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ByGrace3

Berean Builders or Excelsior for Chemistry

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DD wants a change in online provider for science next year. She really wanted to take chemistry at Schole, but the class timing just doesn't work for us. Both Berean and Excelsior have times that will work. Any feedback on either? (DD is planning to go into Physical Therapy FWIW)

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If Mrs Childress is still teaching Chem at Excelsior, I will vouch for the class being solid. My dd#1 took it several years back. It is not honors level, but covered the material well and wasn't a time suck. DD enjoyed class time. The price was reasonable, and the labs were doable at home. 

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33 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

If Mrs Childress is still teaching Chem at Excelsior, I will vouch for the class being solid. My dd#1 took it several years back. It is not honors level, but covered the material well and wasn't a time suck. DD enjoyed class time. The price was reasonable, and the labs were doable at home. 

 

So you do the labs at home on your own or with the class? That was one of the strikes against Berean-- labs are on your own. I was hoping the way it was worded on Excelsior's site that the labs were done while the kids were "in class."

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Well, this is about four years ago, so hopefully someone with more recent info chimes in, but I think the labs were assignments done at home. I'm pretty sure we had a lab kit delivered & she followed the instructions, took pictures, wrote a lab report, and submitted it online.

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Is this the Chemistry class with Dr. Wile?  If so, DS took that class 2 years ago.  He enjoyed the weekly live classes with Dr. Wile and looked forward to their discussion.  Yes, the labs were done at home, but they weren't difficult to complete.   You can purchase the kit that has most of the items needed.  (The only items excluded would be common household items.)

As for the class, my DS really liked Dr. Wile as a teacher.  DS is strong in science, and often asks questions above and beyond the curriculum (and sometimes not even about Chemistry).  Dr. Wile seemed to encourage the questions and would answer them or direct him to another resource.  For the labs, the students are expected to write lab reports after every experiment, and Dr. Wile definitely holds them accountable for content and format.  Dr. Wile wrote the Chemistry book (as well as the Apologia Biology book).  My son thought the Chemistry book was much more student friendly than the Apologia books.

FWIW, my daughter took his Biology class through Berean.  She did well, and really like Dr. Wile.  However, she struggled with the grading coming only from the labs and the tests.  She still did well, but it was a stressful point for her.  She would do all the homework, note taking, chapter questions, etc., but that is not graded.  I believe it was the same way with Chemistry.

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36 minutes ago, kwhdman said:

 

FWIW, my daughter took his Biology class through Berean.  She did well, and really like Dr. Wile.  However, she struggled with the grading coming only from the labs and the tests.  She still did well, but it was a stressful point for her.  She would do all the homework, note taking, chapter questions, etc., but that is not graded.  I believe it was the same way with Chemistry.

 

This part does make me a bit nervous. I am a big fan of work being counted. DD struggled in Biology with Collegeprepscience this year but ended up with an A because of the well rounded grading. Had it relied just on tests she would not have -- however the tests were not even reasonable. 

How are the tests with chemistry? Are they fair representations of what the course and text taught? CPS was intentionally tricky, and timed. Are Wile's tests timed?

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4 hours ago, ByGrace3 said:

 

This part does make me a bit nervous. I am a big fan of work being counted. DD struggled in Biology with Collegeprepscience this year but ended up with an A because of the well rounded grading. Had it relied just on tests she would not have -- however the tests were not even reasonable. 

How are the tests with chemistry? Are they fair representations of what the course and text taught? CPS was intentionally tricky, and timed. Are Wile's tests timed?

 

DS said you definitely need to pay attention in class and read the material to do well on the test.  He felt they were a fair representation of what was discussed and the text.  He said the only question that he would consider "tricky" was that a short answer question may not have an answer.  Similar to a multiple choice question where you might have "(d) none of the above", there might be a short answer question where there is no answer or the answer is not possible because incorrect information was given.  The student would explain that the question was wrong and give clarification or an explanation as to why.  Regarding vocabulary - he said you need to understand the terminology.  For example, maybe the text said mushroom, but the test says fungus.  (I know that is a biology reference, but you get the idea!)

Dr. Wile does not allow extra credit work (at least when my kids took the classes), but he may round up if he feels it is warranted.  DD had a high B for the first semester (I believe it was an 88 or 89), and he rounded it up to an A due to her class participation, asking questions, etc.  I'm not sure what his cutoff is, but that was a pleasant surprise.

The tests are not timed.

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On 5/23/2020 at 4:19 PM, ByGrace3 said:

DD wants a change in online provider for science next year. She really wanted to take chemistry at Schole, but the class timing just doesn't work for us. Both Berean and Excelsior have times that will work. Any feedback on either? (DD is planning to go into Physical Therapy FWIW)

Did you decide about these classes? We are looking at these two options as well and I believe our DDs have been in class together before 😊

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5 hours ago, Nam2001 said:

Did you decide about these classes? We are looking at these two options as well and I believe our DDs have been in class together before 😊

 

I am leaning towards Berean Builders but have not made an official decision. 

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6 minutes ago, ByGrace3 said:

 

I am leaning towards Berean Builders but have not made an official decision. 

Oh bummer! I think I’m leaning towards Excelsior. We’ll have to touch base after and share how each one went. 

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1 minute ago, Nam2001 said:

Oh bummer! I think I’m leaning towards Excelsior. We’ll have to touch base after and share how each one went. 

Yes! I would love a comparison! I wish I could tell from the website what is included in the grading for Excelsior. That is the one thing holding me back knowing that BB just grades labs and tests.

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16 minutes ago, ByGrace3 said:

Yes! I would love a comparison! I wish I could tell from the website what is included in the grading for Excelsior. That is the one thing holding me back knowing that BB just grades labs and tests.

The teacher at Excelsior has been very quick to email me back when I’ve had questions. I have the syllabus and it says that weekly assignments are 20% of the final grade, tests and quizzes are 50%, and lab reports and projects are 30%.  Is that what you’re asking? 

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