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Do you worry about teaching high school science in your homeschool? Maybe you love science but you worry that you won’t be able to keep up teaching at this level, or that it will be too expensive to teach high school science at home. I’m so excited to share with you a science program that we have really been enjoying. For the past while, we have been using Biology 101 from The 101 Series and I haven’t found an easier to use science program.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own.
The 101 Series is produced by Westfield Studios owned by Wes and Tammy Olson. In 2003 Tammy was looking for a high school biology curriculum to help her teach their two high school sons and couldn’t find what she was looking for. So they decided to create their own.
I’ve often said that my favourite homeschool curriculums are written by other homeschooling families because they understand what works better in a home environment. This science program is an example of just that, easy to use and flexible.
How do they produce science videos and are they qualified?
Wes Olson has a long background in filmmaking and specializes in taking complex subjects, making them interesting and breaking it down into easy to understand concepts.
To create The 101 Series videos Wes researched each topic deeply and then wrote the courses, labs, and tests. Before going further every word and step were thoroughly reviewed by experts in the fields of biology, physics, and chemistry.
Isn’t that great? Is that not exactly what we are trying to teach our own children? How to research a topic well, produce something meaningful and make sure that it is accurate.
The Biology 101 course is designed to be a full high school course. It is a set of 4 DVDs with a combined running time of 4 hours and 37 minutes. Included on the DVDs is an 114 page PDF guidebook that will help you make this a full course for your high school student. Also included is a 12 page Course Accreditation Program in PDF form.
Disc 1: Introduction (15 min.) and Plants (37 min.)
Disc 2: Aquatic (40 min.) and Avian (44 min.)
Disc 3: Land Animals part 1 (22 min.)
Land Animals part 2 (28 min.)
Mankind part 1 (27 min.)
Mankind part 2 (24 min.)
Disc 4: Genetics (40 min.) and includes the PDF guidebook and accreditation.
The 101 Series is a great fit for children who:
Learn better from visuals.
Struggle with textbooks but learn easily from discussions.
Would benefit from a biology overview before starting an intense study.
Do not need an advanced biology course for college. If you need a more advanced program you can use a textbook alongside the 101 Series.
A Christian Science Program
This high school science program is taught from a strong young earth Christian viewpoint. I love that as it more difficult to find a wide range of quality Christian science programs at the high school level.
Since this course is a biology class instead of a general science on the first DVD after the introduction that explains how the course works and the classification of systems, it moves on to the third day of creation when plant life was created.
Although the target age group for this science DVD is high school your entire family will enjoy the DVDs.
Since our family has always tried to do as much group work together as possible I love how the DVDs are made to be deep but interesting and simple enough that my younger children actually want to sit in on the lessons with my high school aged daughter.
Biology Guidebook and Accreditation
By now you might be thinking, wait the DVDs are 4 1/2 hours how can this be a full high school course? This is where the guidebook comes in. On disc 4 there are 2 PDFs, Guidebook and Course Accreditation Program.
To help you keep track of your work for high school credits the Course Accreditation Program PDF lists activities for a 27-week course with about 135 hours of study.
The Guidebook contains all the information found on the DVDs and more. There is no need to take notes while you watch the videos.
I love this because it lets us focus on just watching and absorbing the content without the distraction of note taking. After we have watched the video we work on the lessons in the guide.
This includes reading scriptures, writing essays, drawings, discussion questions, and reading resource lists. It also includes quizzes and answer keys.
Click here to see samples of the Guidebook and Accreditation Program.
Types of Discussion Questions Included in Biology 101:
Lesson: The Plant Kingdom
How is eating a plant the same or different than eating an animal?
What did Jesus believe about creation and the Bible? Why is it important to believe what He believed?
How do we know the Bible is a reliable document?
God made all vegetation on the day before He made the sun. How could the plants have survived this?
Discuss a few of your favorite ways plants are talked about in the Bible.
Types of Multiple Choice Quiz Questions Included:
The primary function of flowers is to
The stalk attaching a leaf to the limb is
The division name of vascular plants is
Vegetation was created on which day?
Chlorophyll is the chemical responsible for
Jesus believed that God made the world in six days.
Diatoms were once living creatures.
Other Courses In The 101 Series:
In addition to the Biology 101 course that we have been using they also have Chemistry 101 and Physics 101. I’ve enjoyed using this program so much I’m planning to add their other titles to our science resources.
Easy To Use High School Science
Biology 101 is easy to use and content-rich science program. Filmed in the northwest USA it’s filled with beautiful visuals to bring your biology lessons alive. I love that this is a high school level program that I can also use with my younger children.
With my younger elementary children, they enjoy sitting in and watching the videos. We then follow up with some discussion and oral narration. My children in middle school and up use the guidebook to expand on their lessons.
What I really love about The Biology 101 course is how flexible it is. The guidebook isn’t overly cluttered. The text is large enough to be easily read by my children and still have room for notes. The accreditation guide gives you a weekly schedule to follow along with an estimate of how long each assignment will take to complete. There is also room to record how much time the assignment actually took.
The assigned reading is simply listed as read 3 to 5 juvenile books on this subject or read 3 to 5 non juvenile books on this subject. The number varies week to week. For our family this is perfect! I have built a large home library on many topics. Since Biology 101 leaves the extra reading selection up to the parent or student I can easily make use of what books we have on hand and in our local library.