When I planned my trip to the 2:1 Conference in March of last year, I wasn’t really expecting to come home with anything extra. So coming home with the hardcover Exploring Creation with Marine Biology and the text booklet ($85 for the set), and the audio CDs ($29) from Apologia Educational Ministries was an incredible blessing for our family.
My eldest daughter Clara had already decided she wanted to do Marine Biology this year after a trip to the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro. We weren’t really able to get into Marine Biology in the spring though, as we were still finishing up the prerequisite Exploring Creation with Biology at that time. So as soon as school approached this fall, we dove right in and even placed an early order for our dissection kit ($62.00), which is now sitting on a high shelf in my pantry. Ewww.
“Marine Biology here we come.”
I find it just a bit intimidating watching my high school student learn things I haven’t learned myself. I don’t have time to go through and read all of her textbooks, so it is comforting to know from experience that the Apologia textbooks can be used by the student, without a teacher. I usually end up helping with the experiments, and my husband takes the time to go over each chapter and grade her tests on the weekend. Clara spends her weekdays reading the text, completing experiments, and using the study guide to prepare for her test.
What excites me is when she shares what she has learned from last year’s Biology text on our nature hikes. Clearly, the self-study method she uses with the Apologia textbook is working, because as we hike near our home, she stops to show us the shelf mushrooms growing on a dead tree and explain what they do. Or she stops to point out leaf types, mushroom types, and other various facts she absorbed from her first high school science course. Often, these involve an explanation of how these things work together to support intelligent design or some other proof of God’s act of creation.
Already, with just a few chapters of Marine Biology under her belt, she is explaining what she learns to us in every day life and bringing up what she is learning during our dinner table conversation.
A couple weeks ago, she let her little brothers help with a science experiment involving the density of ocean water. Today, she had one of her little brothers help with a science experiment involving boats in a bathtub. I love how she is involving them in her explorations and explaining everything to them in simple terms as we go along!
As we are sitting here writing this review together, I just caught Clara flipping through the book and reading ahead as she gets interested in the amazing illustrations.
It also happens to be cool that my eleven-year-old is studying Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day by Jeannie Fulbright and also from Apologia Educational Ministries. Some of the experiments have gone hand in hand, Anna can watch the dissections as her sister does them, and of course we can fully justify a family trip to the aquarium sometime this year!
Exploring Creation with Marine Biology includes 16 modules, and each can be completed in about two weeks. Each module includes 2-6 experiments, vocabulary definitions, open book questions to help you focus on the material, and a study guide. The appendixes include a glossary, maps and charts, a fill-in-the-blank summary of each module, and a list of lab supplies by module. The test booklet we got includes blank tests and answer keys for each module.
My Bottom Line: We love using Apologia Educational Ministries as our core science curriculum, and Marine Biology has been fun and informational already for my 10th grader. My daughter enjoys studying science, learns a ton of information, and shares what she learns with our family in our every day life. We are excited to have this curriculum and get to study all of God’s amazing underwater creations from a Biblical worldview.