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Acceleration in Science How to go about it??


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#1 nitascool

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 03:38 AM

My second ds will be going into 7th grade this year. He loves Science. He has Asperger. For him it plays out in his love of Math, Science and History. He's a fact Hover and Science is his all-time favorite subject. But I have been holding him back from high level science courses because of the writing requirements. He is finally at a place where he can handle the writing level. He can do the reading and writing requirements for a full chapter of Elementary Apologia in about 2 hours + an additional 30 to 40 minutes for experiments. So I am looking at accelerating him in Science. His desire is not so much to skip materials as to do it more quickly.

 

In Science he has been using Apologia which I am very happy with. He wants to finish up Zoology 3 and then start General this year. Zoo 3 is well below his comprehension levels but just about right for his current writing skills if we use the Notebook. I think he could easily finish Zoo 3 and General Science in a year or less.

He wants to complete all levels of Junior High/High School Apologia in 5 years. I'm not really sure if this is possible but his plan (not mine) is to do Physical Science/Biology in 8th, Chemistry/Physics in 9th, Marine Biology/Advanced Biology in 10th (probably going into the summer), Advanced Chemistry in 11th and Advanced Physics in 12th.

 

Is this doable? Have you had any science lovers do this?

 

 



#2 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:25 AM

I'm confused as to why you would take this approach. Here are my thoughts based on not really understanding what you are describing.

First, science progression is linked to math level. I'm not sure what writing requirements for high school science you are referring to. General and physical science are unnecessary courses. If you want to do a physical science course, but he does not have the math ability, you could approach things like this:

7th: Conceptual physical science
8th: biology
9th: conceptual physics
10th: chemistry
Advanced sciences in 11th and 12th.

Fwiw, science courses do not have to built upon the way you describe. For example, my ds took the equivalent of a college level bio class this yr without ever having taken a high school biology class. Bc biology is so focused on bio chem, his background in physics and chemistry made the bio class an easy transition. He doubled up on sciences every yr bc he loves science. But his math skills are what made that doable more than anything else.

#3 dmmetler

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 07:57 AM

I have to agree-I have a very accelerated in biology (specifically herpetology) student who has been accessing and using college/grad school level materials, but at this point, doesn't have the math background yet for a really solid high school chemistry course. She's definitely out of sequence (and has, at times, had to pause and fill in the gaps, so last year we did pre-algebra and statistics, because she needed to understand the latter, so we did an introduction to statistics and common tests used in life sciences, with calculator and computer use as needed-she'll take real stats down the road when she has the prerequisite math skills), but it's working for her. Every mentor and professional I've consulted feels letting her play and learn in her desired areas, while building the other skills as she can handle them, is the right thing to do-that, ultimately, accelerating her through a high school sequence would be detrimental at this point. We'll get there, and get the content, as she needs it-this year's "at home science" will be chemistry-focused because she's realized she needs it, but still won't be what I'd consider high school chemistry for a STEM focused kid.

#4 Staceyshoe

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 02:16 PM

My guess is that your son will start strong, continue to advance in science recreationally, and then become interested in a science plan that includes more complex and advanced materials.  If you're both on board for the current plan, then go for it.  Just don't be surprised if he finds that the information is not challenging enough after a couple of years.  Kiddos who love science often do enough self-instruction to skip years of science curriculum without having "gaps".  ;)  My son's science skills are quite advanced while his writing is probably below average.  I totally emphathize with how difficult it is to manage that kind of asynchrony.  It can be very hard to do long-term planning in this situation because the learning curve is so unpredictable.  Plans are good, as long as they are flexible.



#5 dmmetler

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 02:21 PM

In my DD's case, the gaps have been things like trying to self-study biochemistry before having really had a solid chemistry class, so needing to go back and revisit chemistry in more depth, and needing more math to understand what research findings are saying. It's definitely interesting to see how she attacks it.

 

 



#6 theYoungerMrsWarde

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 05:42 PM

My oldest is 7.5, so you are free to ignore whatever I have to say. ;)

In TWTM, SWB says not to tie reading to writing. If the child is ready to start reading, but can't hold a pencil, you don't insist that the child does them together. With my early reader, we do almost everything verbally. He's working on a 1st-5th grade level, depending on the subject. I don't require him to do any writing. We talk about it, I ask him questions, he asks me. If he's got it, we go on; no paper "output" necessary. He's 5 now and we're going to start learning how to write this year. Even though he's been working through Writing With Ease 1 with his older brother; comprehending and applying the information, but not doing more than his own attempt at a word or two.

 

Why can't he just read the textbook, do the experiments, present his learning/findings to you or your partner or another adult, and work though it that way? Unless he's doing an outside class, I don't understand why he has to write much of anything for this.



#7 lewelma

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:08 PM

 But I have been holding him back from high level science courses because of the writing requirements. He is finally at a place where he can handle the writing level.

 

I don't know anything about Apologia.  What exactly does he have to write?

 

Ruth in NZ



#8 Kathy G

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:35 AM

Have you looked at other curricula?  I  found Apologia to be pretty light- especially if he is a science loving kid.  I used their zoology course and ended up supplementing a ton.  I have found secular curricula to be more rigorous.  I don't know if you are open to secular curricula or not.  We are christian but felt that some of the christian curricula was more conservative than we were comfortable with so secular didn't bother me at all.  If you are more conservative, secular curricula might not fit with your beliefs.



#9 snowbeltmom

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:58 AM

I am not familiar with Apologia, but in general, it is definitely possible to have many additional science credits than the standard four before the end of high school.  Where is your son at in his math progression?  High school physics and chemistry requires that the student has completed Alg I at a minimum. 



#10 AimeeM

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 12:36 PM

Maybe not a particularly popular opinion (not sure, lol), but I would ditch Apologia with a science-loving, science-accelerated kiddo.



#11 MomatHWTK

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 02:13 PM

I let my boys go as far as they can and want to without writing requirements.  I have requirements for school, but we supplement with LOTS of resources that don't require output.  Right now they are watching the Coursera Controlled Cell Death lectures while doing their own "school" class on biology and chemistry. 

 

I would determine the minimum writing necessary for you to give him high school credit and beyond that provide the materials and just let him enjoy learning. 

 

ETA: Dino 101, What a Plant Knows, Animal Behavior, and How Things Work are all great and approachable Coursera courses. 



#12 kiwik

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 04:29 AM

I don't think science needs accelerating. I did no science until year 9 (G8) because I never got a teacher who taught science before high school. Elementary science is not a prerequisite for high school science.

#13 AimeeM

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 07:06 AM

I don't think science needs accelerating. I did no science until year 9 (G8) because I never got a teacher who taught science before high school. Elementary science is not a prerequisite for high school science.

 

I agree that it may not need accelerating, but I think (and I could be wrong) when a parent speaks of "accelerating" science, they just mean going deeper - usually at the child's request.



#14 EndOfOrdinary

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:35 PM

Just to let you know, my nine year old did Apologia's Exploring Creation with Chemistry this past year and I had to add in GPB chemistry videos to make it even middle school level in quality. The math required was only beginning Algebra, and the degree of problem solving was not extensive. It was a nice, survey, and very light. The labs are rather so-so, and as a result we purchased Thames and Kosmos Chem 3000 hoping to really give my son a chemistry experience.

DS likes the conversational style of Apologia, so we will be using it for Advanced Chem as well, but it is not accelerated by any means. Even the Advanced Chem would not be AP quality. My son is not looking for STEM, so it is no biggie. He is hardcore Hum.

Secondly, if your son is considering a science field young earth perspective materials are very hard to use and be taken seriously. It does not mean your family's beliefs need to change, but more that your son needs to realize college level materials will not be from that perspective and most science is not based in that viewpoint.

Hopefully this does not burst your bubble too much, but new curriculum would be the best place to start.

#15 kiwik

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 06:44 AM

I agree that it may not need accelerating, but I think (and I could be wrong) when a parent speaks of "accelerating" science, they just mean going deeper - usually at the child's request.

What I meant was you don't need to accelerate the way you would maths but can just skip a bunch of years and jump back in. If elementary stuff doesn't do it just move to middle school stuff etc. You may have to do a little extra work if some knowledge is expected but on the whole providing your reading and maths match the text level you are OK. Obviously there are some limitations to this - I wouldn't suggest skipping middle, high, year 1&2 and jumping in at level 3 university, but a few or more years earlier on should be fine.

#16 reefgazer

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:42 PM

I think what you do science-wise would depend on his math level.

My second ds will be going into 7th grade this year. He loves Science. He has Asperger. For him it plays out in his love of Math, Science and History. He's a fact Hover and Science is his all-time favorite subject. But I have been holding him back from high level science courses because of the writing requirements. He is finally at a place where he can handle the writing level. He can do the reading and writing requirements for a full chapter of Elementary Apologia in about 2 hours + an additional 30 to 40 minutes for experiments. So I am looking at accelerating him in Science. His desire is not so much to skip materials as to do it more quickly.

 

In Science he has been using Apologia which I am very happy with. He wants to finish up Zoology 3 and then start General this year. Zoo 3 is well below his comprehension levels but just about right for his current writing skills if we use the Notebook. I think he could easily finish Zoo 3 and General Science in a year or less.

He wants to complete all levels of Junior High/High School Apologia in 5 years. I'm not really sure if this is possible but his plan (not mine) is to do Physical Science/Biology in 8th, Chemistry/Physics in 9th, Marine Biology/Advanced Biology in 10th (probably going into the summer), Advanced Chemistry in 11th and Advanced Physics in 12th.

 

Is this doable? Have you had any science lovers do this?

 



#17 nitascool

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Posted Yesterday, 06:43 PM

Sorry I haven't responded, I was having computer troubles. So... First, my son is doing Pre-Algebra this year. He will likely go into Algebra 1 before summer break. So no Maths will not be an issue for him. His struggle with formal curriculum was with writing (penmanship). In elementary school my son has not had to do a great deal of output because he was incapable of doing so. Because of his AS his doctors would not listen to me when I told them he had a vision issue. They simply told me it was his AS. After 6 years of Occupational Therapy which did help in some areas, just not writing, we were told that our son would never learn to write beyond a kindergarten level. At which point we insisted on a Vision Specialist. After 12 weeks of Vision Therapy he went from Kindergarten level writing to end of 5th grade writing and a diagnosis of AS and ADHD to just AS. Every ADHD behavior just melted away.

 

Why are we using Apologia? Because it works... it is a great springboard for him. Because it is young earth. Because it is "Christian" without the beating you over the head methods I've seen in other "Christian" science materials .Because it is conversational and gentle. Because we've gone through several science spines and he was forever saying, "Mom, I wish they didn't always assume millions of years." and other such statements. Because TED Talks only come out once a week and they aren't very systematic. But probably the biggest reason is that it is not an overload of writing requirements that I've seen in so many Jr. High/High School level science text.

 

But I am open to other science spine suggestions for tandem or additional resources or something that is young earth but more rigorous with input but not so with output. He has read extensively in science so I doubt that I will really find a college level input Jr. High level output curriculum.

 

 

 

 



#18 EndOfOrdinary

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Posted Yesterday, 11:57 PM

Sorry I haven't responded, I was having computer troubles. So... First, my son is doing Pre-Algebra this year. He will likely go into Algebra 1 before summer break. So no Maths will not be an issue for him. His struggle with formal curriculum was with writing (penmanship). In elementary school my son has not had to do a great deal of output because he was incapable of doing so. Because of his AS his doctors would not listen to me when I told them he had a vision issue. They simply told me it was his AS. After 6 years of Occupational Therapy which did help in some areas, just not writing, we were told that our son would never learn to write beyond a kindergarten level. At which point we insisted on a Vision Specialist. After 12 weeks of Vision Therapy he went from Kindergarten level writing to end of 5th grade writing and a diagnosis of AS and ADHD to just AS. Every ADHD behavior just melted away.

Why are we using Apologia? Because it works... it is a great springboard for him. Because it is young earth. Because it is "Christian" without the beating you over the head methods I've seen in other "Christian" science materials .Because it is conversational and gentle. Because we've gone through several science spines and he was forever saying, "Mom, I wish they didn't always assume millions of years." and other such statements. Because TED Talks only come out once a week and they aren't very systematic. But probably the biggest reason is that it is not an overload of writing requirements that I've seen in so many Jr. High/High School level science text.

But I am open to other science spine suggestions for tandem or additional resources or something that is young earth but more rigorous with input but not so with output. He has read extensively in science so I doubt that I will really find a college level input Jr. High level output curriculum.


I think the point about the Apologia is for him to see that a science route will most always assume the thousands of years. It will most always assume evolution. It will most always find ideas like Creation and young earth rather ridiculous. That does not need to be your family's belief, but if this is a hang up for him it should be addressed. As someone wanting STEM, that hang up could mean fulfilling career and happy college experience or really frustrated and not excited about further schooling.

Young Earth science at the college level does not really have much mainstream credibility. Young Earth even at the high school level does not have much credibility. Whether that should be the case or not isn't the point. To accelerate your son in science toward future college work or toward a career in the sciences, now is the time to really come to terms with the way society views science and how his personal beliefs work there in. It isn't going away and it does have a major impact on whether the career is going to be viable for him.

My brother has Aspergers. He really wanted to be self employed. He felt self employment was some kind of character builder and a pinnacle of being a prosperous person. He put so much stock in it. However, his Aspergers makes him socially phobic (that is just one of the ways it seems to have really manifested with him. I am not meaning all Aspies are socially phobic)...like hardcore socially phobic. Self employment is just not going to happen. If someone were to have addressed this issue when my brother was 13, he could have either been working on it to mitigate his personal situation or coming to terms with a different career path. Your son does not need to change his beliefs, but he might need someone to help him negotiate ways to either discuss them or not be emotionally beaten down from them not being recognized. As a person with a lack of social recognition, doing that now would be immensely helpful. Changing curriculum to a more mainstream, heavier content approach would go a long way in that direction. Even if you do not want to change, it might need to be addressed just so that he is not blind sighted later or ridiculed for his deeply held beliefs by the social views of an important community to him.


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