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I'm trying to figure out our science options for the middle grades and wondering what topics you have covered and the sequence you have followed. I thought I had it figured out, but now I'm second guessing myself. Here is what I thought we'd do:

 

6th grade: Life Science

7th grade: Earth/Space Science

8th grade: Physical Science

 

I was kind of thinking we'd use BJU for these subjects, so I was just planning based on their sequence of courses (but a year early). I wasn't necessarily stuck on the BJU books, just mostly following their plan.

 

But now I'm rethinking my plan for 2 reasons.

 

1. Ds isn't interested in Earth/Space science and neither am I, so I don't have much motiviation to make him do it. Does he have to cover Earth/Space? Looking back on my education, I realized I never took any type of Earth/Space course and I don't think I'm any worse off for it:D. If we didn't do Earth/Space, what other middle grade science could we use to fill in the extra year?

 

2. Ds will be finishing up Year 2 of Rainbow Science this year, which covers Life Science. So I'm thinking maybe I should push Life Science to 7th grade and add something new in for 6th to add a bit of variety.

 

Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Chemistry?

 

A year of interest-led science (child must give you 1-4 topics beforehand, maybe, so you know something will get done, and you can acquire resources)?

 

A sub specialty-- ecology, oceanography, Physiology, microbiology, botany, nuclear energy, nanotechnology, mycology, ornithology, geology, organic chemistry, ...something you have studied before, but only spent a couple of days looking at. One last fun hurrah before high school starts!

 

Good luck figuring it out!

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I like your original plan! :) That is exactly what I have done with my older son...a boy with a natural fascination with all that is science. We have thoroughly enjoyed our trek through those three BJU texts! I'm sad that the 3 years are coming quickly to an end (I'm outsourcing his biology next year); I have learned SO much from the BJU texts.

 

The Earth/Space book was fabulous. I would not recommend skipping it. And I've read that BJU has revamped it...made it a bit more accessible...in this newest edition. This course enables you to learn about astronomy, geology, meteorology, etc. These are important topics! Don't skip! :) Plus the Physical Science text requires a strong understanding of algebra...my son had already finished algebra before he started it. So you don't want to get to it too soon.

 

I will NOT do this same plan with my younger son...I will wait until he is in 7th grade to start the BJU sequence. He doesn't have the same level of interest, maturity, or stamina that my older son has. These texts are challenging.

 

I would be happy to answer any specific questions that you have about these 3 BJU texts.

Jetta

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Chemistry?

 

A year of interest-led science (child must give you 1-4 topics beforehand, maybe, so you know something will get done, and you can acquire resources)?

 

A sub specialty-- ecology, oceanography, Physiology, microbiology, botany, nuclear energy, nanotechnology, mycology, ornithology, geology, organic chemistry, ...something you have studied before, but only spent a couple of days looking at. One last fun hurrah before high school starts!

 

Good luck figuring it out!

 

Thanks for the ideas. I haven't seen many Chemistry programs for this age, but I think I'll look a little more. I like the idea of doing 2 rotations of Life/Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in 6-11 and then letting him pick the area he is most intersted in to do an advanced study in 12.

 

The idea of doing a specialty is probably something he would really enjoy, so I'm going to ask him for ideas and see if I can wrap my brain around it. I like things wrapped up in a nice tidy package (thus the appeal of the above mentioned 6-11 sequence), but science is a place I might be willing to stretch myself a bit:D.

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I like your original plan! :) That is exactly what I have done with my older son...a boy with a natural fascination with all that is science. We have thoroughly enjoyed our trek through those three BJU texts! I'm sad that the 3 years are coming quickly to an end (I'm outsourcing his biology next year); I have learned SO much from the BJU texts.

 

The Earth/Space book was fabulous. I would not recommend skipping it. And I've read that BJU has revamped it...made it a bit more accessible...in this newest edition. This course enables you to learn about astronomy, geology, meteorology, etc. These are important topics! Don't skip! :) Plus the Physical Science text requires a strong understanding of algebra...my son had already finished algebra before he started it. So you don't want to get to it too soon.

 

I will NOT do this same plan with my younger son...I will wait until he is in 7th grade to start the BJU sequence. He doesn't have the same level of interest, maturity, or stamina that my older son has. These texts are challenging.

 

I would be happy to answer any specific questions that you have about these 3 BJU texts.

Jetta

 

Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad to hear others have done this with success. Ds is strong in science and math, so I feel pretty good that he can handle the sequence.

 

Do the 3 texts need to be done in the order they are designed? Or do you think we could switch the Earth/Space one with the Life Science just to give him a break from Life science topics? Is the difficulty level the same between the 2 (or even the 3 of them), or do they progress in difficulty (either in the level the material is covered or the work required for each course)?

 

Did you teach the courses on your own or did you use the DVDs? I'm looking for a way to lighten my teaching load a bit for next year and was considering using the DVDs. I love science and it is the most interesting thing for me to teach, but since he is strong in science and needs a bit more instruction in some of his other subjects, I was thinking of turning science over to an "outside" source.

 

What did you do for labs? Did you purchase a kit anywhere or just collect items on your own? How often are labs scheduled?

 

Thanks for offering to help answer questions..... I hope I didn't overwhelm you!

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Do the 3 texts need to be done in the order they are designed? Or do you think we could switch the Earth/Space one with the Life Science just to give him a break from Life science topics? Is the difficulty level the same between the 2 (or even the 3 of them), or do they progress in difficulty (either in the level the material is covered or the work required for each course)?
I mentioned that BJU has revamped the Earth/Space for this coming year...I've *heard* that the text is going to be simpler and more geared towards middle school students, but I have not seen the new edition, so I cannot say for sure. Before this change, the Life Science was quite a bit easier (relatively...not an easy course by a long shot) than the Earth/Space. The E/S had a ton, ton, ton of details to learn. But if they have eased up on the E&S, then it *might* be doable in 6th. I just cannot say with certainty. The physical science is more difficult mathematically...not so much conceptually than the E/S. And the tests that BJU sells DEFINITELY increase in complexity. The tests are quite impressive (and HARD! :)).

 

Did you teach the courses on your own or did you use the DVDs?
I taught it on my own. I think that is one reason why we have enjoyed it so much. But I have heard that the DVDs are great!

 

What did you do for labs? Did you purchase a kit anywhere or just collect items on your own? How often are labs scheduled?
We did the labs at home. Each year, I got the texts first, carefully read through the suggested labs, picked the ones that I wanted to do (there are lots to choose from), and THEN made an order from Home Science Tools. I did not buy a premade kit from HST...too much waste. For Life and E/S, we did labs as we came to the appropriate place in the text. For Physical, I have set aside lab day as Thursday. The labs for this course are a bit complex, so I have to have a planned day to get them done. I usually have to set them up on Wednesday night.

 

I love talking about BJU middle-school science. Can you tell? LOL! So don't hesitate to ask questions.

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I can't speak to BJU materials, but we are doing the Life in 6th, Earth in 7th, Physical in 8th. If you don't want to do earth science, you could likely sub an environmental science course and get a lot of similar material (with the exception of space, I think).

 

The American Chemical Society has a middle school chemistry course online for free that I think takes about a semester (from what I've read). Ellen McHenry has 2 units of chemistry designed for middle school and I know others have used Conceptual Chemistry and Conceptual Physics (high school texts but without the high school math component) in middle school.

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I mentioned that BJU has revamped the Earth/Space for this coming year...I've *heard* that the text is going to be simpler and more geared towards middle school students, but I have not seen the new edition, so I cannot say for sure. Before this change, the Life Science was quite a bit easier (relatively...not an easy course by a long shot) than the Earth/Space. The E/S had a ton, ton, ton of details to learn. But if they have eased up on the E&S, then it *might* be doable in 6th. I just cannot say with certainty. The physical science is more difficult mathematically...not so much conceptually than the E/S. And the tests that BJU sells DEFINITELY increase in complexity. The tests are quite impressive (and HARD! :)).

 

I taught it on my own. I think that is one reason why we have enjoyed it so much. But I have heard that the DVDs are great!

 

We did the labs at home. Each year, I got the texts first, carefully read through the suggested labs, picked the ones that I wanted to do (there are lots to choose from), and THEN made an order from Home Science Tools. I did not buy a premade kit from HST...too much waste. For Life and E/S, we did labs as we came to the appropriate place in the text. For Physical, I have set aside lab day as Thursday. The labs for this course are a bit complex, so I have to have a planned day to get them done. I usually have to set them up on Wednesday night.

 

I love talking about BJU middle-school science. Can you tell? LOL! So don't hesitate to ask questions.

 

Thanks for answering my questions! I think it is awesome that you enjoy talking about the texts..... it is always fun to hear from someone who is passionate about something!

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I can't speak to BJU materials, but we are doing the Life in 6th, Earth in 7th, Physical in 8th. If you don't want to do earth science, you could likely sub an environmental science course and get a lot of similar material (with the exception of space, I think).

 

The American Chemical Society has a middle school chemistry course online for free that I think takes about a semester (from what I've read). Ellen McHenry has 2 units of chemistry designed for middle school and I know others have used Conceptual Chemistry and Conceptual Physics (high school texts but without the high school math component) in middle school.

 

Karen, thanks for the ideas.

 

I had thought Ellen McHenry's programs were for elementary so I guess I didn't check them out before..... I guess I'm off to reserach some more:D. I haven't heard of the ACS program, but I'll check it out too.

 

I had also forgotten about Conceptual Physics and Chemistry. DS is especially interested and strong in Physics, so I'm going to check that one out as an option as well.

 

The idea of environmental science is a new one to me and intriguing as well. Do you know of anyone who offers a program like this for the middle grades?

 

Can I ask which texts you used for 6-8?

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Karen, thanks for the ideas.

 

I had thought Ellen McHenry's programs were for elementary so I guess I didn't check them out before..... I guess I'm off to reserach some more:D. I haven't heard of the ACS program, but I'll check it out too.

 

I had also forgotten about Conceptual Physics and Chemistry. DS is especially interested and strong in Physics, so I'm going to check that one out as an option as well.

 

The idea of environmental science is a new one to me and intriguing as well. Do you know of anyone who offers a program like this for the middle grades?

 

Can I ask which texts you used for 6-8?

 

I know some folks are using a combo of McHenry's chemistry and carbon chemistry in middle school, but I don't know a huge amount about them.

 

Here's the middle school chemistry from ACS http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com/. I've been told that it doesn't take a full year.

 

We're just finishing up life science now with the Holt Science and Technology book. I have really liked the Holt, but next year I am planning to use CPO Earth and Space, since I have them available for free. For physical, I am considering going back to Holt, combining a semester of the ACS chemistry with something cobbled together to go along with the Thames and Kosmos physics workshop kit or pulling material from Conceptual Chemistry and Conceptual Physics. Honestly, I'm not sure what to do with that year yet. Physical science, particularly physics, is far from my daughter's favorite subject, I'm afraid.

 

I've been looking at samples of the interactive enviro science textbook that is being offered for the iPad as a possibility (hopefully we will have an iPad by the time she hits 8th grade), but don't know when/if we'll use it. It's from one of the major publishers of textbooks, but I don't have that information available right now.

 

I am assuming since you mentioned BJU that you actively like Christian-specific materials, so you may want to check out WinterPromise's offerings. They have a conservation science curriculum for grades 7-9 that might be of interest. http://www.winterpromise.com/slimy_grimy_scummy.html I was looking at some potentially interesting curricula there until I figured out that they use a lot of material from Answers in Genesis, which wouldn't work at all for us. They used to have a program based around the Thames and Kosmos solar house kit, IIRC, but I don't see it there now.

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I honestly don't know how challenging it is (maybe someone else here could let us know), but Mr. Q's new Advanced Chemistry looks like a lot of fun. All of the labs are food related and done in the kitchen. It says it is from ages 12-18 .

 

http://eequalsmcq.com/CSAdvChemChapterDwnld.htm

 

Just a thought...

__________________

 

This looks wonderful!!! Anyone used it?

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