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Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Different Biology

I have put in many hours in gathering and saving "stuff" for Apologia Biology - videos that I went over with a fine-toothed comb, only using a small percentage of all the many I viewed; web links that I read through, keeping some and discarding others; web sites that had other links to peruse; saving everything that could be used again; keeping notes of what I did.... and that was for just one module!  But I have decided my kids and I will use something else this year. 

I have decided on Biology 101 with Wes Olson of  In my opinion, this biology seems to be more clearly explained.  It has some videos, some hands on, and less of the nitty gritty details.  (Plenty of details, just not nitty gritty ones!)
If you like the nitty gritty details, and memorizing weird-sounding names of phyla, that's great!  Although they were extremely interesting, I just didn't care for memorizing all that stuff in the first four chapters of Apologia Biology.  And in a few other chapters.  Made me cross-eyed.  Or maybe just cross.  hehe.  
I still have my Apologia books though, and plan to keep them.  We 
                                                    will use parts of them as a supplement.

Biology 101 consists of 4 DVDs containing:  9 videos, a printable Guidebook with quizzes, and a printable Course Accreditation Program.
This course is divided into chapters by the days of Creation.  Some days of Creation take more than one chapter, and each chapter takes three weeks to complete for a total of 27 weeks.  
--There is a video for each three week period that is assigned to be watched twice in those three weeks. (sample)
--The Guidebook (with quizzes) is a thorough review of what is in the video for that chapter, and is very well written and clearly explained.  This is assigned to be read two different times during the three week period.  (sample)
When first browsing through the sample pages, I actually understood some things I had struggled to remember before!  =)  
--The Course Accreditation Program has listed what assignments are to be done each week.  (sample)

Usually in the first week of each period, the child will read juvenile books of your own choosing from the library, then non-juvenile books suitable for high school the next week, again of your choosing.  Sometimes they're instructed to even watch an appropriate video if available.  
There are some written and hands-on activities assigned as well.  I will be tweaking these as needed and even adding in some extras from what we did with Apologia.
Read more by clicking on the Biology course at, then clicking Contents.

Per Biology 101:  *Intended audience age: 15 and up. However, every word, graphic, and picture in Biology 101 has been carefully selected and is appropriate for the entire family.

My plan for the reading/video assignments:
-Use some passages/pages from the books from Apologia's elementary series, and some from Apologia Biology as well.  
-Read coordinating chapters from John Hudson Tiner's Exploring the World of Biology.  (also available as a digital download - both paperback and PDF download are available at this link.)
-Watch some/all? of the videos I've already found as part of the assignments.
-Use library books when I can't find all I need in the above resources.

See how I put our book together 
Other Resources:
The Biology Corner - dissection labs
Home Science Tools - dissection kit
Additional #22 scalpel blades

Since I will be adding in experiments and probably other extras not included in Biology 101, we will be taking 4 weeks to do some chapters.

The scripture used in Biology 101 and Exploring the World of Biology is not King James, which is what we use.  In Biology 101 there is a verse quoted at the beginning of each video.  Both John Tiner's and Biology 101's written materials contain verses not from the KJV.  I will be watching for these as we go and will have them typed up for my kids before beginning each new chapter.  (I know *I* don't like to stop to look up things when I'm in the middle of something, and I figure kids will be more likely to read what is right there on hand rather than pausing to go look it up.)
If you want the typed up verse pages that I've made, and/or my schedule notes (actually a really loose plan) telling what extras and what chapters in Tiner's we are doing for that section, email me at and I'll be happy to send it.
Please correct any typos, ha!

►Biology101 is currently available at for $49.99.

If all goes well with Biology 101, we may be doing Chemistry 101 next!  My son will love it.  =)
And it has 19 videos!    =)


  1. That sounds interesting. I hope it works out. You must let us know how it is. :)


  2. I will. I really like what I've seen so far! =)


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