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How to Crush Homeschool High School Science (Even If Your Kid Hates Chemistry)


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You know that scene in Indiana Jones when he looks into the pit where the ark is hidden and groans, “Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?”

That’s kind of how my kid felt about chemistry, complete with groaning, sweating, and that glassy-eyed stare. Okay, maybe not the sweating.

And, that low, guttural moan? That might have been me as the vision of playing nagging schoolmarm for another year flitted through my head.

How to Crush Homeschool High School Science (Even If Your Kid Hates Chemistry)

But, y’all, I’ve been doing this homeschooling thing since before Facebook hit the Internet. Yeah, let that sink in a minute. Suffice it to say that I’m over doing what we’re “supposed” to do just because we’re “supposed” to do it. So, I went looking for a high school level science class that would capture my teen’s attention.

I found Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Marine Biology. Winner, winner, chicken dinner, y’all!

What Is Exploring Creation with Marine Biology?

Exploring Creation with Marine Biology is a high school level, college-prep, lab science. It checks all the boxes to make umbrella schools, portfolio reviewers, and college admissions folks happy while still being a captivating course that excites my teen. (Just like the health course, which is, hands-down, Megan’s favorite subject this year.)

Its sixteen modules cover topics such as:

  • Ocean geography
  • Sea life processes (such as nutrition, respiration, and reproduction)
  • Marine vertebrates and invertebrates
  • Ecology
  • The ocean’s zones (which provides an excuse to watch Finding Nemo and listen to Mr. Ray sing the zones of the oceans song)
  • Ocean resources
  • Human impact on the sea

Each module contains at least one experiment, including dissection labs later in the course.

Marine Biology presents a complex topic in an engaging, conversational manner using a hardback textbook with colorful, informative illustrations and an optional spiral-bound student notebook.

Marine Biology Review

We chose the Superset, which also comes with the solutions and test manual,  an audio CD, and a DVD. I love that Apologia offers so many options for all learning types! I got the audio CD for Megan because I thought she might prefer listening and following along in the text. However, we’ve found that the student book is engaging enough to keep her interest without the CD.

The DVD was totally and completely for me. I need to see how those labs are supposed to go, y’all. And, both the CD and DVD are excellent for learning correct pronunciations of technical terms. {ahem}

Here’s a sample from the DVD:

How to Use Marine Biology

Exploring Creation with Marine Biology was designed for high school students who have completed a biology course. It’s written to the student so it can easily be completed independently, which is what we do.

The student book is technically optional, but I think it’s a must-have addition to the course. First, it contains a daily lesson schedule with the whole school year planned out for you.

See? Buy the student notebook! That’s all the reason you need.

Marine Biology Review

But, if you really need to know more about the student notebook, it contains:

  • Lots of space for taking notes and tips for how to take them
  • Grading charts and a rubric for grading experiments
  • All the On Your Own questions and space to answer them
  • Study Guide questions
  • Optional summary reviews
  • Lab reports section for all labs
  • Tips for presenting a research poster

The student textbook also contains the details for accessing the “book extras” site where students will find links to helpful websites and videos for each module and a video by Marine Biology author, Sherri Seligson, on how to write a lab report.

Thanks to the daily lesson schedule in the student notebook, planning is easy-peasy. I just plug the assignments into Megan’s assignment sheet, and she completes the lessons on her own. I watch the DVD if I need to catch up.

How to Crush Homeschool High School Science (Even If Your Kid Hates Chemistry)

More Reasons to Love Exploring Creation with Marine Biology

I really only need one or two reasons to love Exploring Creation with Marine Biology. First, my teen loves it. Second, it meets our needs for a high school level lab science.

Even though I only need the two reasons to love it, there are many more. For one, the student textbook is packed with useful, easily-accessible information for students and their homeschooling mamas (and dads).

Vocabulary words are defined in bold, off-set text. There are insets throughout the book with additional facts and points to ponder. My favorites are the Creation Connection sections that look at how scientific facts relate to scripture and creation.

You’ll also find:

  • Answers to the On Your Own questions
  • Glossary (Tell me I’m not the only one who loves a glossary, so you know exactly which definition your student needs to know.)
  • An appendix with reference figures and tables that is as interesting as it is helpful
  • Module summaries
  • A complete list of lab supplies you’ll need

If you’re looking for a high school level science lab that’s a little different from the biology/chemistry/physics routine, but still meets the need for a college-prep lab science, check out Exploring Creation with Marine Biology. Even my probably-not-college-bound teen loves and recommends it.

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