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Which science course for 9th grade?


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#1 Kathie in VA

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 10:05 PM

Okay, now I'm getting confused. I thought Biology was typical for 9th grade but now I'm not sure. I was looking for a local co-op for a science class and had a hard time finding one... although there are a few for 10th graders. It seems many do Physical Science in 9th and then Bio in 10th.

I know it depends on the kid, but again I'm not sure which way to go. I wanted to finally do General Science this year with my 7th and 8th graders but so far we haven't gotten too far (it's been a bad year and will lead to a busy summer for us). I do hope to go thru it before Sept though. I think my plan was to skip Physical Science and jump my oldest to Biology for her 9th grade year ... which is on target according to Apologia. She does want to be a doctor (at least at this point ;)). So now I'm just confused... should we do Physical Science before Biology? :confused:

BTW: for math they are finnishing Lial's BCM. My oldest 'hopes' to go through all of Alegbra 1 over the summer (I'm quite doubtful on this but we'll see).

#2 LaJuana

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 09:49 AM

I don't think a physical science course is necessary. We are able to do biology, chemistry, and physics in the first three years of high school, so that my children who have been more science-oriented have had the option of pursuing an advanced science in senior year. The most science-minded of my children started out with BJU Biology in 8th grade, so he had two years to pursue more advanced study of science in high school.

The chemistry in BJU's biology course is a bit challenging if you have never had any chemistry before, but it is certainly doable. I didn't see the need for spending an entire high school year on physical science, though. We just took our time through those first few chapters in which the chemistry is difficult.

#3 Brindee

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 01:35 PM

When I was in highschool the course was physical science in 9th and Biology in 10th. But now most places do the Biology in 9th, chem is 10th and Physics in 11th. That's the route we are going with ds15. He did Apologia Bio this year and is doing Apologia Chem next year in 10th.

If your dd wants to be a dr., I wouldn't have her do Physical Science! I agree with the above poster about doing BJU Bio. this year. It seems to be more rigorous than Apologia, which is what your dd would want to stick on a rigorous track toward doctor-hood! :)

#4 Kathie in VA

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 06:17 AM

Thanks for the ideas. I'll try for Biology in 9th, I like the idea of getting the basics done in 11th and having a year to choose a science course ... or maybe spend that time volunteering at the hospital since that is what she has been wanting to do for 2 years (they won't allow it till she is 16... 2 more years to go).

Now, I'd really like to outsource science if I can. I have youngers here and so I never like bringing out all the stuff for labs. Also, my kids like to take some classes out so I figure it might as well be science. However, it seems that the local homeschool groups offer Adv Biology for 10th graders... requiring Algebra (which my dd may not have by Sept.). So I guess my choices for Biology are:
  • just do it at home, maybe with DVD
  • pick co-op A which uses Apologia but only meets for the labs (I do the rest)
  • pick co-op B, Honor Bio for 10th graders w/Alegbra required (uses BJU)
  • pick co-op C, regular Bio for 10th graders w/Alegbra required
  • pick the local high school IFF they offer Bio for 9th (we can take 2 classes w/ps)
OR not do Bio next year...
there's co-op B which offeres Honors Science of Physical Creation and uses

  • "Science of the Physical Creation", Abeka, (1996 or later)
  • "Student Lab Manual, Science of the Physical Creation", Abeka, (1996)
  • ‚ÄúStudent Activities in Basic Science for Christian Schools", BJU Press, (1983-1994)
  • "Student Activities in Earth Science for Christian Schools", 2nd edition, BJU Press, (1993, 1999)
  • "Science in Action, A Science Project Guide", Abeka, (5th edition or later)

This would also keep her with kids at her grade so they would graduate together...hmm.

Of course I also need to figure out what to do with ds... rising 8th grader who is at about the same point in math and the Gen Sci book. So I guess it's time to split them up in science?

Well thanks for letting me think this "out loud". If you have any comments or suggestions I'd love to hear them. :bigear:

#5 LisaK in VA is in Italy

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:02 AM

Usually, Science tracks with math. Your upper level science usually requires some understanding of more advanced math principles

Algebra 1 should generally be completed before Bio 1 begins.

So, the typical math/science track would look something like this:

Geometry & Biology
Algebra II & Chemistry
Pre-calc & Physics

#6 Pamela H in Texas

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:22 AM

In every school I've had exposure to, physical science was in 9th and biology in 10th. However, on these boards, a lot of people claim that physical science is often not seen as a science by colleges.

SO, my suggestion is to check with a handful of likely colleges and go from there.

In my house? My oldest took biology in 8th (but she also didn't do 4 years of high school). My son won't be taking it in 9th or 10th (and we haven't decided past that). For most kids, I'd probably do it in 9th. So it really does depend on a few things :)


ETA: I read the other post....

The co-ops around you specify a single grade level for courses? How weird. LOL I've seen with age/grade ranges, but generally homeschoolers know that students are doing different classes at different times based on their individual needs. Then you could pick Biology or an algebra based Physics.

One thing I think is GOOD about PHysical Science is that it gives some good GENERAL knowledge that will later be backed up with physics and chemistry courses. And if a student doesn't take one or both of those courses, at least they have the knowledge "everyone" else has.

Anyway, when we did Biology, I taught the lab co-op and she did fine at home. The text is written so as not to need a lecture. When I was considering Biology for ds, I was pretty well decided on the free virtual homeschool group co-op. It does have lecture and labs, kids "go" to class, but it's done from home. Also, classes are recorded so if you miss any you can catch up. AND the tests are given online. Mom isn't responsible for the class. There is a teacher and the student for that.

Edited by 2J5M9K, 12 May 2009 - 07:30 AM.


#7 Staci in MO

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:39 AM

It seems that Biology classes contain more biochemistry than they did when most of us were in school. Here's the thread:Biology questions.

#8 Laurie4b

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 08:25 AM

In every school I've had exposure to, physical science was in 9th and biology in 10th. However, on these boards, a lot of people claim that physical science is often not seen as a science by colleges.

SO, my suggestion is to check with a handful of likely colleges and go from there.

In my house? My oldest took biology in 8th (but she also didn't do 4 years of high school). My son won't be taking it in 9th or 10th (and we haven't decided past that). For most kids, I'd probably do it in 9th. So it really does depend on a few things :)


ETA: I read the other post....

The co-ops around you specify a single grade level for courses? How weird. LOL I've seen with age/grade ranges, but generally homeschoolers know that students are doing different classes at different times based on their individual needs. Then you could pick Biology or an algebra based Physics.

One thing I think is GOOD about PHysical Science is that it gives some good GENERAL knowledge that will later be backed up with physics and chemistry courses. And if a student doesn't take one or both of those courses, at least they have the knowledge "everyone" else has.

Anyway, when we did Biology, I taught the lab co-op and she did fine at home. The text is written so as not to need a lecture. When I was considering Biology for ds, I was pretty well decided on the free virtual homeschool group co-op. It does have lecture and labs, kids "go" to class, but it's done from home. Also, classes are recorded so if you miss any you can catch up. AND the tests are given online. Mom isn't responsible for the class. There is a teacher and the student for that.


When I was in school, physical science was 9th grade science, bio in 10th, chem in 11th, and physics in 12th.

Now, however, in our state, public school students take physical science in 8th, and earth science is the typical 9th grade course. This is reflected in the requirements of our state university system. In addition to earth science, another "new" high school science is environmental science.

#9 Kathie in VA

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 11:05 PM

Thanks for the info. It's interesting to see the different paths one can take at this point.

I contacted our local public school... over here homeschoolers are allowed to take up to 2 courses so I'm looking into that also. Here, about 90% of the 9th graders take Earth Science. Some take Honors Biology, but this requires a science project that they start near the end of their previous year. Neither class requires Algebra. So if my dd wants to take the ps Honors Bio class, she will need to get info on this project so she can work on it before class starts in Sept.

I also contacted the teacher for the Honors Bio class at the local homeschool co-op. He says that it has been taken by 9th graders as well. Algebra really isn't needed for the class either. So this is a possibility also.

So I guess I'll have to talk with my dh and dd. There seems to be pros and cons to all choices. The ps class is free, the co-op will cost about just over $400. The ps class is on their schedule which alternates with a MWF on week and TTH the next (kinda weird). The co-op meets MW. The co-op offers the opportunity to get to know more homeschool kids her age and maybe "graduate" with them (although our church does this too now). {My dd is a very social gal, so making connections with others is important}

(Then again, the honors classes require a higher level of effort... maybe they can get that from her but I haven't seen it here... at least not lately. :glare: Thus I'll also offer the Earth Sci w/ps or the Phys Creation w/co-op .. & I'll keep looking around just because I'm always looking to find what I missed)

#10 luv2quilt

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 09:36 PM

I think you would be fine to skip Physical Science and jump into Biology. That way you will be on target to take Advanced Biology their senior year. My dd is a nursing major in college and did this and it really helped her with her A&P class this semester.


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