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I am second guessing science for my 9th grader...utterly frustrated/need reassurance


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Both of my dc wanted to take a year off from history and focus on geography/world missions/cultures. So my original thought was to do earth science/astronomy at the same time with both kids, just at different levels. I've bought the Tarbuck text (have HS & college level) for dd and she is already enjoying reading and looking at the beautiful pictures/illustrations/graphs. So, why do I keep hearing this little voice in my head saying...."You're wasting your time studying earth science; she'll never use it. She should be moving on with biology, chemistry, & physics."

 

I have already been making plans for earth science and I've come up with some fun stuff to do. Plus, dd will be prepping for the AP Human Geography exam AND taking 2 online courses (geometry & french), which will be new for her. I really wanted to build other skill areas this year (writing/researching/math) before moving on to heavier science. So far, she's interested in a health science profession, but in 9th grade, I'm not sure how much weight that has in the whole situation.

 

So please, help me either calm my nerves and go with my original plan OR tell me that I REALLY SHOULD listen to that voice. OH, how I wish I could be as confident as you guys!

 

Desperately seeking advice and prayers!

 

Jennifer

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So, why do I keep hearing this little voice in my head saying...."You're wasting your time studying earth science; she'll never use it. She should be moving on with biology, chemistry, & physics."

 

Maybe you should listen to that voice, particularly since your daughter has an interest in science-related things and (at least for now) intends to make a career in health science. For STEM students, earth science is appropriate in grade 7 or 8, but in 9th I think your daughter should be doing either physical science (intro to biology, chemistry, and physics) or 1st-year biology or chemistry (depending on where she is in math).

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:grouphug:

 

I have no advice but wanted to commisserate with you about doubting...I doubt myself ALOT! But your plan sounds awesome and I think Earth Science in fascinating myself.

 

 

:iagree:

Jennifer, sometimes it's hard to know what to do. I don't have enough experience to make a suggestion, but I've read many times about the benefits of taking the physics, chemistry, biology line-up. This is what I'm planning for my kids.

 

If you decide to do the more traditional sciences first, maybe you could somehow make earth science more like an elective- this way you could get both kinds of science done. You could focus more on your student's interest- making assignments fit whatever he wants to learn...... less intense than a required science course that would depend on more rigor. I'm not sure what you would call such a class on a transcript though. You might find yourself creating such a class. Some really enjoy this type of planning.

 

It's not much, but HTH.

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:grouphug:

 

I have no advice but wanted to commisserate with you about doubting...I doubt myself ALOT! But your plan sounds awesome and I think Earth Science in fascinating myself.

 

Glad to know I'm not alone in the "doubting" department. Thanks for the feedback in favor of my original plan.

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Maybe you should listen to that voice, particularly since your daughter has an interest in science-related things and (at least for now) intends to make a career in health science. For STEM students, earth science is appropriate in grade 7 or 8, but in 9th I think your daughter should be doing either physical science (intro to biology, chemistry, and physics) or 1st-year biology or chemistry (depending on where she is in math).

 

Uh-oh, you really think so...hmmm. I've ALWAYS respected your insights and opinions on this board, so I will be relying on that as I make my decision. Thank you for valuable reply!

 

Jennifer

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Maybe you should listen to that voice, particularly since your daughter has an interest in science-related things and (at least for now) intends to make a career in health science. For STEM students, earth science is appropriate in grade 7 or 8, but in 9th I think your daughter should be doing either physical science (intro to biology, chemistry, and physics) or 1st-year biology or chemistry (depending on where she is in math).

 

I agree, although she's already done physical science in 8th. Maybe you could still do the earth science with both of them together, but don't require additional work from your 9th grader. That might satisfy her wanting to learn the material without adding much to her work load. And then have her do either biology or physics - depending on the order you plan to use. IMO if she wants to pursue a health science field, she should aim to complete the basic three and possibly an advanced biology course as well. Anything extra she can learn in high school will help her with her college courses. If she really wants to do just the earth science in 9th, she might have more time in her senior year schedule to double up on science, or take them at a cc which would only require a semester for each.

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Glad to know I'm not alone in the "doubting" department. Thanks for the feedback in favor of my original plan.

 

You're not alone. I felt so sure of our plans in March. :lol: I'm about done planning and changed three subjects in a major way since then. No advice on your situation, but no you're not alone.

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I'm also in the process of planning for my first 9th grader, so there's a lot of doubt going on here too. :grouphug: My son is hoping to do several AP or dual enrollment sciences, so he took Physics last year and will do Chemistry this year in 9th.

 

From your post, I'm thinking her courses that you already have planned are:

English, Geometry, French and AP Human Geography?

 

Are there any others that you're completely set on?

 

If not, I'd probably go ahead and do both Earth Science and another science. You could make Earth Science a 0.5 credit course by just focusing on some of the areas that she's more interested in or by not requiring too much written work.

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I'm also in the process of planning for my first 9th grader, so there's a lot of doubt going on here too. :grouphug: My son is hoping to do several AP or dual enrollment sciences, so he took Physics last year and will do Chemistry this year in 9th.

 

From your post, I'm thinking her courses that you already have planned are:

English, Geometry, French and AP Human Geography?

 

Are there any others that you're completely set on?

 

If not, I'd probably go ahead and do both Earth Science and another science. You could make Earth Science a 0.5 credit course by just focusing on some of the areas that she's more interested in or by not requiring too much written work.

 

You could also use a chemistry program like Spectrum which is not time consuming so that doing 2 sciences would not be overwhelming. (FWIW, ds used Spectrum along w/Plato's chemistry and was completely prepared for AP chem and even the 2 combined it was minimal time commitment daily. Spectrum has awesome labs and is an effective introductory level chem course.)

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Hi,

 

We just decided to go with DIVE ICP for Science. We went through the other texts and found BCJ Physical Science is the book we will use for the course. My daughter previewed the lecture on the DIVE website and she liked it:

 

http://www.diveintomath.com/integrated-physics-and-chemistry-9th-grade/

 

 

Although, if we could work it that earth science would work out, we would order that CD instead......

 

Blessings-Char

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:iagree:

Jennifer, sometimes it's hard to know what to do. I don't have enough experience to make a suggestion, but I've read many times about the benefits of taking the physics, chemistry, biology line-up. This is what I'm planning for my kids.

 

I've read & researched all about this, too. While I think it "sounds great", I'm not sure dd is completely prepared for the math. Physics is not my forte either, so I would have to outsource yet another class. I've looked at Derek Owens for this option, but I'm still not convinced it's the right thing YET for dd. Her load is going to be pretty heavy already and even though his course is algebra based with some trig, I don't want her to get overwhelmed. Thanks for the reply--it's always great to hear from you. ;)

 

Jennifer

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You're not alone. I felt so sure of our plans in March. :lol: I'm about done planning and changed three subjects in a major way since then. No advice on your situation, but no you're not alone.

 

YES! I would have said the same thing in March! That's why I love this board so much! The empathy often is just what I need. Thanks Paula.

 

Jennifer

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So, why do I keep hearing this little voice in my head saying...."You're wasting your time studying earth science; she'll never use it. She should be moving on with biology, chemistry, & physics."

 

...

 

So please, help me either calm my nerves and go with my original plan OR tell me that I REALLY SHOULD listen to that voice. OH, how I wish I could be as confident as you guys!

 

Desperately seeking advice and prayers!

 

Jennifer

 

I guess I'll be the dessenting voice. ;) We did earth science as a family this past school year, my oldest was a 9th grader, and loved it. I thought it was incredibly practical in a real world application type of way. Meteorology, geology, oceanography, and astronomy often pop up in the news, and I believe students should have a solid background for the discussion. Also my dad, a science professor at a state university, told me he wished his students would come in to class with a better background in geology when I asked him what I should focus on in regards to science for high school. And he's not a geologist!

 

As far as confidence... :lol: You obviously aren't listening to my daily prayers. ;)

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I've read & researched all about this, too. While I think it "sounds great", I'm not sure dd is completely prepared for the math. Physics is not my forte either, so I would have to outsource yet another class. I've looked at Derek Owens for this option, but I'm still not convinced it's the right thing YET for dd. Her load is going to be pretty heavy already and even though his course is algebra based with some trig, I don't want her to get overwhelmed. Thanks for the reply--it's always great to hear from you. ;)

 

Jennifer

 

You sound like me; I went through much the same thought process speaking of math. We're going to use Hewitt's Conceptual Physics (high school program) and Labpaq PK 105... with 9 labs and with the easiest math- algebra- the rep this morning told me that some of the math will be challenging, but if she's had Alg. I, she should be ok for most of it. Some of these labs will be tough, but we'll save the hardest labs for last.

 

 

 

We tried a sample of Derek Owens. I would have loved for dd to do this, but she didn't feel comfortable with the math.

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I agree' date=' although she's already done physical science in 8th. Maybe you could still do the earth science with both of them together, but don't require additional work from your 9th grader. That might satisfy her wanting to learn the material without adding much to her work load. And then have her do either biology or physics - depending on the order you plan to use. IMO if she wants to pursue a health science field, she should aim to complete the basic three and possibly an advanced biology course as well. Anything extra she can learn in high school will help her with her college courses. If she really wants to do just the earth science in 9th, she might have more time in her senior year schedule to double up on science, or take them at a cc which would only require a semester for each.[/quote']

 

I'm also in the process of planning for my first 9th grader, so there's a lot of doubt going on here too. :grouphug: My son is hoping to do several AP or dual enrollment sciences, so he took Physics last year and will do Chemistry this year in 9th.

 

From your post, I'm thinking her courses that you already have planned are:

English, Geometry, French and AP Human Geography?

 

Are there any others that you're completely set on?

 

If not, I'd probably go ahead and do both Earth Science and another science. You could make Earth Science a 0.5 credit course by just focusing on some of the areas that she's more interested in or by not requiring too much written work.

 

You could also use a chemistry program like Spectrum which is not time consuming so that doing 2 sciences would not be overwhelming. (FWIW, ds used Spectrum along w/Plato's chemistry and was completely prepared for AP chem and even the 2 combined it was minimal time commitment daily. Spectrum has awesome labs and is an effective introductory level chem course.)

 

Ok, since you all are proposing a possible earth science combo with another of the 3 major branches of science, let's talk about this a little more. I've gone back and looked at the Intro to Geography text by Getis that she'll be using. There are 3 chapters that are more earth science based: Physical Geography: Landforms (rocks, plate tectonics, volcanoes), Phys Geog: Weather & Climate (basic meterology, biomes/climates), & Natural Resources (fossil fuels, solar energy, pollution). So, there's a good bit of earth science already there, but not in depth. Probably the only thing missing that she's keenly interested in is the oceanography. I *think* this could be a doable option, but the other science has got to be something that's not super time intensive.

 

Here are her other courses:

Bible

Grammar/Composition/Rhetoric: Finish R&S English 8; New Oxford Guide to Writing, Rulebook for Arguments a la WTM recs

Literature: Finish Figuratively Speaking lit terms; TC lectures Art of Reading; Lit guides for books chosen to coordinate with geography/world cultures; some of WEM

Logic: Traditional Logic

Geometry: Derek Owens' online class using Jacob's text

French: Potter's School online class

World Geography, Missions, Cultures (prepping for AP human geography)

PE

Lifeskills

Piano, Violin, Swim Team

 

As you can see, her schedule is full. I think the only science course I can see that's not super time intensive is what 8fill the heart suggests: Spectrum Chemistry. I really did consider this as our 9th grade progression, but as we worked through algebra and physical science this year, I just wasn't sure the timing was right to start a heavier math oriented science yet. Dd did fine with algebra, but the application to science posed some challenges. When I look back at my own HS classes, I wasn't ready for math based science until 11th grade. In fact, I struggled through geometry, which is another reason I didn't want to combine too much too soon for math. To me, proofs in geometry are a new animal for kids and most of the time they take a while to master. OK, so that leaves biology, but geesh all the terms and molecular biology nowadays really warrants taking chemistry & possibly physics beforehand. The only biology course I know of that's more taxonomy and traditional biology is Apologia, but dd & I don't care for the writing style and editorial on evolution. If I consider Spectrum, I think I would have to do the bridge math to ease into the math.

 

Gosh, I feel like I'm being argumentative to your suggestions, but please know I don't mean to sound that way. I'm just giving you my overall thought processes that brought me to earth science in the first place. I REALLY do appreciate your comments and value them. I haven't decided anything yet. So please if you have any comments to this additional info please let me know.

 

Thanks,

Jennifer

Edited by Jen the RD
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Plus, dd will be prepping for the AP Human Geography exam AND taking 2 online courses (geometry & french), which will be new for her. I really wanted to build other skill areas this year (writing/researching/math) before moving on to heavier science.

 

I'm glad you asked about this, because it is something that has been on my mind, too. I think my situation is slightly different though, in that high schools around here are Grades 10-12, and their science courses don't seem to be earth or astronomy - just the other three. Although there may be earth science meshed in with geography courses. And universities here seem to only require The Three, not all the AP/advanced science courses I keep reading about here on the forums.

 

So anyway, we are going with earth/astronomy for Grade 9 (and I'm not sure why in the WTM somewhere it says that in high school earth study gives way to astronomy...maybe because earth study is integrated with The Three? I've not really been able to figure that out.). My son will be studying geometry in Grade 9, and I just felt better knowing he'll have another year with math before starting physics (I like the physics/chemistry/biology progression - did a lot of thinking about that, too, over the years here!). I'm also finding that Grade 9 will be a "transition year" for him - transitioning into learning new skills that he'll practice over the next four years. That takes time and mental effort, I find. If I put more on him, it won't go well.

 

Anyway, just wanted to say that your reasons are similar to mine.

 

Maybe you should listen to that voice, particularly since your daughter has an interest in science-related things and (at least for now) intends to make a career in health science. For STEM students, earth science is appropriate in grade 7 or 8, but in 9th I think your daughter should be doing either physical science (intro to biology, chemistry, and physics) or 1st-year biology or chemistry (depending on where she is in math).

 

Why? This is what is still fuzzy to my mind...

 

Anything extra she can learn in high school will help her with her college courses.

 

HomeScientist' date=' is what Teachin'Mine wrote one of your reasons? Or are there other reasons?

 

I'm not sure dd is completely prepared for the math. Physics is not my forte either, so I would have to outsource yet another class. I've looked at Derek Owens for this option, but I'm still not convinced it's the right thing YET for dd. Her load is going to be pretty heavy already and even though his course is algebra based with some trig, I don't want her to get overwhelmed.

 

It sounds like you have some legitimate reasons...but I understand the doubt, because so many people here talk about working through The Three to get to an advanced course in Grade 12. It's just so hard to know!! I know I'll be questioning myself periodically this coming year...

 

I thought it was incredibly practical in a real world application type of way. Meteorology, geology, oceanography, and astronomy often pop up in the news, and I believe students should have a solid background for the discussion. Also my dad, a science professor at a state university, told me he wished his students would come in to class with a better background in geology when I asked him what I should focus on in regards to science for high school. And he's not a geologist!

 

So why did your father say that?

 

And, I like your reasoning about meteorology, geology, oceanography, and astronomy. Although I wonder if those who do The Three in grades 9-11 save meteorology, geology, oceanography, and astronomy for specialty courses in Grade 12?

 

Anyway, Jen, I'm glad you brought it up because I've been too afraid to! lol Though I do want to hear what people have to say about it.

Edited by Colleen in NS
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Hi,

 

We just decided to go with DIVE ICP for Science. We went through the other texts and found BCJ Physical Science is the book we will use for the course. My daughter previewed the lecture on the DIVE website and she liked it:

 

http://www.diveintomath.com/integrated-physics-and-chemistry-9th-grade/

 

 

Although, if we could work it that earth science would work out, we would order that CD instead......

 

Blessings-Char

 

Char, thanks for responding. We've actually completed physical science using CPO Science combined with DIVE. It worked out pretty well. I think you and your dc will enjoy it!

 

Thanks,

Jennifer

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HomeScientist, is what Teachin'Mine wrote one of your reasons? Or are there other reasons?

 

The main reason is that, starting grade 9, you have four years of high school, into which a future STEM major should fit, at the least, first-year courses in biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as at least one second-year/AP-level science course. Many future STEM majors will double-up in grade 12, if not grades 11 and 12, carrying two science courses for each of those years. I think a year-long high school science slot for a future STEM major is simply too precious to waste on something other than the Big Three in first-year and advanced levels.

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I guess I'll be the dessenting voice. ;) We did earth science as a family this past school year, my oldest was a 9th grader, and loved it. I thought it was incredibly practical in a real world application type of way. Meteorology, geology, oceanography, and astronomy often pop up in the news, and I believe students should have a solid background for the discussion. Also my dad, a science professor at a state university, told me he wished his students would come in to class with a better background in geology when I asked him what I should focus on in regards to science for high school. And he's not a geologist!

 

As far as confidence... :lol: You obviously aren't listening to my daily prayers. ;)

 

:iagree::iagree: You're not the lone dissenting voice. I think earth science is very practical indeed, with ties to multiple aspects of chemistry, biology, and physics. It would also tie in very nicely with a geography study!

 

Coffeegal, so your dad actually recommends geology. That is very interesting. Can you elaborate on that more? In my research, I found several articles written by college professors that gave a "wish list" for what they thought HS students should have some foundation. They listed earth science/astronomy, biology, chemistry, and physics. Food for thought, huh.

 

Doodler, after reading all your cool replies on delight directed learning in oh elizabeth's thread, you gave me inspiration! The practicality of earth science is part of what drew me to it. From a spiritual perspective, there's just so much to glean about God's creation.

 

Thanks to both of you for your comments. And coffeegal, if you have a chance to share more of why your dad recommended earth science/geology, I would like to hear....

 

Jennifer

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Ok, since you all are proposing a possible earth science combo with another of the 3 major branches of science, let's talk about this a little more. I've gone back and looked at the Intro to Geography text by Getis that she'll be using. There are 3 chapters that are more earth science based: Physical Geography: Landforms (rocks, plate tectonics, volcanoes), Phys Geog: Weather & Climate (basic meterology, biomes/climates), & Natural Resources (fossil fuels, solar energy, pollution). So, there's a good bit of earth science already there, but not in depth. Probably the only thing missing that she's keenly interested in is the oceanography. I *think* this could be a doable option, but the other science has got to be something that's not super time intensive.

 

Here are her other courses:

Bible

Grammar/Composition/Rhetoric: Finish R&S English 8; New Oxford Guide to Writing, Rulebook for Arguments a la WTM recs

Literature: Finish Figuratively Speaking lit terms; TC lectures Art of Reading; Lit guides for books chosen to coordinate with geography/world cultures; some of WEM

Logic: Traditional Logic

Geometry: Derek Owens' online class using Jacob's text

French: Potter's School online class

World Geography, Missions, Cultures (prepping for AP human geography)

PE

Lifeskills

Piano, Violin, Swim Team

 

As you can see, her schedule is full. I think the only science course I can see that's not super time intensive is what 8fill the heart suggests: Spectrum Chemistry. I really did consider this as our 9th grade progression, but as we worked through algebra and physical science this year, I just wasn't sure the timing was right to start a heavier math oriented science yet. Dd did fine with algebra, but the application to science posed some challenges. When I look back at my own HS classes, I wasn't ready for math based science until 11th grade. In fact, I struggled through geometry, which is another reason I didn't want to combine too much too soon for math. To me, proofs in geometry are a new animal for kids and most of the time they take a while to master. OK, so that leaves biology, but geesh all the terms and molecular biology nowadays really warrants taking chemistry & possibly physics beforehand. The only biology course I know of that's more taxonomy and traditional biology is Apologia, but dd & I don't care for the writing style and editorial on evolution. If I consider Spectrum, I think I would have to do the bridge math to ease into the math.

 

Gosh, I feel like I'm being argumentative to your suggestions, but please know I don't mean to sound that way. I'm just giving you my overall thought processes that brought me to earth science in the first place. I REALLY do appreciate your comments and value them. I haven't decided anything yet. So please if you have any comments to this additional info please let me know.

 

Thanks,

Jennifer

 

It sounds like just exploring the other option of doing more than earth science has helped you to see what's probably best for your daughter. :001_smile: You know her best. There's nothing wrong with doing the earth science in 9th and then going into the others after that. I think you're wise to take your daughter's math into account. While we did physics first, there's nothing wrong with biology first as it's been done that way in schools for years. That's the beauty of homeschooling - you can create the schedule to suit your student.

 

If she finds she wants to get to more advanced science in high school, she can either double up or take cc courses to complete a year of science in a semester. She'll still have plenty of time for that even with earth science in 9th. :001_smile:

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I'm glad you asked about this, because it is something that has been on my mind, too. I think my situation is slightly different though, in that high schools around here are Grades 10-12, and their science courses don't seem to be earth or astronomy - just the other three. Although there may be earth science meshed in with geography courses. And universities here seem to only require The Three, not all the AP/advanced science courses I keep reading about here on the forums.

 

So anyway, we are going with earth/astronomy for Grade 9 (and I'm not sure why in the WTM somewhere it says that in high school earth study gives way to astronomy...maybe because earth study is integrated with The Three? I've not really been able to figure that out.). My son will be studying geometry in Grade 9, and I just felt better knowing he'll have another year with math before starting physics (I like the physics/chemistry/biology progression - did a lot of thinking about that, too, over the years here!). I'm also finding that Grade 9 will be a "transition year" for him - transitioning into learning new skills that he'll practice over the next four years. That takes time and mental effort, I find. If I put more on him, it won't go well.

 

Anyway, just wanted to say that your reasons are similar to mine.

 

Jen, I'm glad you brought it up because I've been too afraid to! lol Though I do want to hear what people have to say about it.

 

Glad I could ask the question for both of us! I think the discussion has been very enlightening. I feel the same way you do about this "transition" year. My dd is a hard worker, but as I've posted before, she doesn't have long stamina. So, if I overdo it for her, like you said, things don't go well.

 

Thanks so much for responding. I hope the discussion will be helpful for you, too.

 

Jennifer

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The main reason is that, starting grade 9, you have four years of high school, into which a future STEM major should fit, at the least, first-year courses in biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as at least one second-year/AP-level science course. Many future STEM majors will double-up in grade 12, if not grades 11 and 12, carrying two science courses for each of those years. I think a year-long high school science slot for a future STEM major is simply too precious to waste on something other than the Big Three in first-year and advanced levels.

 

While I wouldn't go as far as saying studying outside the main 3 is a waste, my concern would be that students change a lot between 9th and 12th grade. By not taking one of the main 3 her freshman yr, she might end up regretting it 2-3 yrs from now. And, while doubling up might be an option w/the core sciences, doubling up w/ an interest is actually lower stress.

 

FWIW, if I had a future STEM major entering high school, I would focus more on the science and drop the AP human geography course. Between the 2, the decision about science is actually a more important one long term.

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Maybe you should listen to that voice, particularly since your daughter has an interest in science-related things and (at least for now) intends to make a career in health science. For STEM students, earth science is appropriate in grade 7 or 8, but in 9th I think your daughter should be doing either physical science (intro to biology, chemistry, and physics) or 1st-year biology or chemistry (depending on where she is in math).

 

:iagree: I was going to say the same thing particularly the suggestion to do a physical science courses instead. I think following your gut is smart!

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:iagree: I was going to say the same thing particularly the suggestion to do a physical science courses instead. I think following your gut is smart!

 

OLG,

Thanks for your reply. Just to let you know, we did physical science using CPO text w/DIVE CD this year. We had a pretty good year, with some snags at times with the math. She was doing algebra concurrently. This is why I have reservations about going on to chemistry or physics.

 

Jennifer

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It sounds to me as though your dd has plenty of new things on her plate this year, so something that is appealing to her in earth science and that is lower stress than physics/chem/bio seems a very good fit -- particularly when you have a child whose stamina for formal academics is limited (as my dd's is).

 

I also think you're right that a 9th grader isn't set on any one sure path. Many people seem to be implying that she may regret not doing more heavy science; but equally, there is a possibility that she may regret not doing science she's interested in, or doing science at the expense of other subjects that also interest her.

 

As long as you do get to the regular physics/chem/bio along the way, when her math skills make them easier, I don't see a 9th grade earth science course as a career-maker OR a career-breaker. There have been many, many threads on these boards where posters have stressed the importance of math ability for future scientists over multiple science courses themselves.

 

There isn't any single answer that's going to be the magic bullet for all kids. Unless your dd is headed for the Ivies, I don't think you need to worry you're harming her entire future by allowing her to pursue a science she's currently interested in, one that ties in with her geography studies and also lessens her total stress and work load this year. She can double up in science or do community college courses in later years if that's what she truly desires.

 

Karen Anne, I wasn't thinking in terms of Ivies with Jen's post but in terms of health services profession. Jen didn't elaborate *what* health services profession, but pre-med and nursing programs only admit a limited number of applicants even at the public university level and can be competitive. (if she is thinking in terms of EMT, CNA, etc, those are very individual program specific and all generalities are off and each program needs to be investigated individually.)

 

I have never had a student apply for pre-med, but applying for chemical engineering ds had to compete for those slots. Dd is applying for an occupational therapy assistant program and it is competitive admissions even though it is only at the CC level. :tongue_smilie: Making sure all the pre-reqs are met is pretty vital. In addition to academics, many programs even require shadowing or volunteer hrs. For experience, our dd is day care provider for a severely handicapped teenager. She plays occupational therapy games w/him throughout the day. She also has to have college level Spanish, anatomy and physiology, and speech before she can even apply to the program she is looking into, whereas ds's transcript and test scores were all he needed.

 

Jen, I really recommend investigating what is recognized as high school level science for the schools your dd might consider applying to before sticking w/just earth science. For example, ds's university wouldn't accept physical science as a science for students applying for admission into the engineering program, though they would accept it for some majors. They wanted 4 sciences beyond physical science.

 

Geology is not a normal science option and while it would be viewed as a strength course for someone applying to fields where geology is applicable b/c it shows interest, the connection b/t geology and health professions does not exist.

 

Even if she ultimately changes her mind, you will have done your due diligence as guidance counselor. I would research her future choices as they currently stand and then discuss the various options w/your dd. My approach w/my kids is to take on the role of guidance counselor, but I ultimately let them make the final decisions. (for example, I really wanted my oldest to take physics in 11th grade, but he insisted on anatomy and physiology. He ultimately paid the price for the decision when he had to work harder in university physics. I had zero guilt in that repercussion b/c it was the natural consequence of his ignoring advice. ;) Fortunately for him, he did well in the course anyway. It could have been a much harder learning experience.)

 

FWIW, there is a conceptual chemistry course http://www.conceptualchemistry.com/, as well as Friendly Chemistry (though I have heard that FC is a weak chem course), but I don't know much about them. Did your dd complete alg 1? You posted that she was doing alg 1 concurrently w/physical science. Most introductory high school chem only requires basic alg skills.

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It sounds to me as though your dd has plenty of new things on her plate this year, so something that is appealing to her in earth science and that is lower stress than physics/chem/bio seems a very good fit -- particularly when you have a child whose stamina for formal academics is limited (as my dd's is).

 

I also think you're right that a 9th grader isn't set on any one sure path. Many people seem to be implying that she may regret not doing more heavy science; but equally, there is a possibility that she may regret not doing science she's interested in, or doing science at the expense of other subjects that also interest her.

 

As long as you do get to the regular physics/chem/bio along the way, when her math skills make them easier, I don't see a 9th grade earth science course as a career-maker OR a career-breaker. There have been many, many threads on these boards where posters have stressed the importance of math ability for future scientists over multiple science courses themselves.

 

There isn't any single answer that's going to be the magic bullet for all kids. Unless your dd is headed for the Ivies, I don't think you need to worry you're harming her entire future by allowing her to pursue a science she's currently interested in, one that ties in with her geography studies and also lessens her total stress and work load this year. She can double up in science or do community college courses in later years if that's what she truly desires.

 

Karen Anne, I wasn't thinking in terms of Ivies with Jen's post but in terms of health services profession. Jen didn't elaborate *what* health services profession, but pre-med and nursing programs only admit a limited number of applicants even at the public university level and can be competitive. (if she is thinking in terms of EMT, CNA, etc, those are very individual program specific and all generalities are off and each program needs to be investigated individually.)

 

I have never had a student apply for pre-med, but applying for chemical engineering ds had to compete for those slots. Dd is applying for an occupational therapy assistant program and it is competitive admissions even though it is only at the CC level. :tongue_smilie: Making sure all the pre-reqs are met is pretty vital. In addition to academics, many programs even require shadowing or volunteer hrs. For experience, our dd is day care provider for a severely handicapped teenager. She plays occupational therapy games w/him throughout the day. She also has to have college level Spanish, anatomy and physiology, and speech before she can even apply to the program she is looking into, whereas ds's transcript and test scores were all he needed.

 

Jen, I really recommend investigating what is recognized as high school level science for the schools your dd might consider applying to before sticking w/just earth science. For example, ds's university wouldn't accept physical science as a science for students applying for admission into the engineering program, though they would accept it for some majors. They wanted 4 sciences beyond physical science.

 

Geology is not a normal science option and while it would be viewed as a strength course for someone applying to fields where geology is applicable b/c it shows interest, the connection b/t geology and health professions does not exist.

 

Even if she ultimately changes her mind, you will have done your due diligence as guidance counselor. I would research her future choices as they currently stand and then discuss the various options w/your dd. My approach w/my kids is to take on the role of guidance counselor, but I ultimately let them make the final decisions. (for example, I really wanted my oldest to take physics in 11th grade, but he insisted on anatomy and physiology. He ultimately paid the price for the decision when he had to work harder in university physics. I had zero guilt in that repercussion b/c it was the natural consequence of his ignoring advice. ;) Fortunately for him, he did well in the course anyway. It could have been a much harder learning experience.)

 

FWIW, there is a conceptual chemistry course http://www.conceptualchemistry.com/, as well as Friendly Chemistry (though I have heard that FC is a weak chem course), but I don't know much about them. Did your dd complete alg 1? You posted that she was doing alg 1 concurrently w/physical science. Most introductory high school chem only requires basic alg skills.

 

Dd is not headed for the Ivies, but hopefully a small 4 yr college. Currently she is interested in physical therapy, which now requires a 4 yr degree + a 3yr doctorate program. She's already done some shadowing and interviewed some PT's. According to our research, the stakes to get accepted into a program don't come until the end of your 4 yr degree; the point where you are applying to PT programs. For the schools we've researched around here (GA, FL, TN, NC, SC, AL), some offer pre-PT programs & others offer an athletic training program that sets you up for the doctorate level. Most require bio, chem, physics, biochem, microbio, A&P, and kinesiology type courses and those related to athletic training. Now I realize that earth science is nowhere in the mix, but as far as we can tell, a student establishes himself in the first 2 yrs of college by doing well in all these required sciences, not from HS level courses. And the question I ask myself is this....Is it better for a student to just go ahead and take chem or physics anyway and get mediocre scores, (thus possibly deflating their confidence & abilities in even pursuing a science oriented career), or give them a year or two to develop more mature thinking for math and THEN take those classes at the expense of maybe not getting them all in before college? Earth science might not directly tie in with the PT major, but it is a practical science that opens up our world/universe to us. I guess I see that as an important aspect of being well rounded in the sciences.

 

8fill the heart, I hear you about the chemistry. Last summer, that was what I thought we'd do this year using Spectrum. Dd did very well in Algebra (solid A), but in translating the principles to physcial science, it was often with frustration and a lot of hand holding. Things did get better toward the end of the year, but this is why I put the brakes on doing it for fall. I'm not sure I'd really want to go with Friendly Chemistry; I don't see it worthy of HS credit. What makes Conceptual Chem different from Spectrum?

 

At this point, IF we do earth science, I see dd's progression like this: 9th earth science using Tarbuck's college text, 10th chemistry using Spectrum & parts of Bettleheim & March college text, 11th biology using Campbell, 12th physics using Derek Owens or dual enrollment. Do you think that sounds weak? Believe it or not, I don't know that I really want to go the AP route for science. I actually want dd to take the undergraduate sciences from college professors that KNOW their topic. Now, I know many public uni's use TA's to teach those courses, but the colleges we're interested in have real Ph.D.'s doing the teaching. Am I crazy in my thinking?

 

I look forward to more replies.

 

Thanks,

Jennifer

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Jennifer,

 

I don't know anything really about Conceptual Chemistry. I think Paula (elegantlion) is the one that posted the info about it in general that I read. Perhaps she could offer insight? :confused:

 

I don't think that APs have to be the next step after the main three. I would look at it more as what foundation can you build that will make the college level courses more easily great successes. Anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, psychology (if you haven't included it elsewhere as a non-science), etc are just a few possible 4th yr courses that would be beneficial as 1st exposure courses outside of impacting admissions into medical school (actually, they would probably assist in higher grades, so hopefully there would be a positive impact. ;) )

 

Based on her A in alg, I wonder if chem or conceptual physics are too much of a leap. Unfortunately the way you have her scheduled right now w/geo for next yr, you are going to run into the same exact issue next yr except w/an entire yr break from alg before facing the same decision.

 

I wonder if ordering Spectrum's Bridge program and having her work through it now might not answer the question for you?

 

On other thought---while a conceptual course might not be 1st choice, might it not give 1st time exposure so that upon repeat more energy could be exerted toward the math vs. feeling pressured to learn the material and the math simultaneously and being overwhelmed by both?? I don't actually know the answer to that question b/c I have never taught a conceptual course before. But I am sure there are moms on the forum that could share insight into how the conceptual courses actually work.

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Jennifer,

 

I don't know anything really about Conceptual Chemistry. I think Paula (elegantlion) is the one that posted the info about it in general that I read. Perhaps she could offer insight? :confused:

 

I don't think that APs have to be the next step after the main three. I would look at it more as what foundation can you build that will make the college level courses more easily great successes. Anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, psychology (if you haven't included it elsewhere as a non-science), etc are just a few possible 4th yr courses that would be beneficial as 1st exposure courses outside of impacting admissions into medical school (actually, they would probably assist in higher grades, so hopefully there would be a positive impact. ;) )

 

No doubt that this is true and definitely food for thought.

 

Based on her A in alg, I wonder if chem or conceptual physics are too much of a leap. Unfortunately the way you have her scheduled right now w/geo for next yr, you are going to run into the same exact issue next yr except w/an entire yr break from alg before facing the same decision.

 

Do you think Alg II then geometry is a better sequence? I've read reviews on both sequences and have come away thinking that it really didn't matter that much.

I wonder if ordering Spectrum's Bridge program and having her work through it now might not answer the question for you?

 

Actually, this is a great idea! I don't know why I hadn't given it any thought. I'm going to do this.

On other thought---while a conceptual course might not be 1st choice, might it not give 1st time exposure so that upon repeat more energy could be exerted toward the math vs. feeling pressured to learn the material and the math simultaneously and being overwhelmed by both?? I don't actually know the answer to that question b/c I have never taught a conceptual course before. But I am sure there are moms on the forum that could share insight into how the conceptual courses actually work.

 

Yes, I agree and again, this is great food for thought. I'll probably need to start another thread to take a look at the "conceptual courses".

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience. Though I'm still processing all the great replies in this thread, it is great to know that I have a place to discuss my concerns and receive honest, valid feedback.

Blessings,

Jennifer

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Yes, I agree and again, this is great food for thought. I'll probably need to start another thread to take a look at the "conceptual courses".

 

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience. Though I'm still processing all the great replies in this thread, it is great to know that I have a place to discuss my concerns and receive honest, valid feedback.

 

Blessings,

Jennifer

 

 

Jennifer,

The past two years, I have spent struggling with Apologia courses with Jay Wile and so when the DIVE Integrated Physics and Chemistry came up and my dd liked the lecturer, I was ecstatic. For 9th graders, there is such a pull to go the route of Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry (or other way around and then Physics or other Sciences to study to get them transcript college ready that it seems that the tract is hard to deter from. That is the reason I feel the need to go through this class that I am putting on the transcript as Integrated Physics and Chemistry and using the BJU text. (am going to hold on to the Apologia, just in case, they explain a concept better. As far as the labs, if they get pretty intense, I see they are over $300 on the site that I ordered the DIVE, I will wait and see how necessary they are. If you did CPO-not sure what that stands for and did a lab for it, maybe that can be your 9th grade lab..

 

It truly is personalized decision, I was just glad to nab up a fifty dollar lecture CD that will work for our 9th grade science. We have a toddler tornado that changes a lot of plans. Sure, there will be an expense I am sure here and there. I won't go into why we did not like Wile's lectures here, but it grated on my (at that time 8th graders, as well) nerves-so I can not imagine going through 4 years of that!!:seeya:

 

Please let me know how it is working out for you...Char

 

PS The course is not math-heavy laden, as well, since we are taking Algebra 1-Forester this year. Plus the DIVE lecturers have Math and Science-Chem, Physics, etc.

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Jennifer,

 

I don't know anything really about Conceptual Chemistry. I think Paula (elegantlion) is the one that posted the info about it in general that I read. Perhaps she could offer insight? :confused:

 

 

Nothing really to add, except we opted to go a different direction in science, so I have no experience with Conceptual Chemistry. I do like how his website is set up, he offers a lot of helps and videos.

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If you did CPO-not sure what that stands for and did a lab for it, maybe that can be your 9th grade lab..

 

 

We "could" put it on her transcript as a 9th grade lab science, but dd loves science and I'm pretty certain we WILL be doing 4 more sciences in HS. So, I'll probably just put those on her transcript.

 

Thanks for your reply, Char.

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Nothing really to add, except we opted to go a different direction in science, so I have no experience with Conceptual Chemistry. I do like how his website is set up, he offers a lot of helps and videos.

 

Well, bummer. I was hoping you could give me some info. I'll check out the author's site.

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I guess I'll be the dessenting voice. ;) We did earth science as a family this past school year, my oldest was a 9th grader, and loved it. I thought it was incredibly practical in a real world application type of way. Meteorology, geology, oceanography, and astronomy often pop up in the news, and I believe students should have a solid background for the discussion.

 

We're also doing Earth Science for my 9th grade DS for these same reasons. I'm also hoping it means many field trips to Galveston for "research". :D

 

Next year we'll start Paradigm's IPC course and do Biology in 12th grade, or maybe I'll space it out and do it over the next few summers. My DS really doesn't care for science and isn't planning to go into a math/science field, so he just wants to do what he has to.

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