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Biology 101 & The 101 Series. Science for High Schoolers

Biology 101

Does your High School struggle with Loving Science?

All parents want their children to love learning! And there are certain courses that are required for high school graduation, among them higher level sciences, like Biology, Chemistry, and sometimes, Physics. But what do you do when your child thinks he dislikes these subjects?

Understanding Learning Styles

Some students are going to thrive with pretty much anything you set before them. They absorb knowledge and facts like a sponge! Memorizing is a game to them, and abstract concepts are exciting!

Others…well…they maybe struggle a little more. They love science when they can see and feel it, but the facts have a hard time sticking! Does this sound familiar? It does in our home!

biology 101

I want to introduce you to a science resource that you may not be familiar with.

This post contains affiliate links, but I am not compensated to write this review. I just decided to write it because we love the product. We actually are not connected in any way to the 101 Series, except as customers!

The 101 Series for High School Science

Biology 101, Chemistry 101, Physics 101–All part of the 101 Series Science Curriculum

biology 101 dna

We have used many science curricula over our homeschooling years. Now that our son is in high school, we knew that credits and courses matter more than they used to in the lower levels.

I expected that we would use Apologia Science, as it is an excellent coverage of the science topics, and I know that it is solid. We LOVED the lower level science books through Apologia–The Young Explorer Series!! Our favorite was the Human Anatomy and Physiology book! But we actually loved the Chemistry and Astronomy books just as well! These courses were fun, hands-on, and full of great experiments! I think they were our top pick for science when our boys were younger!

Last year…we had big plans!

But…life kind of got really busy for us, with building, and the curriculum that I THOUGHT we were going to use (full of library visits, outside reading, plenty of books and video links), just wasn’t going to happen. I still think it looks like a great course, but our son was just too busy with all of his carpentry work, and I was too busy to go running around finding new books every week. So…that one got shelved. If you’re curious about that curriculum, check it out at Guest Hollow. It really does look pretty cool.

Once we realized that we could not do the Guest Hollow biology, I pulled out the Biology 101 DVDs that I had ordered, thinking they’d be enrichment. Keep in mind that my adviser from Home Life Academy had recommended this series also, but I had made my plans, and forgotten about it!

Here’s what the Biology 101 Series is about:

Biology 101 is described as a visually rich, Creation-based, full-year biology course for the high school student. This quote taken from the editorial review on amazon.com

Biology 101 is a comprehensive overview of the amazing world of biology, in a set of 4 high-quality DVDs. Biblically-sound and scientifically accurate, this creation-based production is absolutely unique in its production style. Taking God’s Word as the starting point, all life is divided according to the days of creation. An exciting, visually-rich experience, Biology 101 is fully endorsed by PhD biologists at the Institute for Creation Research. A printable, 114 page Guidebook is included on Disc#4 in pdf format as well as a 14 page Accreditation Booklet for those wanting more hours in their biology studies.

J. cole
Biology 101

From the author’s description:

Shot on-location in the US Northwest and elsewhere, this creation-based production is perfect for teens. Absolutely unique in its production style, Biology 101 can accomplish more to explain the origin, classification and function of living things in 4 hours and 37 minutes of screen time than a year of normal high school biology classes. Students will take God’s Word as the starting point and divide all life according to the days of creation. An exciting, visually-rich experience, Biology 101 is full of accurate and fascinating information supported by hundreds of captivating visuals and graphics. Excellent for teens currently taking or about to enter a science class where the Bible’s clear explanation of how life began, is ignored. A 12-page “Course Accreditation Program” is included for homeschool families and others who want a year-long biology course as well as a printable guidebook that will allow the student to easily review all the information covered in the video segments.

You can watch a sample of the DVDs, at the Answers in Genesis website, the 101 Series website, and order at these sites or at Amazon.com. The DVDs are of excellent quality.

Our Thoughts:

Initially, my son liked the videos, but was not too sure about the assignments. They required some work, after all! But, you can’t just watch videos!

We took the DVDs to Grandma’s to do school one day. When she watched the series with us, she could not stop exclaiming about how interesting they were! “I wish we had something like this in my day! And I liked Biology” she told us.

After that, my son was sold!

Biology 101

He followed the guidebook and pretty much self-paced himself through the year. Our other sons joined in on watching the DVDs, as did I, because Wes Olson is so interesting, and kind of funny!

I was a nursing major in college, and I found that learning by videos like these really make it more interesting than just by reading facts in a book. Our boys also learn really well this way! But we did add books!

I found that the series covered the Biology topic very well, and in a fun way! We could, by adding the assignments suggested in the guidebook, branch out as much or as little as we needed.

We printed out the 114 page Guidebook, which is included on Disc#4 in PDF. We also printed out the 14 page Accreditation Booklet and put all of these into a binder. This way, my son could read the assignment, watch the DVD, and have all of the required assignments in one place. He just checked them off as he went.

The Guidebook gives a list of focused suggestions, and the amount of hours credit that you can receive for each activity. This was very helpful to us.

Here’s a sample from the Guidebook:

All of our family enjoyed this course, and the DVDs are suitable for watching just for pleasure if you wanted to do that!

Biology 101

Our School Year using Biology 101 included:

  • Writing Assignments
  • Outside Video enrichment
  • Labs, including some online labs
  • Library research projects
  • Plant studies
  • Experiments
  • Drawings
  • Field Trips
  • Pathfinder Honors (this was our own idea)
  • More

At one point in our school year, my son talked to another friend about his homeschooling curriculum. He told us about this “amazingly fun Chemistry course” he was really enjoying–all on DVD! When we asked him the name, he replied that he was using Chemistry 101, and that he was really loving the experiments! His whole family watched along with him!

After hearing this, our son, Austin declared that he would not take any high school science EXCEPT for the 101 Series Science, which to date includes the Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. They are currently working on producing a General Science in this same format, and I hope that we can use this with our younger two when they get it out! We just learn very well with the visual-auditory method!

Brain biology 101

What Level?

My son was in the 9th grade last year, but this course is suitable for any high school grade, and really, any middle schooler as well. You can make the course cover the whole year by making sure that you do the outside assignments in addition to watching the DVDs. I will say that, compared to Apologia, this course is probably a little light on memorizing and drilling facts. Some prefer the more traditional approach. If your child is going to be studying medicine, higher sciences in college, or something along those lines, you may want to stick with something more meaty. But for us, it was really a good fit. What we remember by hearing/seeing/applying has stuck!

I hope this has given you an idea for an option for your high school level science curriculum. There are many great choices out there! Keep searching until you find the fit that works in your home! Look til you find your own Homeschool Swing!

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