BJU Middle School Science – What’s it like?? – UPDATED

I wrote last year about our experience using BJU Middle School Science streaming option. You can read the original post HERE.  I do have more to add to that post so I’m copying the text from the first post, and adding more commentary here. I hope this is helpful to anyone considering using BJU science.

 

Which products have we used?
BJU Science 6, 7 and now 8.

+++ New Info – We’re on to BJU biology now!

 

What version?
We’ve done the streaming “online” products.

 

Why that one and not the dvds?
I love having access to the online Teachers Manual, all the printables, the efiles, etc. I like that everything is organized and easy to access. I SERIOUSLY considered switching to dvds for the ability to speed up the lessons. It’s frustrating to the kids sometimes when the same material is covered more than once, but with the streaming you can’s skip content or fast forward. With the streaming you also can’t have it run at 1.1 or 1.2 speed like we sometimes do with math. (I’m a Yankee… I talk fast…) With the grade 9 lessons being 45 minutes, I think saving 5-10 minutes a day would be awesome. But, the benefits of the streaming outweighs the draw of the dvd so we’ll stick with streaming.

+++ New info – I’ve gone ahead and ordered the Grade 10 BJU Press Biology dvd set. Honestly, the streaming advantage is great – but the inability to speed up, skip around, or decide what we don’t need to watch was getting to be too much of a hassle. I’m hopeful we don’t lose any dvds this year… The biology is only 30 minutes of lesson time a day, plus added reading and study time.

+++ UPDATE AGAIN – Well, the DVD option was a terrible fail for us. It took us about a week to figure it out. I called BJU and they were FABULOUS. Essentially I had to buy the DLO, return the dvds, get credited for the dvds, and then pay a change fee. It was WELL worth it. What we found was the DLO is SO EASY to manage. No finding the schedule. No hunting for the quiz book. No grading. No tracking. It’s so, so much more user friendly. The one option we wanted – being able to speed up the dvds – was a moot point. There is SO much info in the biology course there is no way we could speed it up and get anything out of it. We’re waiting for our order to process, and then we’ll be back to BJU DLO biology for Big.

 

What does a parent need to buy?
OK, first, there’s the online streaming. { The $99 deal is currently expired.} You definitely need the student book. One per student. The activity manual is now included in the student book, so each student needs one. If the streaming uses an older edition of the books, you’ll need to make sure you get the student text AND the activity manual for each student. The TM is in the streaming, as are the online tests.

+++New Info – With the dvd option, it’s pretty much the same. Student books, TM (provided online), lab stuff.

 

What about labs?
Up front, I am a lab person. I think science HAS to have labs to be a rich, full class. We’ve made our own kits, and bought kits. I think alternating buying and making is a good system year to year to use up old stuff. I am NOT a fan of watching the lesson and considering the lab done. Even if you pick 5 per year (and BIG ones – rockets, dissection, etc.) do them. Please, don’t skip them even if they’re a hassle…make a mess…seem worthless…are expensive…fail… Team up with a friend, combine kids, but do them!! (If you can’t make yourself do the BJU ones, buy a related ASK Kit. They’re amazing!!!)

If you aren’t a lab person – don’t skip the lab videos! There are questions on the tests that are covered in the labs, so the kids do need to watch them at a minimum.

+++New Info – This year with high school biology – we’re going to do what we can in the year, embrace the science fair for more hands on stuff, and Big is registered for a Landry Academy Biology/Anatomy and Physiology Lab Intensive. I’m hoping it’s a good balance of lab work and reality.

 

How long does a day take?
The lesson itself (streaming) is 30 minutes, but often there is a need to stop and do some reading, so I’d say the lapse time is about 40 minutes. The after class work takes about 10-15 minutes. We budget an hour a day for BJU science.

+++New Info – This was pretty accurate. We did add a little extra study time before test, but not much. Biology – I’d say it’s closer to an hour a day.

 

What do the kids think?
My oldest kid is a SCIENCE NUT. This year we started with “something else” and after about two weeks she begged me to go back to BJU. More than once… No sale then…but, I bit the bullet and registered her. She LOVES BJU science and it’s extremely likely we’ll use it through graduation.

+++ New Info – I had the “Science Nut” look through a bunch of high school options: online, local coop, Apologia, etc. I won’t go through all her commentary, but she landed SOLIDLY on BJU. “It’s the hardest, and I think I’ll learn the most, and that’s what I want.” Is a summary of her opinions.

 

Summary –
I love BJU science. My science loving kid *LOVES* BJU science. I think it’s super thorough, interesting, challenging, and fun. Yes, it takes some time. Daily. But, if you have a science lover, or you fear teaching upper level sciences, or you want to cover study skills in a traditional manner, and want it ALL done well – BJU might be a great fit for your family.

+++ New Info – BJU is still the winner for us. We’ll use it through graduation, and we’ll do so very happily!!

 

 

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