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"Books dealing with science...should be of a literary character, and we should probably be more scientific as a people if we scrapped all the text books which swell publishers' lists and nearly all the chalk expended so freely on our chalkboards." (Charlotte Mason in Philosophy of Ed., pg. 218)
High school science without textbooks? Yes...that's right. You can continue using living books and nature study to complete high school science, and here is a list of resources and living books to get you started. Or, if you prefer to use a text, these books can supplement your science program.
This list is not complete, and it never will be. If you find a living book that's not on the list, please use it....and let me know what it is!
A quick note on evolution: Books on the theory of evolution are included, as are books which discuss evolution as a fact rather than a theory. Many are primary sources, and should be read by proponents and opponents. Others are simply the best book on a subject. Some books assume a basic knowledge of evolutionary theory. Books that present a creationist point of view are marked with a "+". Happy browsing!
This page contains information and books for general popular science. The following links will take you to traditional high school course information.
Get Science Audiobooks for Download at Audible.com. These can be streamed onto your computer, transferred to a mobile device, or burned onto CD!
The following books and activities can be used for any grade/age level, with parental help. They will provide a good general overview of scientific thinking and reference.
What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained Not
really, but this is a great intro to physics, chem, biochem and engineering
from a retired chemist. This is a book with a humorous approach, and
with practical examples of science in the kitchen...not just another recipe
book! Good junior high intro to popular science.
American's "The Amateur Scientist" : The Complete 20th Century
Collection on CD-ROM All the columns from Sci Am's popular series (sadly,
now discontinued). Includes math physics, bio, chem, geology, etc.
Way Science Works This is a DK book in the classic "DK" style.
The Way Things Work, this book is full of illustrations of scientific
principles, but this time, there are full color photos. Also
The Way Things Work
Strange Quantum World & You Quantum physics for 5th grade and up.
Clearly explains the sub-atomic.
To the Young Scientist : Reflections on Doing and Living Science by Fred Bortz (a life long scientist encourages science careers--for jr. high and high school students)
The View from the Oak by Judith Kohl (how animals perceive their environment)
How to Read a French Fry by Russ Parsons (cook book with the science well-explained)
Making Cheese Butter and Yogurt by Phyllis Hobson (not much explanation, but a good launching point)
For more than a field guide, try these nature activity guides by Elizabeth Lawlor:
Archimedes and the Door to Science by Jeanne Bendick
Madame Curie: A Biography by Eve Curie (amazing biography for understanding the scientific thought processes, and the personal nature of scientific method)
The New Way Things Work
Powers of Ten by Philip Morrison (for an idea of scale)
Measure for Measure by Thomas Glover (all you need to know to convert any unit)
On Growth and Form by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson (Written in 1917, this is Thompson's eclectic collection of scientific essays. Thompson was a great fan of using Occam's razor.)
Laboratory Manuals and Equipment
Much of the following material is available off-site, from sources other than Amazon. To keep things simple, I have used as few suppliers as possible. You may find other sources for these materials, but these links are provided to give you a place to start.
The following lab manuals are from Castle Heights Press. Written by Kathleen and Mark Julicher, these manuals are meant for use in small schools or the homeschool. The labs contain clear instructions and are simple to do in the home, yet provide the student with solid high school laboratory experience.
Experiences in Biology
Experiences in Chemistry
Experiences in Physics
Equipment and supplies available from: