Most homeschool curriculums based upon the classical method recommend teaching biology in the ninth grade. However, choosing a biology curriculum can be quite a challenge. There are so many things that you need to take into consideration when making your decision, you need to make sure that the curriculum is beefy enough for a high school credit but not too overwhelming. Plus, many homeschool curriculums are written with a religious slant so you want to be sure that the way that the theory of evolution is covered is in alignment with your religious beliefs. Here is a look at a few of the more popular high school biology curriculums.
Biology: A Self Teaching Guide
In the Well-Trained Mind Susan Wise Bauer suggests using Wiley’s Biology: A Self Teaching Guide for ninth grade biology. The book is easy to read, and explains biology in a very clear language.
However, even though Biology: A Self Teaching Guide is recommended in the Well-Trained Mind and there are glowing reviews of this product there are still several complaints from parents about the curriculum. Many parents feel that the curriculum is not a complete biology course, and feel that supplemental materials are very necessary when using this course. The next complaint about this curriculum is the fact that it does not cover the Theory of Evolution or Gregor Mendel’s genetics work.
Biology: A Self Teaching Guide costs $19.95 and can be purchased on Wiley’s website.
Apologia products seem to be the standard curriculum for most homeschoolers. They are written as classical education texts from a Christian point of view. Apologia Biology is a full thirty-six week curriculum that is complete with tests, and experiments. The experiments laid out in Apologia Biology are well written, and are very easy to do at home.
The Apologia Biology book costs $65, while the Solutions and Test Manual costs $20. You can purchase a CD-rom version of the full course for $65. Apologia also offers supplemental materials such as a Multimedia Companion CD-Rom for $15, and an MP3 Audio CD for $15. All of these materials can be purchased on the Apologia website.
Biology: Exploring Life
Prentice Hall publishes Biology: Exploring Life, which is co-written by Neil A. Campbell (author of the many Campbell college biology courses), Brad Williamson, and Robin Heyden. It is also a favorite biology curriculum among homeschoolers.
Biology: Exploring Life uses a textbook, a website, and lab activities that help to bring biology to life for students. With this program however, the CD of additional learning activities and the teacher’s manual are very integral parts of this system, so they should not be overlooked.
The Biology: Exploring Life textbook costs $75.97, and the teacher’s edition costs $89.97. Both books can be purchased on Prentice Hall’s website.