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Science for middle school...


Greta Lea
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What do you think is more challenging and/or more interesting method of study for the student? Using a textbook like Bob Jone's 7th and 8th grade science books and the accompaning activity books OR using the books recommended in TWTM and other similar type books.

 

Also, instead of an activity guide (like BJ has or the "On Your Own" and study guide questions that Apologia has), have the student write daily summaries or outline (which would be better if you choose this option-summary or outline?) what they read that day and do an official research report about once a month?

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Greta, I think writing a summary of the science assignment each day is a great idea. You could do that no matter what you are using. I have had highschoolers do this when their science facts seemed to be escaping out their ears as fast as their eyes could take it in. Having to stop and think to write a summary cements the facts as well as or better than a question answer format.

 

At least I think so!

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We are using BJU's Life Science this year. It is great material but it is very heavy for jr high (IMO). I do like the activity sheets to help reinforce the chapter information. I am trying to decide if I am going to continue with BJU for 8th or use something lighter. But whatever I do, I think I will incorporate the outline or summary idea.

 

Sorry I can't help you on a recommendation on which would be better (textbook vs WTM suggestions). I, personally, need more of a textbook approach with something like the outlining or summary idea thrown in.

 

Now that I think about it, I should incorporate that for history this year as my dd is struggling to retain the information. Thanks for the inspiration. I was planning on using it next year but I don't see why I can't start now.

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I like BJU Life Science for 8th grade. My 8th grade dd is taking a class that uses the text and I think it's a great prep for Biology. She reads the chapter at a home and has a 90 min lab once a week. As she reads, I have her answer the review questions along the way and find that it is very helpful.

 

My 6th grader happens to have the same book and her science teacher (different program) uses it as a reference when they study certain animals. I don't have her do any additional work.

 

I like BJU because it introduces vocabulary, concepts, and fits our worldview. We also used Rainbow, and liked it. It has great experiments, short chapters, concise explanations. If I were using Rainbow, I would definitely utilize a summary or outline approach for reinforcement. There's a balance, though...outlining is kind of dry and science can be dry if we are just looking at the facts. My opinion is that science is meant to be hands-on when possible, to facilitate investigation and observation of what we are reading about.

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My ds is using BJ 6th grade science this year. Although it's not his favorite subject, he *does* like it. In fact, he even got the book out at the dinner table the other night when he was trying to explain something to his 10yo brother.

 

Anyway, he has said that he'd like to use BJ again for science (although he's never seen the 7th and 8th grade books...he just likes the one he has now). He's done very well with the 6th grade book and has learned a lot.

 

I'm thinking maybe I should stick with what is working and incorporate the summaries here and there for a bit of a challenge and to cement what he's learning.

 

Thanks for the ideas and encouragement!!!

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My ds is using BJ 6th grade science this year. Although it's not his favorite subject, he *does* like it. In fact, he even got the book out at the dinner table the other night when he was trying to explain something to his 10yo brother.

 

Anyway, he has said that he'd like to use BJ again for science (although he's never seen the 7th and 8th grade books...he just likes the one he has now). He's done very well with the 6th grade book and has learned a lot.

 

I'm thinking maybe I should stick with what is working and incorporate the summaries here and there for a bit of a challenge and to cement what he's learning.

 

Thanks for the ideas and encouragement!!!

 

You can see a sample of the 7th grade BJU science on their website. My understanding is that there is a huge jump in difficulty from 6th to 7th. Not that the 7th isn't good. I like it a lot. It is just a lot of material.

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