Meeting the needs of homeschool high schoolers, Memoria Press’ Modern Biology course promotes mastery of the basic concepts of Biology. Based on the philosophy that the most effective way to learn a subject is to narrow the topic and study it deeply, the course covers 18 of the 51 chapters in the Modern Biology textbook, which makes the daunting 1100 pages, much more manageable! While this may seem “light”, the course covers everything required for a high school Biology credit. Topically, students will spend a significant amount of time on microbiology and biochemistry, more than most high school level Biology courses. In addition, this program covers typically taught concepts like cell structure, genetics, structure and function of plants, and vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Human Anatomy is not covered and is considered a second year Biology credit. Memoria Press, however, is currently developing their Human Anatomy course, using the Modern Biology text.
There are numerous required resources to use the course successfully; these include the Modern Biology textbook, the Teacher Guide, Student Guide, Instructional Videos (streamed from the Memoria Press website), a Test Book and the Princeton Review Coloring Book (item #004223). No labs are included as part of the program; however, the textbook does include various lab activities that may be used if the parent is able to find the recommended supplies. If a high school lab credit is necessary, the Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments (item #061896) or Experiences in Biology (item #013095) provides lab science options that are easy to complete at home and topically match the lessons. They are not planned in the lessons, so parents will need to take a few minutes to match lessons with experiments for their student. The textbook is from a secular publisher and includes evolutionary content.
The Teacher Guide provides a brief overview of how to use the course, and provides answers to the text review questions, as well as the student guide activities and tests. It also notes which of the accompanying coloring book pages to color. No additional teaching notes are included, as the program is founded on the video lectures for additional explanations. The Teacher Guide divides the course into trimesters with the expectation the course will be completed in a traditional school year. The required streaming video license is for 13 months, allowing students flexibility to complete the course (with an extension available for an additional fee if needed). There are no lesson plans included, although daily lesson plans are available separately if needed.
The consumable Student Guide provides space for the student to define vocabulary words, label diagrams, and respond to the review and comprehension questions.
The required Biology Coloring Book from Princeton Review (item #004223) helps students memorize the biological structures and functions, which promote mastery and successful test taking.
The Test Book provides a test for each chapter in the Student Guide, and a comprehensive fifteen-page final exam. Test questions are multiple choice, matching, short answers, and a diagram to label. Answers to the tests are found in the Teacher Guide. The test booklet is not reproducible.
The final component, the Instructional Videos, provide lectures that expand upon the textual information. Taught by Highland Latin School instructor, Dr. Rebecca Shelburne, the lectures are directed to the student and are designed to engage and hold the student’s attention. The video lectures are divided into textbook sections, with varying lengths from just under 10 minutes to 49 minutes. According to Memoria Press, evolution is touched on but never taught as a macro-process. Microevolution is discussed throughout as it only pertains to changes within species. Occasional references to God will be found throughout the video instruction, but creationism is not taught. When you purchase the streaming video instruction from Rainbow Resource Center, you will receive an email with instructions to access a unique web link for the streaming instruction. Please allow 1-2 business days for the email to arrive. Activation begins when you access the individual link provided.
Components are available individually or in a Package, which includes the Textbook, Student Workbook, Test Book, Teacher’s Guide, Biology Coloring Book, and the Streaming Instructional Videos.
Modern Biology is an excellent option for the homeschool family seeking an independent high school science credit. If you are concerned the course only covers a portion of the textbook, Dr. Shelburne reassures that students completing the course with 90% or above, should be well prepared to take the SAT Biology (molecular) exam. ~ Deanne