This year we are focusing on physics, and I found a great series of books to introduce middle school students to the subject. I am using it with our co-op as well. The series is Secrets of the Universe by Paul Fleisher. Originally published as a single volume, it is now available as 5 slim books, perfect for moving from elementary into middle school science. We have started with Objects in Motion: Principles of Classical Mechanics.
This series has so much to like about it. Fleisher explains concepts in a clear manner with informative examples. He tells the story through the scientists who first discovered the principles bringing an interesting historical perspective. He intersperses experiments throughout the text rather than as a separate section. The graphics are simple and of a single color, yet effective. It really is a pleasure to read!
The other four books in the series are Liquids and Gases: Principles of Fluid Mechanics; Matter and Energy: Principles of Matter and Thermodynamics; Waves: Principles of Light, Electricity, and Magnetism; and Relativity and Quantum Mechanics: Principles of Modern Physics.
Our TORCH co-op is now up to 6 families and 21 children. I teach 3 sections of physics, one for middle school girls (4 of them), another for middle school boys (4 of them), and another for older elementary boys (3 of them). I plan to blog more about out experiences soon!