I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

A Case for BJU Press Online Physical Science {a review}

Lab experiment for BJU Physical Science

The other day, my 9th-grade son mentioned something about inertia at the lunch table. 

"That's interesting. Tell me more," came my reply. 

He had completed a Physical Science lesson earlier that morning and still had thoughts of centripetal force running through his head. 

Admittedly, I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. But, I put on my best mom-smile, tossed out some open-ended questions like, "Why do you think that is?" and "What is the usual result?", then listened as he recalled nearly every part of that day's science assignment.

While I still can't explain inertia in detail, one thing is for certain, he can. He's outpaced me in physical science. As a homeschool mom, nothing brings me more joy than to see my kids surpass me in faith, in skill, in knowledge. Even in math and sciences. Especially in math and sciences. 

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

That's one of the reasons why for the past six years, I have been purchasing BJU Press Online video courses for my high schoolers. I want my teens to learn what I can not teach them. Upper-level science has never been my strength, partly because I find it about as interesting as a tooth extraction and partly because I just don't have a natural aptitude for it. I never want my interest, expertise, or lack thereof to stifle the curiosity or growth of my children, however.

So, as I've done with so many other subjects over the years, namely Mandarin Chinese, piano, baseball, robotics, magazine editing, and cinematography, I looked to others to supply what I was unable to provide.

A Case for BJU Press Distance Learning Physical Science {a review} #homeschoolcurriculum #creationscience #curriculum #homeschooling #homeschoolhighschool

This year, I handed off 9th-grade Physical Science to Mr. Harmon, a BJU Press Online teacher. And I'm so glad I did! But you don't have to just take my word for it. Near the end of the school year, I sat down with my son and asked him a few questions in order that he could share his opinion. Here's what he had to say...

What my high schooler thought about BJU Press Physical Science

What did a typical lesson look like for you? 

Each morning, I logged onto the Homeschool Hub (the BJU Press Online portal) and watched a video for 1/2 hour; I read the assigned section(s) in my textbook which usually took me about 15 minutes; and then I completed a section review (comprehension questions found in the textbook that I wrote the answers to in a spiral notebook) or an online quiz. 

What did you like best about BJU Physical Science?

Mr. Harmon--He's funny. He knew how to take a difficult subject apart in a way that made sense. He explained new concepts really well.

BJU Science Distance Learning Lesson

What did you like least about it?

Sometimes, the labs felt unnecessary. I'm an auditory learner and so I feel like I could have learned the information just as easily from a lecture format. But I can see how they would be helpful for high schoolers who learn best through doing.

Is the Homeschool Hub easy to navigate?

Yes. If my mom can do it, anyone can do it. (This answer could be considered rude if it were not also 100% accurate.)

If another homeschooled teen asked you about the program, what would you want them to know?

Take advantage of the printable guided notes. (These can be found in the Homeschool Hub under each lesson's daily tab.) They were very helpful because they simplified the wording of some of the information in the book. The format of the notes broke the information down into easy-to-remember chunks. 

Do you want to do a BJU Online video course for science again next year? Why or Why not? 

Yes, because science has always been a pretty boring and confusing subject for me. I don't think I've ever been really engaged in it until this year. 

Water experiment BJU Press

What I thought about the program

Last year, when BJU Press was rolling out the Homeschool Hub, their new learning portal, parents had a choice. They could opt in, putting all the grading, scheduling, and communication into one digital spot. Or, they could continue with the older less robust portal that required the use of printed teacher's guides and some analog grading. As a self-confessed slow adopter of technology (See my son's comment above), I chose to stay with the original system. This year, however, all BJU Press Online accounts were automatically exported to the Homeschool Hub, and the old system was phased out. 

To be honest, I was not thrilled with the move. I didn't want to spend time learning the ropes of a new program. The dashboard was foreign. I no longer had access to hard copies of the teacher's materials. And, I thought the move was entirely unwarranted. 

I was wrong. After a few minutes of navigating the program and some trial and error, I began to see why this more streamlined portal was such a time saver. I no longer had to drag out large teacher's guides every day to check over daily review questions, the grading was streamlined, and I could still toggle back and forth between kids since I had more than one child enrolled in a Distance Learning Program. 

Upper-level science is one subject that I have no proficiency in or desire to teach. For the third teenager in a row, I happily deferred the instruction of physical science to the expert teachers of BJU Press who are skilled in and passionate about what they know. And I don't regret it. Turns out, the Homeschool Hub didn't detract from our experience. It made it even better. 

Magnet experiment BJU Science

What came with my purchase?

For 9th-grade Physical Science, parents have the option to choose online videos or mail-order DVDs. In addition, if they already have the student materials, they can choose to purchase only the videos. I ordered the full online package which came with the following physical and digital items.

Physical Items

  • Student textbook (can be used for multiple students)
  • Student lab manual (consumable workbook)
  • Student handouts
Digital Items (downloaded from the Homeschool Hub)
  • Daily videos of instruction (180 lessons. Videos are approximately 20 minutes in length.)
  • Tests & quizzes
  • Additional handouts/worksheets
  • Guided notes 
  • Abridged versions of the teacher's key (The text material has been left out. Only the review questions and answers are included.)
Please note: the lab materials must be purchased separately. 

What is included with the parent's portion of the Homeschool Hub?

With the new portal, I could see each digital class at a glance. My dashboard included a calendar where I could set a schedule for when my teen would be doing science and when he would not. (As a 4-day-a-week homeschooler, I appreciated a program that didn't hijack my regular routine.) Since it is digital, it was easy to rearrange assignments if things ever went belly-up for a day or two. I could also view my teen's assignments, review his digital quizzes and tests, and assign grades. 

Since I had more than one child to keep track of, I could toggle back and forth between both of them using the helpful drop-down at the top of each page. The same would have been true if my 9th grader had been enrolled in more than one distance learning class. I could have easily switched subjects by clicking the "courses" tab on the side menu bar.

Reading BJU Physical Science

What was my role as the facilitator?

Each day, I made sure my son had access to the student portion of the Homeschool Hub. He logged on, watched the video, did the assignment, and logged off. 

At day's end when I was wrapping up our homeschool, I logged onto the Hub with my parent password to review any tests or quizzes that he completed. I assigned the appropriate score to any essay questions he may have had (Suggested point values are given for all essay questions.) If there were no discrepancies with the test or quiz, I "approved" it so that it could be added to his overall grade. Using the digital teacher's keys available, I graded any review questions and/or lab observations he made that day and entered the number of points earned versus potential points onto the "Assignments" page. 

At the beginning of each unit, I printed off his guided notes and any handouts he'd need for the upcoming week(s). 

And of course, I cheered him on! (As homeschool moms, we can easily be guilty of playing drill sergeant all the live long day. I think it's important to find ways to "subcontract" some of the teaching to someone or something else so that we can play cheerleader from time to time.)

Would I order the program again?

Absolutely! I plan to. What I appreciate most about all of the science options offered by BJU Press is their unwavering commitment to a Biblical worldview and creation-based content. I can rest easy each day knowing that my teens are not being taught ideologies that oppose my faith. While evolution is explained as a scientific theory, it is always presented in a way that educates not indoctrinates. It's mentioned only for the sake of making teens aware of the main tenants of evolutionary thought in order that they might recognize its fallacies and be better communicators in the creation vs. evolution debate. 

Want to learn more about BJU Press Physical Science?

Here is a sample video of the BJU Press Online Physical Science video course lesson. Of course, Physical Science isn't the only subject offered via the streaming subscription. To learn more or to see their other curriculum options head to BJU Press or Homeworks by Precept (a partner company that helps pair families with the right BJU materials).


  1. I appreciate this review- I have a curriculum picked out for my oldest son's 9th grade year coming up, but for 10th grade and the harder sciences, I think I would want to use BJU.
    I do have a question about English. I have read your blog post about switching from Abeka to BJU in upper elementary years, but have you ever used BJU online for high school grammar? My son will be doing a writing curriculum and reading books with his co-op, but I feel he needs help in grammar/punctuation, and I think a different teacher than myself might be good for him.

    1. I have not used the online program for English but only because English is my best subject. However, I have no doubt that the online program would be just as good as the science.