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  1. #1

    Default Big History Project / REAL Science Odyssey Biology 2 and Astronomy 2 - seeking advice

    Hello, everyone.

    We are in planning mode and would love some feedback.

    Has anyone used REAL Science Odyssey’s Biology 2 for a high school level course? We have planned to use it for 9th grade biology, filling it out with the author Blair Lee’s suggestions for extensions. Could it be used for 10th grade biology instead, with us completing a difference science in 9th?

    We are considering switching gears and would like to do the entire course of Big History Project in 9th grade. This could cover 1 credit for high school history (world history), and 1 credit for high school science (earth and space science.)

    We may round out the Big History Project science with REAL Science Odyssey’s Astronomy 2. But we wonder, too, if this would be too much. Should we just use the Astronomy 2 as another full year’s science credit ?

    On the Pandia Press site, REAL Science Odyssey Biology 2 is listed as geared through grade 9, and REAL Science Odyssey Astronomy 2 as geared through grade 10.

    Does it make a difference if this Biology 2 course is covered in grade 10 vs. grade 9?

    We’d love to hear from any of you who have used Big History Project for high school students, and also REAL Science Biology 2 and/or Astronomy 2. Any thoughts or words of wisdom on all this would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you very much!

  2. T4L In Forum Jan20
  3. #2


    I am looking at this also for next year and will follow for others opinions. Having used RSO in the past - I don’t think one grade level matters for the sciences (either up or down). But I’m trying to decide what science to use with it also. I am leaning toward biology because evolution is usually covered in high school biology and it is in BHP. Are you planning on following the one year lesson plan that combines BHP with world history?

  4. #3


    I can't answer specifics about the curricula, as I did not use either.

    However, you can order your science however you want in high school. My son's order was Physics 1-9th, Chemistry-10th, Biology-11th, and Physics II- 12th. It was his preference, it didn't matter to colleges later on (just that he took a certain # of lab-based courses), and I didn't care about the order.

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  5. #4


    We are currently using RSO Bio2 for my 6th grader. I love RSO, but I cant say Id recommend it for serious high school.
    I think the reason its not recommended for grades 10-12 is that its not rigorous (?) or official enough for a serious college prep level science with lab. Its not really a second year high school biology course - the Bio 1 is suitable for early elementary, and covers many of the same topics (I am using it simultaneously with my K boy.)
    Does it comment on if it prepares students for the AP Bio exam?

    I would guess it depends on what your daughter’s post-high school plans are, and how important science is to it.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  6. #5


    We actually used Bio 2 in 5th grade. I was following more to see who had used BHP and how to blend in a science course with it. I think RSO says it’s for grades 5-9 but ithe site does have suggestions for making it more challenging for high school students.

  7. #6


    High school biology is high school biology whether you do it in 9th grade or 12th grade. I second what Inmom said about how you can order it however you want. There's a whole school of thought that you should be doing physics first. One of the main reasons that American schools typically do biology first is that physics ideally contains at least algebra and chemistry is better after physics according to most schools of thought. Since back in the day very few kids went into high school having done Algebra I, they put biology first. But some people feel biology is better studied after you do chemistry because them you can go in with an understanding of biochem.

    I don't know RSO well enough to say if it's good enough for high school or not. I know that some people feel it is with beefing up. Others think it's not. There *are* other secular options for high school biology. But they will obviously be more textbooky and highschooly and less homeschooly like RSO, which doesn't always mean "more rigorous" necessarily, but is just something to consider, I guess.
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  8. #7


    And, of course, as homeschoolers, we don't have to have three years of the traditional sciences. For a STEM student, you probably want to have some variation of that and additionally maybe have AP or a DE credits and some electives. But for non-STEM students, colleges are mostly looking for at least three years total of science, to include A physical science and A biological science, and at least two lab courses. Obviously that varies a bit from place to place, but a homeschooler doesn't have to have physics-chemistry-biology. You could have Environmental Sci, Anatomy, Marine Bio, Astronomy, Earth Sci, Forensic Sci, Geology... or you could have even more specific things like semester classes in Genetics, Ecology of the Great Lakes, Herpetology... really anything as long as it added up to meet those basic requirements (or whatever your prospective colleges might want - always good to check).
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  9. #8


    My oldest DD did RSO BIO2 in 7th and 8th grades. Now she's doing Holt fir High School Biology. There does seem to be a lot more covered in Holt, znd I think RSO really prepared her for it. We hsve used some of the same labs bc I think RSO is great for labs, but I do think content is a little lighter than the hs bio textbook. Thst said, I'd use it for a student who was not STEM focused.
    Mom to 5 great kids~

  10. #9


    My 9th grader is doing Biology for the Rhetoric Stage from Elemental Science. It uses Late Nite Labs for all the labs and I have found it to be rigorous enough for high school biology.

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Big History Project / REAL Science Odyssey Biology 2 and Astronomy 2 - seeking advice