*I was given a copy of this curriculum for review purposes and compensated for my time with the understanding that my review would be honest.
The buzzword right now in education is STEM. There is a huge push toward developing students’ interests in math and science. Curriculum companies are seeing that and are creating wonderful, challenging STEM resources to draw students in and keep them.
But, what if your child just doesn’t like science or math? What if they want to become a writer, a hair stylist, or a business owner. What if they just do not need four years of lab sciences or higher level math?
I get the question all the time “What high school science curriculum is available for my student who does not plan to study science or math in the future and just needs a couple science credits to graduate?”
The problem that I’ve had with this question is that many high school homeschool science curricula can be too intense for those who normally shy away from science. They might dive too deep into technical concepts that lose the interests of those students or they might require a higher level math than the student has achieved.
On the other hand, some science curricula claiming to be for non-science students are just too light.
Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum
A great alternative for high school homeschool students looking for non-lab science credits, is Integrated Physics and Chemistry from Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum (PAC). This curriculum is comprehensive enough to give a broad understanding of chemistry and physics without being too technical to scare non-science or basic level math students away.
The total 2 year, 2 credit curriculum consists of 12 chapter booklets, 12 corresponding student activity booklets, and a teacher’s resource kit.
The activity booklets are basically comprehension questions based on the chapter texts and the teacher’s resource kit contains the quizzes and tests.
What Makes Integrates Physics And Chemistry Different
At first glance, the entire Integrated Physics and Chemistry curriculum seems overwhelming. All those booklets! But, as my daughter and I dove in deeper, we started to realize the benefits of it all.
Each chapter is a booklet. This is great for those students who dislike a thick, heavy textbook. It’s also great for families who homeschool on the go.
The text is written in a vignette style. This makes the text very readable. It’s more like short stories than a science textbook. This is great for non-technical students and those who love to read.
The curriculum is based on people who contributed to the development of the Periodic Table Of Elements. If your student loves biographies and history, they will enjoy this text. It walks them through the history of chemistry and physics and teaches the backstories of many of the great scientific discoveries.
No complex math. This curriculum is an overview of chemistry and physics, not application. The basic concepts of chemistry and physics can be taught without using complex mathematical equations.
No Labs. If you are looking for a science curriculum with lab credit, Integrated Physics and Chemistry may not be for you. There are no labs or experiments included with the program, however they can easily be added from other sources.
- Integrated Physics and Chemistry from PAC is a 2 year, 2 credit curriculum.
- There are no labs included with the curriculum.
- Available in print and and audio-enhanced learning (digital recording for those students who benefit from hearing the text while reading along).
- PAC is in the process of developing QR codes to integrate into their curriculum. This will allow students to access extra information via smartphones. (Currently, only available with PAC Biology.)
- PAC offers a 20% discount to active military, ministers, missionaries, farmers, ranchers, and first responders (police, firemen, EMS, EMT, etc.).
- PAC offers a 40% discount to single parents and homeschool support groups who make a combined purchase of $1000.00 or more retail. (Call PAC at (325) 649-0976 to receive the discounted price.)
While this curriculum is not what my science-loving daughter was looking for, we did enjoy reading parts of the curriculum and could easily see how it would be perfect for students with other interests.
The stories of the people behind the science and how discoveries were made gave us new insight and appreciation. I would like to see PAC publish a book of science history or scientists biographies!