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Can I use this for high school biology and it being enough???

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I have a student who does not like biology at all. He is my chemistry and physics and math child who could care less about biology. We looked at three different curriculums already and nothing that he like enough for me to even think of buying it for next year

 

I already own AIG God's Design for Life. If I added in Biology 101 DVDs to it and we completed all the projects (maybe adding in few dissections)- can I count it as enough for high school credit and not worry about it anymore.

 

If not, what is out there that will fit the bill??

 

Thank you in advance.

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Totally JMO:

 

Sounds like you have a STEM-strong student, which is terrific! :) But I think that also means that to use anything less than a legitimate high school level program with this student would be a disservice for future college admissions. (Frequently colleges either recommend or require that 2 of the sciences students had in high school be Biology and Chemistry.)

 

I know the 101 series is billed as high school level, but from what I've been able to see of it and from comments of those here who have used the program, it's really a middle school level, and if used for high school, it is as a supplement, or as a "first exposure" to a subject and then go on to use a full-fledged text/program. Or, it would be a good choice for a remedial student. It doesn't sound like your DS fits any of those criteria... And AIG's Design for Life is geared for grades 1-8, so absolutely not going to fly as high school level, other than as a possible "enjoyable extra".

 

My first suggestion would be to consider just waiting and do Biology in 11th or 12th grade, when your student has matured a bit more and might be more able to "suck it up" and do a subject he dislikes. Sometimes a younger student isn't able to see past their likes/dislikes to understand the bigger picture in the way an older high school can.  :)

 

Whenever you do Biology, my suggestion would be to go with Switched On Schoolhouse for your Biology. Here's the 

. It is Christian, and it is a solid "get 'er done" program that is complete but not rigorous, is done at the student's pace, and it has flexibility for scheduling it the way you want, so DS could push and knock it out in 1 semester and move on to what he'd like to study for science in the second semester, OR, spread it out over 2 years, and simultaneously be doing some STEM courses of high interest to DS -- Robotics, Engineering, Electronics, Computer Programming, CAD (Computer Aided Drafting), a specialized area of Chemistry or Physics, or another science area such as Astronomy or Geology.

 

What is DS interested in as a possible career field? If a STEM area, I would lean towards the option of spreading out the Biology and plan on 2 sciences (accruing 1.5 credits each year) for the next 2 years. That way DS gets a solid Biology credit that is at true high school level in a format, plus he still gets to do the science that is of high interest to him. Example of credit load:

 

9th grade

1.0 credit = English

1.0 credit = Math

1.0 credit = Science (of high interest)

0.5 credit = Science: Biology

1.0 credit = Social Science

1.0 credit = Fine Arts

0.5 credit = Elective

6 credits total

 

10th grade

1.0 credit = English

1.0 credit = Math

1.0 credit = Science (of high interest)

0.5 credit = Science: Biology

1.0 credit = Social Science

1.0 credit = Elective

0.5 credit = Elective

6 credits total

 

11th grade

1.0 credit = English

1.0 credit = Math

1.0 credit = Science

1.0 credit = Social Science

1.0 credit = Foreign Language

1.0 credit = Elective

6 credits total

 

12th grade

1.0 credit = English

1.0 credit = Math

1.0 credit = Science

1.0 credit = Foreign Language

1.0 credit = Elective

1.0 credit = Elective

6 credits total

 
That would give you credits that would meet admission requirements for the majority of colleges:
4 credits = English
4 credits = Math
5 credits = Science (most colleges only require 3 lab sciences -- 5 science credits esp. good if going into a STEM field)
3 credits = Social Science
2 credits = Foreign Language
1 credit = Fine Arts
4 credits = Electives (if going into a STEM field, esp. good if some are STEM-based -- Robotics, Computer, Engineering...)
24 credits total

 

To sum up: because Biology is so frequently wanted by colleges as one of the science credits for college admissions, and because you have a strong STEM student (not a remedial student), I would do a solid credit-worthy Biology, but in a way that allows DS to also enjoy STEM classes of interest and with a program that makes it fairly easy to cover all the material with minimal "pain". I would not skip -- or skimp -- on Biology just because my STEM student disliked it. again, JMO, but skipping or skimping on Biology would only be an option if my student were either going into a non-STEM field or was remedial.

 

Just my 2 cents worth! BEST of luck in finding what works best for your student! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Totally JMO:

 

Sounds like you have a STEM-strong student, which is terrific! :) But I think that also means that to use anything less than a legitimate high school level program with this student would be a disservice for future college admissions. (Frequently colleges either recommend or require that 2 of the sciences students had in high school be Biology and Chemistry.)

 

 

That would give you credits that would meet admission requirements for the majority of colleges:
4 credits = English
4 credits = Math
5 credits = Science (most colleges only require 3 lab sciences -- 5 science credits esp. good if going into a STEM field)
3 credits = Social Science
2 credits = Foreign Language
1 credit = Fine Arts
4 credits = Electives (if going into a STEM field, esp. good if some are STEM-based -- Robotics, Computer, Engineering...)
24 credits total

 

To sum up: because Biology is so frequently wanted by colleges as one of the science credits for college admissions, and because you have a strong STEM student (not a remedial student), I would do a solid credit-worthy Biology, but in a way that allows DS to also enjoy STEM classes of interest and with a program that makes it fairly easy to cover all the material with minimal "pain". I would not skip -- or skimp -- on Biology just because my STEM student disliked it. again, JMO, but skipping or skimping on Biology would only be an option if my student were either going into a non-STEM field or was remedial.

 

Just my 2 cents worth! BEST of luck in finding what works best for your student! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

 

 

Thank  you for all the input. I was figuring that it probably would not be enough. Especially with my child wanting to go into Chemical Engineering. I sat down earlier this year and had a plan for most of what we will do over the next few years adding in extra science requested by ds. Meeting all the credits should not be an issue, just biology is the hick up right now. I guess we could do BJU Biology and call it done. Right now, if all is done ds will have well over 24 credits.

 

4 credits = English composition
3 credits = world, American and British Lit
4 credits = Math (Geometry, Algebra 1, Pre-calculus and Calculus 1)
5-6 credits = Science (Chemistry 9th,Physics10th, Biology?(11th), Astronomy (11th- requested by ds), DE Chemistry(12th), Environmental science (12th-still a maybe but of interest for now)
3 credits = Social Science (World history, American history, Government and Economics)
3 credits = Foreign Language (Japanese- 3 years are required by school he wants to go to)
0 credit = Fine Arts (we were told because of his chemical engineering interest they would rather see  engineering class or extra science class instead of fine arts class so we are good here)
4 credits = Electives (Engineering class all 4 years- 2D/3D design, MAT LABS, engineering computations, engineering design, Solid modeling- all done online through Catapult engineering academy)
26-27 credits total (if we get it all done as planned)
Edited by housemouse

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0 credit = Fine Arts (we were told because of his chemical engineering interest they would rather see  engineering class or extra science class instead of fine arts class so we are good here)

 

One additional option, based on this information:

 

Since only 4 credits of English are required for college admissions, and the additional academic electives that the schools would like to see are Engineering or Science rather than English or Humanities, you can reduce your total English credits from the current plan of 7.0 credits down to 4.0 credits. That would be quite easy to do, as an English credit is typically 1/2 Composition and 1/2 Lit.: you could do 1 semester of Composition and 1 semester of Lit. -- OR -- alternate years: 1 year of Comp, 1 year of Lit, and repeat. That would drop DS to 24 total credits, but that would still be extremely competitive, considering they will all be rigorous, academic credits, and no "fluff". ;)

 

And that would allow DS some "breathing room" to ensure doing well with so many high-rigor courses each year. And, that would allow DS room for any extracurriculars of interest, or time for involvement with any STEM programs or opportunities that pop up on your radar during the high school years...

 

You might consider doing the Environmental Science as an AP course, and do it by no later than 11th grade so the AP score would work in DS's favor for college admissions. I understand that AP test is not as difficult to score high on as other science AP tests...

 

Also, you might consider putting courses that have some "overlap" together so they resonate with one another -- for example, Physics and Astronomy, or, Biology and Environmental Science, or, American History and Government...

 

Example of a possible course of study:

 

9th

1 credit = English: Composition & World Lit

1 credit = Math: Geometry

1 credit = Science: Chemistry

1 credit = Social Science: World History

1 credit = Foreign Language: Japanese

1 credit = Elective: Engineering

6 credits total

 

10th

1 credit = English: Composition & Lit. (selections of interest to DS)

1 credit = Math: Algebra 2

1 credit = Science: Physics

1 credit = Science: Astronomy

1 credit = Foreign Language: Japanese

1 credit = Elective: Engineering (a "light" Engineering course, to balance the heavy math & science of this year)

6 credits total

 

11th

1 credit = English: Composition & British Lit

1 credit = Math: Pre-Calc

1 credit = Science: Biology

1 credit = Science: Environmental Science

1 credit = Foreign Language: Japanese

1 credit = Elective: Engineering

6 credits total

 

12th

1 credit = English: Composition & American Lit

1 credit = Math: Calculus

1 credit = Science: DE Chemistry

1 credit = Social Science: American History

0.5 credit = Social Science: Gov't

0.5 credit = Social Science: Econ

1 credit = Elective: Engineering

6 credits total

 

Have fun planning! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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One additional option, based on this information:

 

Since only 4 credits of English are required for college admissions, and the additional academic electives that the schools would like to see are Engineering or Science rather than English or Humanities, you can reduce your total English credits from the current plan of 7.0 credits down to 4.0 credits. That would be quite easy to do, as an English credit is typically 1/2 Composition and 1/2 Lit.: you could do 1 semester of Composition and 1 semester of Lit. -- OR -- alternate years: 1 year of Comp, 1 year of Lit, and repeat. That would drop DS to 24 total credits, but that would still be extremely competitive, considering they will all be rigorous, academic credits, and no "fluff". ;)

 

And that would allow DS some "breathing room" to ensure doing well with so many high-rigor courses each year. And, that would allow DS room for any extracurriculars of interest, or time for involvement with any STEM programs or opportunities that pop up on your radar during the high school years...

 

You might consider doing the Environmental Science as an AP course, and do it by no later than 11th grade so the AP score would work in DS's favor for college admissions. I understand that AP test is not as difficult to score high on as other science AP tests...

 

Also, you might consider putting courses that have some "overlap" together so they resonate with one another -- for example, Physics and Astronomy, or, Biology and Environmental Science, or, American History and Government...

 

Example of a possible course of study:

 

9th

1 credit = English: Composition & World Lit

1 credit = Math: Geometry

1 credit = Science: Chemistry

1 credit = Social Science: World History

1 credit = Foreign Language: Japanese

1 credit = Elective: Engineering

6 credits total

 

10th

1 credit = English: Composition & Lit. (selections of interest to DS)

1 credit = Math: Algebra 2

1 credit = Science: Physics

1 credit = Science: Astronomy

1 credit = Foreign Language: Japanese

1 credit = Elective: Engineering (a "light" Engineering course, to balance the heavy math & science of this year)

6 credits total

 

11th

1 credit = English: Composition & British Lit

1 credit = Math: Pre-Calc

1 credit = Science: Biology

1 credit = Science: Environmental Science

1 credit = Foreign Language: Japanese

1 credit = Elective: Engineering

6 credits total

 

12th

1 credit = English: Composition & American Lit

1 credit = Math: Calculus

1 credit = Science: DE Chemistry

1 credit = Social Science: American History

0.5 credit = Social Science: Gov't

0.5 credit = Social Science: Econ

1 credit = Elective: Engineering

6 credits total

 

Have fun planning! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

Thank you for the advise. I have not even thought of putting related sciences/history together. I wonder if I could do Government and Econ in 9th since my child decided he wants to do US history next year??

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Thank you for the advise. I have not even thought of putting related sciences/history together. I wonder if I could do Government and Econ in 9th since my child decided he wants to do US history next year??

 

Don't see why not; I know others on these boards have done American History or Government in grade 9. :) Probably depends on what you want to use -- some materials are more rigorous than others. That would allow you to do Econ in 9th, or save that half credit for another year so you could get at least 0.5 credit of Engineering in for 9th grade:

 

1 credit = English: Composition & American Lit

1 credit = Math: Geometry

1 credit = Chemistry

1 credit = Foreign Language: Japanese

1 credit = Social Science: American Lit

0.5 credit = Social Science: Government

0.5 credit = Elective: Engineering

 

Or, do the Econ in 9th, and then in 10th grade do 2 electives of Engineering... As long as the Engineering credits are flexible (can do 0.5 credit at a time), and not all of them build on one another or are pre-requisites of each other, then not a problem to wait until 10th grade to get rolling with those:

 

1 credit = English: Composition & American Lit

1 credit = Math: Geometry

1 credit = Chemistry

1 credit = Foreign Language: Japanese

1 credit = Social Science: American Lit

0.5 credit = Social Science: Government

0.5 credit = Social Science: Economics

 

OR, if you aren't already in the midst of Japanese and need to keep moving forward with that, you could wait and start that in 10th grade, and get started with the Engineering in 9th grade:

 

1 credit = English: Composition & American Lit

1 credit = Math: Geometry

1 credit = Chemistry

1 credit = Social Science: American Lit

0.5 credit = Social Science: Government

0.5 credit = Social Science: Economics

1 credit = Elective: Engineering

 

Virtually endless possibilities... ;) BEST of luck in your planning! Warmly, Lori D.

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If your student likes physics and chemistry, might they prefer a molecular biololgy course? You had mentioned dissections in your intro, but in my state dissection is a middle school course, and high school is molecular biology (molecules, cells, DNA replication, transcription, translation, cell cycle, metabolism, and genetics) with a little ecology and classification thrown in at the end. My co-op has me teach based on state standards to accommodate students moving in and out of the school system, but you could have you student do a class that is entirely molecular biology if that works for your requirements. I've foung that students who like chemistry often enjoy cellular metabolsim and find the cells material to be easy. Genetics is very math-y, so it's also popular with physics-loving students.

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I have a student who does not like biology at all. He is my chemistry and physics and math child who could care less about biology. We looked at three different curriculums already and nothing that he like enough for me to even think of buying it for next year

 

I already own AIG God's Design for Life. If I added in Biology 101 DVDs to it and we completed all the projects (maybe adding in few dissections)- can I count it as enough for high school credit and not worry about it anymore.

 

If not, what is out there that will fit the bill??

 

Thank you in advance.

It is plenty.

 

Homeschoolers often over think this and put in a dose of way way more than public schoolers get. It will be a basic class that covers what a regular level basic class covers in public school. I probably won't be an honors level or an AP level for sure. But this is fine. Not everything has to be advanced and heavy duty. I would just do it like how you want and use the energy and time to focus on what he is interested in.

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If your student likes physics and chemistry, might they prefer a molecular biololgy course? You had mentioned dissections in your intro, but in my state dissection is a middle school course, and high school is molecular biology (molecules, cells, DNA replication, transcription, translation, cell cycle, metabolism, and genetics) with a little ecology and classification thrown in at the end. My co-op has me teach based on state standards to accommodate students moving in and out of the school system, but you could have you student do a class that is entirely molecular biology if that works for your requirements. I've foung that students who like chemistry often enjoy cellular metabolsim and find the cells material to be easy. Genetics is very math-y, so it's also popular with physics-loving students.

How would you do that?

 

For us, we are finishing a basic biology class and then moving on to chemistry. Once we finish those basics, I am hoping to go back and do more in stuff like genetics. We have done a basic overview of genetics, but will do more after chemistry. When I was in high school, high school biology was not a full year. The school went in trimesters. I picked genetics and astronomy for my other electives. Genetics could only be taken after regular biology. 

 

Your scope and sequence sounds like exactly what we want. Plus, we are using the Dragonfly book and I have been having us skip through to cover those things. But would love to hear what you are doing. Are you the one with the online class too?

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My co-op class and the new online version are based on the Miller-Levine Dragonfly book. This class is mostly 9th and 10th graders at co-op, depending on their sequence (some do physical science in 9th, others do physical science in middle school and biology in 9th so that they can get through chem, Bio II, and physics).  I'm  attaching my syllabus - we don't do the entire book.  Many high school biology texts are set up so that they could be used for either a molecular biology-based course or an ecology/comparative biology course, and I use the one that meets the requirements for my state (which, coincidentally, is the part that I like best, so yay!). 

 

I also teach a Bio II class that we're debating how to take online (or whether it's even possible).  It varies so much from year to year because it's very student-driven. They choose topics, and we research them. Some years are mostly discussion, some years I lecture on advanced topics - it's really about what the students are interested in, and we usually do around 8 unrelated topics each year. It can be hard find good resources for this age.  I teach Bio II from college texts, mostly because I have a lot of them that I used in college/grad school, and also primary literature and 'general interest science' sources like Scientific American.  For molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology or biochemistry, you could buy a used textbook and have students work through parts of it. These are going to be more reading-intense.  The book Genes is an easier read than some and talks about a lot of molecular biology topics.  Although the books are often really expensive, you can sometimes find used old editions fairly cheaply, and although they might not be completely current, they are plenty for a high school student.  If you decided to get a genetics text, you would probably need a solutions manual because genetics is more problem-based.  There are sections that you can read, but the part that most students like is solving the crosses.   In a completely different direction, we came across the book 'The Brain' by Eagleman, and we spent a few weeks talking about it.  For students who are interested in the overlap between biology and psychology, it might make a fun mini-unit as part of a biology class (it's not technical). 

 

OK...I've written a lot, but in case this helps anybody, the Dragonfly book is a good advanced high school book.  Campbell Concepts and Connections is a basic college book, and Campbell Biology is an AP biology/college pre-med and research biology text.  For students interested in particular areas (such as protein structure, or biotechnology) there are thinner texts that students could use, but these are often pretty advanced and assume a good knowledge of molecular biology.  Even though college genetics is later in the biology sequence, the material is probably something that a good high school student could learn.  Genes covers difficult topics with lots of drawings - it might be one of the more accessible books for an interested student with a good grasp of biology.  And, for the curious, there are lots of other texts out there that, if you could get an inexpensive old copy, your student might enjoy looking at.  You don't need to cover a whole book in a year - college classes definitely don't - and it's all advanced compared to standard high school material.  I've you've got any questions, I'll follow this thread or you can message me. 

syllabus 2016-2017.pdf

syllabus 2016-2017.pdf

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I have a student who does not like biology at all. He is my chemistry and physics and math child who could care less about biology. We looked at three different curriculums already and nothing that he like enough for me to even think of buying it for next year

 

I already own AIG God's Design for Life. If I added in Biology 101 DVDs to it and we completed all the projects (maybe adding in few dissections)- can I count it as enough for high school credit and not worry about it anymore.

 

If not, what is out there that will fit the bill??

 

Thank you in advance.

 

I'm pretty out there and did things VERY alternatively with my dd, but *I* wouldn't do your plan.  And my dd is trying to major in costume design and history, not STEM, kwim?  Bio 101 is nice but it's a very low level, trim, spine you could flesh out.  The AIG stuff isn't even marketed for high school level.  

 

Honestly, for him I would get a really straightforward text, have him read it, do some labs, move on.  Or pick an aspect that he finds really interesting and FOCUS on it.  I agree that high school biology has gone toward biochemistry and genetics.  It's absurd to say a physics and chem geek won't find anything interesting in biology.  If you pick up an up to date biology text, it's largely chemistry!  

 

So if he wants it to be a strong course, fine-tuned to his interests, I would pick a really straightforward text (Abeka, Miller-Levine + the AIG book to refute the junk, whatever), and then pick 1-2 topics for him to focus on.  With those 1-2 topics, really dig in, doing lots of high level reading, serious labs, projects, etc.  

 

What I did with my dd, just to contrast, was I took Miller-Levine and went through the toc, picking topics, and I fleshed them out in really other kinds of ways.  Like books of essays, adult books on the topics (often from AP bio lists), dvd series, etc.  So I'm totally cool with being very, very alternative.  I don't think the costume department cares, and if they do oh well.  And labs.  It's easy to find labs online, or you can buy a kit.  Or go with Landry.  Lots of ways to get there.

 

I have the Bio 101 dvds.  Honestly, I can't remember if we watched them or not.  I think she did at one point when I was sick.  I think my gifted ds (who was probably 6 at the time) watched them as well and enjoyed them.  That's just a really nominal thing if you're presenting him as STEM.  I would try harder.  Even just skimming an Abeka text for general knowledge and then honing in on two topics of interest would be good.  

 

Besides, how is life complete if you get a biology credit and have never watched David Attenborough?   :lol:   I swear that's what we did for most of my high school biology.  But things have changed.  A little floozy is ok, but do SOMETHING in it with passion and well.

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Edited by OhElizabeth

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I'm going to ask how he knows he doesn't like Biology. I wouldn't let him assume he doesn't like it just based on Biology topics from younger years. And doing something light is just going to reinforce that disinterest. However, a rigorous Biology course has a LOT of Chemistry in it and you can even make it more Chemistry if you want. So if he loves Chemistry, he might find it more interesting than he thinks. Also, I agree with Lori D that since he sounds like a STEM student he really does need to do a full-fledged Biology program to aid him down the road. 

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