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Specific assistance with Biology: Cellular Respiration

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    Specific assistance with Biology: Cellular Respiration

    I'm reaching out here because I've hit something I can't solve on my own. Specific help or an idea on where I can ask would be great.

    We are using Novare Biology this year. On recommendation from my mom who taught biology for years and taught me biology, I swapped the chapter order to cover the macro topics first such as chordates, human anatomy, etc. along with all our dissections. I have a copy of Holt Biology that we have been using when I thought Novare glossed over something. We have since circled back to the beginning to cover cellular structure and function and have now entered chapter 4, which is energy in the cell, including cellular respiration.

    A few other data points. I have had a phD biochemist and also my mom, tell me that this book "likes" to focus on the biochemistry aspect heavily and may be too advanced for high school. I have had my son using Khan academy to help with lecturing and to get the same level of material coverage I have had to go into the AP bio section or the Biology library as a whole which exceeds what Khan Academy has for high school. Holt covers this same material but not as in depth, although some slightly simplified diagrams are present. It still has many of the reactions present. I can post a photo or a page for comparison. I don't ever remember having this myself. We used aBeka when I was in high school (was it in there and I don't remember?) and I went on to study mechanical engineering (waiting for Physics! LOL). My sister, who did have biology at the college level, going on to become a vet, said that she wished she had been stronger on the Krebs cycle "everyone seemed to know it cold and I had to work to catch up". My son is thinking of going into biology in college, although he is a freshman now so there is time to finish deciding. Those are my data points as I try to wrap my brain around this.

    And my overall question: How much of this does he need to know? To what level? The course objectives for this chapter in Novare state: Draw a skeleton diagram of glycolysis (not including chemical structures), naming the inputs, outputs, and their destinations. Same thing for Krebs cycle. Briefly summarize the general matter and energy transformations in each stage of cellular respiration: glycolysis , the oxidation of pyruvate, the Krebs cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation, including where each process occurs.

    I'm looking at this chapter, for the second time, having read it, and fallen asleep in two khan videos LOL. I feel like we could anchor here for a month and still not have it down. I don't want to let my own perceptions of difficult color what my kid is capable of, but I am also not trying to teach an honors level course here. I just want him to know what he needs to know.

    I uploaded a pdf with the Krebs Cycle from each book. The other steps in cellular respiration have a similar degree of detail between books.
    Attached Files
    MP since 2011
    DS, 15, MP 10th grade
    DS, 13, MP 8th grade

    The Holt Biology diagram is closer to the level of detail I expected from my older children. I don't know if that helps. The Novare exam that corresponds to that chapter should tell you what the authors expect of the student. That's what I do for Novare chemistry; I look over chapter exam & key and make a review checklist for my son. I've been on the fence between Novare and Holt for next year. You have tipped me toward Holt. I've forgotten all that Krebs stuff. Yikes!
    DS16, mix of MP and other resources 2021-2022

    "[May] the peace of God, which passes all understanding, ... keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."


      I would base what you require your student to learn on what the tests and quizzes require. The only questions I see on the quizzes and tests are to name the four stages of cellular respiration and describe how each contributes to the overall purpose of the process. I would focus on the numbered summaries the text provides for each of the four stages. The answers contain a brief summary plus inputs and outputs. There is another question comparing Krebs and Calvin that comes straight from the objectives. Again I would focus on the summaries provided in the text.

      High school biology is much different today than when I took it. There is a much larger emphasis on molecular and cell biology. Even the MPOA class which uses Holt places a heavier emphasis on those spending much more time on the early chapters and rapidly moving through the later chapters.

      I bought the biology text thinking I would have my son use it next year in 9th grade, but after looking through it I decided to put him in Introductory Physics. My daughter is using the chemistry text this year, and I love it. She has learned so much and really does seem to be mastering the material, but after looking over the biology tests, I may consider having my son do chemistry and then biology.
      DD 17 | 12th
      DS 15 | 9th
      DD 13 | 8th

      13th Year HSing, 9th Year MP