Biology 101 Review by Cindy Downes

Your visual and auditory learners are going to LOVE this. As a matter of fact, Biology 101: Biology According to the Days of Creation, developed by Wes Olson, is going to be enjoyed by the whole family!

The topics covered in this 4 disc set include Defining Life and Life Classification, Plants, Aquatic Creatures, Avian Creatures, Land Animals, Mankind and Genetics. It also includes a printable 114-page guidebook and a 12-page "Course Accreditation Program."

First, what I liked:

I loved the beautiful videos; the animated graphs, charts and illustrations; the background music was pleasant and added to the learning experience. The host (also Wes Olson) was an excellent speaker and kept my attention with clearly defined definitions, anecdotes, and interesting facts. During the plant segment, he takes the viewer to a variety of places to study plants: the bakery to learn about grains, a restaurant to learn how algae is used to make ice cream and salad dressing, and the forest to watch a forester drill a tree ring sample to find out the age of a tree. He also offers memory tips like learning that stamen ends with "men" so it's the male part of the plant, and he shows how plants are used in scripture to illustrate spiritual truths. The animations are excellent and easy to learn from so everyone in the family will benefit from watching the videos.

What I didn't like:

There is no real lab work included to speak of, only a few simple projects. The "accreditation program" is not adequate for students going to college or entering any science-related field. I recommend supplementing the curriculum with additional research, composition, and lab work. The guidebook did not include much more than what is included on the videos, so it's not really that helpful. Perhaps this is a feature they will improve in the future.

However, I liked the videos themselves so much, I highly recommend them as the foundation for a biology course or a unit study for all ages. You could teach topic by topic as in a unit study and use the videos as the "meat." Simply add additional reading, research, composition, and lab to suit, depending on grade level, interests and abilities. Much of the extras could be found on the Internet for free.

The cost of Biology 101 is currently only $69.95/set ($49.49 on CBD), a full year's course that can be used by your entire family. You can't beat that!

For more information or to purchase - Biology 101.
 

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