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Your One-Stop Guide to Homeschool Science Curriculum

Figuring out how to choose a homeschool curriculum can be daunting—especially when you're dealing with a subject like science, with so many variables to consider.

To make the process a little easier, we did some research for you to summarize the key elements of the top homeschool science curriculum options!

# of experiments

Has
experiment kits

Is a
living books curriculum

Focus on one branch of science per year

Has
video support

Has flexible scheduling

No lesson prep required

Shareable between multiple grades

Teaches Christianity in lessons

Offers high school curriculum

Price

Noeo

70-100

$46-$274

Apologia

19

$104-$146

Abeka

Unspecified

$174-$202

Sonlight

36

$55-$294

Bookshark

36

$55-$255

The Good and the Beautiful

Unspecified

🟡

$20-$73 (several courses per year needed)

Elemental Science Classic Series

36

$42-$199

Noeo

Overview: 

  • Noeo is a living books (literature-based) curriculum.
  • Noeo emphasizes hands-on learning with 70-100 experiments per year.
  • Each Noeo course comes with a comprehensive experiment kit and requires minimal legwork to prepare lessons and experiments.
  • Noeo’s lesson design allows for flexibility of schedule and shareability between multiple grades. 
  • Each Noeo course focuses on specific scientific disciplines, covering Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in increasingly greater detail over the course of its elementary and middle school courses.
  • Noeo offers video guides of the more complicated experiments in the elementary school courses. 
  • While a Christian company, Noeo lessons do not not explicitly teach Christianity. Check out Noeo’s FAQ page for more information on how Noeo handles Christianity, evolution, and other similar questions.
  • Noeo offers courses covering first grade through eighth grade.

Price:

  • Curriculum books: $46
  • Curriculum books + living books and experiment kit: $214-$274

Summary: 

Noeo is good for homeschoolers who want a living books approach that emphasizes hands-on learning, requires minimal prep, and can be shared between multiple grades.

Apologia

Overview: 

  • Apologia is a textbook-based curriculum.
  • Apologia incorporates a moderate amount of hands-on learning with 19 experiments per year.
  • Each Apologia course does not come with an experiment kit and requires some legwork to prepare lessons and experiments. 
  • Apologia’s lesson design allows for flexibility of schedule and shareability between multiple grades.
  • Each Apologia course focuses on specific scientific disciplines, covering Astronomy, Botany, Zoology, flying creatures, swimming creatures, land animals, Anatomy/Physiology, Chemistry/Physics, and Earth Science in elementary school, and General Science and Physical Science in middle school.  
  • Apologia offers full self-paced video lessons for their middle school courses.
  • Apologia’s lessons explicitly teach Christianity.
  • Apologia offers courses covering preschool through twelfth grade.

Price:

  • Curriculum books: $104-$146
  • Curriculum books + experiment kit: N/A (third parties offer experiment kits ranging from $70-$140, and Apologia offers a microscope and slide kit for $325)

Summary: 

Apologia is good for homeschoolers who want a traditional textbook approach that emphasizes book learning, requires some lesson prep, and can be shared between multiple grades.

Abeka

Overview: 

  • Abeka is a textbook-based curriculum.
  • Abeka incorporates a minimal amount of hands-on learning.
  • Each Abeka course does not come with an experiment kit and requires some legwork to prepare lessons and activities.
  • Abeka’s lesson design allows for flexibility of schedule, though it does not not allow for shareability between multiple grades.
  • Each Abeka course focuses on the integration of science with other subjects (history and health) rather than specific scientific disciplines. 
  • Abeka offers full self-paced video lessons for their third grade and up courses.
  • Abeka’s lessons explicitly teach Christianity.
  • Abeka offers courses covering kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Price:

  • Curriculum books: $174-$202
  • Curriculum books + experiment kit: N/A (third parties offer experiment kits ranging from $80-$230)

Summary: 

Abeka is good for homeschoolers who want a traditional textbook approach that emphasizes book learning, requires some lesson prep, and is unique to individual grades.

Sonlight

Overview: 

  • Sonlight is a living books curriculum.
  • Sonlight emphasizes hands-on learning with weekly experiments, 36 per year.
  • Each Sonlight course comes with a comprehensive experiment kit and requires minimal legwork to prepare lessons and experiments.
  • Sonlight’s lesson design allows for flexibility of schedule and shareability between multiple grades. 
  • Each Sonlight course focuses on a collection of scientific topics (e.g. their Level A course covers Light and Sound Waves, Biological Features, Space Systems, and Engineering Design) rather than specific scientific disciplines.
  • Sonlight offers weekly supporting videos to their curriculum providing experiment walk-throughs and lesson summaries.
  • Sonlight’s lessons explicitly teach Christianity.
  • Sonlight offers courses covering preschool through twelfth grade.

Price:

  • Curriculum books: $55
  • Curriculum books + living books + experiment kit: $155-$294

Summary: 

Sonlight is good for homeschoolers who want a living books approach that emphasizes hands-on learning, requires minimal lesson prep, and can be shared between multiple grades.

BookShark

Overview: 

  • BookShark is a literature-based curriculum.
  • BookShark emphasizes hands-on learning with weekly experiments, 36 per year.
  • Each BookShark course comes with a comprehensive experiment kit and requires minimal legwork to prepare lessons and experiments.
  • BookShark’s lesson design allows for flexibility of schedule and shareability between multiple grades. 
  • Each BookShark course focuses on a collection of scientific topics rather than specific scientific disciplines.
  • BookShark offers video walkthroughs of their experiments.
  • BookShark is a secularized version of Sonlight’s curriculum—their lessons do not explicitly teach Christianity.
  • BookShark offers courses covering preschool through twelfth grade.

Price:

  • Curriculum books: $55
  • Curriculum books + living books + experiment kit: $195-$255

Summary: 

BookShark is good for homeschoolers who want a living books approach that emphasizes hands-on learning, requires minimal lesson prep, and can be shared between multiple grades.

The Good and the Beautiful

Overview: 

  • The Good and the Beautiful (TGATB) is a blend between a textbook-based and living books curriculum, with each course including a textbook, a couple living books, and a few activity packs (e.g. a bird card game). 
  • TGATB includes minimal hands-on learning.
  • Each TGATB course does not come with a comprehensive experiment kit and requires some legwork to prepare lessons and activities.
  • TGATB’s lesson design allows for flexibility of schedule and shareability between multiple grades.
  • Each TGATB course covers a specific scientific discipline (e.g. Chemistry, Geology, and Marine Biology), but each course isn’t long enough to cover an entire year—parents will have to select several TGATB courses in order to create a year-long curriculum.
  • TGATB offers a library of online videos covering each lesson and experiment in detail.
  • TGATB’s founder Jenny Harris is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and LDS leaders are quoted sparsely throughout the curriculum. However, TGATB steers clear of any specific doctrines other than these: “God exists, God created the world, he loves us, and he taught us to be kind, charitable, merciful, and honest.” See their FAQ page for more information.
  • TGATB offers courses covering kindergarten through eighth grade.

Price:

  • Curriculum books: $20-$30 (for one course; multiple courses needed for the whole year)
  • Curriculum books + supplementary materials: $40-$73 (same qualification as above)

Summary: 

The Good and the Beautiful is good for homeschoolers who want a blend between textbooks and living books that emphasizes book learning, requires some lesson prep, and can be shared between multiple grades.

Elemental Science Classic Series

Overview: 

  • The Elemental Science Classic Series (ESCS) is a blend between a textbook-based and living books curriculum, with each course including a textbook and two encyclopedias.
  • ESCS emphasizes hands-on learning with weekly experiments, 36 per year, plus optional activities.
  • Each ESCS course comes with a comprehensive experiment kit. However, each lesson requires teacher preparation, involvement, and explanation.
  • ESCS’s lesson design allows for flexibility of schedule and shareability between multiple grades. 
  • Each ESCS course focuses on specific scientific disciplines, covering Biology, Earth Science/Astronomy, Chemistry, and Physics in increasingly greater detail over the course of its elementary and middle school courses.
  • ESCS does not offer video support for its courses.
  • ESCS’s lessons do not explicitly teach Christianity.
  • ESCS offers courses covering preschool through twelfth grade.

Price:

  • Curriculum books: $42-$52
  • Curriculum books + encyclopedias + experiment kits: $126-$199

Summary: 

Elemental Science Classic Series is good for homeschoolers who want a blend between textbooks and living books that emphasizes hands-on learning, requires some lesson prep, and can be shared between multiple grades.

Conclusion

Are there any other homeschool science curriculum options you’d like to see covered here? Email us at service@noeoscience.com to tell us about it!

If Noeo’s distinctives sound appealing to you, check our courses at the link below.

Best of luck on your school year!

Check out Noeo!