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Love2Smile

Help me decide! BJU DVD program or ACE for 8th and 10th grades

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I am most likely going to go with one or the other. This is for my 8th and 10th grade girls. BJU DVD for all subjects OR ACE for all subject except math.

 

My concern with BJU is the time it would take each day. After asking around, it seems I am looking at 6 to 7 hours total, including Spanish.

 

If I went with ACE, they could go faster, but do I really want them "zooming" thru school each day just to get done? No language with ACE either.

 

Can you give me pros and cons for each publisher?

I know BJU is more expensive by far, but that is not a con right now.

 

So what would you do?

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If I was going to do one "style" then I'd do CLE instead of ACE. What do your kids think?? I'd rather do Sonlight, or MFW which is written directly to the student in Highschool :) Just a thought :) But, Bob Jones would be my favorite, out of your choices ;)

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If I was going to do one "style" then I'd do CLE instead of ACE. What do your kids think?? I'd rather do Sonlight, or MFW which is written directly to the student in Highschool :) Just a thought :) But, Bob Jones would be my favorite, out of your choices ;)

Thanks,

I don't care for CLE or Sonlight or MFW. BJU and ACE are what we need to decide between

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I would start by asking yourself why you have decided home schooling is best for your children, and then go from there. What I mean is that people school for various reasons. Some want a superior education for the children, and go for the meatiest curriculum they can find. Some just want to check off the boxes and a get er done curriculum. Some want to school by unschooling. Some want all classical, etc.

 

I've not used Ace before, but have used plenty of BJU materials. BJU is top notch. BJU is tough. Your dc will most definitely be schooling all the live long day if you go with BJU DVDs for every subject. Seriously. But, is that a bad thing? That depends on your situation, and opinions vary. ;) The most BJU subjects w/DVDs I have used within a given year for jr. high/high school is Math, English, and Science. They made for a long day, but it was worth it.

 

Let me forewarn you that BJU English is TOUGH. Both of your students may struggle...be prepared for that. My then 11th grader and my 9th grader both did the 9th grade English DVDs and barely passed. I mean BARELY. PASSED. It was their very first BJU English course, and was the hardest class of the year.

 

The science and math are, in my opinion, both excellent. The science tests are also TOUGH. Unless intuitively science minded, your students will HAVE to study to be able to pass them.

 

The Math teacher's are very thorough and as long as a student is understanding their daily work, should have no problem with tests and quizzes.

 

You will not go wrong with BJU education-wise, but you may find some tweaking is needed until your students get used to the time involved.

 

Anyhow, I can whole-heartedly recommend BJU if you're looking for a solid college prep curriculum. But, if you just want to 'get school done' then I would most definitely look elsewhere. :001_smile:

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I would start by asking yourself why you have decided home schooling is best for your children, and then go from there. What I mean is that people school for various reasons. Some want a superior education for the children, and go for the meatiest curriculum they can find. Some just want to check off the boxes and a get er done curriculum. Some want to school by unschooling. Some want all classical, etc.

 

I've not used Ace before, but have used plenty of BJU materials. BJU is top notch. BJU is tough. Your dc will most definitely be schooling all the live long day if you go with BJU DVDs for every subject. Seriously. But, is that a bad thing? That depends on your situation, and opinions vary. ;) The most BJU subjects w/DVDs I have used within a given year for jr. high/high school is Math, English, and Science. They made for a long day, but it was worth it.

 

Let me forewarn you that BJU English is TOUGH. Both of your students may struggle...be prepared for that. My then 11th grader and my 9th grader both did the 9th grade English DVDs and barely passed. I mean BARELY. PASSED. It was their very first BJU English course, and was the hardest class of the year.

 

The science and math are, in my opinion, both excellent. The science tests are also TOUGH. Unless intuitively science minded, your students will HAVE to study to be able to pass them.

 

The Math teacher's are very thorough and as long as a student is understanding their daily work, should have no problem with tests and quizzes.

 

You will not go wrong with BJU education-wise, but you may find some tweaking is needed until your students get used to the time involved.

 

Anyhow, I can whole-heartedly recommend BJU if you're looking for a solid college prep curriculum. But, if you just want to 'get school done' then I would most definitely look elsewhere. :001_smile:

Thanks for this review and advice. One last question. You say the English is tough. I assume you are talking about the grammar portions? What about the writing? Can you tell me how you feel about it?

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Thanks for this review and advice. One last question. You say the English is tough. I assume you are talking about the grammar portions? What about the writing? Can you tell me how you feel about it?

 

Yes, the grammar is tough....or so my dc found it so. ;)

 

I loved BJU writing in their elementary grades. They basically walked the student through each and every assignment. It was wonderful. Starting in 7th grade though, they no longer do that. Instead they just tag an assignment at the end of a grammar chapter. Ack. Hated it. So we used other materials for writing.

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I'm sorry but I can not recommend ACE. I know there are fans of this curriculum on this board but there is an ACE school near here and it has won awards from ACE. Their kids are getting a very poor education. Many of the kids cannot learn the math the way it presented, the history is very revisionist in nature, and the science is basically only the memorization of some facts and vocabulary. My nephew goes to an ACE school and thinks because he is a 4.0 student that he is really doing well. The reality is, he is not on par educationally with the local public school 2.5 high schooler and his math skills are abysmal. He does not understand fundamental science concepts that my own children understood in 5th grade and he is a sophomore in high school. Almost none of the graduates in the last five years attended any kind of cc. four year college, or trade school and very, very few have jobs that pay more than minimum wage. Additionally, the work ethic is very poor because the five subjects per day that most of the kids accomplished were so easy to get done, that they only worked a couple of hours per day. This led to not being well prepared for an 8 hour work day as an adult.

 

High school is preparation for adulthood. So, if a high school senior cannot handle a 6-7 hour study day, then that makes it very difficult to handle a full-time job or college classes in which between class and assignments, well more than eight hours per day is required.

 

I think the curriculum could be adapted if you went to all of the work to go through the material and then add your own writing assignments, literature, supplement the math, supplement the science with something that teaches the scientific method and high school level labs, find appropriate foreign language, and add to the historical reading so there is more balance plus writing about or discussing history with you so that you can be sure that political and cultural topics are being explored and not just the rote memorization of dates, places, and famous names is all that the student is absorbing, then you could make it work. But, that's a lot more work for you than just buying BJU.

 

I'm sorry to be so negative. I actually graduated from an ACE school - 28 credits accomplished in 2.5 years and then had to use a good library very liberally to self-teach myself everything I'd missed out on including going through algebra 2 and trig again with old textbooks on the library shelf so I'd have good ACT scores. I also purchased lab supplies and taught myself the labs and the scientific method. Then I audited a college writing class before I ever applied to college so I would be able to write great admission's essays. This worked for me, but it is scary to think that I was able to accomplish what was supposed to be 28 credits in 2.5 years completely unchallenged and then have to go and self-educate myself. This is also what many of my friends did as well because we knew we were undereducated in a big way.

 

I am sure there are homeschoolers that have successfully implemented ACE. But, the local ACE is 30 years old now and only a few blocks from my home. I know most of the families that have been involved with it for all of those years and I have yet to see an educational success case that did not involve kids who realized they weren't going to be able to pursue their dreams unless they self-educated themselves for many hours per day outside of school. The ones that did not take that initiative are not doing well and some are quite bitter about this.

 

Faith

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What are the upcoming 8th and 10th graders doing now? Why have you chosen to get just one curriculum? I did one whole grade of BJU (12th) and it was a disaster. People told me, yeah, you have to do that at least once when you homeschool. It was A LOT. We did keep some subjects w/dvds, we did some without the dvds to save time, and completely changed some subjects mid-year. So, just picking BJU in the beginning of the year didn't solve my problem of picking curriculum, it really made it worse!

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Out of your choices I'd pick BJU. I agree that the classes are rigorous. My ds did the 10th grade, and though grammar/language is "his thing", he really had to work hard to pass the grammar! He looks back on that now as a great turning point in his life. Before he could just sail along without much studying and do fine. During that BJU year he learned how to study and work hard for a good grade, and spend the time needed to really learn. He said that helped him immensely for the upper high school grades and now college. He also said being able to master that grammar has helped him immensely with learning better English as well as later learning Spanish! The History and Science worked out well too, but it was a lot of work! The kids would need to have a positive attitude and be willing to work on a strong work/study ethic. We used VideoText Algebra, since we already had it from 9th grade, and did our own Bible.

 

The next year he ended up going to a Christian Boarding High School and got a 4.0! Again, he credited that to what he learned with BJU!

 

I believe BJU allows you one class that is a lower level, don't they? If so, and if your kids aren't that strong on grammar, I'd go a grade lower for them! My younger two wouldn't have been able to do the grammar portion at all! They're both more like 2 grades "behind" on that.

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I'm sorry but I can not recommend ACE. I know there are fans of this curriculum on this board but there is an ACE school near here and it has won awards from ACE. Their kids are getting a very poor education. Many of the kids cannot learn the math the way it presented, the history is very revisionist in nature, and the science is basically only the memorization of some facts and vocabulary. My nephew goes to an ACE school and thinks because he is a 4.0 student that he is really doing well. The reality is, he is not on par educationally with the local public school 2.5 high schooler and his math skills are abysmal. He does not understand fundamental science concepts that my own children understood in 5th grade and he is a sophomore in high school. Almost none of the graduates in the last five years attended any kind of cc. four year college, or trade school and very, very few have jobs that pay more than minimum wage. Additionally, the work ethic is very poor because the five subjects per day that most of the kids accomplished were so easy to get done, that they only worked a couple of hours per day. This led to not being well prepared for an 8 hour work day as an adult.

 

High school is preparation for adulthood. So, if a high school senior cannot handle a 6-7 hour study day, then that makes it very difficult to handle a full-time job or college classes in which between class and assignments, well more than eight hours per day is required.

 

I think the curriculum could be adapted if you went to all of the work to go through the material and then add your own writing assignments, literature, supplement the math, supplement the science with something that teaches the scientific method and high school level labs, find appropriate foreign language, and add to the historical reading so there is more balance plus writing about or discussing history with you so that you can be sure that political and cultural topics are being explored and not just the rote memorization of dates, places, and famous names is all that the student is absorbing, then you could make it work. But, that's a lot more work for you than just buying BJU.

 

I'm sorry to be so negative. I actually graduated from an ACE school - 28 credits accomplished in 2.5 years and then had to use a good library very liberally to self-teach myself everything I'd missed out on including going through algebra 2 and trig again with old textbooks on the library shelf so I'd have good ACT scores. I also purchased lab supplies and taught myself the labs and the scientific method. Then I audited a college writing class before I ever applied to college so I would be able to write great admission's essays. This worked for me, but it is scary to think that I was able to accomplish what was supposed to be 28 credits in 2.5 years completely unchallenged and then have to go and self-educate myself. This is also what many of my friends did as well because we knew we were undereducated in a big way.

 

I am sure there are homeschoolers that have successfully implemented ACE. But, the local ACE is 30 years old now and only a few blocks from my home. I know most of the families that have been involved with it for all of those years and I have yet to see an educational success case that did not involve kids who realized they weren't going to be able to pursue their dreams unless they self-educated themselves for many hours per day outside of school. The ones that did not take that initiative are not doing well and some are quite bitter about this.

 

Faith

 

This is quite an exaggeration on the Ace curriculum. The school near you may not have any college attendees, but Ace in general won't create that. There are plenty of success stories with Ace----but you WILL have to visit sites other than WTM to find them. Ace has changed since you went to school-guaranteed. Some subjects still need upgrading, but the math and science are up to par----perhaps not quite as in depth adn detailed as BJU but nothing that will leave a student so behind they weren't ready for college.

 

We don't use all Ace----but I do and have used a few subjects. So I can totally attest that this description is far from the mark at being true. Very far.

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What are the upcoming 8th and 10th graders doing now? Why have you chosen to get just one curriculum? I did one whole grade of BJU (12th) and it was a disaster. People told me, yeah, you have to do that at least once when you homeschool. It was A LOT. We did keep some subjects w/dvds, we did some without the dvds to save time, and completely changed some subjects mid-year. So, just picking BJU in the beginning of the year didn't solve my problem of picking curriculum, it really made it worse!

 

I couldn't imagine jumping into the intensity and time-involvement required for BJU at the 12th grade level. Ugh. I feel for you. BJU scope and sequence seems very gradual and light to some in the younger grades, but let me tell ya, when they reach 7th and up, it gets progressively harder and harder each year!

 

I agree that some people do tweak the full grade DVD option. But, it's cheaper to go with a full grade and opt out of actually using some of the DVD classes, than to use just use a few of them at $399 a subject. I know many who get the whole grade kit, but only use the Science, Math, Spanish, and English (or whatever) DVDs, and sell the books from the other subjects.

 

I also know MANY who use BJU with DVDs as is all the way through high school. So, I would have to disagree with the statement, "yeah, you have to do that at least once when you homeschool." Many love it.

 

BJU is a college prep high school education. It's not easy-peasy. It's not what average homeschoolers are used to. It's hard. A student will have to work hard to do well with it. It's time consuming....kind of like your student being at school all day in a top private school, and then coming home with homework. It's not for a lazy learner. My older boys had a hard time with it because up until that time school was pretty easy. The hardest subject they had was math. Their grammar consisted of Easy Grammar (boy was that a joke compared to BJU) Well, with BJU almost all the subjects are going to expect something from your student. None of them are easy. BUT, having said that, you are still in control of their education. You don't have to make then do all the work assigned, etc. You can give open book tests periodically, skip some quizzes, Some DVD lessons, etc. BJU is a tool to help you give your student an excellent education, but how hard or how easy you want to make it is up to you. ;)

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I believe BJU allows you one class that is a lower level, don't they? If so, and if your kids aren't that strong on grammar, I'd go a grade lower for them! My younger two wouldn't have been able to do the grammar portion at all! They're both more like 2 grades "behind" on that.

 

:iagree: Definitely opt for a lower level in Grammar!

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BJU allows you to bump subjects up or down up to two grades as needed, there may be a limit down to 7th gr. level for the 8th grade. They have started selling per subject, and with or without books. There used to be what I called a brick wall between 6th and 7th grades, I would check to see if it changed when they started selling per subject if you need any 6th grade levels for your 8th grader.

 

Dd did these BJU subjects in 8th grade: Writing/Grammar 7, their 7th grade Lit. book (don't know the name), BJU Prealgebra. We graded down one grade for language arts. We didn't use the dvds at all for 8th grade. Her other subjects were Apologia Physical Science (half of it), and for US History, she read Joy Hakim's US History books.

 

In 10th grade, she did Writing/Grammar 10 (no dvds), A Beka World Lit, some of the year BJU World History (she didn't like it so we changed books, and no dvd), BJU Geometry (w/dvds, LOVED this class), Apologia Biology.

 

I just listed the four core classes of what we did, HTH!

 

And..... it wasn't the difficulty that had us moving out of subjects, we have a fairly rigorous homeschool. One class the teacher just read from the text or teacher's guide (government/economics), another two of the core subjects were paced strangely, Precalculus (which most on this board agree is substandard) three days a lesson and tons of talking, and physics where the teacher would forget to assign, then double up (and usually on the same day precalc finally assigned homework), and the labs were not home-friendly for us. Some teachers are amazing, and others, not so... I also know people who use this exclusively and do like it, so it is very individual. So for 12th, we ended up doing the Writing/Grammar 12 w/o dvds (ds had done A Beka and BJU for the previous 3 years and didn't need the dvds anymore), watching the British Lit. dvds (great), moving math to another program, changing science to Apologia Physics (much more homeschool and lab friendly), using the Government and Economics texts w/o dvds. So all was not lost. But, I was having to change things quite a bit and with it being senior year, it was stressful.

 

BJU has samples online, and they did send me a week of dvd lessons of some I was considering. I do like some of their classes, and am very grateful for them making them available.

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Well, with BJU almost all the subjects are going to expect something from your student. None of them are easy. BUT, having said that, you are still in control of their education. You don't have to make then do all the work assigned, etc. You can give open book tests periodically, skip some quizzes, Some DVD lessons, etc. BJU is a tool to help you give your student an excellent education, but how hard or how easy you want to make it is up to you. ;)

 

I think this is important. You are master of the curriculum. I think those most successful with BJU DVDs are the ones that realize that. (I haven't personally used a whole grade, but I've done a lot of reading and investigating!)

 

My DS did 8th grade science with BJU DVDs this year and has requested the whole 9th grade DVD set for next year. I already know we're going to have to tweak it. I will still use IEW for writing and R&S for grammar. (I am wondering how R&S grammar compares to BJU grammar. Anybody know?)

 

I'm going to use the DVDs as a tool. Some we will use all the time (science!). For other classes, we will see how it goes. I'd like to definitely use math and literature. We'll see about the others, depending on time. I'm also going to start school early for some classes, so we have some wiggle room.

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I think this is important. You are master of the curriculum. I think those most successful with BJU DVDs are the ones that realize that. (I haven't personally used a whole grade, but I've done a lot of reading and investigating!)

 

My DS did 8th grade science with BJU DVDs this year and has requested the whole 9th grade DVD set for next year. I already know we're going to have to tweak it. I will still use IEW for writing and R&S for grammar. (I am wondering how R&S grammar compares to BJU grammar. Anybody know?)

 

I'm going to use the DVDs as a tool. Some we will use all the time (science!). For other classes, we will see how it goes. I'd like to definitely use math and literature. We'll see about the others, depending on time. I'm also going to start school early for some classes, so we have some wiggle room.

 

I will admit I never figured out the tweaking part..... and we tried to do everything. Very frustrating. Especially the labs where they assume a class with four lab partners. So I was the other three!!! Imagine me at midnight spinning a string around with something tied at the end, and ds counting the revolutions!! And don't get me going about all of the books and correcting, and having to do all of that so we could get the range of what an acceptable answer was.

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I will admit I never figured out the tweaking part..... and we tried to do everything. Very frustrating. Especially the labs where they assume a class with four lab partners. So I was the other three!!! Imagine me at midnight spinning a string around with something tied at the end, and ds counting the revolutions!! And don't get me going about all of the books and correcting, and having to do all of that so we could get the range of what an acceptable answer was.

 

That sounds like perhaps the Physics labs?? Those were so stinking hard. I finally let my son stop attempting the ones that were overly difficult. That whole class was overly difficult, and confusing. Ack.

 

My son loved the Chemistry class though and had no trouble doing the labs for most of that. What was nice though is that labs he could not perform were almost always shown on the DVD.

 

As for grading. I only graded quizzes and tests. Period. I didn't even grade the labs, unless they were part of the tests. There is NO WAY I could have kept up with grading all his assignments. That would have made me crazy. :tongue_smilie: I checked them to make sure they were done, but that's it. My ds HAD to do the work adequately to pass the tests. I figured if he was passing with A's and B's, and he was, then he was doing enough to learn the material. ;)

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I will admit I never figured out the tweaking part..... and we tried to do everything. Very frustrating. Especially the labs where they assume a class with four lab partners. So I was the other three!!! Imagine me at midnight spinning a string around with something tied at the end, and ds counting the revolutions!! And don't get me going about all of the books and correcting, and having to do all of that so we could get the range of what an acceptable answer was.

I thought with the DVD's you did not have to do the actual labs since viewing them was enough. It will be enough for us that is for sure! We are not "into" lab experiements

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Let Melissa answer for other subjects, but in physics (yes, it was physics) the teacher told you how to set them up, but you had to do them. And get the supplies, which were several hundred dollars (luckily a friend loaned most of them to me). IMHO you really need to do the labs for lab credit. You need familiarity with a lab for college level science labs. It is very different watching labs and doing labs. Ask us how last Thursday went..... imagine drano fuming and dd running outside, them me getting a big puff of it in my face trying to open the window over it..... LOL. I think I did better when ds did it, but it was late and I forgot all of my safe lab procedures.... goggles next time!!

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I thought with the DVD's you did not have to do the actual labs since viewing them was enough. It will be enough for us that is for sure! We are not "into" lab experiments

 

I would check with your local school district and see how many actual lab sciences are required for high school. Here in our state, only one is required which is Biology. The others do not have to include labs. Now colleges, on the other hand, may view high school sciences differently but I'm pretty sure many states only require one actual lab science for high school.

 

Someone please correct me if I am wrong. :001_smile:

 

As for the labs being shown on the DVDs...I just asked my ds and he said that, from what he can recall, they showed them all, or the majority of them. Even most of the Physics labs, he said, which was why he passed the class without doing many of the labs. :confused: Of course they ARE assigned and something the teacher wants you to do, but then they are shown on the DVD as well. This is coming from him. I honestly don't remember. I do know that in the younger grades (elem through jr high) the labs are assigned, but also shown. ;)

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I would check with your local school district and see how many actual lab sciences are required for high school. Here in our state, only one is required which is Biology. The others do not have to include labs. Now colleges, on the other hand, may view high school sciences differently but I'm pretty sure many states only require one actual lab science for high school.

 

Someone please correct me if I am wrong. :001_smile:

 

As for the labs being shown on the DVDs...I just asked my ds and he said that, from what he can recall, they showed them all, or the majority of them. Even most of the Physics labs, he said, which was why he passed the class without doing many of the labs. :confused: Of course they ARE assigned and something the teacher wants you to do, but then they are shown on the DVD as well. This is coming from him. I honestly don't remember. I do know that in the younger grades (elem through jr high) the labs are assigned, but also shown. ;)

 

Well I am in a State where I file as my own private school and my girls will be attending Jr. College first so we don't have to do labs

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Also, the highest science my older dd will do is Biology and my more math minded kid may do Chemistry. Like I said above niether will go to a four year college off the bat.

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I would check with your local school district and see how many actual lab sciences are required for high school. Here in our state, only one is required which is Biology. The others do not have to include labs. Now colleges, on the other hand, may view high school sciences differently but I'm pretty sure many states only require one actual lab science for high school.

 

Someone please correct me if I am wrong. :001_smile:

 

As for the labs being shown on the DVDs...I just asked my ds and he said that, from what he can recall, they showed them all, or the majority of them. Even most of the Physics labs, he said, which was why he passed the class without doing many of the labs. :confused: Of course they ARE assigned and something the teacher wants you to do, but then they are shown on the DVD as well. This is coming from him. I honestly don't remember. I do know that in the younger grades (elem through jr high) the labs are assigned, but also shown. ;)

 

Melissa,

The UNC system (NC) only requires one year of lab, but doesn't specify in which science.

 

Science: 3 years, including 1 year of life or biological science and 1 year of a physical science; 1 must be a laboratory course

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I am from California and can't believe how little I had to do there in school compared to here in South Carolina. (I would love to have California requirements so we could do other classes besides core classes). We have to do Biology, and two classes that need biology as a prerequisite, all with labs. And, physical science in 9th grade. So, four years with labs! (No wonder I am tired!!!). Ds is in college, one of the first questions the college asked while we were searching and applying was if we did labs with our sciences.

 

So, before anyone skips labs, check with colleges you are interested in.

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Susan C., you are so right.

 

DO NOT SKIP THE LABS! DD applied to 13 colleges and universities, some private, some public, and every single one asked about labs. We sent samples of her lab sheets and copies of some of her notes. They were very happy about this. Watching a video is not doing a lab. We have a local private school that only "watches" labs. Some of their students attend our 4-H youth science club. We have problems with those kids. They can't keep up with junior high level hands-on science projects and they are high school juniors and seniors. They don't understand the scientific method and they don't know how to record results. I have to hold their hands through the whole project.

 

But, my publically schooled 4-H'ers are used to hands-on science and lab equipment. By 7th grade, they no longer need my help at all, just a little general guidance. Once the parameters of the project are laid out, they are good to go and fill out lab sheets thoroughly and neatly. Of course, my homeschooled children have been doing labs since 2nd grade so we buddy our 5th, 7th, and 8th grader up with the privately schooled high schoolers and the other homeschooled kids whose parents aren't requiring labs. This buddy system helps us handle our annual HUGE science event through 4-H when we do a physics or chemistry project with 40 kids ages 5-18. As a general rule, though not well mannered, the public school kids handle the lab just fine. Though well mannered and polite, the privately schooled and homeschooled kids can't handle it without significant help because their school/parents have skipped labs for the bulk of their education.

 

Life is not just theoretical knowledge...it requires applied knowledge, real world examples, etc. Don't skip that in science!

 

Faith

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Susan C., you are so right.

 

DO NOT SKIP THE LABS! DD applied to 13 colleges and universities, some private, some public, and every single one asked about labs. We sent samples of her lab sheets and copies of some of her notes. They were very happy about this. Watching a video is not doing a lab. We have a local private school that only "watches" labs. Some of their students attend our 4-H youth science club. We have problems with those kids. They can't keep up with junior high level hands-on science projects and they are high school juniors and seniors. They don't understand the scientific method and they don't know how to record results. I have to hold their hands through the whole project.

 

But, my publically schooled 4-H'ers are used to hands-on science and lab equipment. By 7th grade, they no longer need my help at all, just a little general guidance. Once the parameters of the project are laid out, they are good to go and fill out lab sheets thoroughly and neatly. Of course, my homeschooled children have been doing labs since 2nd grade so we buddy our 5th, 7th, and 8th grader up with the privately schooled high schoolers and the other homeschooled kids whose parents aren't requiring labs. This buddy system helps us handle our annual HUGE science event through 4-H when we do a physics or chemistry project with 40 kids ages 5-18. As a general rule, though not well mannered, the public school kids handle the lab just fine. Though well mannered and polite, the privately schooled and homeschooled kids can't handle it without significant help because their school/parents have skipped labs for the bulk of their education.

 

Life is not just theoretical knowledge...it requires applied knowledge, real world examples, etc. Don't skip that in science!

 

Faith

 

Great post, Faith! Thank you! My ds is going into 9th this fall and I had already been planning on him doing most, if not all, of the BJU Science Labs...though he thoroughly dislikes lab work in general...so your post was a great encouragement to me to persevere through his upcoming complaining. Ha!

 

I don't see him going into any career with a heavy math or science base, but I don't want to short-change his education by any career assumptions either. My older two had zero intention of going to University, but youngest ds has stated that he really wants to go to a 4 yr college, live in the dorms, etc. :tongue_smilie: So, I need to make sure all his bases are covered for whatever career he chooses. From my experience with our older boys, you never truly know what your student is going to pursue until they are actually out there pursuing it. I would've never guessed they would one day be pursuing their current careers. Thankfully I didn't mess them up too badly. ;)

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I would start by asking yourself why you have decided home schooling is best for your children, and then go from there. What I mean is that people school for various reasons. Some want a superior education for the children, and go for the meatiest curriculum they can find. Some just want to check off the boxes and a get er done curriculum. Some want to school by unschooling. Some want all classical, etc.

 

I've not used Ace before, but have used plenty of BJU materials. BJU is top notch. BJU is tough. Your dc will most definitely be schooling all the live long day if you go with BJU DVDs for every subject. Seriously. But, is that a bad thing? That depends on your situation, and opinions vary. ;) The most BJU subjects w/DVDs I have used within a given year for jr. high/high school is Math, English, and Science. They made for a long day, but it was worth it.

 

...

 

You will not go wrong with BJU education-wise, but you may find some tweaking is needed until your students get used to the time involved.

 

Anyhow, I can whole-heartedly recommend BJU if you're looking for a solid college prep curriculum. But, if you just want to 'get school done' then I would most definitely look elsewhere. :001_smile:

 

:iagree: I have used BJU materials and I think Melissa's review is right on track. I've seen ACE materials, but chose not to use them for my children because, IMHO, they are not nearly the caliber that BJU is. This was several years ago, and maybe they've changed since then, but the materials I saw were similar to AO LifePacs, but less colorful and even more watered down (no offense intended to those who use/like LifePacs or PACES). Students were to read the paragraphs and answer the questions--no critical thinking required at all. I did not want my kids to spend their days filling in workbook pages, especially workbook pages that did not challenge them to think.

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Also, the highest science my older dd will do is Biology and my more math minded kid may do Chemistry. Like I said above neither will go to a four year college off the bat.

 

My older two boys did not want to go to a 4-yr college either. At all. Zero desire there. They just wanted to attend our community college, and then go on to university if needed for their degree. So, like you, I didn't push the labs. In fact, oldest ds only did two years of Science in hs. Physical and Biology. He hated both! Ha! What's funny though is that he decided to go into nursing in college...lots of science! He did very well in his classes, despite his mediocre high school sciences, and was in the top of his class through school. He graduated with flying colors, got a job, and hates it. Hates. It. He is now back in school pursuing a Criminal Justice degree. He loves learning about criminals. Go figure. :lol: What he's going to do with THAT degree is beyond me. I only truly know one thing...that this kids gonna be the death of me one day. :D

 

So, all that to say, each of our children are different. YOU know your children best, and if they have no interest in science, then just do the minimum required and have peace with that. It will all work out in the end. If they do decide they want to pursue a sciency career, they can take all their science classes w/labs in community college. No biggie. Trust me, even without the labs, BJU science will teach them a TON! ;)

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I am from California and can't believe how little I had to do there in school compared to here in South Carolina. (I would love to have California requirements so we could do other classes besides core classes). We have to do Biology, and two classes that need biology as a prerequisite, all with labs. And, physical science in 9th grade. So, four years with labs! (No wonder I am tired!!!). Ds is in college, one of the first questions the college asked while we were searching and applying was if we did labs with our sciences.

 

So, before anyone skips labs, check with colleges you are interested in.

 

Wow! Yes, I can see why you'd be tired! :blink:

 

What two classes do you have to do that need Biology as a prerequisite? I don't see Chemistry or Physics as needing Biology as a prereq. So I am genuinely confuzzled by such a requirement. :confused:

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Biology is a prerequisite to microbiology, botany, some chemistry programs that cover organic chemistry topics and require a student to have a working knowledge of cell division, etc. and anatomy and physiology. Also, biology is one of the only high school sciences that can be done early on without a background in algebra so it is a common first science for high school. Chemistry requires solid algebra 1 skills, advanced should be taken concurrently with algebra 2 and especially if the student needs the algebra review or needs to encounter more difficult word problems in order to be ready for the last half of the book, and physics requires at bare minimum, algebra 2, and advanced physics requires trigonometry/analytical geometry.

 

So, by default of the math sequence, biology appears to be a pre-requisite to all of the others even though one could accomplish physics without it. But, definitely, one must have biology in order to go on to A&P.

 

Faith

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I'm sorry to be so negative. I actually graduated from an ACE school - 28 credits accomplished in 2.5 years and then had to use a good library very liberally to self-teach myself everything I'd missed out on including going through algebra 2 and trig again with old textbooks on the library shelf so I'd have good ACT scores. I also purchased lab supplies and taught myself the labs and the scientific method. Then I audited a college writing class before I ever applied to college so I would be able to write great admission's essays. This worked for me, but it is scary to think that I was able to accomplish what was supposed to be 28 credits in 2.5 years completely unchallenged and then have to go and self-educate myself. This is also what many of my friends did as well because we knew we were undereducated in a big way.

 

Faith

 

This is quite an exaggeration on the Ace curriculum..

 

I have actually heard the bolded part MANY MANY times over again. I have friends who have used and now use ACE and it is lacking in a HUGE way. Maybe others can implement it in a way that it works but its not set up alone (from what I have seen) to work as a good education. I have seen samples of Elementary ACE (granted, not anything over 6th grade) but from what I saw I would NEVER use ACE. I honestly don't know about the higher grades, but I would assume they would stay on track with the younger years.

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Thank you Wrangler 04!

 

I can only speak from my experience with ACE and from the fact that we have an ACE school in this town and I have known many, many graduates of this school in the 30 years since it opened. And this is from the horse's mouth - ie. the principal of the school itself from a conversation we recently had about his high school juniors' and seniors' inability to handle the 7th grade level science topics and projects we do with our 4-H club, and I quote - "ACE doesn't teach math or science at all well. We know it. We can't afford math and science teachers and since we expect most of our grads to attend Bible college and go into the ministry, we don't expect them to need to be good at it either. A basic, general education is all they need and all ACE is good for." End quote.

 

Additionally, when I quizzed him about the ACT and SAT score averages of their graduates his comment was that I was the only 4.0 graduate of the school (1985 and just about entirely self-taught in math, science, writing, and literature) that has scored above a 24 composite on the ACT and more than 850 (old SAT before the writing portion) or 1000 with the writing portion. Their MEAP scores are only an average of 8 points better in any subject matter than the local public school which is really under heat for its plummeting scores.

 

So, yes, some people are probably able to implement it with supplementary materials in a way that gives their kids a good education. Given that I've judged the science competition for ACE schools State Conventions in three different states and routinely see science projects from 16 and 17 year olds that are beneath the 6th graders in my science club, and I personally work with kids from an ACE school that are nearing graduation and cannot solve a two step story problem, I guess I cannot in good conscience recommend the curriculum.

 

And for the record, I got tired of being the bad guy and giving low scores at the ACE conventions on those science projects or watching kids march across the platform to collect their award for winning the competition, grinning from ear to ear like this was a major accomplishment in life, and knowing how paltry the projects were - the winning scores rarely being above a 60% and I along with the other two judges were being generous.

 

I do have extensive personal experience with this curriculum. My nephew is doing ACE now and is under the personal impression that college is going to be really, really easy. GRRRRRR...my brother thinks its wonderful, though his two eldest sons (much older than his youngest) are now out in the real world and have begged their father to do their little brother a favor and get something else. I am not speaking from ignorance or only one bad experience here.

 

Faith

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When ds was in high school, I called the technical college in case I wanted to use their science. They said ds could not take any of their sciences without high school biology. So, high school biology is what opens the door to all college level sciences. Like Faith said, it is also order of difficulty. Dd and I are dying in chemistry this year, but she is working hard and doing well (but oh my it is hard). I told the college admissions person (for dd this time, she is a junior and we toured the college) that I did not want to do physics again (ds and I did it, again, oh my). She said anatomy was more than fine.

 

Another instance with ds, I called another college. They started out as kind of "snitty" when I said I was a homeschooler. The conversation took a good turn when I mentioned that we had done biology, chemistry, physics. Person said "with labs?" I said yes.... Other options for biology prerequisites are anatomy, marine biology, advanced chemistry.

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All I can say, again, is it is the SCHOOL that is failing the students, not the curriculum! And wrangler04----you admit you haven't even looked at anything above 6th grade? Then why even make a judgement on the high school program? NO---it's not the caliber of BJU. But it's also not as bad as faithmanor says it is. Curriculum is NOT what makes a good student----it's the human being implementing it. Period. Ace is not WTM caliber, but it does work, and it certainly will give a better education than the public schools in this state----by far---graduating kids that would be more than ready for college.

 

I don't want to make this a big argument, but I will say that we are all entitled to our own opinions, especially when it comes to curriculum. Those must be some mighty good public schools near you faithmanor, that they are SO far ahead of the homeschoolers and even private schoolers. Because I can tell you around here it's a totally different story----and even if my kids only watched labs and filled in a sheet, they would be FAR ahead of the public schoolers scientifically.

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Those must be some mighty good public schools near you faithmanor, that they are SO far ahead of the homeschoolers and even private schoolers. Because I can tell you around here it's a totally different story----and even if my kids only watched labs and filled in a sheet, they would be FAR ahead of the public schoolers scientifically.

 

I was thinking that too. I mean, our public high schools are a joke here in California. Kids can't learn due to discipline issues, and teacher's don't teach anymore, due to discipline issues (and laziness). The schools have zero funds for lab equipment, they can't even pay their teachers. I can't even imagine public school education being better than even the worst homeschool curriculum. But, I suppose that would vary from school to school and teacher to teacher. :confused:

 

Anyhow, I don't comment out of hand...I have three CA school teachers in the family, and am friends with a couple high school principles. The stories I hear are what keep me plugging along at home. ;)

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I'm not that familiar with BJU. I don't consider ACE to be college prep or even true high school level.

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Based on what? :confused:

 

Based on reviewing their scope and sequence, and the actual books. Based on comparing them to a variety of other choices. The topics, the reading level, the assignments - they just do not equate to credit-worthy courses, ime and imo.

 

There is some wiggle room for topics being introduced at different times, of course, but overall I'm very comfortable with labelling ACE as "non-rigorous."

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Thanks for all your replies. My girls will be using ACE for all subjects! We are excited and at peace. We don't do college level courses for highschool, and the highest science we go to is Biology for one and maybe chemistry for the other. Both will attend CC "if" they choose so. If they are happy and satisfied NOT going to college that's fine too.

 

I sometimes think it's more about teaching character than having a rigororous curriculum.

 

And I suppose WTM was not the place to announce we will be using all ACE, but I am not ashamed:D

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All I can say, again, is it is the SCHOOL that is failing the students, not the curriculum! And wrangler04----you admit you haven't even looked at anything above 6th grade? Then why even make a judgement on the high school program? NO---it's not the caliber of BJU. But it's also not as bad as faithmanor says it is. Curriculum is NOT what makes a good student----it's the human being implementing it. Period. Ace is not WTM caliber, but it does work, and it certainly will give a better education than the public schools in this state----by far---graduating kids that would be more than ready for college.

 

I don't want to make this a big argument, but I will say that we are all entitled to our own opinions, especially when it comes to curriculum. Those must be some mighty good public schools near you faithmanor, that they are SO far ahead of the homeschoolers and even private schoolers. Because I can tell you around here it's a totally different story----and even if my kids only watched labs and filled in a sheet, they would be FAR ahead of the public schoolers scientifically.

I agree. In California 40% of the seniors don't get diplomas, and the State is 2nd in test scores across the nation. Not only is the State broke, but they basically have stopped teaching history and science in public schools to make time for umm...the "new" curriculums such as "gay history" and transgender awareness classes. I kid you not! I am in the San Francisco Bay Area and you can imagine the lack of real public education and the Liberal Agenda that is forced down the students throats. But I wont go there, since that is A WHOLE OTHER topic:glare:

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Thanks for all your replies. My girls will be using ACE for all subjects! We are excited and at peace. We don't do college level courses for highschool, and the highest science we go to is Biology for one and maybe chemistry for the other. Both will attend CC "if" they choose so. If they are happy and satisfied NOT going to college that's fine too.

 

I sometimes think it's more about teaching character than having a rigorous curriculum.

 

And I suppose WTM was not the place to announce we will be using all ACE, but I am not ashamed:D

 

I'm glad you have peace with your decision. ;) We all choose to homeschool for various reasons...not everyone is looking for rigorous, I am more of a middle ground kind of person...and I totally agree that character is important.

 

Of course, learning to work hard at school builds character too, doesn't it? So I wouldn't necessarily say that rigorous curriculum means a parent is not working on teaching character (I know you did not actually say that :)). But I've read many a homeschool article touting character development and very few talking about how working HARD at something builds character too. The US is full of lazy teenagers and young adults who think hard work is loading the dishwasher or mowing the lawn. :tongue_smilie: Yeah, I was one of um. :D

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