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Question about physical science programs (x-posted)


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(This is also posted on the logic stage board.) I teach science in a small co-op of just 4 families. This year we're doing BJU Life Science, which is going really well. Next year I am planning on doing a physical science course, and I am having a hard time coming to any decision about what curriculum to use. There will be one 9th grader, three 8th graders, and two 7th graders (all of the kids are boys). All are advanced in math, and both 7th graders will be taking Algebra 1 next year. The whole co-op is pretty rigorous, as a whole. I am not sure if BJU physical science would be too advanced for the 7th graders (or need too much algebra before they have mastered it), but I'm not sure something like Apologia, which I think would definitely be fine as far as math goes, is as rigorous as people (the other parents and me!) are expecting.

 

The year after next, I'll be teaching BJU Biology to the older boys, and the two younger ones will be doing Life Science, along with 2 girls who will be in 7th grade that year, so it's not like the younger boys will have to struggle to keep ahead with high school science all the way through. So next year is the only one where we will be combining these boys all together.

 

I know others have mentioned CPO and Prentice Hall physical science, but I know of no one who uses those, so BJU and Apologia are the only ones I will be able to really look at. That is why I am hoping someone can give me their impressions of any physical science program that might work for all these boys! Thank you!

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Okay, having done some more research, and having read about every post I could find on physical science, has anyone ever used the old edition of BJU physical science ("The Physical World")? Is that one as math-heavy as the new editions seem to be?

 

And also, do people who use Prentice Hall Concepts in Action actually do labs? It was hard to tell how user-friendly the labs are. I am thinking of buying an old edition of PH Concepts in Action to see if I like it and think it might fit all the boys better.

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Claire,

 

Try this: http://www.gpb.org/chemistry-physics

 

I ran across this page on physics/chemistry while researching for next year's physical science for 8th grade. I wanted something like BJU Physical Science, but watered down for 8th grade. This curriculum is meant for high school, but I *think* a jr. higher could gleen from the content. I might have read about this resource originally from a poster on this board.

 

You might have to tweak this to fit your circumstances, but I think it might be worth it. The videos are very engaging.

 

I called Georgia Public Broadcasting to ask about the curriculum, and from memory, the teacher's manual is $30. There is no text for students..... just the videoes and the information the teacher uses from the teacher's manual.

 

The videos are great! I'm planning to try CPO, and it's nice to know I could use this resource to supplement if I wanted to.

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For $30, you get a CD which has all of the Note-taking Guides, quizzes, worksheets and tests as well as several labs on it. There are answers provided, and a lesson plan outline as well. They are all in PDF files, so they're easy to print out, but not to tweak. It's what I would call a Teacher's Resource kit, not a Teacher's Edition.

 

There is no text specified, as it's meant to complement any text that's already being used by a school. Its target audience is rural high schools in GA.

 

I have found many of the printed materials to be very useful with my co-op Physics students.

 

I wouldn't, however, rely upon being able to view the videos. Last year, they were taken offline for most of the schoolyear, and even those of us who had purchased the Teacher's CD could not gain access to them unless we could prove we were teachers in GA. If you search this forum, you will find a post where someone explained how to download and save each of the video files. It seemed rather tedious, and video files take up a lot of room on your hard drive.

 

The materials are meant to work with full year high school Chemistry and Physics courses. You would have to do quite a bit of tweaking to make it a one-year Physical Science course.

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I responded on the middle school board, but I will add that we use the Khan Academy videos to supplement. I bought the DIVE dvd when I was having health issues, but the Khan Academy videos are better and FREE! You can certainly use them with any text if you need some video instruction for yourself or the kids.

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I responded on the middle school board, but I will add that we use the Khan Academy videos to supplement. I bought the DIVE dvd when I was having health issues, but the Khan Academy videos are better and FREE! You can certainly use them with any text if you need some video instruction for yourself or the kids.

 

 

Debbie, just curious. When I went to Khan Academy, the videos were a black background with the teacher talking and writing with a neon marker. I'm trying to understand why Khan Academy is better. I liked the GPB videos because there was a real person who demonstrated experiments that I could actually see.

 

Why do you like Khan Academy better?

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This is a tough question. I personally think it would be very hard to choose between those two texts. With all of the boys studying at least Alg. 1, Apologia would certainly work, but you're right... if the parents' standards of rigor are high, it probably won't be enough for the 9th graders. I think it would be perfect for the 7th graders, though. BJU, on the other hand, would be perfect for the 9th graders, but I think way too much for the 7th graders. I've used both texts (with an average math student, though, not advanced). I really think it would be hard to combine your students all without a lot of tweaking. If you are flexible, though, and willing to either add to Apologia or subtract from BJU, you could probably make it work. It would be a lot of extra work, though. I have no idea if there is another "middle of the road" text that you could use.

 

Sorry I wasn't much help. I think I only told you what you already know. LOL

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I don't know anything about GPB... The reason we like Khan Academy better than dive is that he is fun and interesting to listen to and the presentations have a lot of color and clarity. There are no labs there.

 

On the DIVE dvds you don't see Dr. Shoreman either, and he speaks in a monotone. My ds is ADD, he can NOT focus on or learn from Dr. Shoreman, it is just too dull. My dd who has listened to them, not watched, makes fun of him for his monotone and begs me not to make her watch them in the future. His lab videos are good, but we DO ALL the labs, so that isn't that important for us. I have a science degree and science labs are the most fun part of our homeschool. Don't get me wrong. Dr. Shoreman is a great guy. He was more than willing to create a syllabus based on the book I was using. I may buy his DVDs for some other classes for the labs.

 

However, in our home, Sal is king of science. If we read about something and don't understand it, we go watch a video at Khan Academy, we usually enjoy that time and afterwards we understand. It is just that easy. It is my favorite free education website (except the WTM of course:001_smile:).

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I don't know anything about GPB... The reason we like Khan Academy better than dive is that he is fun and interesting to listen to and the presentations have a lot of color and clarity. There are no labs there.

 

On the DIVE dvds you don't see Dr. Shoreman either, and he speaks in a monotone. My ds is ADD, he can NOT focus on or learn from Dr. Shoreman, it is just too dull. My dd who has listened to them, not watched, makes fun of him for his monotone and begs me not to make her watch them in the future. His lab videos are good, but we DO ALL the labs, so that isn't that important for us. I have a science degree and science labs are the most fun part of our homeschool. Don't get me wrong. Dr. Shoreman is a great guy. He was more than willing to create a syllabus based on the book I was using. I may buy his DVDs for some other classes for the labs.

 

However, in our home, Sal is king of science. If we read about something and don't understand it, we go watch a video at Khan Academy, we usually enjoy that time and afterwards we understand. It is just that easy. It is my favorite free education website (except the WTM of course:001_smile:).

 

Thanks, Debbie! When I re-read your earlier post, I clearly saw the comparison between Khan and DIVE.... sorry for trying to compare GPB with Khan:tongue_smilie:. (I hadn't finished morning coffee!)

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I am using BJU Physical Science with my ds (9th) and dd (8th) and they haven't had any trouble with the math. He is taking Geometry this year and she is taking Algebra I. If anything the math in the BJU Physical Science text has reinforced what she is doing in Algebra. I did go with the newest edition of the text (4th) and I have them do the additional practice problems that are available for some of the chapters. The nice thing about the newer editons of the BJU texts is the CD that comes with the teacher's edition. There are solutions, not just answers to the practice problems, as well as chapter tests, chapter summaries, chapter glossaries, etc.

 

I also ordered the Lab DVD. They watch the LAB on the DVD and then do it themselves.

 

I have tried to use Apologia texts in the past and they are not a fit for us.

 

Yvonne in NE

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