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I just received the Apologia Biology book and have a question. In the front of the book, Jay Wiles says that there are three components to the labwork–experiments, microscope lab & dissection. He high recommends the experiments but says the other two are optional. I have a child who is NOT excited about dissection. Too squimish (like his mom!!) If we do the experiments & microscope labs, will that be enough to say we did lab for biology? Do colleges place alot of emphasis on dissection? This will be our first year of high school and I don’t want to start out on the wrong foot. Any input would be very much appreciated!
Susan, we chose to do all three segments, but then we have three science-oriented sons who are aiming at good colleges. I do think it possible that a biology lab with no dissections would not be as favored. But you are right–it is NOT fun. 🙂 I had a friend who used to teach biology help my sons with it. But I do think if you made some effort at doing some coverage of material, and accompanied that with an explanation of why you did not do “real” dissections, that it might be OK–unless the child is destined for a career in biology or medicine. In which case, the sooner over the squeamishness, the better. LOL There are “virtual dissection” things available online–try searching. I do not know if they are all free or if there is cost involved, but these were developed for students who had moral objections to cutting up a frog. A school near us uses these for those students.
You do really want to do one really good lab course at least in high school, possibly more if you are aiming at a competitive school. So I guess my answer is a qualified “yes, it’s ok to skip, try to find at least one virtual dissection experience–unless it’s your kid’s dream to do biology or medicine at Harvard–in which case, bite the bullet and cut up the frog. 🙂
We really enjoyed doing the labs from Quality Science Labs to accompany our biology and chemistry classes (we can’t afford the physics one!) but they do have dissecting in those, too.artParticipant
I was just curious about something. We did all the Apologia labs and dissections, but I don’t think we’ll ever have to tell our college that. I guess it’s because my son is starting at our community college. Another college in our area said they would want transcripts with descriptions. But we called a church related school across country he’s interested in, and they said he just needs a 27 on his ACT to be considered. They didn’t say they wanted to see any transcript or anything. In fact, they said a homeschool transcript wouldn’t do them any good. They said it politely though. I mean, I could just be making the whole thing up, right? But I can’t make up his ACT score.
So I guess the question is: Do you really usually have to worry about the details of what you did in a certain “class” or just the credit on your homeschool transcript?BookwormParticipant
This depends on the school. Community colleges are easiest; schools that see a lot of homeschoolers are next easiest. But there are a lot of schools out there that view homeschoolers with at least guarded suspicion. They want not only test scores, but as much info as possible on what the student did. They want to know that they can handle advanced course work and that they can work well in classroom situations. The more selective the schooll, the harder you have to work. 🙂 Those schools that have many kids competing for every admission slot–homeschoolers need to have demonstrated what they have been doing. I keep course descriptions, all sorts of evaulations, tables of contents from books used, portfolios of writing, If your child wants to go to a selective school, you are going to have to demonstrate that he or she is at least as capable as all those public-school class valedictorians with 8 AP test scores, fifteen extracurricular activities and a standard GPA.JenielleParticipant
We are just going to be doing Apologia Biology this year. So, I am not sure about what we are required to do. Here is the website for dissection links.
Some of the links are free and some have a cost. I think we will supplement with this some of the dissections, because it will help to enhance my kids experience in Biology. We were hoping to only do a frog and earthworm. I just got the book yesterday and haven’t had an opportunity to read through it.
Thanks for the link Jenielle! This looks quite useful.JenielleParticipant
No problem. Glad I could help.
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