So your middle schooler thinks they want to be a biomedical engineer! You need homeschool science programs that support your high-achieving student. I find it helps my kids to know if they want to pursue a career in the sciences if they can sink their teeth into some serious curriculum during middle school. But at the same time, the curriculum better not be boring. The last thing I need is to snuff out their curiosity with a curriculum that thinks being serious means, well, getting boring.
You can have depth without becoming dull, and this is something that Greg Landry understands. In his College Prep Science classes he keeps it interesting while also covering a lot of science, and he also throws in some great advice about note-taking and study skills to prepare students for upper level work. So when my 13-year-old, want to be a biomedical engineer girl, found out there was a short microbiology course she could add onto the end of her 7th grade science work, she was excited to jump right in.
(Full disclosure, I received free access to the product and compensation for my time spent writing and reviewing this product. All opinions are my own, and I do not receive affiliate commissions should you choose to buy. This info is just FYI to help you decide if this course is a good fit for your homeschool.)
College Prep Science has created a self-paced Biochemistry/Microbiology course for 7th-12th graders. Please note that all the College Prep Science classes are designed for Christian homeschoolers.
1. Learn to take notes
The first lesson covers note-taking and study skills. Which I appreciate because many curriculums and courses don’t cover these skills. If you decide to use more than one of the short courses from College Prep Science, your student will only need to complete that first lesson one time. So you can schedule 6 weeks for any additional mini courses you choose.
2. You need a few more weeks of homeschool science for the year
You may feel like your student needs a little more science because you didn’t work on it much this year. Maybe they needed to focus on other things, or your original plans for science just did not fit into the reality of your days. Either way, one of these short courses can give them a great boost in scientific knowledge and skills without taking extra time for mom to plan.
3. You need self-directed homeschool science
I always prefer self-directed studies as my kids get older. The way College Prep Science classes are laid out is very easy for the student to follow on their own. I did not have to help. That’s a big deal to me, and it might be a big deal to you too. Whether you are homeschooling a large family, have a baby to care for, or are dealing with family emergencies or chronic illness, it is ok to let other people teach your kids. The difference homeschooling provides is that you can all still be together at home and you can provide an education tailored to your child’s needs.
4. Learn study skills
These are covered in the first lesson along with note-taking. There is good information here that every kid should be introduced too, preferably in middle school before they hit the more intense study required for high school level work.
5. You need engaging visuals
Look, the truth is, everyone learns better when information is presented in an engaging way and visuals are an important tool for keeping things interesting. The visuals also help present the information in a very clear, organized format. I love the visuals that come with these courses; they are well designed. If you don’t like using color ink, just use the computer screen. The worksheet portions, which you will need to print, are in black and white.
6. You don’t want any busy work
Many science courses are full of busy work. I can’t even explain why. Perhaps it is part of our more is better culture. I think about my child’s time in economic terms. Every curriculum and assignment has to earn its place for me to have my child spend their precious time on it. We rarely think of a child’s time as precious, but it is, because they have a lot of important things to do in a day to support optimal brain development. Not all of those things are learning based. They need time to run and jump and play and make things up. Time to let their imaginations wander and to pursue skills, hobbies, or topics that they are interested in.
I felt this course was a great use of my child’s time. A big return on the amount she learned/time invested ratio.
7. You need someone else to teach your child science right now
Sometimes it’s just time to pass on the baton of teaching a subject to an expert. Not just another teacher, but a teacher who is an expert in two areas, the subject being taught, and how to teach well. This can happen sooner for some subjects than others. If you don’t have a lot of scientific training or experience yourself, you might just feel like it is time to let someone else take over. Greg Landry is an excellent choice for Christian homeschool moms looking to outsource science from the comfort of their own homes.
It’s only 7 weeks, and honestly, I think that is a good thing. Year long courses have their place, but it is difficult to know if a course will be a good fit before actually jumping in and using it. The last thing you want to do is start high school biology and then switch curriculum 4 times because you are having a hard time finding something that serves all the needs of your family. These short courses are a great tool to dip into before you commit to a full year course.
I also find them handy in middle school, when I am still inclined to piece together curriculum based on my kids’ interests and prior knowledge and many full courses just can’t provide the richness that I can get if I pick and choose the best resources. This year has been a grand adventure in science for my 7th grade daughter and she is now ready to jump into high school science a year early. We did not get there my following anyone else’s roadmap, but by forging our own. And one of the great gems we found while putting together our course of study was College Prep Science by Greg Landry.