The exchange below occurred in Spring 2019 in a school administrators’ email group.
Would anyone be willing to share curriculum ideas in science? Right now we are using BJU but our editions are outdated. We did not appreciate all the graphics in the new 5th edition. We are contemplating a move to Abeka science.
Any ideas on successes or failures?
Travis, at the high school level we use Abeka for Physical Science and Biology. It works for us. It is very heavy in terminology—students catch on to the fact that if they learn the bold face words, then they are set.
Science is a tough question. BJU is very detailed and tough (very academic but manageable for advanced students). We have switched mostly to Apologia and like it. If you don’t have the resources for an advanced science program I think this is a good fit. The books are not colorful and the language is more conversational. The reason our teachers like it is how it helps students get the big picture without having students lost in the details. We had a teacher with a biology degree teaching the new BJU, and most of our students struggled, not because of the teacher but the detail. They were not prepared for that intense program. Most of our students handle the Apologia okay. We use the BioLogos kits for all the experiments and dissections which works well if teachers are not specifically trained in science.
Robert, would you suggest Apologia for grades 1-7? We are using Apologia General Science for 7th – 9th this year and it has gone well, but weren’t sure that it was a good fit for the younger grades. We are a Grade 1-10 school and thought it would be nice to use the same curriculum at least up to grade 7.
In our Elementary we are mostly using ABeka. We have tried several other things but keep coming back to it. It’s colorful, teacher friendly (Which a lot of the stuff homeschoolers use are not), and covers the basics. They keep updating it fairly regularly as well. At one point we almost switched to Purposeful Design which is very colorful, but several teachers said it’s not very teacher friendly. For busy teachers that don’t have a science background, that becomes important.
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CONTRIBUTOR: Daniel Rutt