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  1. #1
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    Default Finding a H.S. Biology course

    Hi all.
    I'm working on a project for the BioLogos Foundation and we are trying to consolidate advice and resources for homeschooling parents choosing a high school biology course. We want to feature options that are not young earth creationist or intelligent design focused and cover the material you would find in a typical intro to biology textbook.

    I'm looking for any comments, reviews, pros and cons, or general insights in the following areas:

    Using a standard textbook (like Miller and Levine) and designing/teaching a course yourself. Did you contact a textbook rep to obtain teachers guides tests? What did you do for labs? Do you know of good places to help you with lesson planning or scheduling?

    Buying a curriculum guide from somewhere that provides lesson plans for teaching a standard biology text. I'm aware of Kolbe offering something from a Catholic perspective, though they use a secular text. Have you used other companies that offer something similar that takes the lesson planning off the parents hands?

    Using a collection of unit plans to cover major topics. Is there a provider of this kind of non-textbook based curriculum and what units would need to be covered?

    Enrolling in an online course. I'm interested in online options that use standard texts (not just 'faith neutral' ones that avoid evolution and age of the earth questions, but ones that teach the scientific consensus as a major component of biology) and ideally don't include any anti-evolution or ID slant. What questions do you ask an online course provider and what are the pros and cons of different online options (correspondence, satellite real time classes, dual enrollment for credit courses, etc.)?

    Enrolling in a biology course at a local community college. How did you go about it? What were the rules for eligibility (pre-reqs, age of student, etc.)?

    Other options like local co-ops or self-study or things I'm not thinking of?

    Thanks so much for any input or experiences you can send my way.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by CJinOAX View Post

    Using a standard textbook (like Miller and Levine) and designing/teaching a course yourself. Did you contact a textbook rep to obtain teachers guides tests? What did you do for labs? Do you know of good places to help you with lesson planning or scheduling?
    This is what we did. I purchased older used editions of Miller & Levine student and teacher's manual from either Amazon or Abebooks. I also bought corresponding lab books. We did as many labs as I had materials for, which usually ended up to be at least two a week. We already had a good microscope. The rest of the materials I purchased through Home Science Tools.

    Most standard textbooks used in schools tend to have far more material than can be realistically covered in one academic year. So I first decided what was important for them to know (cells and functions, botany, animal kingdoms, etc.) and what they could pick up from other classes (human biology = health) and we could ignore. I then planned accordingly. To help with planning, every once in a while I would look at this blog, Quarks & Quirks, where a homeschool mom posted lessons for a year-long biology course. For those with no idea where to start, it is a gold mine of material.

    I put together my own tests using various free textbook companion sites I found online that have test bank questions.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (21), a University of Iowa junior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

    Son (20), a Purdue University sophomore majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, and history

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by inmom View Post
    This is what we did. I also bought corresponding lab books. We did as many labs as I had materials for, which usually ended up to be at least two a week. We already had a good microscope. The rest of the materials I purchased through Home Science Tools.
    Was the lab book published by Pearson to go with the text, or did you use one from a different curriculum provider?

    Thanks for the link to the Quarks and Quirks blog, I'll check it out.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by CJinOAX View Post
    Was the lab book published by Pearson to go with the text, or did you use one from a different curriculum provider?

    Thanks for the link to the Quarks and Quirks blog, I'll check it out.
    It was the one published by Pearson to go with the text. I was lucky enough to find two 'used" copies that were never written in. Old, unused public school editions.

    Keep in mind that I was comfortable putting the class together myself as I am a former high school physics and math teacher, along with a fair amount of middle school science teaching (science topic smorgasbord.)
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (21), a University of Iowa junior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

    Son (20), a Purdue University sophomore majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, and history

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Finding a H.S. Biology course