There are many great biology resources available for homeschool students of all ages. Younger students can perform projects growing butterflies, plants, or an ant farm. Older students can perform dissections, or examine fungi under a microscope. From project and lab supplies to group classes and tutoring, biology resources can be as close as a few clicks on the computer.
To come up with resources for biology projects for younger students is easy and fun. Many great projects can be conducted with household materials. When studying plants, for instance, children can grow a sweet potato vine, sprout beans or seeds from fruit, and they can dye a daisy or some celery with food coloring. When studying animals or insects, they can build a bird feeder and write down what kinds of birds they spot, or raise a caterpillar in a jar. To make things even easier, there are wonderful kits for these projects as well. The kits are easy to find online – Insect Lore is just one of several manufacturers noted for high quality plant and insect projects.
Some other great resources to look into for younger students are trips to nature centers, museums, and zoos. Many of these places have discounts for school groups (some are even free), so get a couple of families together and go at the same time. Think outside the box. You could visit a local fish hatchery or a private beekeeper or tour an organic farm. There are all sorts of ways to give children a hands-on experience with living things.
For high school students, studies are more demanding and labs more challenging. But the biology resources themselves are readily available. The most expensive but worthwhile investment a homeschool family could make for biology would be a high quality microscope. When well-cared for, a good instrument can last through an entire family of children and still be in great shape. Microscopes can now be purchased through many homeschool curriculum suppliers (as well as of course, direct from manufacturers).
Dissection kits complete with an entire range of specimens, instruments, and even a book of detailed instructions can be purchased for reasonable price. For students who need even more instructions, there are demonstration videos available. Professional, curriculum quality videos can be purchased very reasonably. There are also free versions online that can sometimes be helpful for quick tips or pointers (just type the name of the animal and “dissection video”).
Other great high school biology resources include courses at community colleges or online courses for advanced high school students. Both are great ways to not only challenge the mind of an intelligent student, but to get AP or college credit into the bargain. Another excellent resource to pursue for students talented in biology is apprenticeship / internship programs at local nature centers, zoos, or research labs. Students interested in medicine can volunteer at a local hospital or nursing home.
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