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Currently, my ds 13 is doing BJU's online Physical Science course.  I am satisfied with it to a point.  He seems to understand the concepts, but my problem is this.  There is an answer key that has all the answers, but I don't always understand the answers!  Sometimes, he gives me an answer that may be right but is not exactly the same as the answer key.  I have NO IDEA if the alternate answer is correct.  I feel like I am doing him a disservice and possibly being too easy on him.  He rises to the challenge if he is externally required to know something.  Internally, not so much.  He does fine on the tests and is making an 87% in the class.  I'm almost ready to throw in the towel on every subject except math (because I DO understand alternate answers in geometry) and just have him do online classes where he's accountable to someone else.  He does so much better if he has that external motivation like a grade that means something from someone else.  He's not one of these kids who's passionate about anything related to school.  He does very well and just wants me to decide what he has to do.  He does have a passionately negative response to Apologia science.


I guess my question is this - do I have him do a more literal science text next year such as Apologia Biology where I can make sure the answers are correct and the labs are well done, have him continue in BJU since he's obviously getting "something" out of it, or just quit and have him do an online science class.



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It sounds like he's doing well with the physical science.  Everything there will get repeated when he hits chem and physics, so it's fine that it's a little uncomfortable now.  The BJU Biology will definitely be more challenging than the Apologia.  If you want to split the difference, you could use DIVE.  DIVE has their own labs, but they have available kits.  I'm thinking through biology for this coming year and thinking we might use DIVE.  I like the new BJU lessons, but I don't think we want to spend that much time.  The DIVE lessons are shorter and reputed to be adequate.  


I don't think it's a problem to do things imperfectly at this level.  They'll get repeated if he does an AP course later, which I assume he's on-track to do.  

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I had the same issues.  I've outsourced most of their classes, now.  I still teach math.  I couldn't grade the foriegn language, same issue with science (plus we have an awesome homeschool science teacher here), and I was teaching history, but next year decided even against that.  My kids learn so much from discussion with knowledgeable instructors!  I just can't duplicate that at home....and in history I wasn't grading the subjective answers or testing, so I wasn't sure they were really learning the material.  Undecided about English...I may outsource that again as well, because they wrote so much more for the outside teacher!  I can't get that out of them!  Anyway, I've been much happier with outsourcing most high school classes.

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