High School Level Biology-Personalized for the Naturalist at Heart
Apologia Biology for Homeschool Biology
This was our first year of high school using the Charlotte Mason method with my 14 year old son. I followed the Ambleside Online's recommendation and used Apologia Biology along with the companion CD and the dissection lab kit. At the beginning of the year I was nervous that the textbook approach to biology would dampen our living books and nature study style of learning. It has proven not to be so.
We added some extra nature study activities, journal projects, biologist biographies, and field trips to make this a fantastic year of science.
If you follow the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling or even the Classical style, you will find the information in this lens helpful in making subtle changes to the course to customize the learning to your child. We have one artist and one naturalist that enjoyed this year's biology course so it was worth the effort!
Exploring Creation With Biology - Apologia Science
Apologia Biology-Charlotte Mason Style
Including Nature Study with Your Biology Study
"His parents know that the first step in intimacy is recognition; and they will measure his education, not solely by his progress in the 'three R's,' but by the number of living and growing things he knows by look, name, and habitat. A child of six will note with eager interest the order of time in which the trees put on their leaves; will tell you whether to look in hedge, or meadow, or copse, for eyebright, wood-sorrel, ground-ivy; will not think that flowers were made to be plucked, for--
'Tis (his) faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes"--
but will take his friends to see where the milk-wort grows, or the bog-bean, or the sweet-gale. The birds of the air are no longer casual; he soon knows when and where to expect the redstart and the meadow pipit. The water-skater and the dragon-fly are interesting and admired acquaintances. His eyes have sparkled at the beauty of crystals, and, though he may not have been able to find them in situ, he knows the look of the crystals of lime and quartz, and the lovely pink of felspar, and many more."
Charlotte Mason, volume 3, chapter 7, page 76 (original text)
How To Plan A Biology Study With Charlotte Mason Principles in Mind
Making Biology More of a Living Study
As I prepared my son's high school science study, I tried to keep Charlotte Mason's words in mind. I truly wanted science to be meaningful and connected to his real life. Not all things can be seen and observed and measured but many can. I took the Apologia Biology text and went through it over the summer and found that without much additional effort, we could make his learning fit Charlotte Mason's model for teaching science. My son still reads the text and completes the notebooks but we also try to find ways of incorporating our nature walks, study, and journals into what he is learning.
Trying to Make Biology More Meaningful and Alive
Charlotte Mason places before us a mirror. A mirror for us to decide if we are truly educating our children in the realm of science. First consider what many of us do:
"What do we do? We consider the matter carefully; we say the boy will make a jumble of it if he is taught more than one or two sciences. We ask our friends--'What sciences will tell best in examinations?' and, 'Which are most easily learned?' We discover which are the best text-books in the smallest compass. The boy learns up his text, listens to lectures, makes diagrams, watches demonstrations. Behold! he has learned a science and is able to produce facts and figures, for a time any way, in connection with some one class of natural phenomena; but of tender intimacy with Nature herself he has acquired none."
Volume 3, chapter 7, pages 76-77 (original text)
What is the Handbook of Nature Study?
This book has become the basis for our family's nature study. We use it just about every week to learn how to observe and understand what we see during our outdoor nature time.
This free mini-ebook explains how to get more out of your nature study experience by showing you three easy steps to use as your family grows in confidence. I invite you to download your copy today.
Apologia Biology Textbook -Ideas for Nature Study
Lots of ways to make your biology come alive
Here are the ideas we have for adding in nature study and living books to Apologia Biology
All books referred to are listed below on this page....just scroll down.
Read biography of Carl Linnaeus
Read Microbe Hunters, chapter 1 Leeuwenhoek
Read Microbe Hunters, chapter 2 Spallanzani and chapter 3 Pasteur
Start a pond study to complement the study of microscopic organisms-protozoa
Use A Golden Guide to Pond Life
Read biography of Louis Pasteur
Continue pond study-algae
Handbook of Nature Study section on insects of the brook and pond
Nature study focus on mushrooms and other fungi
Work with yeast
Work with molds
The Biology Coloring Book by Robert Griffin-color appropriate pages to help visualize the abstract concepts in these modules
Growing pea plants to support Mendelian genetic study (just for fun)
Read a biography of Gregor Mendel
Grow radishes as part of experiment 8.4
Read a biography of Charles Darwin
Handbook of Nature Study section on rocks and minerals
Identify a local mammal and then draw where it fits in the food web.
Learn about your local watershed and then diagram it or draw a map for your journal.
Dissection of an earthworm
Nature study focus on Invertebrates-garden snails, earthworms
Handbook of Nature Study section on invertebrate animals other than insects
Nature study focus on arachnida (spiders) and/or insects and/or lepidoptera
Dissection of a crayfish
Handbook of Nature Study section on insects
Dissection of a perch and a frog
Nature study focus on amphibians
Handbook of Nature Study section on fishes
Handbook of Nature Study section on amphibians
Collect leaf samples
Nature study focus on flowerless plants
Handbook of Nature Study section on flowerless plants
Insectivorous plants-observe a Venus Flytrap or Sundew
Nature study focus on garden flowers-parts of a flower
Collect and press flowers
Handbook of Nature Study section on plants/garden flowers
Nature study focus on birds, reptiles, or mammals
Handbook of Nature Study section on birds
Handbook of Nature Study section on reptiles
Handbook of Nature Study section on mammals
Live and Learn Press - Biology Notebook Set
We used Live and Learn Press' Apologia Biology Learn 'N Folder kit which gives your review questions a lapbook format. My visual-spatial learner LOVED this as an alternative to just writing the answers out. This gave him an easy way to review each module before the text. You can see the kit on Currclick.
Biology Coloring Book - High School Level Resource
Field Guides For California
We use a variety of field guides to help us with our nature study using Apologia Biology. If you live in a different region, I suggest going into your local bookseller and looking at field guides in person. This way you can get an idea of what they are like before purchasing them.
Science Beyond the Textbooks
- Science Beyond the Texbook
Kris at At Home Science shares her methods for making a textbook come alive with living books.
- Mindful Ramblings-Apologia Biology Extras
Helpful ideas by module from a fellow homeschooler.
- Another Homeschooler Sharing Loads of Ideas
Applie's Place blog with links, photos, projects ideas, and so much more to go along with each module of this text.
- The Daisy Head - Apologia Co-Op Plans
Generous sharing of her Apologia biology co-op plans in pdf form. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the entry. Thanks!
- The Daisy Head - Module 8 and Punnett Squares
Easy hands-on lab to help with this concept using plastic eggs and Skittles.
Please leave a comment - Or even a question!
Angie on August 12, 2016:
I am wondering about the biographies used, like for Carl Linneus, etc. Is there a specific biography title? I didn't see it. Also, did you use an "Outdoor Hour" book? I would like to use your ideas here, but I want to make sure I have the needed information.
anonymous on March 04, 2013:
anonymous on September 30, 2012:
Barb McCoy (author) on September 22, 2012:
@anonymous: Yes but only as a tool. Many times we did "open book" tests or we did sections orally. I knew we would cover some of the concepts again in marine biology and in human anatomy. I concentrated on making their study meaningful and tied it into our nature study as much as possible.
anonymous on September 13, 2012:
Did you also use the Apologia Biology tests?
Shannon from Florida on September 08, 2012:
Great resource! We have used some of this book in our science studies.
Oikouros on July 22, 2012:
These are awesome resources! I was a bit nervous about using a textbook this year, but you have some good tips for making this study come alive..
jmchaconne on July 12, 2012:
I'm really impressed with your lens. I'm writing a lens about slime molds. Those industrious little amoebas fascinate me. If humans exhibited more of their attributes, we'd have a better world! I'm writing a lens about them. Any hints you can give me will be appreciated. Thanks for a great lens!
anonymous on February 28, 2012:
I found it! Thanks!
JanieceTobey on July 02, 2011:
@Barb McCoy: Ok, thanks! I'll check out the link too! :-) I appreciate the info!
Barb McCoy (author) on July 02, 2011:
@JanieceTobey: We grew peas just as a fun way to tie our garden in with our biology study. I think I noted above that it was just for fun. I did find this link but we have not done it in our family. We grew peas and looked at the peas as an observation exercise. http://www.ehow.com/way_5448204_pea-plant-experime...
JanieceTobey on July 02, 2011:
Ahh.. I've been wondering about those biology coloring books! So your son liked the one he used? On your nature study section above, you've mentioned growing pea plants. Can you please explain a bit more as to what you did with the pea plants in order to learn about genetics?
DianaHarper LM on May 28, 2011:
We still have some modules left. Thanks for the great resources. Blessed by a Squid Angel.
ngio64 on April 25, 2011:
Great lens. We used Exploring Creation with Biology but did not see this lens or think to do nature studies along with it. Squid Angel blessings!
Manikandan123 on February 04, 2011:
This is great. Biology does go beyond the textbook as you rightly point out.
eclecticeducati1 on January 12, 2011:
My oldest son is using this biology this year. I'll have to refer back to some of your suggestions here. Thanks. Great lens. :)
anonymous on January 09, 2011:
Thanks so much for including Mindful Ramblings in your links! Love how you've combined Charlotte Mason's ideas with Apologia Biology.
Jeanette from Australia on November 13, 2010:
What a great lens! I loved your list of ideas for nature study and living books to go along with this book.
LilliputStation on November 05, 2010:
My two oldest boys have been working on biology. They are having a great time with all the experiments and observations. One of their homeschool friends has been joining them for the labs, and now that they have started the dissections, my oldest daughter and their friend's sister have also joined in. While I do like the living books approach, I have found that some of my children would rather just get the information in a distilled "textbook" form. I think Apologia does a good job of engaging children with various learning styles. I love that they make it possible for me to give my science loving children the type of lab experiences they would get in a traditional school.
JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on May 01, 2010:
We prefer living books, too, but a local homeschool co-op is using Apologia for biology next year and we are considering what we should choose. Thanks for your information! :D
anonymous on July 29, 2008:
Thank you for your information. My son is wanting to use the "living books" method of learning for biology this year. We are new to CM methods of homeschooling. I have a senior, 10th grader, 8th grader, and 5th grader and have been homeschooling the entire time using only textbooks until the beginning of this year. Would you be able to tell me or give me a list to go with those grades for science.
As far as the biology is concerned, did you read the info. in the textbook and then the extra reading and labs? How did you do it?
We are starting school in 1.5 weeks and don't know how to get this right with Science.
I wanted to email you but couldn't find your address.
Thank you. I appreciate any help that you can give me.
Jimmie Quick from Memphis, TN, USA on June 07, 2008:
I've heard lots of good things about Apologia. We use Noeo now, but at higher levels I imagine we'll switch over. Great resource and glad to have it in the CM group!