I’ve been busy researching biology curriculum options for my 9th grader for the upcoming school year. I have already had one child go through high school biology, but I wasn’t crazy about the course he took – while I don’t think it was necessarily the curriculum that was the issue, but rather the co-op class he took just wasn’t a good fit.
It was nice having high school biology taken off my plate with my older son, but since the class wasn’t a good fit at our co-op, I’ve been on the hunt for another option that will still require little prep and involvement on my part (don’t get me wrong, I love science, and biology is probably my favorite as I used to be a registered nurse, but with a total of 8 kids to homeschool, I need resources and curriculum that don’t require too much on my part).
There are lots of different science courses that kids can take in high school – astronomy, earth science, forensic science, environmental science, with biology, chemistry, and physics being the most popular, and often required courses for graduation and/or college admission.
Which science courses and the order they complete them in will be determined by the homeschool laws in your state, graduation requirements in your state (most states don’t even have graduation requirements for homeschoolers), your child’s post-graduation plans including which college (if any) they plan to attend; not all colleges have the same admission requirements, so you’ll want to check the required courses for admission at the colleges they are interested in attending. If they aren’t sure what their future plans are, it’s a pretty safe bet to take biology and chemistry in high school. Most students will take anywhere from 2-4 science courses in high school depending on their career path. At least one of their high school science courses should include a lab component, but again, you’ll want to check your state and colleges of interest for lab requirements.
Most high schoolers will take biology in either 9th or 10 grade. Biology is a good course to take in the early high school years because it doesn’t require any high level math like chemistry or physics do that the student hasn’t learned in math class yet.
In a high school biology course, students will typically learn about cellular biology, organisms, classification, ecology, genetics, human growth and development, and much more.
When choosing the biology course for my son for next year, I wanted something online or something that included instructional videos that he could do mostly on his own. Below is a list of curriculum that I researched and was considering using. with our final decision for next year being listed first.
Experience Biology from Journey Homeschool Academy provides a high-quality, hands-on, engaging biology experience. The online course includes engaging video lessons, comprehensive quizzes, lab & reading assignments (including lab videos), research questions, and lesson outlines. There is a basic program option that doesn’t include labs, and an advanced mastery option that includes labs and earns high school credit.
SAVE 10% on all Journey Homeschool Academy courses with code JOYFILLED through 7/31/21
Check out this sneak peek inside Experience Biology:
Exploring Creation with Biology is an award-winning, creation-based science curriculum from Apologia. This college-prep course provides a heavy emphasis on the vocabulary of biology, a strong background in the scientific method, and labs that cover experimentation, field studies, microscopy, and dissection. Enhance the course with a notebooking journal that includes a day-to-day schedule. While a solutions and test manual can be added for an additional cost, a teacher’s manual is not required (or even available). An audio CD of the text and an instructional DVD with over 20 hours of instruction and a demonstration of all experiments is also available.
BJU Press Homeschool offers high school biology in video format where the teaching is done for your or in textbook format where you are the teacher (or your student could work independently depending on their personality and skill level).
Through webquests, real-world case studies, labs, and more, students will study the field of biology, as well as learn critical thinking skills that will prepare them for their future, all while applying a Christian worldview.
Devotional Biology is a video curriculum taught by one of the top creation scientists in the world. The course includes video lectures, lab instructional videos, lab manual, textbook, and teacher’s guide (the last 3 listed are available in print or PDF versions). This class earns one full credit for a high school lab science.
Science Shepherd Biology is a complete homeschool biology curriculum for high school. It includes over 40 hours of video instruction, step-by-step videos of 19 labs, textbook with study questions, lab manual, test booklet, and answer key. Video lessons are available online or on DVD. Written by a physician and homeschool dad, this course is designed for independent study.
Friendly Biology uses a textbook with supplemental videos and hands-on lab activities to create a multi sensory experience for your high school biology student. A student workbook and tests & answer keys book accompany the course. An audio version of the textbook is also available. Choose between a Christian Worldview or Secular version.
DIVE Biology is a full, one year college-prep digital video course that teaches from a Biblical Worldview.
This course includes video lectures and labs, a printable workbook and lab manual, video solutions to all workbook and lab activities, a weekly assignment chart, and a free email Q&A email service with the author/course creator. Also now available as a self-paced eLearning course.
I also looked into full, online Live and Self-Paced courses where there is a teacher that does all or most of the work for you (which is what I need during this season of life 🙂 ). Many of the online options actually use some of the courses that I listed above as their main resource. Here is a list of online class options that I found and the curriculum that they use.
- Apologia Online Academy – uses Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology; Live and Self-paced options
- The Potters School – uses Science Shepard Biology; only Live option available
- Science on Demand – uses Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology; only self-paced option available
- Schole Academy – uses Novare General Biology; only Live option available
- Excelsior Classes – uses Science Shepherd Biology; only Live option available
- Veritas Press – uses Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology; only Live option available
- Virtual Homeschool Group – uses Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology; Live and Self-paced options (note – these classes are FREE).
As I mentioned, the first one on the list, Experience Biology, is the one we are going to use this fall. Upon reading the information on their site and previewing a couple of lessons, I feel that Experience Biology is a well laid out, complete, and easy to use course that my 9th grader should be able to do mostly on his own. I like that it incorporates videos, reading assignments, labs, and written work. I especially like that it includes lab videos as well. We have used their Experience Astronomy in the past and were very happy with it, plus the price is very affordable compared to similar courses.
Kenda Wathen says
We have used Apologia Biology and loved. it. Thank you for the give away.
Michelle W. says
Thank you for the information!
Tabitha Trudeau says
Love the Young Explorers Science series. Thanks for this giveaway!
Debbie Ratte says
I will definitely be looking for excellent curriculum for my oldest as she wants to be a veterinarian! Thanks for posting this, and for the opportunity to win $250 to spend on resources!!!
Sarah Bridwell says
Tha k you for this wonderful opportunity!!!
Kim O says
I love Rainbow Resource Center. They have such great prices on curriculum, and offer wonderful service! Thank you for offering this!
We used Guest Hollow Biology and loved it. We plan to use more of their science!
I’m looking forward to doing high school science again. Those were some of my favorite classes!
Angela Hewitt says
I am so grateful to have found this blog, thank you!
Elizabeth Carroll says
Thank you so much for this opportunity! I love your blog and find myself referring to it when I’m stuck for a curriculum option or needing to break out of my funk!
Thanks for putting great content out there and for a fun giveaway!
Thanks for the opportunity
Amanda Ang says
This is a sweet gift from the gracious bloggers that are choosing to bless two families.
Ashley Bailey says
I’m glad I saw this! I’m currently trying to narrow down a science curriculum. It’s always so hard to choose!
Andrea Earney Goeldner says
This would be such a blessing to our family!
Jewell Lee says
Enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing the Rainbow Resource giveaway too!
Sara Hamilton says
We are actually looking into Biology now. Thanks for all the helpful info to look through!
Thank you for a wonderful opportunity to grow our homeschool library.
Natalie Drozdowicz says
I have a couple years before this is a concern of mine, but I appreciate the review and thoughts about the options available!
Thanks for the biology resources. We haven’t hit high school yet but it is right around the corner for us! And thanks for linking to the giveaway 🙂
Dandi D says
I loved biology in high school, and these are some great resources!
Destiny Taylor says
We plan to try out Pandia Press this year. It looks pretty easy, thorough, inexpensive, and is secular world view. They have elementary-through- high school levels. I especially like that they sent to focus on helping the child learn to think, not just teaching them what to think.
Sarah swarthout says
We are getting into middle school/ highschool age so it’s great to hear all the options. Rainbow resources is one of my favorite places to buy curriculum from, what a gift to some person this will be!
Thanks for this opportunity!
Thank you for taking the time to go through all this curriculum! This is so helpful!
Thank you for sharing the curriculum info on biology – so helpful! Greatly appreciate the opportunity to possibly get help with curriculum and supplies. Thank you!
Kristyna Sandoval says
I feel like I’m constantly researching curriculum as an eclectic homeschooler with multiple ages…which is why I ADORE posts like this. Thank you.
Yay! Glad it’s helpful! I figure I might as well share all the research I’ve done and maybe it will help someone else. Win Win!
Joanna A says
We have one more year before high school with my oldest. I appreciate this immensely, as we’ll soon be venturing these waters. I’m family with Apologia and Berean Builders, but I’m going to have to take a closer look at the others before next year.
Cathy T. says
That you for this information we are entering 9th this year as well.
Traci S. says
Thank you for the opportunity to enter this giveaway! Would be such a great help for this next school year!
Trebor Sutler says
As a mom of 7 this would be a huge blessing for our family !
We really liked Guest Hollow’s Biology it’s all online and free.
Oooo, you had me at FREE! I’m totally going to check it out!
How sweet! I love the Rainbow Resource Center and who wouldn’t like a gift certificate to use there? 😉
Kimberly K. Sahlfeld-Bunger says
Really enjoyed the review of Biology curriculum.
Chey W. says
We’re not in the highschool years yet but I definitely looked at the Astronomy part at the very top. We’re just finishing an Astronomy unit with my 3rd grader but we’ll visit it again in a few years and the Journey Homeschool Academy’s Experience Astronomy course looks pretty interesting. I’ll keep in mind the biology suggestions for highschool though.
Chey W. says
PS. Thanks very much for the chance in this giveaway. Rainbow Resource is an amazing site and this will help out someone a lot.
Nicki Edmonson says
I love giveaways!
Tara R says
I didn’t know about several of these options! Thanks!
We plan to use Apologia Biology. Thank you for the giveaway chance.
What an amazing opportunity! Yha
Courtney Williams says
I still haven’t found a science curriculum I’m thrilled with. I’m going into my third year homeschooling and I feel like every year I try to find the “perfect” curriculum for each subject and I’m finding out that the perfect curriculum doesn’t exist. Lol! Thank you for these suggestions! I’ll look into them 🙂
Emily B says
Well I don’t have any high schoolers yet, but we ordered God’s Design for Science to try this year. I got the beginner ones since my oldest is in 2nd. But I did notice they have a program for older kiddos as well. This seems pretty easy for the littles. We tried Apologia last year, but unfortunately at my kiddos age there was just too much reading and they lost interest in all the fact based text. I agree with previous poster though, we’re fairly eclectic so posts like this are very helpful! Thanks!
I didn’t realize there were so many online options for studying science. Will have to look into them for my oldest son.
Thanks for a fantastic giveaway opportunity!
Aisling Silva says
Thanks for the great giveaway!
Jay L. says
Thank you so much for all of the research you did on high school biology curricula, this is amazing! We will be doing biology this year and I was kind of fretting about what to use. After looking into each of your recommendations, we will be using Apologia. We are super excited because this curriculum looks like so much fun! Also, thank you for the chance to win a gift card to Rainbow Resources, we just love shopping there online and at the homeschool convention we attend every year.
Alicia M says
Thank you so much for a great opportunity to help with the education of my granddaughter!
Becky Gorga says
It’s so generous of all of you to do this! I love that you review and share different curriculum over all the age/grade levels! We aren’t close to high school yet, but I love that I can come back here to read when we are!
Bethany Engstrom says
Love rainbow Resource…I purchase a lot of our homeschool supplies from them! Thanks for the giveaway!
M Keister says
Thank you for this astounding giveaway!
These are great resources. I love rainbow resource. Thank you for the opportunity to win.
Mary S. says
Love browsing the Rainbow Resource catalog. What a blessing this giveaway will be to someone. Thanks!
Kimberly B says
I love this blog, gives me so many great ideas to use!
Shannon N says
We haven’t homeschooled upper level biology yet, but we have an amazing co-op teacher that has done labs that my daughter enjoyed. I’m in evaluation mode myself, and am torn between Apologia and DIVE.
Mia White says
Love love love me some Apologia science! Thanks for the chance to win!
Lea Anne Shetler says
We have not yet reached the point of doing biology but have Apologia in our sights.
Rita Fay says
Thanks for the information. Love Rainbow Resource!
Andi Thomas says
We use and are loving Apologia Science for elementary levels.
karen byassee says
Appreciate your help.
Our family loves Rainbow Resource. Thank you for offering this giveaway!!
I love Rainbow Resources!
Trying to figure out next year’s curriculum for my non-book learning 10th grader!
We are, like other readers, years away from high school. However, we really enjoy the LifePac Science by Alpha Omega. It’s awesome because there is a lab kit (sold separately, and cheapest on Rainbow Resource) that has the more obscure items in it, to go with all the labs for the year. The labs are also very well written and easy for my son to do ‘on his own’….. Thank you so much for this post!
My kids are currently much younger than high school (10, 7, 5, & 6 weeks), so we haven’t started tackling biology as its own subject. But currently we do unit studies for most of our subjects. We spend 6 weeks on each broad topic, and we do many activities and studies during that time. Its a challenge to teach all of the kids the same thing at the same time and still manage to challenge them each at their own developmental level, but it certainly keeps me on my toes!
Excellent post about highschool biology choices. I will be checking them out for one of my sons. Thank you very much for the giveaway it will be a great blessing to any Homeschool family. Really appreciate this opportunity to win some much needed curriculum.
This would be a great option for any high schooler! Great stuff!
I like the Experience Biology course. It sounds very comprehensive.
Rainbow resource has been a blessing on our homeschool journey. Apologia has been a God send.
Lindsay Sastaunik says
We’re a little ways from high school yet (oldest will be going into grade 4). . But still great to read about options for the future!
Noel Lokaychuk says
I am not familiar with a lot of the science resources. (Not my favorite subject.) This was very informative. Thank you!
Jennifer Shaffer says
Thank you for all the resources! I didn’t know about several of them. Also, thank you all so much for the giveaway opportunity that you are giving to 2 families. Such a joyous blessings to those that get it.
Candyce McCown says
Thank you for blessing families with resource info and an opportunity to win the prize!
Alycia Spreeman says
This is truly a blessing to whoever receives it!! Thank you for such a generous giveaway.
Ashley Barrett says
We will be doing high school Biology next year. We plan to use Apologia. We have enjoyed all the Apologia science we have used to this point in their education!
Thank you for the opportunity to for the rainbow resource giveaway.
Martha Schaum says
High school science has been one of the most challenging topics to teach. Rainbow Resource has fantastic products for science and this would be a blessing to help me with science for my high school son.
Elise Z says
Thank you for the curriculum review and for offering this giveaway opportunity!
Connie Stetler says
Thanks for the entry opportunity. Do you know of anyone that has done research similar to what you have done with Biology except with Chrmistry?
I do not, but it’s something I can probably tackle!
camille lopez says
Great review! We’ve used apologia and abeka. A couple of those others look good, maybe for the next two kids!
Crystal T says
I will most definitely be pinning this for use later! Thank you for the info!
Wow! I appreciate this opportunity to win some much needed curriculum. It will be such a blessing to any homeschooling family. I love your blog.
Catherine McArthur says
We used a mix of Apologia and Power Homeschool for Biology. I wish I would have known about Guest Hollow before that though. We are using the Guest Hollow Chemistry this year and love it.
Rosa Rivera says
I have use Dive Science for 9th and 11th grade sciences and math; I loved the ease of it, and its challenging coursework.
I used apologia with my oldest 3 and they loved it. My next 3 really did not follow apologia biology very well so we ended up getting a.c.e. for them. It did the job and they did fine in it. My next 1 did apologia and had no problem but i do not have the microscope or slides any more so i may look into one of the ones you suggested for my last 6 children. I really like apologia but i have an open mind to use another if i find one that will make life easier at this time. Like you i have many in different grades from 11th to kindergarten so a program that is self explanatory and not too hard for an average grade child will be very helpful for my 14 yo.
Wow! This is such a helpful list! I have a son that will definitely be in biology related field. We have used Apologia for science before. I like the idea of the devotional biology! Sounds like a great resource!
Amber Elm says
Love this opportunity to explore new curriculum, thank you.
Thanks for sharing all of your homework on Biology choices. And thanks for the giveaway. It can be very stressful paying for our school needs.
thanks for the chance at winning😊
Tonya Sinner says
Thank you for all the great information, as well as the giveaway!
Olivia Schaeffer says
Thanks for the opportunity!
Used BJU for my oldest when he was a freshman. Haven’t decided what science to use for my upcoming freshman.
This year I’m running several unit studies for science. My older son more or less demanded science everyday. The rest of the kids are all into stem projects and that DIY Sci show so I need to up my game. Lord help me when we need to jump to high school level😨
Sophia S says
I love your blog, love all your ideas and insight. Super excited about the giveaway!
Jairy Negron says
Great giveaway and post on Biology curriculum!
We are not ready for high school yet, but I do love Rainbow Resource! They are so helpful. Thank you for putting together the giveaway.
I love shopping at Rainbow Resource, their prices and selection are a blessing to my family.
We are getting ready to start our homeschooling journey with our 5 year old and have loved what I’ve seen from Rainbow Resource, thanks for the opportunity!
Katie B. says
We love Rainbow Resource! Not quite ready for high school yet.
I’m so excited for the generous opportunity! Thank you!
Nicole Bottum says
Thank you so much for this opportunity! I have a huge order in my cart right now for my 3 kids and our homeschool. This would be an amazing help to build up our homeschool tools. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Elisa Park says
I am always on the lookout for a good curriculum for my kids.
I have one in middle school this year and I am getting ready to looking into some high school credited classes!! So nervous.
Thank you for the opportunity
Sandy Tsoi says
This is awesome prize and will be very helpful for my kids.
Ashley Mitchell says
this is a great opportunity. thank you so much.
i am looking forward to teaching biology this year with my elementary students. this gave some wonderful ideas.
Laura G. says
Rainbow Resource Center is a great place to find just about any item at a good price. I appreciate the contest.
Hayley Riebeth says
This is so exciting!!
We have used both Apologia and Friendly Biology. They were very different, but each student really liked the course he took.
I am very hopeful to be the winner 🙂
Stephanie Rigsby says
We just got our first Apologia book this year for Science. We cannot wait to do it with the science experiments!!!
Sandra M says
So far we are just using fun science books – Wile E Coyote, Max Axiom – to prep science in middle school, looking forward to using fuller curriculum in high school
[email protected] says
So many great resources and just what we needed for Fall!
Kori Ireland says
I have considered using Modern States for my boys for Biology and then having them take the CLEP test at the end. We would have to add the lab but my husband can do that part. 😉
Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway. I love Rainbow Resource! What an awesome prize for someone.
We’re trying Apologia for the first time this year. I have a 4th and 7th grader.
Thanks for the opportunity!
Olivia Hamilton says
I love My Joy filled Life & look forward to our first year of highschool, last year of elementary & middle of middle school!
Dulce Rodriguez says
Always love coming to your page for New ideas and curriculum reviews. Thank you!
Love Apologia Science! Thank you for hosting this giveaway
I know a lot of families who use Apologia. This post has convinced me to try it, too!
Linda Largent says
Thanks for hosting the generous giveaway!
This would be such a blessing.
Excited about the RR giveaway. Thanks for making the giveaway accessible.
Our current DL school has only a couple options to choose from for high school science. My oldest are only in grade 2 now, so it is a while yet, but I have considered switching schools when the time comes in order to have more choice in this area. I had no idea how many options were out there! Thank you for sharing!
This would be amazing for all my kids.
We have several years to go before we hit the high school stage but I enjoy gleaning ideas from other homeschool families. Thank you for sharing your journey, and for the opportunity to win a generous gift card.
Thank you for serving the Lord the way you do. And thank you for sharing so many things so others can learn and be blessed too. Rainbow Resource Gift Card was a great idea for a giveaway! Thank you and so many others who made such a great idea happen!
Deborah Martin says
I am glad Apologia has high school curricula! We love it.
I’m just starting to plan high school for my granddaughter. I found your blog by chance and it’s been very helpful. Thank you!
We aren’t quite to high school yet, but I really appreciate posts like these that detail so many options. Just a couple years away!
Just wondering how you liked the Experience Biology curriculum. Pros? Cons? We are in the planning stages right now for 9th grade for my daughter and we have been looking over all the ones you did. Thank you for doing a lot of the leg work 😉
Hi Laura –
I think it’s a good course. However, if your child is really into science and wants to go on to something in the science field, I would suggest something a little more challenging and rigorous, or adding in some supplemental work so your child can dig deeper. Experience Biology satisfies the Biology requirement, but I don’t feel that it was challenging. Now that was fine for my current 9th grader that is taking it. He isn’t very interested in science and Experience Biology was a good fit for him to be able to get his work done independently and check Biology of his course list.
It’s very easy to use and navigate; as I mentioned, my son is doing it on his own (except for some help with labs as needed). I like the various components that it incorporates – videos, note taking (although I felt that this was a little too spoon-fed to them), labs & lab reports, reading assignments, research questions, and tests/quizzes.
One of the main things I didn’t like about it is that you don’t get excess to the next’s weeks assignments until you complete the current week. That’s obviously just a preference thing but my personality likes to be able to just browse through what is coming up. I also wish there was a way to submit research questions and lab reports for grading (they do offer guidance on how to grade them); the tests are automatically graded, but not anything else. I would even pay more for that service. 🙂
Hope that helped; let me know if you have anymore questions.