After asking several friends and home school parents for ideas, we discovered a great free site online that teaches many subjects and has complete programs online. It is known as Easy Peasy Homeschool. This site offers many high school subjects as well and you can go there from the link on the Easy Peasy site or from here. After looking at several science programs, I decided to use the Oceanography program from this site.
Why Oceanography? Someone might ask. My daughter loves nature and she loves animals and although we have done many other earlier science programs with animals, I decided that I just would like to expand her knowledge of the ocean and the science involved with it. She was worried that it might be a hard class but so far she has enjoyed it. She has learned several new concepts and although we aren't learning about animals at the moment, we will. I am thinking that I will plan a field trip to the aquarium as soon as we are finished with the course.
Currently, studying how an idea goes from a hypothesis to a theory to a scientific law has been interesting to teach. She understands that all things in science starts out as an educated guess but she finds it hard to understand why by the time it becomes a scientific law that it is still just not an absolute. Learning how variables can change experiments and results is slowly sinking in as how nothing in science can be absolute.
The program has labs along with it and she is currently learning how to write a lab report and what information is important to an experiment and what is not. Tomorrow we will be doing our first experiment of the year and we are both excited about it as we will be building some sort of boat and seeing how different things can affect how it floats. We will also be doing an experiment that she has had to personally develop and I am sure that will be a fun one.
I would highly recommend that anyone who has children that are middle school age or older try this program. It is fun and very educational. It is laid out in a way that the child doesn't have to spend a lot of time on it, but it could easily be a longer period of time if the parent would add worksheets or extra writing assignments.