Monday, September 11, 2017

Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set from Apologia Educational Ministries ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Homeschooling high school can seem a bit overwhelming in itself. It makes it so much easier when you have a good curriculum to start with. For the last few weeks, Edyn with my help, has been working on Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set from Apologia Educational Ministries.

One of my very favorite homeschool vendors is Apologia Educational Ministries. If you're part of the homeschooling world, or even if you're not, then you have probably heard of this amazing company. With them being the #1 publisher of creation based science and Bible curriculum, it's hard not to know them. 

Marine Biology 2nd Edition is an award winning college prep science class for homeschoolers. It comes from a Biblical point of view for science, and that is something I love. I was excited for this review because Edyn loves anything to do with marine life or the ocean in general. I knew that this would be a great science for her to add to her high school transcript even though she hasn't finished Biology yet. Biology is a prerequisite for this course, but I knew that we could go through it together if needed, and then shelve it until she's ready for it. This program is intended to be used for a full year in order to be counted for a high school credit. 

What did we receive for this review?

Apologia is always very generous in what they send for us to review. This time was no different.

Student Textbook

This student textbook is quite large coming in at over 550 pages. It's a very nice hardbound book that will last for years. Each module is labeled on the side of the page so that it's a bit easier to find where you are in the book. If they were different colors, that would make it even nicer, but it still works! The pictures in the book are bright and colorful and add the visuals that student's need to understand the content even more. 

In the back of the book, they have a list of any and all supplies you will need to conduct the labs at home. Some of the products are household supplies and some of them are included in the laboratory equipment set sold separately. 

Student Notebook

I love the Student Notebook because it is so nice to not have to worry about printing off worksheets or having a notebook. This consumable notebook is all laid out for you and is a very nice spiral bound book that is close to 500 pages. It is also very colorful just like the text book. I will touch more on this later in the review.

Test-and-Solutions Manual

This is great for easy grading. I love having all of the solutions in one place because as a busy homeschool mom, it makes it much easier. The tests for this program are also included here. 

Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD

This is such a nice edition to the kit although you do have to purchase it separately. The Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD ,read by Marissa Leinhart, is perfect for any student who may be an auditory learner. It is not a regular CD but an MP3 CD which means you will need an MP3 compatible player. You can also play it on your computer. 

Edyn, for example, does so much better listening to a text that is being read to her while she follows along in the book. She ends up retaining the information better than if she was to just read it herself. I am always excited and appreciative when there is anything that goes with a program that will help Edyn excel at it. 
How does this program work and how did we use it?

I wanted to work through this program with Edyn together since she hasn't yet finished Biology. However, it is designed to help your student work more independently by laying out everything they need for them. This is one of my favorite things. They give you a schedule at the beginning of the workbook that tells your student what needs to be done day to day. It's color coded for each module and you can check off each day as you go. 

The actual course is laid out in a total of 16 modules. 
  • Module 1 - The Oceans of Our Planet
  • Module 2 - Life in the Sea
  • Module 3 - The First Four Kingdoms
  • Module 4 - Marine Invertebrates I
  • Module 5 - Marine Invertebrates II
  • Module 6 - Marine Vertebrates I
  • Module 7 - Marine Vertebrates II
  • Module 8 - Marine Ecology
  • Module 9 - The Intertidal Zone
  • Module 10 - Estuary Communities
  • Module 11 - Coral Reefs
  • Module 12 - Continental Shelf Communities
  • Module 13 - The Epipelagic Zone
  • Module 14 - The Deep Ocean
  • Module 15 - Ocean Resources
  • Module 16 - Effects of Humans on the Sea

Each module is supposed to take around two weeks if you work 5 days a week about 45 minutes a day. Like I said before each day is laid out for the student so they will know exactly what needs to be done. While we were doing this as a review, and don't plan on using it full time until next year, we worked on it about three days a week.

We started our day by looking up the schedule to see what the assignment for the day would be. On most days the student will have some reading involved. This is where we would get our CD out and listen to the text being read while following along in the text book. The workbook is equipped with wonderful note taking pages before each module. While reading this gives your student a chance to take notes about what is being read. You can easily pause the CD and write down the important parts of the text. This is perfect for us since we do a lot of notebooking. Even better that it is already included in the Student Notebook. I love how they include a sample page for note taking. Edyn hasn't really gotten formal note taking down yet, and this helped her tremendously on what she needed to be trying to focus on. 

After reading, you will then go on to that day's On Your Own Questions. These are questions over what was read and gives the student a chance to dive deeper into what they have learned. We went over these together because I wanted to make sure she understood what she was reading about. 

The next part of the module in the Student Notebook is the Study Guide. This gives them additional vocabulary review and more questions to ensure they have a good idea of what the entire module was about. 

Finally, there is an optional summary or study that they can do to prepare for the test they will take. 

There are a lot of experiments that go with this curriculum. I chose to skip over them for now, because we will be going back and doing this course in full. Like I said before, you can go to the back of the textbook, and you will find the list of things that you will need. That way you can prepare in advance. 

Once they have completed the module the will take the test that coincides with it. From that point on they will move on to the next module. 

What did we think?

Honestly Edyn and I both wish we could just continue on with this course without finishing Biology. We are both enjoying learning about life in the sea. I have to say that there are not a lot of curriculum choices that are laid out as well as the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set from Apologia Educational Ministries. They go above and beyond to not only ensure that the student is getting the best possible content, but that the parent isn't left behind lost not knowing what's going on. The organization is top notch with this product, and it shows throughout the curriculum. I love how the information is laid out for the student, but yet doesn't overwhelm them. Even though there are a few areas Edyn may have needed a little extra help, the majority of the time she did it independently. I think by the time she gets back to this, she will be well on her way to working pretty much on her own. 

If you are in need of a science credit for your high schooler, I highly recommend this program. It goes above and beyond as solid, well written, easy to follow curriculum. Apologia Educational Ministries does not ever disappoint!

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Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set {Apologia Educational Ministries Review}
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