My soon to be ninth grader is a big reader. Instead of using a science textbook, he is going to read several different non-fiction titles to learn about Earth Science. Here is a list of all the books he’ll be reading for this class.
Last week, I explained that my 9th grade son will be using a lot of material from the Build Your Library Level 7 curriculum as a Geography and World Cultures elective. You may be asking, what about Build Your Library Level 9, he will be in 9th grade after all. Fear not, he is using Build Your Library Level 9 for science.
Build Your library is a secular literature based homeschool curriculum that very closely matches with my sons learning style. Each grade level curriculum is intended to be all inclusive. It teaches language arts, history, science, and art all with overlapping books that coordinate together. If someone used the curriculum as it was intended, all they would need to add was math. I never manage to use any curriculum as it was intended.
The overarching theme of BYL Level 9 is Pre-History. The science is Earth Science, and the history is History of the Earth. Somehow, learning about fossils and geologic time doesn’t seem very much like history to me. Since my son had never done the BYL Level 7 (which the theme of Exploring Your World) I thought the two topics would overlap together nicely. My son is the one who specifically asked for actual history to be included as well, because he likes history. So BYL Level 7 became an elective, BYL Level 9 is science, and I created my own history course to tie the two together.
My son won’t be reading all of the text from BYL Level 9, but he will be reading most of the “science” texts and about half of the “history” texts”. He will also be reading a few of the language arts texts in language arts, but not many. The BYL Level 7 curriculum is jam packed full of hands on projects, and worksheets. The Level 9 curriculum has few worksheets and more suggested writing assignments, which I’ll definitely be assigning.
Here is a list of all the titles my son will be reading for science this year.
- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson – This will be my son’s main science spine. The BYL curriculum does come with quizzes for each chapter.
- The Practical Geologist by Dougal Dixon – This book reads more like a textbook, but it’s relatively short. A good introduction to geology.
- The Story of Earth by Robert M Hazen – This the main spine of the BYL history for Level 9, but learning about geologic history seems more like geology to me than history.
- The Story of Life in 25 Fossils by Donald R Prethero – This is also from the BYL history, and an interesting book about ancient life forms.
- The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson – From BYL science, this book looks at the oceans side of Earth Science.
- Evolution: The Human Story by Alice Roberts – Also from BYL history, this book picks up where 25 Fossils ends and looks at the various hominins.
- The Stuff of Life by Mark Schultz – A graphic novel about DNA, who could ask for more?
- A+ Science Fair Projects by Janice VanCleave – My son likes to read way more than he likes to do labs, but we need some hands on activities.