Sunday, March 20, 2011

7th grade science decision

Options for 7th grade:

1.  God's Design and complete the Physical World series
  • Fun - Jessie's really had a lot of fun with the chemistry books this spring, so I'm sure she would enjoy these as well. 
  • Multiple ages - I could combine the girls and either let Benny tag along or set up some parallel reading for him.  Jessie could also complete the challenge sections to bump up the difficulty a bit.
  • New Content - Physics is one area of science that she has not covered yet.
  • If I go this route for 7th, then I'm at a loss of what we would do for 8th.  Following this up with physical science would be somewhat redundant
  • Jessie has really enjoyed doing some science independent from her siblings this year.
2.  Apologia General
  • Independence - Since it's written to the student, Jessie could complete the program independently.
  • Coop option - This is what our local coop uses, so I would have the choice of letting the labs be completed at home or in a class setting.
  • Textbook learning - Normally I steer away from textbooks, but at some point Jessie is going to need to learn from one so it's definitely something I want to practice at some point.
  • Duplication of content - Modules 5-8 would duplicate topics from earth science this year.  Modules 9 and 11-15 look to duplicate the topics from the human anatomy and physiology book that she completed this fall.
  • Set up - I personally wish that they had broken the text up into two columns per page which would be easier to read.
3.  Apologia Physical
  • Independent
  • Coop option
  • Textbook learning
  • New Content - the physics portion of the text would all be new information for her
  • Duplication of content - It looks like the first 8 modules covering atoms, the atmosphere, and weather would duplication topics from this year's chemistry and earth science.
  • Set up - same as above
BJU Life Science
  • Fairly independent - These are designed for classroom use, so I would expect to need to do some level of teaching or at least discussing to cover the content.
  • More depth - Comparing the sequence of BJU to Apologia there is definitely more depth of coverage this route.
  • Textbook learning
  • DVDs available - I could get help teaching if I needed
  • Some overlap of topics from this year but there of plenty of other material that does not overlap
  • Classroom oriented - As with any classroom oriented curriculum some of the ideas will not work as well in a home setting
  • Cost of lab equipment - To complete the labs at home I will need to purchase a microscope, slides, and some dissection supplies
  • No coop availability - No lab partners or class interaction
For once, I actually gave Jessie some input.  She wasn't thrilled about the Apologia books.  She liked the looks of BJU and the broader scope and sequence and thought the idea of dissecting was "cool".  Comparing the cost of lab equipment versus the cost of coop classes, it is actually cheaper over the long term to buy the lab equipment and only have to repurchase consumable supplies for subsequent student.  In the end I was leaning towards BJU anyway because I thought she needed to cover life science with more depth again before hitting biology in 9th.  I can always let her tag along with the GD books next year like she's doing this year in earth science or have her do them over the summer for fun.

Another decision down...  YEAH!!

1 comment:

Mary said...

I vote for Apologia General Science. :)

Keep in mind that just because the topics were recently covered, it doesn't mean your child won't learn anything new, more in depth or another perspective. Speaking from experience, Apologia is rich in content and big on critical thinking. It isn't typical textbook regurgitation like Abeka. (FYI- I like Abeka - it's just typical read, take a quiz, take a test, read some more etc, etc.) Apologia isn't fill in the blank, memorization all the time. Many things require thinking things through and in my opinion that is what makes it a top choice.

Good luck in your decision making process!