If you are looking for a science curriculum for your high school student that is rigorous and college-prep, I’d like to suggest you take a look at Apologia Science textbooks. These books are some of the most rigorous science books available for homeschool high school students, and although I don’t usually recommend specific curriculum, we had such success with this one in our homeschool that I actually do recommend you consider it. It is written from a Christian perspective, but I even recommend it for those who are not Christian, because it is such a good curriculum.
One of the reasons I believe that Apologia is such a rigorous and thorough preparation for college science is because my youngest son, Alex, was able to pass a College Level Examination Program test (CLEP) in Biology three years after he used Apologia Biology! In addition, he actually went on to earn a 4.0 in “Engineering Physics” at community college, after taking Apologia Physics in high school.
He’s not a science major, but I made him take the engineering course with his brother because at 15, he was too young to take a college class by himself, and that’s what his brother was taking! Even though he wasn’t a science student, Apologia prepared him so well that he was able to do very well in future science classes.
Another reason I fully believe that Apologia prepares students for college level science is because my older son, Kevin, majored in electrical engineering in college. He often referred to his Apologia Physics book during classes, as well as his Chemistry book, and said they were excellent preparation for college level science courses. Those books have been one of my ‘best buys’ for high school curriculum, because my children actually used them for over five years! Kevin earned an excellent GPA in engineering, partly because he was so well prepared by using Apologia Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
It is possible to increase the rigor of Apologia if you wanted to, by speeding up and doing the entire course in a semester instead of a year, or turning it into an AP course with more hours. However, I don’t think it’s necessary, and could actually backfire and burn out your student. If your student is taking a college prep course that requires more than a few hours a day to complete, you may be at risk of neglecting the other important homeschool core subjects, like reading, writing and math. Keep your courses appropriate to your child’s level, and keep moving forward.
One of the great things about Apologia is that it is a homeschool curriculum, so it is a self-teaching curriculum. Your student can learn on his own, and you don’t have to teach them. When you get to the higher science subjects like Physics, this is a really good thing, since most of us homeschool parents don’t remember our high school science that well! I don’t mean to imply that Apologia is perfect. No curriculum is perfect, and no curriculum is right for everyone; they all have flaws. However, I encourage you to look at Apologia, and see whether it might be a good fit for your high school student.