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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Apologia Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set

Apologia Educational Ministries

Apologia Educational Ministries is very well known in homeschool circles for their science and worldview curriculum.  They also offer a variety of homeschool help products and also language arts curriculum. We have used several products from Apologia over the years and have been very impressed with each product that we have used.  I was excited to have an opportunity to use and review the newly updated Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set which includes the Textbook, Student Notebook, and Solution and Tests Manual.  We also received the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD.


Exploring Creation With Marine Biology 2nd Edition was written by Sherry Seligson.  Sherry has a degree in biology/pre-med with an emphasis on marine science.  She worked for Disney Word as marine biologist and has published research on shark behavior.  Dr. Robert Carter, who holds a PhD in Marine Biology, is the technical editor of this new edition.  The course is an advanced high school course and it is recommended that biology is studied before taking the course. Upon completing this course students will earn one credit in either marine biology or marine science.

There are 16 modules in the course.  Each module takes around 2 weeks to complete if students are working around 45 minutes per day 5 days a week.  There are 3 types of labs included in the course.  Some of the labs only require basic supplies that you can find around the house.  Another type of lab is the microscope labs which require a microscope and prepared slides.  There are also dissection labs that require a dissection specimen kit and dissection tools.   Modules included in the course are:

The Oceans of Our Planet
Life in the Sea
The First Four Kingdoms
Marine Invertebrates
Marine Invertebrates II
Marine Ecology
The Intertidal Zone
Estuary Communities
Coral Reefs
Continental Shelf Communities
The Epipelagic Zone
The Deep Ocean
Ocean Resources
Effects of Humans on the Sea


Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set
The text is a hardcover 560 page book. The text contains the student reading, tables, charts, and diagrams.  In addition to the regular reading it has Think About This sections that contain further information about the topic being discussed, Dive in Sections, and Creation Connection Sections.  You will also find step by step experiments and On Your Own questions for the student to answer.  At the end of each module you will find the answers to the On Your Own questions and a study guide for the module.  In the back of the book there is a glossary, reference figures and tables, module summaries, a complete list of lab supplies, and an index. 


Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set
The Student Notebook is a 505 page spiral bound book.  In the notebook you will find a daily schedule that tells the student what to do each day and they can check the assignments off as they complete them.  For each module there are blank pages for the student to take notes, a space for the student to write about connecting science and creation, the On Your Own questions with a space to answer, Study Guide questions with plenty of space to answer, and an  optional summary for the student to fill in.  In the back of the notebook is the lab section.  This lists and describes each lab and leaves space for the student to fill in a hypothesis, observations, and sketches. They also have a section to write any observations and conclusions.  The very last section of the notebook discusses creating a poster presentation to present your research.


Marine Biology 2nd Ed Audio CD

The MP3 audio book is a MP3 CD that contains the text being read aloud.  This is not a regular CD.  It needs to be played in a computer or on a device that can play MP3 CDs.  The audio CD reads the entire text with the exception of the experiments. 


The solutions and tests packet has a paperback test manual that is 40 pages long and contains all of the tests for the course.  It also has the Solutions and Tests teacher manual which is a paperback book that is 212 pages long.  Inside of it you will find all of the answers to the study guides, answers to the summaries, and each of the tests and answers.

Last year when I tried to ask my then 9th grader what he would like to study next year, I got the typical teenage boy response of "I don't know" , complete with the shoulder shrug.  Then I found out I had an opportunity to review this course.  At first I planned on reviewing it myself because I found the subject to be interesting and I wanted to see what the course was like.  But when it arrived and I started working on the first module, my son asked if he could use Marine Biology for his science this year. I was very surprised that he found something he actually wanted to do!  He has been working through the course 4 days a week for the last several weeks.

I have always been impressed with Apologia products and this one was no different.  First of all I love that the Marine Biology course even exists.  So often in high school you are limited in your choices of science courses.  I love that Apologia is giving homeschool parents other options with the courses that they offer.  This Marine Biology course is creation based which is a big bonus for me.  I don't have to worry about evolutionary content and I love the Creation Connection sections.  The course is very user friendly.  It is written in a very conversational tone and is understandable to the student.  Plus the subject matter is interesting! I love the color illustrations and charts that are included in the book.  I appreciate that different types of labs that are offered.  With the variety of microscope experiments, dissection experiments, and regular household experiments you are able to choose the ones that suit your family.  My son that is currently using the course is not interested at all in dissection, but I know that some of my other children would be.

The Student Notebook is not required to complete the course, but it is a great compliment to the course.  When my oldest was using upper level Apologia courses, they had not yet started selling the student notebooks, so this is the first time I have seen these for older students.  I think they are a wonderful addition to the science course.  It makes it so easy to keep everything nice and neat all in one place. It also is a great way to show your work for those who have to turn in something to their state every year.

The MP3 CD is another nice addition to the course.  The voice that is reading is easy to listen to.  The only thing I really noticed about the CD that was negative was that since it skips the experiments it goes very quickly to the next section that explains the experiment.  The audio CD is a wonderful option for those who school on the go,  for auditory learners, or students that have reading difficulties.

I like having the separate test manual and solution manual.  It makes it easy for the teacher to check over the tests or have the student read over their own.

Apologia Educational Ministries has another outstanding course with the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set!  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!


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