DISCLAIMER: I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS PRODUCT THROUGH THE HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW IN EXCHANGE FOR MY HONEST REVIEW. I WAS NOT REQUIRED TO WRITE A POSITIVE REVIEW NOR WAS I COMPENSATED IN ANY OTHER WAY.
I need to tell you about Journey Homeschool Academy and their Highschool biology course. Wow… what a tremendously well done course! Experience Biology: Upper Level is a video based, online biology course, complete with labs, tests, quizzes, papers etc, to make a good highschool biology course. I can’t wait to tell you all about it in my review.
How I used it
I do need to tell that I took this course as an adult, wanting to see how it compared to another biology course that I grade. I didn’t do the labs, I didn’t the course work, but I read the textbook, watched videos and took the quizzes.
Journey Homeschool Academy’s biology course CAN be done without the textbook but adding the book to the course makes it more complete. You cannot, if you live in Canada, order the book through their program. I ordered mine off Amazon.ca.
What I am reviewing
I am reviewing an online biology course called Experience Biology: Upper Level. Experience Biology is the brainchild of Luke and Trish Gilkerson. You’ll find it a rigorous and thorough look at biology, preparing it’s students well for college. Journey Homeschool Academy currently has five programs: Elementary and Upper-Level Biology, Elementary and Upper-Level Astronomy and an Upper-Level bible survey class. Seeing the quality of their biology class has me planning to have my lad take their bible survey class as well! 🙂
As part of this course you will cover 35 lessons which will include quarter exams, hands-on labs with options to do video labs, quizzes, engaging videos and research questions.
How Is a Lesson Laid Out?
After printing off your lesson notes, watch the videos, taking care to actually fill in your lesson notes. 🙂 If you have the textbook read the assigned lesson, otherwise take the quiz. The quizzes are all multiple choice and you can see where you went wrong afterwards. Complete the research questions and submit your lab report. You can easily complete one lesson per week, and potentially two lessons per week.
Each video lasts about half-an-hour. They are interesting to watch and occasionally pose interesting questions.
Highlights of videos
- notes to write are highlighted/put up in text
- connections to real-life
One of the things I really, really liked about these videos is they fit them perfectly to their workbooks. SOMETIME I was so engaged in the video lesson that I actually forgot to take notes. BUT going back through the video so that I could fill in the blanks was SUPER easy. You see, if you need to write it down, you’ll find it highlighted in the video. How super helpful is that eh? 🙂
This is a faith-based program, and you’ll find scripture and references to God interwoven throughout.
Luke Gilkerson teaches the classes. He has a light-hearted yet serious approach to science. You can tell how much he loves his field and teaching others about it. He does as all good teachers do. A brief overview, followed by specific details, followed by a wrap up.
I mentioned earlier about the workbooks. You get two with the course. The student Guidebook which you use to take notes. The Lab book spells out the assignments and what you’ll need to accomplish them.
Lots of room is given for taking notes. Important for a person like me with messy handwriting, and for a student like my son who likes to take extra notes. Even if you don’t need it, it’s lovely that the space is available don’t you think?
Quizzes, Assignments and Grading
I love the immediacy in grading. Quizzes require 70% to pass. All multiple choice. I haven’t reached the point of needing to take a quarterly exam, but I would assume in an online format that would be a similar system.
Don’t you just love the light-hearted options for some of the answers? I laughed when I saw them! 🙂 This online high school biology course is a pleasure to work through.
The Riot and the Dance
Although you can complete Experience Biology without this textbook, and complete it well, you will find that having the textbook adds a deeper layer of understanding. It’s a more complete program with the additional reading. Could you source out the various chapters? Yes, for instance in the space that it took for the book to arrive I had already sussed out learning about a bit of starter chemistry and about biomolecules. Having the textbook just makes it easier. 🙂
I found the text to be technical but an easily understood conversation. Written by Gordon Wilson who includes his faith in his understanding of science. Most of the illustrations within the text are done in grayscale, the photos are included in full colour. This textbook would be helpful in any high school biology course.
Don’t you just love it when the research questions help advance your learning? Not just a “do this” but a “do this and you’ll understand your next lesson better”.
Should you Get Experience Biology?
Whether you want a faith-based Biology course, or prefer to avoid issues of faith, Experience Biology is a SOLID homeschool biology program. It’s extremely well done and worthy of a second look. High-quality videos that are easy to understand and well-laid out along with great research questions, and good labs. This is a well-rounded biology program that is academically rigorous. I do advise getting the textbook if you plan to go on in biology/science as it makes for a more in-depth course.
Please visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read some of these other reviews about the courses offered by Journey Homeschool Academy.
homeschool biology, homeschool science, high school biology online