Monday, October 1

Apologia Science Marine Biology {Review}

This review was originally published September 2017 on our Gypsy Road site.

Apologia Educational MinistriesWhen you think of Oklahoma, ‘ocean’ is not the first thing that comes to mind, but did you know that Oklahoma used to be completely underwater?  When you dig down into sedimentary rock, there are so many layers of marine animal fossils!!  It’s really quite something!  These days, there’s not much ocean to be found, so we try to visit the beach as often as possible on our travels.

With our most recent trip to Cabo San Lucas, our upcoming trip to the Outer Banks, and the boys’ high level of interest in marine biology, it seemed a natural fit for us to look into Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set, the newest edition from Apologia Educational Ministries.  This high school level course includes 16 modules – each designed to be completed in two weeks – for a full year science credit.  Each module includes vocabulary, comprehension questions, a study guide, tests (and answers), and lab experiments.  With the exception of the dissection kit (used in several of the labs), everything that you need is right here!

Peek inside the textbook with the photos below!

The student book and test booklet provide opportunities for reinforcing what is learned from the text.  Each chapter has its own section, just as you would expect a workbook to that accompanies a text, with several pages dedicated to it.  There are comprehension questions, vocabulary work, and diagramming pages.  This is a good way for me to send my son off to his room to work on biology, but still know that he's done the work and is understanding and retaining it.  He liked the diagramming parts best, and often ended up doodling more sea creatures in the blank spaces found on some of the pages!  The test booklet is similar to the student notebook, but with fewer pages dedicated to each section / chapter.  Again, it is a good way to see just how much the student understands AND it is a written record of the work he has done.

Peek inside the student book and test booklet with the photos below!

Most of what you’ll need for the lab experiments, dissection kit excluded, are items that can be found around the home or at any grocery store.  The earlier modules don’t require the dissection kit, leaving you plenty of time to order it and have it arrive before it’s needed.  I liked seeing the boys work together with these hands-on projects.  Even though only the oldest is at high school level, they both worked together on the labs…and without bickering!  Here they are putting salt water through the desalinization process (a lab you’ll find in Module 1).

The companion Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD is a big help for those with various learning styles.  It reads the text aloud (helping with some of the big words!), which will be perfect when my next child comes into this course, as reading remains a difficulty for him.  He will be able to follow along with the book as it reads aloud.

The modules included are :
  • The Oceans of Our Planet
  • Life in the Sea
  • The First Four Kingdoms
  • Marine Invertebrates I
  • Marine Invertebrates II
  • Marine Vertebrates I
  • Marine Vertebrates II
  • Marine Ecology
  • The Intertidal Zone
  • Estuary Communities
  • Coral Reefs
  • Continental Shelf Communities
  • The Epipelagic Zone
  • The Deep Ocean
  • Ocean Resources
  • Effects of Humans on the Sea
Things we liked…
  • The modules are short and easy to digest.  They also include many full-color illustrations, which are nice for visual learners.
  • The provided daily schedule outlines the whole course over the year, making it easy to pull out the book and go!
  • The appendix, glossary, and bold print sprinkled throughout the text help the student pull out things to focus on, and find topics of interest to learn more.
  • The study guides and tests – with answers for the teacher – help to reinforce concepts and are valuable feedback tools for the teacher.
  • The hands-on lab experiments don’t require a lot of supervision and greatly reinforce concepts.  Plus, they’re fun!
  • The multimedia CD is perfect for the audial learner.  Coupled with the labs, this course appeals to all three learning styles.

We had never used Apologia before for science classes, but I feel like it’s a solid curriculum.  The boys enjoyed using it, and it’s written with many real-world applications in mind.  We will probably investigate more of their high school level courses for future credits.

See what others are saying about Marine Biology at the Homeschool Review Crew!
Crew DisclaimerMarine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set {Apologia Educational Ministries Review}

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