Physical Science 1: Matter

From: $76.00 / month for 5 months

Grades:  6th–8th

Class:  Tue 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET

Dates (1st Sem):  Aug 21–Dec 15

Price:  $329

Instructor: Dr. Karen Joseph

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Course Description

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This is a one semester Physical Science course for grades 6-8. Fifth graders will be considered with prior instructor approval. When combined with Physical Science 2: Energy (second semester), these courses, which both include a lab component, will provide one middle school science credit. Both one semester courses can be taken together as a year long course, Physical Science 1 and 2, for a reduced rate.

Physical Science 1: Matter

Physical science is the study of the non-living world. It includes the study of matter, which is the “stuff” that everything is made of, as well as the study of energy, which gives matter the ability to move and change. We’ll use an online textbook, teacher-created lessons, lots of videos, audio recordings, games, and activities to gain an understanding of the basics of chemistry and physics.

In Physical Science 1: Matter, we will begin by learning about the structure of matter and the way that the particles of matter interact to make up everything in the universe. We will learn about acids and bases, radioactivity, the motion of objects, forces like friction and gravity, the forces that relate to fluids and simple machines.

This can be used as a stand-alone semester course or as part of a full year Physical Science course.

Course Structure

The live classes are a combination of game-based reviews of topics from the previous week, introductions to the coming week or case studies to support the course materials. Although it is always best for students to attend the live classes, I will post the recording of the class so that students who can’t attend can watch later.
Canvas lessons will be posted on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and will include an introduction as well as a section to read in the online textbook. I use a lot of audio and video recordings to help students learn the correct pronunciation of new terms as well as to reinforce content from the online book. When applicable, activities and experiments will be used to supplement the book.
Who should enroll?

Physical Science is for curious students in grades 6–8 who have a strong desire to understand the physical nature of the universe. Fifth graders will be considered with prior instructor approval.

Technology Requirements

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Headset, microphone, and webcam (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

I use quizzes at the end of most lessons to assure both the student and the teacher that students understand the concepts presented in the lessons. Many of the quizzes are automatically graded by the computer. For the essay questions and projects, I generally grade every day, sending feedback to the students to help them understand questions they may have missed. A final grade will be based on the scores from quizzes, participation in activities and experiments and attendance and participation in live classes. A Certificate of Completion will be given at the end of the course which will include the final grade.


I welcome any and all communication from parents. I want to partner with you in your student’s education, so if at any time you have questions or concerns, my virtual door is open. I will send periodic progress reports to let you know how your student is doing in Physical Science.

Required Texts

Text and Supplies

  • The free CK-12 online textbook, Physical Science for Middle School will be used and may be accessed at this website:
  • Supplies needed for experiments and activities will be ones that are readily available at home or at a supermarket. A list of supplies will be provided at the beginning of the course.


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Instructor Bio

Dr. Karen Joseph

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Read more about Dr. Karen Joseph

Dr. Karen Joseph earned her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic. After working for several years, she began homeschooling her 3 children in 1989.  As a homeschooling mom, she has taught every subject at every grade level, but her favorite subject is science!  She taught science classes, ranging from Middle School Life Science and Earth Science to High School Biology to Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology at a Pennsylvania Public Cyber Charter School for 12 years. She was the recipient of the 2009 Pennsylvania Charter School Teacher of the Year.

Dr. Joseph believes that science should be fun, and she works to create classes that have a strong hands-on component, and that will ignite in her students a passion to know more about the wonderful world they live in.

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