General Science Syllabus

Here is my syllabus for the junior high general science class. Remember that we meet once per week, September through April. There are a few weeks we skip due to holidays, but it ends up being 28 weeks.

The Apologia textbooks are all 16 modules. So, most modules get 2 weeks while 2 modules get only 1 week.

The Syllabus

1. Each week, I expect you to read the assigned readings before class, and narrate them, either to yourself or someone else. Here is a video that explains narration really well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ubrs3cSHpw

2. Your nature journal is an important part of your education. Bring it to class every week, as we will add to it every week. You are welcome to add to it during the week, on your own.

3. As you can, take a walk and work to notice how the world around you works. Work to NOTICE, its a practiced skill.

4. I will not tolerate cheating of any sort. There are times you will work with a partner, but you each must do the work. If it is something to be done alone, I expect you to do it on your own. If it is to be done without access to book, I expect you to respect this.

5. If something doesn’t make sense, ASK! I cannot read your mind, and I don’t know when you don’t understand. Exposing your ignorance is the best way to rid yourself of that ignorance.

6. For those students that are interest in delving more deeply into a topic: you may ask for an additional project to do on your time, based on your interest. Or you may propose an addition project/collection (e.g. insect, flower/leaf, rock). Participating in Science Fair will require a fair bit from you. I am available to guide and assist as needed.

7. I will post addition resources on my blog: mamarachael.wordpress.com. Follow the link ‘General Science’ at the top.

8. If you are late to class, there will be a consequence according to the frequency of your lateness, the extremity of your lateness, and the general effectiveness of the consequence according to your character and personality. In other words, don’t be late.

Book: Exploring Creation with General Science, 2nd edition (by Wile)

Assigned reading (pages) Topic
Sept 8 1-15 History of Science
Sept 15 16-23 History of Science
Sept 22 24-34 History of Science
Sept 29 35-58 Scientific Inquiry
Oct 6 Scientific Inquiry
Oct 13 59-82 Doing Experiments
Oct 20 83-94 Science and Technology, aka Simple Machines
Oct 27 95-108 Science and Technology, aka Simple Machines
Nov 3 109-134 Archeology vs Geology vs Paleontology
Nov 10 135-158 Geology
Nov 17 Geology
Dec 1 Geology
Dec 8 159-184 Paleontology
Dec 15 185-214 More Geology
Jan 12 215-222 Life, what is it? Not merely DNA
Jan 19 223-233 Ecology of Life
Jan 26 233-240 Life, what is it? Could be just a cell
Feb 2 241-264 How do we classify life?
Feb 9 293-318 Life takes Energy….
Feb 16 Life takes Energy…
Feb 23 265-292 Human Physical Form
Mar 2 319-342 Human Physical Form
Mar 16 343-357 Human Physical Form
Mar 23 358-366 Human Physical Form
April 6 367-386 Human Physical Form
April 13 387-404, 417-418 Human Physical Form
April 20 405-416 Human Physical Form
April 27 418 Human Physical Form

General comments

Yes, this one looks a lot like the Biology one. Consistency makes it all easier for me.

Do you like my late policy? This gives me the flexibility I need when it’s not the student’s fault they are late, e.g. an older sibling is dropping them off and older sibling is the one running late.

I don’t list all the activities of that day because I found students don’t really read/remember those bits anyways. And this gives me the flexibility to set up each week as I feel is most helpful. This will change, likely, as the year progresses and I learn more of who these students are, their academic levels and personalities.

On the other hand, I do have a good idea of what activities we will do over this year. I will plan these out more specifically over this next week. Baby-steps!

I’ll cover how I plan to run class time in a later post. But please, feel free to ask questions!

General Science & Other Thoughts

In my last science post, I wrote up the list of supplies I was ordering for high school Biology. This time, I’ll tell you about the supplies for General Science.

Please keep in mind that there are also supplies I’ll purchase at the grocery store or hardware store, especially for general science. This a jr high level course, for 7th, 8th and 9th graders, so is more of a broad introduction to a variety of areas of science. The higher level the course, the more specialized materials you’ll need. For doing science with my own Year 1 student, unless we want to do something super crazy fun (which we do sometimes!) it’s all stuff we just have around the house.

For more on doing science with Littles, check out this post I wrote several years ago.

General Science Supplies

So, for general science, I plan to get from homesciencetools.com:

(1) Know Your Minerals Kit

(2) Know Your Rocks Kit

(3) Geology Field Trip in a Bag Kit

After going through the book, these were what I thought I couldn’t just get from a local store, but would be beneficial for students to work with. They are extras and the whole class will use the kits, but I think it will expand the student’s knowledge of geology in a fun way. Hands-on is always good!

There will be some sharing between Biology and General Science. I’m not set on what those things are, but it will likely be the frog hatchery kit, the root viewer kit and the carnivorous fungi. I’ll make sure that the schedules for the courses line up so both classes can experience what these things offer.

They will all get a nature journal for keeping track of what they learn. This is one form of narration that is super useful in science.

Homesciencetools.com is having a 10% off sale if your order through Aug 15.

Science Fair!

These are the years for science fair! Around here, the local homeschool organization hosts a science fair, and many schools will host one also. I know 7th grade is when most students do science fair, though older students can participate also. Your student will need to decide soon on a topic, as the local fair is usually held in the fall. Should your student place in 1st, 2nd or 3rd, they will get to go to the regional fair. Even if your student has no desire to really pursue doing science fair, it can be a good experience for doing an extended experiment with the requirements of keeping good records, documenting the steps and the results and presenting the results to others. Here in Texas, the fair is “The Science & Engineering Fair”, so most any topic within the sciences or engineering is acceptable. If you are in the Waco area and your students wants to participate, there is a teacher/parent informational meeting on Sept 12 at Baylor University. There is a cost to attend, but its minimal if you are a homeschooling parent. Contact me if you want more information about this.