You may recall from my High School Plans for 2021-2022 article that although our son is chronologically an 8th grader, he is completing homeschool high school biology this year. Our homeschool co-op was offering the biology lab, so I was ecstatic to be able to review the Homeschool High School Biology curriculum from Apologia.
Homeschool High School Biology
A little background. Although his interests lean toward other sciences, he las long been a fan of biology and dissections. He did his first dissection in a Squid Anatomy Class at Sea Life Kansas City Aquarium a few days before his sixth birthday. He was using the Exploring Creation with Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day curriculum at the time.
Look at that smile. I will never forget the level of excitement he had to be given his very own squid to dissect!
Fast forward to 2020, when we visited the co-op that we are now members of. He was able to sit in on the biology lab, and helped dissect a fish. He thoroughly enjoyed the day, and many “give me back that filet o fish” jokes were told for several
days weeks after.
When we learned that the biology lab, using Apologia Biology , would be offered again this school year, Mister was eager to sign up for it. He has taken other classes offered by this teacher, including an Earth Science lab, a Physics lab, and a Historically Artsy class. He enjoys her classes and she is accepting of students that are younger than typical in a high school lab.
The 3rd edition Apologia Biology set contains Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology, 3rd Edition softcover textbook, Solutions & Test Manual (One set of test pages is shrink-wrapped with this manual), Student Notebook, MP3 Audio CD, and Video Instruction Thumb Drive.
Save 15% when you purchase the Exploring Creation with Biology, 3rd Edition, Superset! This is the revised and updated edition of the first-year biology course for students in high school. This set contains Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology, 3rd Edition softcover textbook, Solutions & Test Manual (One test packet is shrink-wrapped with this manual), Student Notebook, MP3 Audio CD, and Video Instruction Thumb Drive.
The Apologia Biology 3rd Edition suggested daily schedule is based on a 5 day week, with 34 weeks to cover the 16 modules, including 4 quarterly tests. We are accustomed to a 4 day week with Apologia, but this IS high school. You *could* still employ a 4 day week, but it would take roughly 43 weeks to complete, as opposed to 34. We're following the schedule provided by our co-op teacher, so it's different anyway.
We do own the Exploring Creation with Biology, 2nd Edition textbook, as well as the Student Notebook and Solutions and Tests manual. Aside from being written by different authors, there are several key differences between the 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition. The 3rd Edition of Apologia Biology was significantly revised and updated. The updated edition includes more in-depth explanations of certain concepts and new graphics to help students understand the life sciences.
Some of the updates include:
- Content has been updated to include the most current science
- The sequence of information has been reorganized to help students progress logically through their studies
- Updated and new experiments – including microscopic labs, dissection labs, and household labs
- Infographics, images, and illustrations updated to aid visualization of difficult concepts
- New content, including one about photosynthesis and one about diseases.
- Genetics section revised and updated with more up to date information on DNA
- Biological Classification System information updated
- The newer student textbook is also softcover, as opposed to the hardcover textbook of old.
As mentioned, some of the labs have been replaced, some have been updated, and some are just new. One lab that is kept in both books is the Osmosis in Animal Cells experiment (Module 5, 2nd edition; Module 4, 3rd edition).
The difference between the labs in the two books is significant. The updated lab experiments in the Apologia Biology 3rd Edition so far have been more comprehensive and include troubleshooting instructions. Now we know what to do when things go sideways, rather than having to troubleshoot on our own or ask others who've completed the experiment before.
By the way, this particular experiment is pretty neat. I'll be repeating it for our younger kiddos, just because we can.
Because of the updates in the Apologia Biology 3rd Edition, the components (i.e. student notebook and tests) of the new 3rd edition course are not compatible with the 2nd edition. If you want to use the 2nd edition, you're going to have to hunt for it from resellers.
One thing that is new to us is the Biology 3rd edition video instruction thumb drive. These videos feature Apologia author and marine biologist, Sherri Seligson. It is an optional, supplemental product, but is well worth consideration. It will certainly enhance your student’s learning. The video content includes on-location videos, animations, instructor explanations, experiments, and more. It is phenomenal.
I've heard some mixed reviews from seasoned homeschoolers, who like the writing style or the sequence of the 2nd edition. In fact, our co-op teacher prefers, and teaches from, the 2nd edition. We will be holding on to both editions. I do really like the updates in the Apologia Biology 3rd Edition curriculum. It is a robust curriculum that is sure to prepare your high school student for college classes! The video instruction thumb drive is a solid investment. Apologia Biology has been voted the #1 Creation-Based high school homeschool biology course for over 12 years in a row. I certainly understand why!