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For those currently using BJU or Abeka Biology DVD courses


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#1 MKW

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 04:25 PM

What are your thoughts about the teachers for these courses. I believe they are Miss Lacy for Bob Jones and Miss Stancel for Abeka. Are they interesting, easy to understand, etc.? These are both new editions, so I am assuming the DVDs were taped recently.

Are you doing the labs at home in addition to watching on the DVDs? If so, how much would you say the supplies cost?

Also, for those using the Bob Jones DVDs, aren't these taped from the satellite classes? Do you find the interaction between the teacher and the satellite students distracting or time-consuming? Is there plenty of instruction time?

Any pros/cons you could tell me about these programs would be greatly appreciated.

#2 pianoplayer

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 09:01 PM

What are your thoughts about the teachers for these courses. I believe they are Miss Lacy for Bob Jones and Miss Stancel for Abeka. Are they interesting, easy to understand, etc.? These are both new editions, so I am assuming the DVDs were taped recently.

Are you doing the labs at home in addition to watching on the DVDs? If so, how much would you say the supplies cost?

Also, for those using the Bob Jones DVDs, aren't these taped from the satellite classes? Do you find the interaction between the teacher and the satellite students distracting or time-consuming? Is there plenty of instruction time?

Any pros/cons you could tell me about these programs would be greatly appreciated.

We are currently using the BJU DVD's for Biology. I have been unimpressed with Miss Lacy. Our only standard of comparison is with last year's Space & Earth Science with Mrs. Vick, who was phenomenal. We also find the chatty interaction of the teacher and satellite students very distracting as well as time-consuming. Cut that out, and there could definitely be more instruction.

One other observation regarding the labs - there is no way that one student, much less a class of students, could do the assigned labs in one class period. My son has worked a minimum of 2-4 hours on each lab.

Hope this helps!

Edited by pianoplayer, 19 February 2009 - 09:07 PM.


#3 MKW

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 09:17 AM

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

In the past we have used Abeka w/DVDs, BJU w/DVDs, and are using Apologia this year for physical science. My son would really rather not do school at all, so none of these programs really interested him much. I would like to do a one-year Biology that is straightforward, covers the basics, and is presented from a creation standpoint. I thought about trying a PS text, and bought an inexpensive PH Biology text on CD-rom that has a lot of interesting features. However, after looking through the book Evolution Exposed, I was surprised at how the evolutionary theory is presented in every chapter of this text. I certainly expect to cover evolution and what is being taught in PS, but I'm not sure I really want to deal with it on a daily basis. Right now I feel a little overwhelmed.

Anyway, I'm open to advice if anyone has any suggestions.

#4 Michelle in GA

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:26 AM

I think Miss Lacy is an exellent teacher and provides very clear explanations. Comapred to the Spanish 1 DVD class we are using, the amount of teacher chit-chat with the students is very minimal. We love the DVD option! We have also used the Physical Science DVD's with Mr. Harmon and have loved those as well. BJU science is very rigorous and the "live" teachers have been a huge blessing. We never used Ms. Vick for Earth Science, but I have heard that she is one of the best teachers at BJU. As to the labs, my ds is in a co-op that uses the same text so all labs are done there;we skip the DVD labs. HTH!

#5 MKW

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:50 AM

It's funny you mentioned the Spanish I DVD class. We tried that last year with the 8th grade DVD package and didn't get very far. Maybe we didn't give it enough of a chance, but it was really hard for us to get used to waiting for the students to answer, etc, because the other 8th grade classes weren't like that. It seemed like so much time was being wasted and my son has a hard time staying focused anyway. I didn't think I would ever consider using BJU upper level DVD classes because of that. However, Biology is proving to be a tougher decision than I thought and I am considering everything at this point. Thanks for your post. I'm glad you're having a good experience with it.

#6 Hoggirl

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 11:00 AM

We are currently using the BJU DVD's for Biology. I have been unimpressed with Miss Lacy. Our only standard of comparison is with last year's Space & Earth Science with Mrs. Vick, who was phenomenal. We also find the chatty interaction of the teacher and satellite students very distracting as well as time-consuming. Cut that out, and there could definitely be more instruction.

One other observation regarding the labs - there is no way that one student, much less a class of students, could do the assigned labs in one class period. My son has worked a minimum of 2-4 hours on each lab.

Hope this helps!


Are some of the DVDs just directed to the student WITHOUT the classroom environment? For some reason I thought that the newer ones were not just repeats of the HomeSat classes. I really want a teacher that is talking *just* to my kid without other kids in the "classroom." I had seen a sample of the BJU Life Science DVDs, and I don't recall that it was set in a classroom with other children.

I am only interested in the science DVDs at this point, and I am specifically looking at Earth & Space for next year.

Thank you!

#7 Michelle in GA

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 11:01 AM

It's funny you mentioned the Spanish I DVD class. We tried that last year with the 8th grade DVD package and didn't get very far. Maybe we didn't give it enough of a chance, but it was really hard for us to get used to waiting for the students to answer, etc, because the other 8th grade classes weren't like that. It seemed like so much time was being wasted and my son has a hard time staying focused anyway. I didn't think I would ever consider using BJU upper level DVD classes because of that. However, Biology is proving to be a tougher decision than I thought and I am considering everything at this point. Thanks for your post. I'm glad you're having a good experience with it.


Yes, the BJU DVD program with Mr. Cancino is painfully slow at times and the annoying back and forth with students is frustrating! But, Mr. Cancino is very sweet, and there is NO WAY I could teach Spanish at home any other way. There was a bit of chit- chat in Mr. Harmon's class (Physical Science) too, but nothing like Spanish. As for Biology, I am thrilled that it has dropped significantly. We do forward past the prayer and the(brief) announcements. After that, it is pretty much pure instruction. She does give lots of multiple choice questions on screen for everyone to answer, but I do not consider that an interuption;in fact we like them! Good Luck with your decision!

#8 MKW

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 11:16 AM

Cynthia,

Classes for 8th grade and below have the teacher speaking directly to your student. But I believe all the classes for 9th and up are taped satellite classes in which the teacher is interacting with the satellite students during the class. If I am wrong about that, maybe someone else will know.

#9 yinne

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 12:07 PM

We have used Life Science (7th), Earth/Space (8th), and Biology (10th). The 7th and 8th grade courses are much better than the 10th grade Biology. I think the instruction is better and the format. The 7th/8th grade courses are directly to the student, while the High School courses are BJLink -- we personally find the chit chat distracting. If I didn't have the 7th/8th grade courses to compare to it might not be so distracting. I highly recommend the 7th/8th grade courses, but have reservations about the high school ones.

However I believe that things are changing. The BJLink (satellite) option is going away and BJ just announced online courses. The samples are suppose to be up next month. It will be interesting to see what the changes mean and if the format is changing.

Yvonne in NE

#10 4wildberrys

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 12:08 PM

I don't have an answer for Abeka Biology specifically, but my dd used the Abeka Physical Science last year without the DVD, but we did have the lab DVD. She did a few of the more doable-at-home labs, and the rest she watched and filled out the lab forms. The Abeka was very interesting and very understandable without a full DVD class. Great class. I decided on ABeka over BJU Phy Sci after a ordered full sets of both curriculums---frankly, the BJU labs were absolutely, mind-bogglingly difficult and involved :confused: I made a mistake thinking Apologia Bio would be better for Bio---uugh! I wish I had just stuck with the Abeka. Even though the lab DVDs are expensive, they are well worth it because the lab demonstrations were clear, the lab manual was clear and it is possible to just watch and then fill out and compute a lb report for some labs, and then it is even possible to do some labs hands on.

#11 Hoggirl

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 02:44 PM

Cynthia,

Classes for 8th grade and below have the teacher speaking directly to your student. But I believe all the classes for 9th and up are taped satellite classes in which the teacher is interacting with the satellite students during the class. If I am wrong about that, maybe someone else will know.


Thank you. This makes sense. I decided against the Life Science b/c the DVDs went with the older edition of the textbook. Maybe the "new" materials they are coming out with will be directly to the students for the high school courses, too. One can hope.

#12 yinne

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 04:49 PM

Cynthia:

I used the new edition of the books with the DVD's and there really wasn't a problem. There were very few instances where there was different material. If you decide you want to use the new books w/ the DVD's I can email you the schedule i put together that puts the two together. I compared the old and new textbooks and there are very few differences.

Yvonne in NE

#13 pianoplayer

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 05:04 PM

(deleted duplicate response)

Edited by pianoplayer, 20 February 2009 - 05:09 PM.


#14 Hoggirl

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 08:22 PM

Cynthia:

I used the new edition of the books with the DVD's and there really wasn't a problem. There were very few instances where there was different material. If you decide you want to use the new books w/ the DVD's I can email you the schedule i put together that puts the two together. I compared the old and new textbooks and there are very few differences.

Yvonne in NE


Some may scoff at this, but in comparing the BJU Life Science and Apologia Biology, I found very little difference in content. So, we just used Apoligia Bio. as a life science course this year. So, we are not looking for Life Science next year. Ds really likes Apologia, but I do worry about it being "enough" (no rotten tomatoes, please!). From a math standpoint he could move into Apologia Chemistry next year as he is accelerated in math, but I worry about gaps since we did not do the Apologia physical science course. Yet, doing Apologia Physical Science after having done their bio. course, seems like a step backwards, kwim? Thus, I am considering moving in BJU next year. I hate that the high school classes are classroom based though. And the DVDs for those are 45 minutes per day! Still, I cannot teach it, so we really need to move into a DVD course.

Sorry, I am rambling and hijacking this thread!


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