Physical Science 1: Matter

(4 customer reviews)

From: $80.00 / month for 5 months

Grades:  6th–8th

Class:  Tue 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET

Dates (1st Sem):  Aug 26–Dec 20, 2024

Prepaid:  $349

Instructor: Dr. Karen Joseph

See an example of Karen’s middle school classes

See Reviews of Instructor Dr. Karen Joseph


Course Description

View Syllabus

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 & Motion (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 the structure of the atom, the periodic table of elements, chemical interactions, carbon chemistry, acids and bases, and nuclear chemistry.

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 it 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.

4 reviews for Physical Science 1: Matter

  1. Ethan Ma

    Dr. Joseph’s class is the most interesting science class I’ve ever taken! The learning material is very simple and easy to understand, yet we cover a lot in class. In both the reading assignments and live classes, Dr Joseph gives video and image examples to help us students visualize the things we are learning. The class is also fun, too! She usually shares jokes and puns about the subject we are learning. We also get to participate in hands-on projects which are immersive and teaches us a lot. This class is so interesting, I even added four science-y things to my Christmas wish list!

  2. Melissa Hughs (verified owner)

    Dr. Joseph is not only highly knowledgeable, but a brilliant educator with charisma and excellent methodology to engage the kids. She spent her time and effort setting up different types of interactive activities with challenges and games. You will find that it makes a world of difference because the kids truly grasp the concepts quite easily.
    I am beyond thankful to have Dr. Joseph as the science teacher for my son in previous years and this year with my daughter. I really appreciate how nice and understanding she had been with my kids as they grow up.

  3. Drey Stevens

    Very good curriculum.
    Teacher is very respectful, and the teachings are easy to grasp.
    10/10! Would recommend.

  4. Madison

    This was my favorite class of the whole 2023 year! This was my first class with formal written exams. Dr. Joseph made all of the quizzes and exams easy enough to understand but still challenging enough to learn a lot of fun and new information. She is very clear with her instructions and made sure to help whenever I needed it. She starts off with a joke a lot of the time and has hands-on projects in almost every assignment, (some optional and some mandatory ). I have done a lot of the experiments and thought they were very fun. I loved the class and she even made me want to study some topics on the weekends!

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Instructor Bio

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. Contact: kjoseph[at]


All classes taught by Karen Joseph