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Science WWYD? (gr 7 and 8)

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I am having a difficult time deciding what to do for science for the next couple of years and could use some advice.


I have tried to follow WTM science rotation but we got a bit off track due to interest levels and incorporating younger kids. What ended up happening is dd did Apologia's Anatomy book as well as the Botany book in 4th instead of physics and then did physics in 5th. We didn't do the other life science topics in 4th and dd hasn't really had a formal "logic stage" life science course. So, dd has had one complete WTM cycle of science and we are just completing our 2nd rotation of earth and space (only topic to be done twice so far unless you count our NOEO Biology I which we did in grade 1 and then the two Apologia books we did in 4th) I have always used living books and dd has always done narrations and watched videos. I try to do as much hands on as possible.


Now that she is in 7th I am stuck. My original plan was to stick with the WTM rotation and do chemistry in 7th and physics in 8th and move on to high school level courses after. Thing is, because dd really wanted to do the Anatomy course in 4th she never really got a good year of life science and she does not have a good background for life science going into high school. Or does she? She did do the Anatomy book and Botany book that year but that was 4th grade, already 2 years ago! She did do the notebook and we did a thorough job of both (took us into the beginning of 5th grade to finish both) but I'm not convinced it's enough background for high school biology. It's certainly not what is in the CPO Life science book. :) Neither of those courses use a microscope and while we have one and have looked at many prepared slides dd has no experience making up her own slides.


I am now considering doing a year of life science before high school level biology. I have Apologia's General Science book and had dd look through it. Most of the labs are experiments she has already done although the text itself is much more writing and wordy than she has previously encountered. She feels it doesn't offer much that she doesn't already know and admitted that she was hesitant to spend a year studying a plethora of topics instead of doing one topic in depth. She much prefers the idea of doing one topic really well rather than barely covering a whole bunch. So, I'm thinking this book is out. Unless I just use it for the life science components? I may have her simply do the readings to make sure there isn't anything huge she doesn't know.


From what I am reading on these boards it seems the best time to get in life science would be in 7th and then to do chemistry and physics combined into 8th grade with something like a Holt or BJU physical science text. Would this be more ideal than sticking with the WTM cycle at this point?


We had been looking forward to a year of chemistry but dd is open to the idea of life science as well and has said that either is good with her. I'll admit, I would prefer to do chemistry because it keeps my 2 younger ones on WTM cycle a bit more rather than doing another year of biology for my 4th grader (she did RSO Life in 1st). Of course, there's no reason my younger kids couldn't do chemistry and my older do life science since at this point they really are too far apart to combine anyways. :)


What I do need is a text that is going to be challenging (rigorous) and interesting with a lot of hands on (I don't mind adding in the hands on as there are always lab books and experiment books available for every topic). Dd will tune out of the text is too repetitive or covers things she already knows. I encountered this with Exploration Education where she already knew how every lab would end and I had to keep adding in science programs to beef things up for her.


I'm guessing this is going to be up to me and that there's no right or wrong way to do this, but I'd sure like to hear what the Hive opinion is. **My biggest reason for posting this is my concern that if I don't time the topics properly I won't be able to find age appropriate texts. For example, CPO Life is for 7th. Is there a good life science for 9th? But then that would be 2 years of back to back biology. Will that be bad? Do I "have" to do bio in 10th or can we do something else?**


I saw how much better our year went this year with it being our second time through the rotation and I do want dd to be prepared when she hits the topics in high school.


What do you think? Should I:


1. Stay to my WTM rotation doing chemistry in 7th and physics in 8th. Add in life science with CPO text OR BJU Life over the next two summers (we do science over the summer just to keep the brains working so this isn't a new form of torture) I fear that by the end of 7th the CPO Life text may be far too easy?

2. Ditch the WTM rotation and get in a good year of life science using CPO Life or BJU Life or Holt?. Combine chemistry and physics together in 8th.

3. Ditch the WTM rotation and get in a good year of life science using one of the texts above. Then do a year of chemistry in 8th and a full year of physical science in 9th.

4. Ditch the WTM rotation and do a year or two of general science with Rainbow Science.



I need to add in that I am not 100% sure what our high school science rotation will look like. I speculate that it will be physics in 12, chemistry in 11, biology in 10. I think that's what the schools do here. I am looking into it.

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First of all, know that high school biology has lots of chemistry in it. So from the point of view of your high school sequence, bio should be after chem.


Personally, I would do Bio in 7th and Physical Science in 8th.


I have just reviewed a BUNCH of physical science programs on this thread: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/473899-conceptual-physicsphysical-science-resources-for-middle-school/ . There has to be something there that would work.


As for biology, it is a very large topic. What has she already studied? I would suggest that she studies one topic on the sub-individual level (molecular biology, cell biology, genetics), one on the individual level (microbiology, zoology, botany, evolution) and one on the super-individual or systems level (ecology, environmental science, or specialities like marine biology or arctic biology or even biome comparison). Check out this thread for some ideas: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/474480-science-experts-out-there-help-how-do-i-do-7th-grade-bio/


Ruth in NZ

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