Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Biology

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Tsukuba-shi, Japan
    Posts
    3,408

    Default Biology

    Im struggling with teaching Biology to my eldest. Memorizing facts, terms and formulas is really hard for him (hes dyslexic). He isnt interested in any kind of a STEM job or STEM major in college, so I just want to cover the basics. Right now I have the Holt McDougal textbook with the digital content as well. It seems like this textbook has more details in it than I remember learning in science. Of course, weve discovered more since I was in high school. Just how much do kids these days need to know? Any tips, ideas or thoughts on how to make science more interesting and what the key concepts are that we should focus in on.
    Lindsey Carter
    Wife to Chris for 19 years and Mom to Wesley 15, Adelaide 14 and Hudson 11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    15,658

    Default

    Have you considered CK-12 (www.ck12.org) for your biology text? It's free and it has videos along with the text and quizzes, etc.

    Ideas for an alternative biology course:
    • include books (audios) of people in the field- folks that were responsible for big milestones
    • do projects instead of tests and quizzes- can do one big one per big unit (cells, genetics, human body, classification, and ecology)
    • narration- to hear that he is getting the concepts
    • write about a topic he wants to learn more about- our oldest did a paper comparing the bubonic plague with ebola (which was in the news at the time)
    • videos- there are a ton out there on biology topics
    • labs- for some of the concepts


    There are lots of ways to see how he's doing at learning the concepts without memorizing a ton of facts.

    Oh, but your comment is correct. They've downloaded a lot of advanced concepts into the high school and middle school scope and sequence for biology. For example, I learned gene sequencing as a sophomore in college. By the time I did my student teaching a few years later, I was teaching it to high school AP students. And it's only gotten worse in the last 25+ years.
    Heather wife to Dan and embracing the independent nature of homeschooling with our fantastic four (20 ds, 18 dd, 16 ds, 13 ds).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    4,205

    Default

    We used CK-12 for a couple of sciences and the kids liked it.

    Have you looked to see what allinonehighschool.com might have? We’ve used their forensics and art history and both were OK.
    Wife to David for almost 42 years, mom to 9, homeschooling Abby (16). Grammy to 6 granddaughters and 2 grandsons and 2 new babies due in the spring of 19! Homeschooling since 1986, Loving FIAR since 2000.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Tsukuba-shi, Japan
    Posts
    3,408

    Default

    Thanks ladies for the tips. You've got me thinking. I think I will give him the option of one project, paper, or a test per unit instead of trying to do frequent chapter test that are mainly based on memorizing terms. We'll also try to up the labs and videos and and look at some alternative texts. Thanks again!
    Lindsey Carter
    Wife to Chris for 19 years and Mom to Wesley 15, Adelaide 14 and Hudson 11

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    7,112

    Default

    Hi Lindsey,
    My oldest isn't in high school yet, so I haven't had to make that decision.
    But as a former public high school Biology teacher, I will say there is a lot of Biology (and Chemistry and Physics) that can be investigated without a heavy emphasis on memorization or math. I was also going to suggest having him narrate instead of filling out a worksheet with terms. This will let you see what he is taking away from the chapters, what he finds interesting, and also what concepts he is missing.

    This blog has a great list of "living" science books and biographies.
    I have also used her curriculum guides for grades 4-6 and also 7-8 and I feel like the kids (and I) are learning a lot of great science from these.
    Loving, learning, and living in central VA with my adventurous husband of 14 years and our three children.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Set Free Academy
    Posts
    3,987

    Default

    We have been there. We love the 101 series.
    Robin, wife for 22 years to a wonderful man, and mama to 20yo Belle; 18yo Kitty; 14yo Princess, and 12yo Boyo.
    Words for 2015 and 2016 and probably forever: Be her.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kansas flint hills
    Posts
    2,459

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin in Colorado View Post
    We have been there. We love the 101 series.
    Ditto the "101 Series"! It's not rigorous, but my daughter has learned a lot, and for a 'non-STEM' girl, this was a good fit!
    Livin' on the prairie with special husband and wonderful young lady! (7/00)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin in Colorado View Post
    We have been there. We love the 101 series.
    Yes! This is what I was going to recommend! This is a great, affordable, and engaging resource for Biology, Chemistry, and Physics!
    ~eclectic homeschooling mom of 3

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Au
    Posts
    13,318

    Default

    You could look at the Friendly Biology Programme. We loved it. Video lectures were a huge deal for my Irlen kid. Also, he offers a 40% restart discount if you're using a curriculum that doesn't work so totally reach out to them if you opt to go this path. No need to memorise long lists of anything, no dissections unless you want to watch those particular videos.. experiments are simplistic but enjoyable.

    ETA: all the tests were multiple choice, we did them orally. Some of the questions were meant to be "trick" questions for the student to notice the misspellings, which is questionable for an Irlen kid. In those situations I just asked for the name. It was very very doable. My kid went from HATING biology {Apologia} to enjoying it. He's still not keen on the subject in general {he hates blood and guts and gets very week kneed at the sight, bones are his thing} and has no interest in a career in the field, but he no longer dreaded it to the point of putting it off every day.
    Kendra, wife of Lawrence, mother of three.

    I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •