The HomeScholar Blog

Join Me on Facebook

HomeScholar Freebies!

The HomeScholar Free Records Training

The HomeScholar Free Transcripts Training

Jay Wile Free Training Webinar

5 Mistakes Mini-Course

7 Secrets Special Report

Homeschool Awards

2011 Constant Contact All Stars

Lee Binz, Diamond Author

2011 Constant Contact All Stars

I'm a winner of the 2009 Blog Awards!

2008 Best Curriculum and Business Blog!


Feed Count

What Should I Use for Homeschool High School Science?

May 20, 2010

I’m a huge fan of Apologia sciences!  I believe it’s wonderful college preparation, and that their Biology, Chemistry, and Physics can provide the highest quality college prep education.


On the other hand, I have heard mixed results from their General Science and Physical Science curriculum.  These are recent additions to Apologia, actually.  Years ago, they only provided Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Prior to that, the author Jay Wile recommended using unit studies to encourage the love of science in middle school.  He suggested saving textbooks for high school.

Home school lab sciences can mean almost anything.  There is no true definition of what a lab science is.  You can read more about the definition of a lab science in this blog post

Lab science equipment can be purchased from many sources.  Most often I recommend purchasing the Sonlight science kits; Apologia Biology with everything you need for experiments Or

We did our labs at home, using materials from Sonlight, HomeTrainingTools, and Apologia.  My children were well prepared for college, and both earned “As” in their first year of college sciences.  I really do think that homeschooling science labs can give a great foundation!

Although you can use General Science and Physical Science for high school credit when taken at high school age, I do not recommend giving high school credit when the courses are done during middle school.


Click here to read more about why teaching your high schooler is highly overrated.


  1. Tweets that mention homeschool parents can use apologia sciences to prepare their children for college. #homeschool — says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mom E, Lee Binz. Lee Binz said: #homeschool parents can use apologia sciences to prepare their children for college. #homeschool [...]

    May 20th, 2010 at 5:54 am

  2. Debra says:

    I think giving high school credit for General or Physical Science would be a stretch… Physical maybe. General, it would need to be seriously supplemented.

    May 20th, 2010 at 6:13 am

  3. Bev says:

    I agree with Debra. My 7th grader just completed General Science. It is recommended for 7th grade and is definitely on grade level.

    May 20th, 2010 at 5:28 pm

  4. Cassie says:

    In Ohio physical science is REQUIRED for Ohio public school students. It isn’t a requirement for homeschool students. That being said, colleges in Ohio are expecting to see that on a transcript. I’m not saying that they would turn down a student who didn’t have physical science but I think it always pays to be “thinking ahead” and seeing what state and/or school requirements are where you are considering sending your child.

    May 20th, 2010 at 7:49 pm

  5. Lee says:

    It’s certainly not right for everyone to give General/Physical science a high school credit. On the other hand, I can image situations where that’s an appropriate level of science for a struggling student that is high school age. In a public school, any class a student takes at high school age gets put on the high school transcript. ANY class – even if it is remedial.

    May 21st, 2010 at 6:11 am

  6. Laura says:

    Bob Jones curriculum lists their Physical science for 9th grade, and NARHS says that Apologia’s physical science is difficult enough for high school credit.

    May 21st, 2010 at 4:10 pm

  7. Lee says:

    Right – and there are different levels of science classes in other schools, from AP to remedial. As homeschoolers, we can also provide material that is at the level of our children.

    May 22nd, 2010 at 7:19 am

  8. Lois says:

    At a recent home school conference/book fair, the lady working the Apologia booth told me you can count 8th grade physical science as a high school credit IF they did the experiments. When I was in high school, biology was a sophomore class and earth science was for freshmen. I’m still deciding whether to count PS for my daughter. She’s still trying to finish Algebra I, which is a prerequisite for chemistry. TX requires 4 years of both math and science. I think that’s a lot, particularly if the student isn’t going into engineering or something requiring advanced courses. I personally think both the general and physical sciences are more than grade level! Of course, I am a non-science person.

    May 22nd, 2010 at 4:13 pm

  9. Lee says:

    Lois, if your state wants four years of science, why don’t you branch out a bit? Go for geology, astronomy, ornithology, or something like that? You don’t have to go the textbook route :-) Check with for ideas.

    May 22nd, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Leave a comment