Biology

The twins have started Biology this year. I wanted to create a class for them that did not involve hours of reading, and one that was engaging to both of my learners. I decided that I would use Khan Academy for the main part of their lessons, but I was not sure what order to watch the films in. I wanted a little structure for this resource, and I soon found what I was looking for.

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A homeschool mom has put this curriculum guide together for those wishing to use Khan Academy for biology. It is a very short guide, basically just an outline of the videos to watch, correlated to California standards, with vocab words to know and a short question to answer after every lesson. Again I will state it is very basic, but it is free if you have a kindle and a prime membership, so it is worth a look. For me it was perfect.

In addition to the Khan Academy videos I have scheduled CrashCourse videos which the twins and I love.

For the lab portion of our class I wanted a guide that would walk us through the lab process step by step. I looked at many different choices and decided on Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture.

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From The Home Scientist website – Experience the magic of biology in your own home lab. This hands-on introduction includes more than 30 educational (and fun) lab sessions that let you explore this fascinating field on your own. Perfect for middle- and high-school students and DIY enthusiasts, this full-color guide teaches you the basics of biology lab work and shows you how to set up a safe lab at home. The Illustrated Guideto HomeBiology Experimentsis written with the needs of homeschoolers firmly in mind, as well as for adults who are eager to explore the science of nature as a life-long hobby.

At the website you can purchase a lab kit with nearly everything you need to complete the experiments.

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In addition to all of these materials we will be adding in living books and some readings from the CK-12 biology flexbook. This textbook is available as a free download, and I have read  many good reviews of it.

I believe I have put together a fairly good biology class for the twins. Hopefully they will have a productive time with all these resources. I feel fairly confident that they will.

We Interrupt Our Summer Break For These Awesome Pics…

A beautiful evening at the beach

I know I just had this big post about closing the blog for summer, but then Tru and I went to the beach for an evening walk. I only brought my iPhone, and I hadn’t plan to take any pics, but then we saw a bobcat, some great waves, and a dead dolphin. The dolphin was washed up on shore, and seagulls were eating it. And the whole time I was hearing words in my head.  Words like educational, homeschool, field trip, food chain, etc…so I had to start taking pics. Then, of course, I just had to share, it is the blogger in me.

California Quail

The bobcat was right in front of us on the trail. He just stopped for a while and stared at us.

A crab in the tide-pool

Tru exploring the tide pools.

Dead dolphin - It was in great condition, although the birds were eating it. Tru and I wondered how it had died.

A close-up, the eyes were gone.

Beautiful surf

We had a wonderful time

Wordless Wednesday- not quite

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I am not good at Wordless Wednesday. I always want to say something about my pic.

Anyway…this week we have been working on our new science curriculum, My Pals are Here by Singapore Science.  I wasn’t sure if the kids would enjoy this program or not, but they seem to really like it, and it seems to do a good job at teaching scientific concepts. The curriculum also succeeds at linking the ideas and concepts being taught. This is one of the things I like best about this program, it seems to try to engage the student in making connections and to get the student thinking at a higher level.

The level we are using this year is 5/6, and the book we are working on now is Cycles. This week we studied the flower, and it’s life cycle. The kids enjoyed picking various flowers and dissecting them, looking for all the parts that make up a flower. It was actually a fun little project, and it got the kids outside, closely examining nature.

Check out the curriculum and let me know what you think!

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