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 liked this course so much, that I decided to become an affiliate! Some of the links below are my affiliate links, which means I may make a commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
Early into the summer, a homeschool biology course became available to review. The main reason I was interested in reviewing this course was to possibly help families who are choosing to homeschool this year. Experience Biology: Upper Level from Journey Homeschool Academy, is an online high school level biology course with labs. Courses such as biology can be intimidating for both student and teacher, and especially to brand new homeschoolers. I was very interested to be able to share an online option with a biblical worldview for high school biology. Little did I know, this homeschool biology course would be perfect for our family as well.
What is Experience Biology?
Experience Biology: Upper Level from Journey Homeschool Academy is a full college prep course in biology with labs that will give your student enough hours for a high school credit. The course includes 35 lessons and covers all the topics you would expect to see in any biology course. Students “experience biology” weekly in four simple steps: watch two video lessons, take a quiz, complete the lab assignment, and end the unit with a couple of thought provoking research questions. It is optional, but there is a short section of text from The Riot and the Dance: Foundational Biology to read for enhancement. I’ll share a quick break-down of what each step is like for the student and teacher:
- Video lessons average 25 minutes each. They are so well-done, I watched a few of them myself “just for fun”. The quality is amazing, the tone is conversational, but the information and graphics are that of a well-produced documentary. Very watchable for teens! While the student is watching, he is taking notes on provided note taking pages.
- Weekly comprehension quizzes are self-graded with a minimum passing grade of 70%. The quizzes are able to be reset, and are designed to be used as a self-assessment. There are also four quarterly exams that cannot be reset.
- Lab Assignments include watching a brief video, viewing a demonstration, and completing the lab assignment. Lab reports are written with each lab. (The student should have no problem writing a thorough lab report at the end of this course). There are 28 labs, and students should choose at least 15 to complete. Parents grade the lab assignments according to a grading rubric.
- The research questions are designed for the student to dig a little deeper, and can be graded according to how you feel they were answered. An answer sheet is included.
- Recommended readings from The Riot and the Dance will reinforce learning the material presented in the lectures.
How to use Experience Biology
The platform is extremely user-friendly. The teacher as well as the student have their own dashboard. There you will find the guidebook for the course and the lab book to download and print. There is also an option to purchase the guides already printed and spiral bound. The student is now able to simply click the first lesson for access to the videos, quiz, research questions and lab assignment. After each segment is complete, just check it off. That’s it! There is also a progress circle to see how far you’ve come in the course.
The parent dashboard is where you find the parent curriculum guide and lab supply list to print. Under the Student Management tab is where you will find the quiz scores and progress bar. So simple!
What did we think of Experience Biology?
Journey Homeschool Academy has done an amazing job of putting together a top-notch curriculum! Like I said earlier, I was eager to review this for other families. I already had something in mind for my son’s biology that I used last year with my daughter, and was happy with. After my son and I viewed some of the lessons, I knew that this would be a much better fit for him. There are so many things I like about this course. One is that the student “owns the course” so to speak. Independent learning is a big goal at this point in our journey, and this course totally allows for that. Another thing I really like are the note-taking sheets. Note taking is an essential life skill that often goes untaught.
The pre-printed sheets include just enough information to turn any kid into an efficient note taker. Speaking of life skills, I viewed the video to accompany the first exam, and to my surprise it was about how to study. This of course, is another one of those life skills that often goes overlooked.
Last, a biblical worldview is critical for today’s youth, and is what I feel is a missing link in today’s world. This homeschool biology course does a beautiful job of showcasing God’s handiwork in the courses I viewed.
My son is working this summer, so he will actually begin the course next month. He enjoyed the videos and did well at keeping up with the note taking on the lessons we viewed together. He said he is looking forward to the new course and the option to create his own schedule. I skipped around and viewed several videos and labs, and am so excited about this course – I wish I could take it! Science has always been my favorite subject to teach, but I am happy to hand over the reigns to Luke and Trisha this year!
Journey Homeschool Academy offers other courses that I encourage you to check out. My team reviewed several of them for Elementary Biology and Elementary Astronomy. You can read how they used them by clicking the banner below!