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Middle school life science? Shepherd's, BJU, or Purposeful Design?


promom
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I haven't compared them, but my fellow PhD biologist mom friend selected Shepherd's life science to teach our two boys. They are both accelerated learners who are ready for a middle school science course. 

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25 minutes ago, promom said:

Has anyone compared these three curricula?  I guess I'd lean more toward Shepherd, but I don't know much about any of them yet.

 

Isn't Purposeful Design the name of BJUP's publishing house?

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  • 1 year later...

I would like to resurrect this thread, because I have there same Question! Maybe throw Novare in there to!

We have used BJU for Life Science and Physical Science,(7th and 8th) and while I really like BJU content and thorough coverage, there has to be something better out there for the homeschooler.  I think the things I struggle with with BJU is the labs are not great. There are not enough of them for me, and they aren't engaging.  Also I haven't found the course provides enough interaction with the material to make it stick. Maybe that is something a good teacher would do, but I need help, even if I was an engineering major. We read the section, discuss the review questions, write down important things.  But still lacking.  I like the life science student workbook ok but definitely miss it at the physical science level.  And the tests. I don't really need tests at this point, but their tests are way too difficult. It maybe part of my problem that I am trying to make 9th grade course work for 8th grade ... but still..

I am determined to find a physical science course.  Actually I only need the physics side of it. I want academic rigor, math is fine and good, plenty, easy to do labs (more interested in illustrating point than learning to write a lab report, but gathering data is cool , if its interesting), Interaction with the material! something that will take it to the next level from hearing the information to really understanding it.  I need a christian bent too, and have no interest in Apologia.  It is actually these three that I am considering Purposeful Design (Does anyone use this at home?), Shepherd (Actually i dont think the physical science is out yet, but life science reviews are helpful too), and Novare (I know lots of you have used this). Tell me what you think!

I used ACS middle school chemistry with NOEO for 6th and it was great, great labs, great visualization and engagement, my kids remember that so well. They set the standard high.

 

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On 8/10/2019 at 11:39 AM, Dudley said:

I would like to resurrect this thread, because I have there same Question! Maybe throw Novare in there to!

We have used BJU for Life Science and Physical Science,(7th and 8th) and while I really like BJU content and thorough coverage, there has to be something better out there for the homeschooler.  I think the things I struggle with with BJU is the labs are not great. There are not enough of them for me, and they aren't engaging.  Also I haven't found the course provides enough interaction with the material to make it stick. Maybe that is something a good teacher would do, but I need help, even if I was an engineering major. We read the section, discuss the review questions, write down important things.  But still lacking.  I like the life science student workbook ok but definitely miss it at the physical science level.  And the tests. I don't really need tests at this point, but their tests are way too difficult. It maybe part of my problem that I am trying to make 9th grade course work for 8th grade ... but still..

I am determined to find a physical science course.  Actually I only need the physics side of it. I want academic rigor, math is fine and good, plenty, easy to do labs (more interested in illustrating point than learning to write a lab report, but gathering data is cool , if its interesting), Interaction with the material! something that will take it to the next level from hearing the information to really understanding it.  I need a christian bent too, and have no interest in Apologia.  It is actually these three that I am considering Purposeful Design (Does anyone use this at home?), Shepherd (Actually i dont think the physical science is out yet, but life science reviews are helpful too), and Novare (I know lots of you have used this). Tell me what you think!

I used ACS middle school chemistry with NOEO for 6th and it was great, great labs, great visualization and engagement, my kids remember that so well. They set the standard high.

 

BJU is mainly written for Christian schools, so it's really designed to be used with a daily teacher interacting with the student. That might be the reason you feel it wouldn't stick.

It is a very challenging course, so I used it with ds in 8th grade  as a way to get ready for high school science. We are doing science in a co-op, and he's using Apologia Biology this year in 11th grade. He is already saying he remembers much of what he is reading in the beginning of the book. We used the videos along with the text when he did BJU. I can tell this book will go more in depth than the BJU book did, but I think it's going to be a good foundation for him, even though it was three years ago. 

Our 6th-7th grade group at co-op just started Shepherd's course, but I could ask the teacher what she is thinking of it. 

Novare is Christian but is old earth if that matters to you, but I've never looked at the book. 

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