When homeschooling, particularly during the high school years, parents sometimes wonder about “Lab Sciences”. These are science courses in which a lab component must be included as an integral part of the class — the lab portion being comprised of some physical, technological, experimental or hands-on experience that is awarded credit along with the other course material. Parents also ask how to count lab sciences for credit and how to equip labs in order to teach these courses, too. In this article, we’ll take a look at some general tips for teaching homeschool lab science.
What is it?
Lab sciences include subjects like chemistry, biology, physics, and any other science class that is taught with a lab component. Though labs can be included with science at any age, these kinds of courses often become important during the high school years. This is because many high school programs require labs, thus homeschoolers duplicating a high school programs include them as well. Many colleges and universities also look for lab experience in their homeschool applicants, making these classes important for college-bound students as well.
How many credits?
The number of credits to award lab sciences is up to the parent and depends upon the number of hours the student puts into the course (see awarding credits HERE). However, those following a traditional system as a guide typically award credits the same way that schools do: a single credit (1.0 credits or 3.0 hours) for lab science taught at the high school level and a slightly higher credit value (4.0 hours instead of 3.0 for example) for lab science taught at the honors or AP level, or those taken through dual enrollment or other college programs.
How to teach it?
Curriculum products exists for every homeschool subject imaginable, including sciences with labs. Parents may select from a wide variety of books and kits that teach lab science at home. Some families prefer to buy all-in-one systems that include supplies, while others prefer to shop around and purchase lab supplies inexpensively on their own. When it comes to lab sciences, homeschoolers are also free to take classes online, at adult ed centers, at technical institutes, colleges, through homeschool coops, or any other method they like, to earn lab science credit. Students that volunteer in the sciences are also eligible to receive credit from their real-world experiences as well.