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We must have biology. We hate it. We don’t want it. We can’t avoid it, or can we? 
This kid wants nothing to do with bio, but I am going to guess if we don’t squeeze it in our schedule, his college options will suffer. 
Maybe if I can call it physics he will study it? 😋
What do you guys recommend? AP bio is not an option. No way he wants to spend that sort of time or energy on it. I don’t want to do labs at home, so I am wondering if a survey course at a CC would do, or is there a less painful option? 

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We used the Modern States CLEP course and did anatomy dissections. Dd had done lots of bio in middle school and really wasn’t interested in another general course but didn’t have the prereqs for anything interesting.

Edited by MamaSprout
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We are going to risk it. However my teens did do AP environmental science and hopefully that counts.

ETA:

I found community college classes for genetics and for marine biology. That would be tolerable for each kid.

Edited by Arcadia
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We didn't use it, but I heard Friendly Biology is good?  

We used Oak Meadow, which I would not recommend for a student who hates biology.  It was definitely a time and energy investment and my dd, who doesn't like science, didn't like it at all.

A light DE course might be a good option if there's something like that available.  

I know there was another really good biology option but I can't remember it right now.  Darn...hopefully someone else will post it.

 

ETA - the forgotten bio is going to drive me crazy, but I think Guest Hollow might be a good option, too?  

Edited by Kassia
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We did our Biology course on human manipulation of genetic transfer including recombinant DNA, amplification with PCR, recombinant plasmids, transgenesis, CRISPER, gene therapy, and cloning. Our lab work was a single large statistical analysis where he had to learn how to program in R and study biostatistics.  Any content that he couldn't understand based on a lack of biology knowledge, he then had to look up, which cleaned up all his holes. This was a great class for a physics kid because it was very technical and mathematical.  

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A couple of the online computer science degrees dd has looked at have required biology at the college level (U of FL and CSU). If a school like that might be on your list, I'd CLEP it. Dd is planning to use a prep book and Modern States to prepare for the CLEP when she has some down time.

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There are plenty of special topics options, too. Check out any college listing for classes with a BIOL or BIO prefix. I've found organismal bio to be an easy subject to DIY, and many of the lower division courses would be reasonable DE as well. 

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1 hour ago, Roadrunner said:

Maybe if I can call it physics he will study it?

If your kid admires physics and physicists, there are two very short books you could maybe try as enticement: "What is Life?" by Erwin Schrodinger, and "Origins of Life" by Freeman Dyson. 

To be clear they wouldn't make much of a biology curriculum. What is Life was written before the double helix was discovered. Origins of Life is 50% a pop-science account of some famous 20th century ideas about how life got started, and 50% about his own crazy idea (which he's pretty responsible about presenting). But they might kindle a little bit of interest.

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3 minutes ago, EKS said:

What exactly do you hate about it?  I might be able to suggest some ways to make it less painful if I knew that.

He has no interest in it. He has read through the Miller Levine book in middle school, which I was hoping would serve as an inspiration, but no. Too many words for him. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, lewelma said:

We did our Biology course on human manipulation of genetic transfer including recombinant DNA, amplification with PCR, recombinant plasmids, transgenesis, CRISPER, gene therapy, and cloning. Our lab work was a single large statistical analysis where he had to learn how to program in R and study biostatistics.  Any content that he couldn't understand based on a lack of biology knowledge, he then had to look up, which cleaned up all his holes. This was a great class for a physics kid because it was very technical and mathematical.  

Now you package that into a class and I will pay $$$$ for it! Not kidding you. 

Edited by Roadrunner
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He learned a ton.  And MIT *required* lab science for Biology for entrance, and given that this was a homeschooled class, I assumed they would be reading my course description for Bio.  They apparently counted his statistical analysis as a 'lab', because I was very clear that we only did ONE big lab (30 hours), and it was in mathematical biology with no data collection. We got the data from one of the students that I tutor. Their school had collected population ecology data from the rocky intertidal. 

Edited by lewelma
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2 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

He has no interest in it. He has read through the Miller Levine book in middle school, which I was hoping would serve as an inspiration, but no. Too many words for him. 

I'm not sure that reading through Miller and Levine would inspire anyone. 

If he already has that base, I'd do some deep dives into topics that you think might interest him.  Lewelma's biostatistics project idea sounds fabulous for the lab piece.

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8 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

He has no interest in it. He has read through the Miller Levine book in middle school, which I was hoping would serve as an inspiration, but no. Too many words for him. 

If he has already done that, then you can make this second class interest driven. I stated that this bio class built on a first year course.  DS had done what yours did and read through a textbook in middle school. He didn't want to do another survey course. 

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4 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

He has no interest in it. He has read through the Miller Levine book in middle school, which I was hoping would serve as an inspiration, but no. Too many words for him. 

DS15 read through Miller Levine while DS16 read through Campbell. Does not spark joy obviously for them.

For my teens, the "carrot" would be to get the biology credit done as dual enrollment, satisfy the IGETC and hopefully never have to do biology again. Also there are a lot more choices of courses at the community college level than at high school level if you prefer to outsource.

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5 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

DS15 read through Miller Levine while DS16 read through Campbell. Does not spark joy obviously for them.

For my teens, the "carrot" would be to get the biology credit done as dual enrollment, satisfy the IGETC and hopefully never have to do biology again. Also there are a lot more choices of courses at the community college level than at high school level if you prefer to outsource.

Well, a semester at a CC is an option, but boy are those courses time consuming. On the other hand, nobody would question the lab. 
 

Now if I were smart enough to build something like Lewelma suggests, I would go that way. I am going to dig around to see maybe there is something resembling biology that is actually more mathematical. He would rather look at numbers than words. 

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13 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Well, a semester at a CC is an option, but boy are those courses time consuming. On the other hand, nobody would question the lab. 
 

Now if I were smart enough to build something like Lewelma suggests, I would go that way. I am going to dig around to see maybe there is something resembling biology that is actually more mathematical. He would rather look at numbers than words. 

We were thinking of taking the class in summer to get it over and done with. Since our safety is a CSU, my teens would prefer to clear the gen ed requirement and at the same time satisfy the a-g requirement. (ETA: they want to spend more time on core subjects that they like when they are in college so they rather knock off as many gen ed as they can while in high school)

Something like this might work for designing yourself https://extension.ucsd.edu/courses-and-programs/biostatistics

Edited by Arcadia
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2 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

We were thinking of taking the class in summer to get it over and done with. Since our safety is a CSU, my teens would prefer to clear the gen ed requirement and at the same time satisfy the a-g requirement.

Something like this might work for designing yourself https://extension.ucsd.edu/courses-and-programs/biostatistics

This look like something my kid would love, but can I sell this as bio? 

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Do colleges require at least one course from biological sciences? I thought UCs did (our safety), but now that I am looking at them, I don’t see it. They just want science. I wonder if that’s pretty much the case everywhere else. 

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51 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Do colleges require at least one course from biological sciences? I thought UCs did (our safety), but now that I am looking at them, I don’t see it. They just want science. I wonder if that’s pretty much the case everywhere else. 

No, many colleges do not require *specific* science courses -- usually at most they list that they want "3 lab sciences from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Integrated, and Advanced Science also counts".

The colleges I have seen that do require specific sciences list Biology and Chemistry as the courses they want. I would bet that for the Biology it does not have to be a traditional Biology, but topic(s) in the Bio area of Science.

Just a guess: if the student is going into Engineering, then I would imagine the program might strongly recommend Physics, and even Advanced Physics as some of the sciences to have taken in high school.

HOWEVER, you mention UCs -- so all bets are off. CA schools are notoriously picky, what with the whole A-G set-up and the other hoops homeschoolers have to jump to be eligible for UCs... so definitely be talking to admissions at the colleges you're considering.

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My DS hates biology (which kills me, since I teach biology) and is not going into biology in college.  So we found an aspect of biology that he can tolerate and did a dive into that.  So, if your son likes fishing, get cooking on an ichthyology course and go with lots of hands-on activities.  Does he like the ocean?  Marine biology, with lots of aquarium trips/activities/seashore trips.  For my son, we are doing a modified Guest Hollow botany, which has various activities you can pick and choose from  that range from drawing to cooking to actual experiments.  Since your DS hated the excessive Miller Levine book, keep the course hands-on and non-complicated.  Another option is biology at a local college, because he can get a full credit done in 1 semester.  But, yeah, I think most competitive colleges want to see some type of "life-y" science and some physical science lab science. 

Edited by Reefgazer
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5 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

Do colleges require at least one course from biological sciences? I thought UCs did (our safety), but now that I am looking at them, I don’t see it. They just want science. I wonder if that’s pretty much the case everywhere else. 

Rose Hulman specifies biology for entrance. I don't think they are particular on how it's accomplished: Application Evaluation Criteria | Rose-Hulman (rose-hulman.edu)

I think they used to have something that looked like environmental science that could be taken over the summer for those lacking a bio credit.

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I also thought it was a requirement for UC's, but under D it just says two of the three of bio, chem, and physics must be covered. It definitely is on the recommended or required list for many other schools though. I have the sense that you're aiming relatively high. When that's the case, if a school does have a recommendation or requirement, they are less likely to overlook it.

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If you want a life science that is more traditional, but is still a lot of fun, Entomology was good. We did it as a homegrown course (following a college syllabus, but doing labs at home). Some of the labs were done with simulations (breeding fruit flies and genetics calculations), some were done with live arthropods (the isopods that live near our front door got observed, as did the mealworms that our pet frogs ate, cricket chirps were calculated compared to temperature, by the simple expedience of spending 15 minutes a day listening and recording them at the same time each day, etc). We used photos for classification to genus level. 

 

Emma Stein teaches multiple Marine Bio and Marine Ecology courses at Athena's which would be fun and relatively light (check the high school schedule, not the middle school one) but I don't think they are A-G approved, although they are accredited. 

 

FWIW, my BIOLOGIST kid hates general biology textbooks, and our field bio mentor says that general bio is designed to make kids hate biology-only those who have developed a real love for it before they get to general bio manage to survive because they know that the good stuff is coming up later.  

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

@Roadrunner — I totally wasn’t kidding. They are surprisingly informative and detailed. I know that can’t be a whole biology course, but as someone who hated bio in high school, I found the books really fascinating.

That won’t work here. 😂 He has read plenty of books like that when he was younger. Even covered standard high school bio text in middle school. I need a serious course that I can sell as a real high school science with labs on the transcript. I am leaning at this point to just send him to a summer CTY camp (when they open) and do an intensive there and be done. He will have fun with kids at least. 

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Just now, Roadrunner said:

That won’t work here. 😂 He has read plenty of books like that when he was younger. Even covered standard high school bio text in middle school. I need a serious course that I can sell as a real high school science with labs on the transcript. I am leaning at this point to just send him to a summer CTY camp (when they open) and do an intensive there and be done. He will have fun with kids at least. 

Oh, OK. So he knows all about DNA and evolution and stuff? What books has he read?

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Just now, Roadrunner said:

Of course. 

Well, I dunno — I didn’t know most of the things in the DNA book, frankly. They go in a lot of detail.

Do you have recommendations about fun biology reading, then? My kids have been enjoying these and now know more biology than I ever did. If you’ve done lots of similar stuff, I’d love to hear about it.

The CTY class sounds like a good option.

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

Well, I dunno — I didn’t know most of the things in the DNA book, frankly. They go in a lot of detail.

Do you have recommendations about fun biology reading, then? My kids have been enjoying these and now know more biology than I ever did. If you’ve done lots of similar stuff, I’d love to hear about it.

The CTY class sounds like a good option.

Biology is never fun. Get on board here. 😋

 

A great textbook though -

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076371688X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Also my kids loved horrible science books in elementary school. 

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1 minute ago, Roadrunner said:

Also my kids loved horrible science books in elementary school. 

We have all of those! My kids love them. 

They are really not like those graphic novels, though. The novels are absolutely high school level, weirdly enough. 

Sounds like they wouldn’t work for you, though!

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So if I do this at home, anybody recommends a good lab kit? The one that doesn’t include dead animals? Can we run a legitimate lab without dead creatures? 
I can’t believe I am considering bio labs at home, but here we are. 
Maybe I can develop a more high interest course, but still need labs for the transcript. Sigh. 

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23 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

So if I do this at home, anybody recommends a good lab kit? The one that doesn’t include dead animals? Can we run a legitimate lab without dead creatures? 
I can’t believe I am considering bio labs at home, but here we are. 
Maybe I can develop a more high interest course, but still need labs for the transcript. Sigh. 

The advanced bio kit from QSL doesn't have specimens... I'm pretty sure. You should double check. The regular high school one does, but I'm pretty sure the advanced one is more biochem leaning stuff with enzymes and so forth. 

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Love @Reefgazer's suggestions and the other posters' ideas.

I'll also just toss in there that Biology with labs as dual enrollment does NOT have to be traditional Biology. Our community college has some really interesting courses that fall under Biology. When DS needed two 4-unit (i.e., with labs) sciences when he was a college student at the community college, he did a Wildlife of North America course, and a course on the Natural History of the Southwest (plants, animals, and physical geography of the U.S. Southwest). Whereas he was extremely "meh" about the traditional textbook Biology we did in high school, he loved both of those courses.

A few more of those interesting/different Biology courses at our community college.
Environmental Biology - ecosystems and human impacts
Plants, People, and Society - botany and human uses of plants
Genetics, Biotechnology, and Human Affairs - humane genome project, cell biology, biotechnology, bio ethics
Marine Biology - survey of marine environments, ecosystems, marine organisms


ETA - I had to step away before finishing/posting. Looks like you've got a plan going - hurray! BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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I asked your biology question last year.  Below is the thread.  I let my son choose to do Classical Astronomy instead and it's been a good year of science.  I am going to make him take bio his senior year, though.  He will have had a thorough cooling off period from his hatred of the subject when he had it in 8th grade.  We will be using Experience Biology when the time comes. https://journeyhomeschoolacademy.com/

 

 

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I'm all about courses which fall under life sciences but aren't general biology (botony, zoology, etc). Others have listed them.

My Eldest never did bio in high school. My next one never did general bio in high school but is taking Zoology as a dual enrolled college course this semester.

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