FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How is this program different from a traditional textbook curriculum?
A traditional textbook program usually requires the student to read a chapter and answer the questions at the end of the chapter. Often there is a quiz or a test that asks questions usually based on the bold print words in the chapter. I remember doing this! All I had to do was remember those bold words, memorize them and I would do well on the test (quiz). Did I comprehend the facts? Did I understand the concepts? Sometimes I did. As a parent using a textbook, I had a lot of difficulty finding the answers to the questions when my student had a hard time answering a question at the end of the chapter. The answer key was often a separate purchase, which I often couldn’t afford. Finding the answers to the test questions was almost too much of a challenge, and I felt that it took too much of my time to find the answers. Also, sometimes the text covers material that is a bit more social or political than I find appropriate for my school.
The manuals that I put together require the student to find the answers to a series of questions. Your student has to find an answer to a question as well as understand the material in order to articulate the answer. The goal of the manuals is to understand the concepts, to comprehend the facts. While there is some memorization necessary (names of muscles, bones…), it is not in every chapter. I made sure I placed the answer key to every quiz in the Parent Manual and the way every lab should ‘look’. A parent doesn’t have TIME to go digging for the facts in a textbook, so each week the information that the student needs to have researched contains the facts for the parent (in case the student has difficulty in his research).
- How, specifically, does it work?If you go to the How to Use this Curriculum article , the author as put together a guide to help you be successful with the High School Science in Your Home programs. Although there are a few differences, the general format for each program is similar.
- Can more than one student use this?
The parent can use the same Parent Manual for all the students in the class. Since the laboratory section of the student manual is consumable, each student will need his own Student Manual. Extra student manuals are available for purchase and include an extra copy of the quizzes/tests.
- What kind of biology curriculum is this?
High School Biology In Your Home (originally published under the name What?? Me Teach High School Biology??) involves the student in a discovery learning process by requiring him to do research (visual learning), discuss what he has discovered in his research (audio learning), and hands-on activities with some sort of lab almost every week (kinesthetic learning).
What other books do I need?
You do not have to use a textbook with this program! Library books are wonderful in that they are written by people who are excited by their subject, and that excitement is conveyed in their writing. (Textbooks and encyclopedias usually contain just the facts and can to be a little dry). A biology textbook is useful, but may not contain all the information necessary to answer a few of the lessons, so if one is desired, a used book available at the public library or at a used book store would be a good resource.
Does this meet high school requirements?
I have researched what is required by the public school system and what areas of study are necessary for a student to be considered to have taken high school biology. What I have included in the program is demanding, well-rounded, and with all the dissections would be considered a “honors” class in any institutional school situation.
What else is required for this biology program to work?
A good microscope, prepared slides and prepared specimens are necessary to get the full effects of this program. John Lind at Great Scopes has a great web site for microscopes and slides. In the Parent Manual I give approximate prices for specimens so you can buy according to your budget a piece at a time if necessary. Specimen Kits and Slide Sets are available from my website as well. See the Biology Program Catalog Page for more information about what is included in my kits.
Should there be testing in biology?
I recommend a weekly or bi-weekly testing of the facts. This is so the student will learn how to study for a quiz or an exam which better prepares him for the college experience.
Does this program really work?
This program has been successfully taught for several years and works tremendously. As with most educational experiences, the more work the student puts into it, the more he learns! Allowing the student to teach himself with materials best suited to him does help to increase the opportunity for success!
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- Is this a complete Chemistry Course for High School ?
High School Chemistry In Your Home is a demanding year of high school chemistry. If the student applies himself and does the work, the student will be well prepared for the first semester college chemistry course. It certainly will qualify for a High School level Chemistry class.
Do I need to do the labs in chemistry ?
Colleges consider chemistry to be a “lab science” and do expect actual laboratory work to take place. The labs give a hands-on application of the material studied during the week which helps to lead to an even better understanding of the topic.
- What else do I need for the labs?
You will be given 2 lists with this program. One list is for the glassware that is used for the whole year, and the approximate cost should you desire to buy them. The other list has all the items that will be used in the labs that are easily bought at a local store.
I offer a kit that contains all the difficult-to-acquire chemicals needed for the whole year of the labs. Glassware can be purchased with the kits if needed.
- How much math does my student need to know to do High School Chemistry in Your Home?
There are a lot of mathematical calculations in chemistry. The key to understanding the math is knowing how to set up the conversion fractions, being able to multiply and divide fractions, and understanding canceling in the process. What is imperative in setting up their chemical fractions is writing each number with its unit of measurement (cm, ml, feet, seconds…). If the student can cancel each unwanted unit leaving only the desired unit, then the student has set up the problem correctly and will achieve the correct answer (as long as he multiplies and divides correctly!)
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- Is this a complete Physical Science for High School?
High School Physical Science In Your Home is a thorough year of learning the physical sciences ( physics, chemistry, earth sciences, astronomy and much more). The student learns to research and budget his time and he learns to study for quizzes and final exams.
- What about the labs? Are they really necessary?
The labs give the student an opportunity to apply what he has learned during the week. The lab materials are usually things that can be found around the house or easily bought at the local store. For those items that are harder to get, I have put together a kit that contains all the more difficult to obtain items for the whole year of High School Physical Science in Your Home.
- What else do I need for this program?
Your student will be given research questions. Whatever source of information you and your student are the most comfortable with will make the best additional materials. Many of my students have used the internet with great success. Others are more comfortable with going to the library once a week and looking at different materials on different reading levels to figure out what really works best for them. The choice is yours!
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[Regarding the High School Chemistry in Your Home program] This is truly an incredible curriculum that is presented in a concise and clear manner. The student is actively involved in learning, utilizing visual learning through independent research, audio learning through discussions with other students or the teacher, and kinesthetic learning through hands-on activities. [Kris Price, Assistant to the Publishers, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine ]
I sincerely believe that if you are ready for a biology curriculum, and want one that is comprehensive, fun, and engaging, this is the curriculum to use. Further, if the whole thought of biology makes you squeamish and you’re thinking that this area of study is one that might have to be skipped, check into this curriculum. You’ll not be disappointed and, more importantly, I believe your child will have a great time learning biology.[Dr. Heather Allen, TOS Senior Analyst, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine ]
These manuals allow you to go as deep as you want! This was the highlight of our academic year![Elizabeth Bischollf North Myrtle Beach, SC ]
Hi Bridget:[Bobbi ]
We’re having a blast with the Biology – we’re on week three this week – froggy here we come! Thank you for such a fun program – it’s a lifesaver to illiterate science parents like me! ha ha
I have learned so much more with the manuals. I remember and understand so much, because I had to find the information.[Katie ]
My son has learned so much more because he had to pursue and find the answers, rather than reading a dry, boring textbook. I also liked the way the biology material starts with the study of life.[Linda Stancil, Old Fort, NC ]
I really looked with dread upon the task of teaching my daughter biology. Ms. Ardoin’s course makes it organized and complete! The teacher’s manual was a BIG help because all the questions were specifically answered. My daughter learned SO MUCH and was thrilled with her IOWA test that year because she knew ALL the science![Lynn Hogan, High Point, NC ]