Jayme’s been really enjoying learning more about the oceans and ocean life as she studies Marine Biology from Apologia Educational Ministries. The Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set has been a definite blessing to our homeschool.
We received the textbook, student notebook, test and solution book, and MP3 Audio CD. The CD is not part of the Advantage Set.
Each piece is designed to work together to help students learn.
The text is colorful and engaging. There are plenty of pictures and diagrams to keep students interested, and to help explain difficult concepts. There are step-by-step experiments, On Your Own Questions (and answers), Study Guides, and plenty of appendixes with additional information.
Broken into 16 Modules, the text helps students dive into learning about the ocean. It is written from a Biblical perspective, and integrates verses throughout the text. I love all that Jayme is learning about Creation as she studies biology.
The text covers ocean life, tectonic plates, marine habitats, effects of humans on the ocean, and more.
The Student Notebook
The student notebook was Jayme’s favorite part of the set, because it’s so useful. In it you’ll find:
- Plenty of space for taking notes
- On Your Own Questions
- Study Guide Questions
- Summaries for each chapter
- In the back, space to record findings from each experiment
The introduction provides plenty of instruction for using the notebook. I appreciated the student friendly directions on taking notes, a skill we’ve been working on. Here’s a sample page from the Student Notebook. The left-hand column is for items that’ll likely be on the tests, and the right-hand column is for additional notes and details.
The Audio CD
The MP3 CD will not play in all CD players. Since it’s an MP3, you’ll need an MP3 compatible player. We ended up using the laptop to make it work, though our original plan was to listen in the car. Our old stereo wasn’t up for that challenge! 😀
We weren’t quite sure what to expect from the audio CD, but it was a great addition. It’s not at all boring to listen to! Each module is easy to access. The entire text is read, including the sidebars. The reader has a pleasant voice.
The Test/Solutions Book
The Test book has all the tests in it. You’ll find tests for each module, and quarterly tests. The only thing I wish it had that it doesn’t is a comprehensive final exam. I just think those are a great way to prepare for college.
The tests offer a variety of questions, including providing definitions, multiple choice, filling in diagrams, and short answer questions.
Grading the study guides, summaries, and tests are easy with the Solutions and Tests book. It’s got everything in one place, so you don’t have to switch back and forth to check the answers. I like it when companies make grading easy!
How We Used Marine Biology
Jayme’s been working on this course four days a week since we started school again. She reads the material and takes notes. We work on the experiments together, usually with a couple of younger kids watching.
When it’s time for a test, she reviews with the study guide and summary. Then, she takes the test.
Additionally, we listened to a couple of sections of the audio.
What We Thought
Jayme really enjoys the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set. She’ll earn a full science credit (with lab) by the time she finishes it.
She’s really enjoying the experiments. Here’s a video of part of one of her favorites so far, as she learned how temperature and salinity affected density. As a bonus, you can even hear Bryson babbling in the background!
I think the materials are well done. They are designed for independent learning (which I appreciate), and walk students through an advanced level course gently. I highly recommend Apologia for science!
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