Monday Review: HMHCO Environmental Science

by Kristen Lauria

Note: I purchased this curriculum myself and have received no compensation for this review.

Today I am going to tell you about a great book I found for teaching Environmental Science.  The book is published by Holt McDougal and is available here.  This link goes to the homeschool package, which includes both the student and teacher materials.  Another alternative is to buy the online access here and then a student text only.  The online access gives you access to the teacher’s edition plus lots of activities (like labs and such) that really make the course interesting.

I have used this curriculum for the last year to teach an online environmental course and plan to use it this fall for both regular and AP level environmental science (sign up here).  It is adequate for both levels with a little extra work put into making it an AP level course.  In the next few weeks I’ll be posting an article about how to get a course approved through College Board so you can put AP on your student’s transcript.

But back to the textbook.  One thing that I really like about this text is the use of color, graphics, and current events/case studies to break up all of the material.  This book is meaty and has lots of content to cover, but it is really user friendly and has so much information broken into bite-sized chunks.  There are 6 units, each of which contains 3-4 chapters, with each chapter having 2-3 sections.  There is lots of review available at the end of the chapter and if you get the teacher materials you can have access to pre-made tests available in either multiple choice or open ended or a combination.

In the future I hope to offer a guide to using this textbook for your own student including a recommended schedule, activities, and labs.

The Good:  Very thorough and includes all topics I would want covered in an environmental science course.  The online component has links to lots of relevant articles, course materials, and easy to do at home labs.

The Bad:  The HMHCO website is kind of a bear to navigate and they limit certain products to only schools for purchase, so you have to be sure to have the right item in your cart or you won’t be able to proceed.

Recommended For:  Students who are looking for a math-light science program or who are in middle school or 9th grade and are not ready for biology or chemistry.  This is also a great class for students who have finished their high school requirements and want a less intense science class for senior year or need another AP for college applications.

Website of publisher:  https/www.hmhco.com/

Where to buy: I’d recommend either buying a used copy from Amazon here (aff) or getting the online materials, which are only available at the publisher’s website.


Has your student considered taking environmental science?  Tell me how it went!

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