Despite the persistently mixed reviews for Bob Jones science, one theme consistently emerges—if you don't want to spend time personally teaching your kids science every day, don't buy this curriculum. Like all Bob Jones curricula, this one is heavily slanted toward a classroom setting and you can forget about letting your student teach himself. On the other hand, if you're willing to follow the lesson plans and formally instruct your student, this is a great choice. Like most other science options, the elementary texts deal with general science and the 7-12 grade books cover more specific branches of science like biology and physics.
BJUP has been making textbooks for several decades now and they've perfected the art of making a visually engaging student text. The pictures are fun and colorful and just plain enjoyable to look at. But pages can be hard to look at for this same reason—there's often so much to see that the student might find it difficult to concentrate. The texts aren't as comprehensive as they might be, but this deficiency is fully compensated for in the teacher's manuals. Much of the information students need to learn is actually in these manuals (as well as everything the teacher needs to know).
Students can certainly learn what they need from this course. If nothing else, parents with a time-constraint could simply have their kids read the teacher's manual and take the tests. However, it is often left up to the instructor to make the presentation of material interesting and fun. Appraisals of the experiments and activities by parents who have used the program are varied, and seem to depend on how well their children enjoy science in the first place. Kids who are good at science and/or enjoy it seem to find the experiments somewhat dull and uninteresting, while those who needed a boost in the subject found them fun and educational.
There is no separate series for younger or older students, but the coursework does change significantly. To understand the differences, see our reviews on both the elementary and upper grade science series. Again, if you're willing (and able) to invest the time and effort of actively teaching science, this is a good curriculum. If not, you'd be better off looking elsewhere.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.