When I started homeschooling preschool just 8 years ago, when my son was 4, I wouldn’t have thought that we’d be working on high school science right now. Alas, here we are. As I mentioned in Homeschooling Middle School, my son really enjoys science. At 12, he already has a full year high school credit for astronomy, and he is nearly finished with a full year high school credit in Earth Science. He has loved doing labs at our homeschool co-op for the earth science class, as well as a middle school level physics class. That said, we just moved. We’re not sure which – if any – homeschool cooperative we’re joining in the Fall. Which means, I’m not sure science labs will be an option. He’s not comfortable without a game plan, which is why we’re exploring the Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum Integrated Physics and Chemistry course for High School.
An Overview of Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum
Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum (PAC) has a selection of courses available for grades 7 through 12. Subjects offered include math, English, science, social studies, and more. PAC courses are created with the independent learner in mind, which means each course is designed to allow students to progress as quickly as they’d like, or more slowly if hours are needed for transcript credit. Courses are designed to be open and go, and are portable. They are available in print, audio-enhanced and have digital downloads available. Rather than using thick textbooks, each course consists of soft-cover texts and soft cover activity books.
Integrated Physics and Chemistry
The Integrated Physics and Chemistry course is a two year course. It contains a total of 180 lessons, 180 activities, 24 quizzes, and/or 12 chapter tests. Students completing the entire course can earn two high school credits. Alternatively, students may complete just the chapters for Conceptual Physics (chapters 2, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 12) or just the Basic Chemistry (chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 11) for one high school credit. Students completing the entire course can earn two high school credits.
It introduces students to the principles of physics and chemistry, as well as the people and places that are historically notable in both. It deliberately avoids complex math equations, making it a great option for students who either haven’t reached a particular level in math or students who struggle with math.
Benefits of Integrated Physics and Chemistry
Soft Cover Chapters
There are several benefits of the Integrated Physics and Chemistry course. One is that each chapter has it’s own soft cover text and soft cover activity book. While my son does love science, a heavy textbook overwhelms him. Last year, when his earth science textbook came in, his eyes grew round and his confidence faltered. When I showed him the “textbook” for IPC, he smiled and said, “I can do that.”
The Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum are written with a vignette approach, meaning it’s written like a story. It’s simple narrative, with black on white text. The narrative skillfully weaves the history, principles, and concepts together and draws the reader in, rather than stale facts and figures. It builds on discovery, and keeps the student wanting to read more. It’s not just a bunch of dry, boring stats and facts.
Separate Teacher Manual
The course does have a separate loose leaf teacher manual. It’s simple and straight forward, without a lot of frills or unnecessary busywork. It does include the activity keys, quizzes and keys, as well as tests and keys.
Audio Enhanced Digital Curriculum
Another benefit of the PAC digital curriculum is that it is audio enhanced, which means that the digital curriculum can be used in conjunction with a text-to-speech reader, which allows text to be read aloud. I can see this being a real option for our daughter, who has learning differences.
Homeschooling a gifted child like my son can present challenges, especially given the asynchrony of IQ and EQ. The format of the two year Integrated Physics and Chemistry class is ideal for him, because he can complete it at his own pace. He can speed through it if he wants, or if it’s overwhelming, he can take it more slowly. If he masters one chapter, but struggles with the next, we can take our time and explore it more.
Since he’s already taking a middle school level physics class, with lab, we know that he enjoys physics. This will give him the opportunity to explore it more, while leaving room for him to take Advanced Physics later if he wants.
I can use the quizzes, and tests, to ensure he’s keeping track with the class. They will also enable me to give a letter grade for his high school transcript.
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We’re both excited about the Integrated Physics and Chemistry course from Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum. We are also considering their America’s Founding Fathers, Events, and Documents course for our government class.