way, when I don’t know how to do something, we can look it up. 
  • CTC Math- I reviewed CTC last year with the Crew for my younger girls. But after I realized the difficulty in keeping grades with Kahn, I’m using it for Kathryne for Algebra 2 and Geometry as well this year. CTC is video instruction- which is much better for Kathryne- and keeps track of all grades and assignments. There is also an option to print worksheets. 

High School Science

  • Apologia– Hands down Apologia is my favorite science resource for any age. For high school, the reading material is difficult. But I love the writing style and the excellent thinking questions and the experiments. Kathryne is using Apologia Chemistry this year at home. We purchased the chemistry lab kit, and she will do most of the experiments. There may be a few we pass over because of lack of supplies at home, but I try to have her do many of them. (I’ve found that ones we don’t do can often be found on YouTube to at least watch.) Kathryne is also taking Apologia Marine Biology this year with a local high school co-op group. She’ll read the text at home and go two days a week to co-op- once for class and once for lab. This is new to us and will be her first physical teacher that isn’t me with real tests and real grades from someone else. Two sciences will be lots of work, but she wants to major in a research science field in college and has a tremendous interest, so she’s up for it.
  • Alpha Omega Lifepacs- As well as the math, I chose the Alpha Omega Biology for Charles. I wanted, oh so badly, for him to use Apologia. But the intensive reading is so much for him. I finally concluded that I could read all the material for him…or chose a different curriculum. So far we’re both liking the Lifepacs. The reading is in much smaller chunks with more questions throughout to break it up. It’s still considered a lab science. He has hands on labs that the book suggests, and there is also an accompanying lab DVD, so that he can watch labs that we can’t do.
So there we have it. It’s what we’ve found for high school math and science that works for us. As I’m learning, what works is a fluid thing. It’s different from child to child and from year to year. I pray. I chose. I learn from what we’ve done and adapt and change.

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