Curriculum Review: Marine Biology from Apologia (And a SALE!)

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It's truly hard for me to believe that not only are we entering our 12th year of homeschooling but this year I will have two high schoolers. The years truly have flown by and I could not be more thankful to the Lord for leading our family to homeschool, especially since it was not our original intent. But God sees the big picture and He knew ahead of time not only what homeschool would keep us from (in a good way) but how it would enrich our lives in countless ways. Additionally, after living through a pandemic and seeing the ways that countless family's lives were uprooted in so many ways, but specifically in regards to their children's education, it makes me even more thankful that we were able to just keep on doing what we were doing. 

I certainly don't have all the answers to homeschooling high schoolers and I often find myself leaning on the Lord and asking Him for help and direction in how to best guide them. I am so thankful that He loves our children even more than we do and that He cares about every detail of their lives and that includes the interests that He has put within them and how they learn best. 

Apologia has been such a good fit for our family over the years whether it was with the biblical worldview series (which we love so much and have cycled through over and over) or various other science programs offered through them that it truly has become a favorite curriculum resource for us. (If you'd like to take a look at some of my other reviews of their curriculum, you can find them here:

What We Are Using This Year

For my 9th grader this year, we are using Apologia's Exploring Creation with Marine Biology. (However, please keep in mind that it is actually recommended as an upper level science course and assumes that your child has done Biology. Because of the thoroughness and rigor of this course "it requires knowledge of general biology and assumes that students have previously participated in biological lab activities such as experiments, dissections, and microscopy." However, if you have a child that is very interested in this subject I think they will do fine and can always dive deeper at a later date. (It's also a great option for a 12th Grade science course.)  

Last year my daughter used the General Science course by Sherri Seligson from Apologia and absolutely loved her as a teacher so she is really looking forward to this course with her as well. Here is a trailer to give you a glimpse at the course and who teaches it. 


It's important to note that Apologia's homeschool marine biology course is one of the few courses available to homeschoolers that includes marine ecology. A wide variety of topics are explored and include the following: 

  • The Process of Life
  • Geography of the Oceans
  • Reproduction in the Sea
  • Classifying Life in the Sea
  • Kingdom Protista: The Unicellular Algae
  • Kingdom Protista: The Marine Protozoans
  • Kingdom Protista: The Multicellular Algae
  • Kingdom Monera
  • Kingdom Fungi
  • Kingdom Plantae
  • Marine Invertebrates
  • Marine Vertebrates
  • Marine Ecology
  • The Intertidal Zone
  • Estuary Communities
  • Coral Reefs
  • Continental Shelf Communities
  • The Epipelagic Zone
  • The Deep Ocean
  • Ocean Resources
  • Effects of Humans of the Sea

Click here to view a sample of the student book. And here is a sample module lesson with Sherri 

I would definitely recommend that you purchase the Apologia Marine Biology Notebooking Journal to accompany this course. It includes a course schedule, helps the student take notes, study and prepare for tests and is a great compilation of their work from the year. It also helps them to stay organized and keep detailed records of their labs using proper scientific methodology.

To recap, the Student Notebook contains:

  • A suggested Daily Schedule
  • Note-taking pages
  • Instruction in the Cornell note-taking system
  • Space to answer all study questions found in the textbook 
  • Lab report forms for each experiment in the text will help your student master the process of writing a complete lab report
  • Illustrations that are not found in the textbook which ensure that the student is indeed learning all that they can from their labs 
The student workbook is strongly linked to the notebooking journal. Here are a few of the essential elements to it:

A Grade Report

A Section for Personal Notes

Daily Schedule

Click Here to view a sample of the notebooking journal. 

**Students will need to purchase the marine biology prepared slide kit and the dissection specimens for this course.

How to Complete this Course for High School Credit

When your child completes this course it will qualify for a full high school science credit in either marine biology or marine science, depending on the course codes in your state. If your child completes at least two of the three types of labs (experimentation, dissection, or microscopy) it qualifies as a marine biology lab course and can be listed as an advanced course on your child's high school transcripts.

All of the Apologia high school science courses, including marine biology, are designed to be completed in two semesters and require about 45 minutes per day, five days a week, on the subject.

How We Are Using This Course

For my daughter, we are using the self-paced option for this course. We have the notebooking journal, the student book and the tests/quizzes and answer key (although the tests/quizzes can just be taken online.) This is our second year to use the self-paced option and we absolutely love it. It includes all of the lab demonstrations, the text is read to you and there is a video that goes along with each lesson where Sherri shows diagrams to explain the lesson further. She also adds extra applicable on-site video clips of her explaining things in more detail.  

From a parent's perspective, I find the self-paced course to be a huge benefit to our homeschool. I'm a busy mom of soon to be 7 children and having the course taught to my daughter, the review questions included to prepare for tests and quizzes, and the quizzes and tests available on line and the grading done for me is worth its weight in gold.  

What are the Self-Paced Courses Like?

Apologia’s self-paced homeschool classes are the same version of the award-winning Apologia Science courses, but in a self-paced portal. The self-paced version offers: 

  • Full online digital version of the textbook (visual learners!)
  • Audio narration of the course textbook (auditory learners!)
  • The Video Instruction course material, featuring Sherri Seligson as the instructor, integrated into the daily assignments
  • Easy-to-do at-home experiments (hands-on learners!)
  • On Your Own and Study Guide materials (perfect for moms of many!)
  • Unique tests complete with automatic grading (a huge help!)
  • Desktop and mobile access (learn on the go if you need to!)
  • Flexibility to learn at a pace that’s best for your student (no pressure!)
This little video below will give you a great overview of what the self-paced courses are like.

And, if you're still on the fence about the self-paced option, you can try a demo lesson here

I hope this review helps you on your homeschool journey! If you have any questions you can leave them in the comments section below or feel free to send me a message on Facebook or Instagram.

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Be sure to check out my "Bee Kind" nature based character development unit and my ebooks as well: A Wife's Guide to Studying ProverbsTopical Devotions for Pregnancy and Early Potty Teaching. Or, if you're looking for a way to get 30 raw fruits and vegetables in your diet every day, contact me here 

This post may involve product that was received in exchange for a review or contain affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.

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