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High school biology without labs? I always thought that was unheard of, or maybe that was just if you knew your child wasn’t going to college. Mine is planning to attend college, but not in a science-related field.
I’m wondering if most of you have your children do labs in high school or not….BookwormParticipant
IF YOUR CHILD MIGHT BE GOING TO COLLEGE, LABS ARE IMPERATIVE. YOU ARE PUNISHING YOUR CHILD BY INFLICTING MASS IGNORANCE AND CONFUSION ON THEM IN THEIR FRESHMAN LAB SCIENCE REQUIREMENT OTHERWISE. DO LABS. DISSECTIONS ARE OPTIONAL. LABS ARE NOT. FULL LABS, WITH A HYPOTHESIS, TESTING, AND WRITING A LAB REPORT. Most colleges REQUIRE a freshman lab science course, with a required lab, in which the student is pretty much assumed to know what the heck he is doing. If he does NOT, he will pay–with lowered grades, increased study time, anxiety, and stress. My son’s college is pretty homeschool friendly–but even they constantly complain about the lack of lab science knowledge in homeschoolers. They told me it is a homeschooler’s number one weakness. And it doesn’t need to be that way! And there is no “my child won’t be going into a science related field.” LIFE is a science related field. You wouldn’t say “My kid doesn’t really need to learn real English because she isn’t going into an English related field”, would you? This is a world in which, if you don’t know or understand the natural world, how it works, what the meaning of all the studies and statistics and arguments (many based on science principles)–you are going to have a lower quality of life. We often think of Charlotte’s “spacious room” in terms of music, or art, or poetry. A BIG PART OF THAT SPACIOUS ROOM IS SCIENCE. Science is awesome and cool and wondrous. Don’t leave that part of your kid’s room unfinished! Just do real science! It’s not that hard. Trust me, Apologia is well written for a science text and is approximately 1000 times more user friendly than the text your kid will be getting in freshman lab science.
I use science every day, and I”m not in a “science related field.” I’m just living in a world full of science.Karen SmithModerator
To add to what Bookworm posted, science studies are about much more than learning about a science topic, or being a “sciency” person. The discipline, study skills, reasoning skills, and critical thinking skills acquired through studying biology, chemistry, physics, etc. are useful to many areas of everyday life.
Oh, please….I wasn’t saying high school students shouldn’t do labs. Quite the opposite, as I said I thought that not including labs was unheard of.
I have always assumed colleges would want lab experience as part of high school science–that’s how it was with college prep back when I was in high school, so I was surprised to read posts in this thread that sounded, to me, as though several parents were not requiring labs (or were not planning to). Perhaps I just misread the posts or scanned through them too quickly.
Okay, I see now that only one poster mentioned not doing labs.TailorMadeParticipant
This link may help you with dissections.luv2sewParticipant
I’ve graduated two into college. One is going into a science related field. Labs are a must for high school classes.
I would also make sure that any guide/textbook/resource has authors that actually have credentials and experience in the field in which they are writing. In the past fifteen years, the homeschool publishing market has exploded to the point we now have homeschooling parents and students writing material for other homeschoolers. This is not a bad thing at all! I think, especially when it comes to high school sciences and math, we need to make sure we are buying quality material with knowledgeable authors/experts.
You see, I always thought of dissections when I thought of labs, even though that’s only a very small part of what most courses recommend.
My kids apparently didn’t get enough of my genetic material when it comes to that. I recall, in 9th grade, being paired up with 3 boys (mostly “jocks”) for labs–don’t know how that happened–and when we had to dissect the piglet, the frog, and the earthworm, guess who got elected to do the surgery? None of the guys wanted to do it, so (while shaking & feeling nauseous on the inside) I pasted my best I-am-not-at-all-bothered-by-this game face on and did the dissections for them. Gained a newfound respect from them, though….(who’s a shy wallflower, now, huh?)JennyMNParticipant
Can someone define “lab” for me? Is it another word for an experiment? Everything I read about homeschooling high school uses that word but no one ever defines what it really is.marmiemamaParticipant
Sorry for my downplay of labs, ladies…duly noted. Will make sure she gets one done in her senior year.Karen SmithModerator
A “lab” is basically anything that gives a hands-on experience to what is being taught in the book. Labs help to develop critical thinking skills by allowing the student to decide what he thinks will happen, observe what does happen, record what happened, and draw conclusions based on his results.
For example, a biology student may read about how different conditions affect a plant’s growth. She would do a lab to test what was read about. She may grow several of the same type of plant in varying light conditions. She would hypothesize what she thinks will happen based on what she knows. She will observe what does happen, then draw conclusions based on her results as compared to what she learned from the book. Sometimes what happens is exactly as the book taught, sometimes not, because books use generalities to describe what usually happens. There would be several factors that could give the student different results than what the book taught: different type of plant used, different minerals in the water, different soil makeup, etc.JennyMNParticipant
Thank you, Karen, that is very helpful. I’m printing it out and putting it in with my homeshooling high school notes.Julee HuyParticipant
Has anyone every thought about using Science Shepherd Lab DVD and Manual with another science curriculum?
I’m considering doing Abeka Biology and Science Shepherd labs. Thoughts?BeccaWParticipant
I started out this year with DIVE Biology, using the BJUPress textbook — but it’s just getting tough and discouraging for my daughter. Trust me — the girl is smart — Duke TIP — but she’s in tears every day almost. I’m thinking of switching to Queens’ Summer by the Sea — and just have her continue to watch and do the lab sheets from the DIVE CD so that we can count it on our transcript. In FL, you have to have 2 sciences with lab, plus 1 more that doesn’t have to have a lab.retrofamParticipant
With the definition of lab given on this thread, labs should be able to include creative, outside the textbook experiences, as long as the student first learns how to use the scientific method and record their findings. I am picturing a custom curriculum driven by a student’s interest, but also includes some textbook labs also.
Does anyone agree?denise riddleParticipant
Thank you thank you for taking the time to post this!!
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