When using any curriculum for a given subject, it's always helpful to supplement with other resources. A different point of view can often make a difficult-to-grasp subject easier to understand.
That's what we've been doing with my son's science curriculum this last week. He's been studying some basic physics — speed, acceleration, force, etc. — so we've also been spending time online doing some study apart from his text.
Intel Education Resources
Intel Education Resources, specifically designed for UK students ages 14-16, has animated tutorials in math, biology, chemistry, and physics. There are also sections for other age levels, but this is the section we used to watch the two physics tutorials about force.
The Physics Classroom
While the Intel site is good, The Physics Classroom is even better, offering a much more comprehensive curriculum. The site's graphics are a bit dated, but the info is excellent…and there's a lot of it! I doubt you'd want to use this site as your only physics curriculum, but it is an excellent supplement, especially as your second source.
Here are some of the things you'll find at the Physics Classroom.
Each Physics Classroom tutorial includes lesson text in easy-to-understand language, illustrations and animations, and quizzes and Check Your Understanding Question. The tutorials cover the following topics:
- 1-D Kinematics
- Newton's Laws
- Vectors — Motion and Forces in Two Dimensions
- Momentum and Its Conservation
- Work, Energy, and Power
- Circular Motion and Satellite Motion
- Thermal Physics
- Static Electricity
- Current Electricity
- Sound Waves and Music
- Light Waves and Color
- Reflection and the Ray Model of Light
- Refraction and the Ray Model of Light
Worksheets at The Curriculum Corner
You can download and print worksheets that are aligned with each tutorial. (I've not found an answer key to go along with the worksheets yet.) If you think it's just a page or two for each subject, think again. This is a lot of material!
The Calculator Pad
The Calculator Pad is intended to provide students with practice solving physics word problems. Approximately 30 problems of varying degree of difficulty are provided for each topic and answers can be viewed by clicking a button.
Minds on Physics Modules
The Minds on Physics (MOP) Modules are more than 1300 carefully-crafted questions designed to improve student conceptions of common physics topics. Each sublevel provides students with a learning opportunity, an exercise in thinking, and a chance to reflect and review. You have to log in to this section for tracking purposes but you don't have to give any identifying information. Again, the graphics aren't that flashy, but the content is good.
The Review Session
The Review Session includes a Unit Review for each of the units covered at The Physics Classroom Tutorial. You can choose a printable version with just the questions, a version with questions and links to pertinent information, or a version that has questions, links, as well as the answers.
Library of Visuals
There are two sections of the site where you can view animated graphics that demonstrate various physics principles. The multimedia studio has GIFs and Quicktime movies. The Shockwave studio features interactive Shockwave files that simulate a physical situation. Users can manipulate a variable and observe the outcome of the change on the physical situation.
Hopefully these science and physics curriculum and videos can come alongside what you are teaching to make the homeschool learning more enjoyable and fruitful.
Do you have any favorite science sites you'd like to share?