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Please help! High school science curriculum sequence for pre-med?


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I've used lots of different things in our elementary years:

Evan-Moor Scienceworks series

Apologia Elementary series

Christian Kids Explore series

I believe they have been grounded in creation science. I'm not looking for that at all in our high school course schedule.

 

Now, I want to plan our sequence for grades 7-12. I'm looking at starting Chalkdust Algebra in 8th and going through 12th.

 

So, I've looked into these so far:

1. Apologia - don't want chatty, not sure it is rigorous enough. Really don't want to supplement to do very well on Sat 2 or Clep.

2. BJU - rigorous enough, but not sure it would prepare well for pre med? Has dvds. Also, tremendously expensive for a course I'm not sure would be met with respect by pre-med college advisors? Should I go for this?

3. Scholars Online AP courses- this was appealing until I read unfavorable reviews of the teacher's organization abilities. Any positive reviews?

4. Kolbe- secular, w/schedule but not dvds. Rigorous but not AP. That is ok. Anyone really like this?

 

So - I would love a rigorous course sequence (doesn't have to be AP necessarily) with either dvds or online course helps. And the ability to buy a kit for labs. Thanks for the help!

Edited by LNC
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I've not used the Prentice Hall yet but may in the future since we use Kolbe. I just wanted to tell you that the Prentice Hall texts are used in dh's high school for the honors level science classes, not AP but not the regular track either if that helps.

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Speaking as a vet here. My undergrad classes in college were exactly the same as the pre-med classes and that was after having only taken biology and physics in high school. I never had high school chemistry...shocker, I know. I would recommend that any high schooler thinking about medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, etc. should take biology, chemistry, and physics in high school. An anatomy and physiology course is a nice addition if you have the time. My point is this though: if you don't get it all done, your student will have so much science in undergrad that missing chemistry in high school is not a crisis. Some people are not ready for that abstract of thinking until college...like me:D.

I think the Apologia science curricula is fairly rigorous. We plan on doing General Science, Phy. Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Anatomy for 7-12th grades. We might substitute Saxon Physics for Apologia depending on what my engineer dh wants to do there.

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DD is in paramedic school where all of the teaching is done like a three week crash course/summer term class. She covered the first semester of college anatomy and physiology in three weeks, then college chemistry in three weeks, and now they are onto pharmacology and pathophysiology. A lot of the adults fail out in the first six weeks due to the intensity.

 

We used Apologia for all of her science classes in high school. She feels very well prepared and keeps the top grades in class. Not only the top grades, but the highest grades (so far) that have been issued from this teaching hospital in the last decade! So, I guess we feel that Apologia is quite good. Our only caveat was that some students, especially in the chemistry, might have needed more problems (remediation) on the topics. But, I do believe that additional work can be procurred from the support staff for Apologa.

 

DD's schedule was :

Biology in 9th, Chemistry in 10th, Advanced Chemistry in 11th, and Physics in 12th. She also had a year of astronomy (Apologia doesn't offer this so we had to use other sources) which she accomplished concurrently with Biology. We did not have time to get to the Anatomy and Physiology by Apologia. That has not hurt her. She has been very thankful she had both years of chemistry since there is very, very little time during these "crash" courses for help from the instructor.

 

Though Physics isn't necessarily "medical", it seems that it was a wonderful choice for teaching the kind of scientific logical thinking that one needs for the medical profession. It does require that the student have at least some trigonometry before getting very far into the course, so it ends up being late in the high school schedule. For a very science minded student who possibly has a lighter load (i.e. no electives and fairly easy social studies/history) it might be possible to complete both physics and A&P in the senior year.

 

Faith

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Soph and FaithManor, thanks for the testament to Apologia! We are using it here, too, and dd really likes it. It's encouraging to hear that health care professionals find it sufficiently rigorous. Thanks for the confidence booster!

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After posting questions and reading through all of the posts I can locate on a rigorous science program, I am still undecided. I am aware of many parents who used Apologia with great results in terms of student achievement. Some of them have told me that they believe it is quite rigorous. Others on these boards disagree. Since my daughter is doing HS work at such a young age, I figure I probably won't go wrong with whatever I choose :tongue_smilie: because she will have plenty of time to do AP or CC coursework.

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as a minimum a year of biology, a year of chemistry, and a year of physics. If your child has time in high school, add either advanced chem or anat/phys to the rotation.

 

Don't neglect math skills!! I can teach someone with good math reasoning any part of chemistry, but without those thinking skills, most students will flounder in chemistry and physics.

 

Teach your child to memorize! Pre-meds do a lot of this (and so do med students!).

 

Encourage them to do some kind of service to the community where they meet people of different races, values, or economic levels. Also, see if they can shadow a physician or two, or just talk with them about the profession.

 

I teach pre-meds all the time but neither of my older two kids are interested in science, so I haven't explored the more rigorous curricula available.

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I was a biology/biochemistry major in college and went on to earn a Masters in Physical Therapy. I started my son in the Apologia General Science book in 6th grade. He will be finishing the Physical Science book in a few weeks. He will then do science year round (because he really loves it!) He will start the Biology book this summer, and then progress through Chem I, Chem II, Human Anatomy, both physics books (or Saxon physics depending on which direction he wants to go). This will leave his senior year free to take a college level class.

I like Apologia because of the chemistry sequence and the separate anatomy course (I would strongly recommend two years of chemistry and anatomy if possible, as well as physics). Some colleges will not let you AP/CLEP out of a course that is required in your major field (ex MIT will not accept scores for biology, chemistry, computer science....just an example). Although taking an exam and scoring well still looks good :) Also, I wouldn't worry about what a college advisor would think of a textbook you used....they will never see what your child used (only the admissions department). Use the one you feel will help your child learn the material. What matters most is the study skills your child brings to college.

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I'm a physician but I would argue that there are many, many routes that you can take in high school. At a minimum, I'd recommend biology, chemistry, and physics. I would look for curriculum that fits your child's and your family's lifestyle and learning style. I don't think high school science should necessarily be as rigourous as possible. For some students, the very rigorous courses are great, but high school is a time to prepare for college science, not necessarily learn all the college level material.

 

I'd encourage learning all the math possible. Too many physicians can't do the math.

 

Also, much of medicine involves reading scholarly journals that are full of stastitics. Most physicians have very little experience in statistics so they have to take someone else's word if a study was well done or not. It is great to have the background to form your own educated opinion.

 

High school science will prepare for college (and help get into college). A college degree and basic science hours are required before med school, but specific courses aren't usually specified. While it may be nice to have been exposed to biochem, anatomy, physiology, etc. before med school, ultimately the med schools will teach these courses to all the med students.

 

I was premed from day 1 but studied chemical engineering in college. I had no problem getting accepted and scholarship offers from multiple med schools with minimal biology background.

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Very helpful! I'm somewhat surprised by all the encouragement for Apologia bc in searching the boards, it seems the majority opinion was BJU was far more rigorous.

 

We have a local Apologia lab for homeschoolers that is appealing. They have an age limit for General science in 7th. Then Physical in 8th. I thought I could buy the advanced bio, chem and physics books and they could work them in by studying science year round. I think they will need the Advanced texts to prepare well for the SAT2. Sound ok?

 

I will definately at least have them take the SAT2 for each math and science to verify "mommy grades", bc that is what the admissions office recommends. But, I don't want them to CLEP or AP out of important foundational courses for their major. All humanities are on the table to CLEp/AP out of though!

 

I thought Chalkdust would be my best choice when they are done with CLE 1-7 or 8 (for my son who is a year advanced with CLE). What do you think about that?

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Very helpful! I'm somewhat surprised by all the encouragement for Apologia bc in searching the boards, it seems the majority opinion was BJU was far more rigorous.

 

 

 

 

I know---and I think it is because the BJU books are REALLY thorough, but from what I have read it's really, really hard to not only cover ALL material in a BJU book in one year, but it's practically impossible to do BJU science without the $400 DVD course. Apologia has broken up their high school sciences into 6 different books, whereas BJU covers it in 4 books with an immense amount of information. Apologia is MUCH, much cheaper to do at home---and of course easier to implement also. ;)

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How about using the DIVE dvds. We are using Chemistry this year and I think they are quite good and rigorous. They come with a variety of choices for syllabus (except Physics but I'm hoping that will change) and really can be used with any text if you are willing to make the syllabus yourself. Next year we'll be using Biology with his syllabus for the Campbell/Reece text which is a college level text book. If I had this year over I'd probably make my own syllabus or use the premade BJU syllabus. I prefer not to use BJU texts if I can but I will if I have to.

 

Heather

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I'd also like to add that we have two private schools in our extended area (not close but near enough that I have collegues who teach in them.) Both schools rarely make it through more than 1/2 of the science curriculum and give full school credit for it.

 

Rigorous is good but only if the kids can do it and only if it is reasonable to do in the context of all of the other "rigorous" classes that the student is taking. I'd rather have something that is doable than pick the "best of the best" and then come away with very little of it done or with a child whose brain is "oatmeal" so-to-speak from having to go too fast, and really doesn't benefit from it.

 

I just think it is really important to preserve the love of science and the desire to learn more even while trying to maintain rigorous standards.

 

Faith

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I'm a physician but I would argue that there are many, many routes that you can take in high school. At a minimum, I'd recommend biology, chemistry, and physics. I would look for curriculum that fits your child's and your family's lifestyle and learning style. I don't think high school science should necessarily be as rigourous as possible. For some students, the very rigorous courses are great, but high school is a time to prepare for college science, not necessarily learn all the college level material.

 

I'd encourage learning all the math possible. Too many physicians can't do the math.

 

Also, much of medicine involves reading scholarly journals that are full of stastitics. Most physicians have very little experience in statistics so they have to take someone else's word if a study was well done or not. It is great to have the background to form your own educated opinion.

 

High school science will prepare for college (and help get into college). A college degree and basic science hours are required before med school, but specific courses aren't usually specified. While it may be nice to have been exposed to biochem, anatomy, physiology, etc. before med school, ultimately the med schools will teach these courses to all the med students.

 

I was premed from day 1 but studied chemical engineering in college. I had no problem getting accepted and scholarship offers from multiple med schools with minimal biology background.

 

 

As the dd & ds & sil (sister) of physicians, I have to agree with this. You need to be well rounded to be a good physician. Of course, when & where my relatives went to med school, there was no thing as a pre-med major. I'm not sure what my dad majored in, but he only took 2 years of premed (back in the 1950s, new program, they had 4 spots & took the 4 brightest sophomores who were planning to go into medicine). My sister did her degree in biochem, and my bil spent his first 2 years of university as an aeronautical engineering major.

 

Many universities, at least in Canada, and I would think in the States if they're good, look for well-rounded people. My sister had taken 2 gap years before university, had travelled through Europe, had operated a back-hoe, done sports, etc, etc. My bil was the son of a cowboy-rancher & a teacher and had done various & sundry things.

 

But in school, which is your question, MATH, as Julie mentioned (my dad, sister & bil are all very good in math naturally) & science and other than that a well-rounded education. Biology is a natural, chemistry & perhaps physics. For premed requirements, my sister had to have all of those, but didn't have to major in biochem per se, she just enjoyed it enough that if she didn't get into med school, she could go with that.

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