Wednesday, April 27

Using the Good & the Beautiful SCIENCE for HIGH SCHOOL

We've talked about this before, but one of the biggest complaints folks have about The Good & the Beautiful curriculum is its lack of resources for high school students, particularly in the sciences and maths.  Like many families, we love the relaxed yet comprehensive fit of this program, and hoped to keep using it through the high school years.  To that end, along with the assistance of a few other moms, we've created a suggested plan for using the available sciences for high school students...

The plan covers three years, and includes:

  • Each full year of science is comprised of several units, which are listed in a suggested order.
  • Most of the science units have accompanying video playlists.
  • A free site is recommended to download printable sheets, as needed, to reinforce concepts.
  • A reading list, field trips, and virtual field trips are provided for select units.
  • Independent research is recommended.
  • It should be noted that the Safety unit is not included.

Which sciences are covered?

  • Physical Science - utilizes 6 units, plus field trips & hands-on kits
  • Biology - utilizes 6 units, plus field trips & hands-on kits
  • Zoology - utilizes 6 units, plus field trips & hands-on kits

While we have been asked to consider including these TGTB science classes as part of the Sparks Academy course offerings, right now this is not in the pipeline.  The Good & the Beautiful has a note on their website that they are planning to offer high school science (at least one class) starting in the '23-'24 school year, and we prefer to wait and see what they offer first.  

It is our hope that these printable plans with supplements will help you to continue family-style learning, with curriculum you already own, as your children enter their upper grades years.

Access the Good & Beautiful Extensions Page  (scroll down to download plans)


Currently, there is not adequate Chemistry coverage at the high school level.  We recommend the Sparks Academy teacher-led class à

If you just want to use TGTB Chemistry for upper grades, know that it will not prepare your student for college-level sciences and is probably not a good fit for STEM-bound students.  Families have been beefing it up to a degree with the following resources:

More Science

For more structured science needs (and history / language arts)Sparks Academy provides blended classes. These are classes hosted online that include textbook and video elements, discussion feeds with peers, and live, virtual meetings.  Each week, the students are interacting through facilitated discussion in a private forum.  Classes “meet” weekly via shared assignments and moderated discussion during the school year (August 15,2022 – May 5, 2023 for the ’22-’23 school year).

Newest Sciences:  Paleontology & Motion / Machines

Two new science courses are hitting the store this summer, just in time for the start of a new school year!  The first is Paleontology, and it's also the first course to be introduced in the new science format.  (The company plans to go back and revamp all old sciences to the new format.)  The new format has a teacher guide and accompanying books, similar to the old style, but then has a student journal that is separate from the course.  Ideally, you are to purchase one student journal for each student in your family, and there are two levels.  We purchased the 7th/8th, as the youngest is a teen.

There are three accompanying books with the Paleontology course - two that tackle dinosaurs and ancient animals, while the other focuses on archaeology.  Several dig sites, including famous ones and lesser-known ones, are featured in the archaeology book, and these are good additions to the course...they really help bring the material to a real-world place.

Here you can peek inside lesson 2.  The teacher's guide is the one on top, with the text and lots of photographs.  The student journal (7th/8th grade level) is on the bottom.  The extensions are in the journal, as well as writing activities and some cutting / pasting activities.  There's considerably less written / read aloud information in the teacher book now, and it's extremely visual.  I can see this maybe being better for younger kids, but older kids need a little more 'meat' to the sciences.

The Motions & Machines unit comes with two books - one on Inventions and the other on Motion in Sports. It's true, my kids aren't terribly athletic-minded (farm kids get different exercise), but they enjoyed looking through both of the books. We found a few medieval themed selections from each book to rope in the oldest, too! If you have an athletic kid, maybe one that isn't that into STEM, this bottom book (above) will pique their interest for sure.
In this unit, students learn about motion and force, gravity, pulleys, levers, and basic physics. Through hands-on projects, they see Newton’s laws put into action and document the ways machines make our lives easier. One of the best parts of this unit is that the kids get to build their own machine on “Project Day” - the final lesson!  

As this is one of the new units, it was also printed in the format with the teacher guide and student journals.  It's set up similarly to the Paleontology unit shown above.  TGTB has plans to revamp all of their old science units into this new format.

Overall, I have to say that while many families will probably love the new format, I'm not really a fan.  My husband will say that it's because I don't like change, and perhaps there's a grain of truth in that, but for families who have been accustomed to the old format of sciences, with everything together in one place, it's going to take some time to adjust to a new format and figure out a new groove.

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