A free online biology class can be a timesaving, inexpensive way for home educators to make sure their children have access to high quality biology courses. These online courses can be taken anytime and anywhere (as long as there is Internet access), and many of them offer college level prep courses.
About Free Homeschool Online Biology Classes
When kids study biology, they learn about life, and not just human life, but life as it encompasses the tiniest, unseen germs to gigantic whales. Online biology classes are a perfect way to expose students to a wide variety of teachings and theories about topics like how life originates, what living things need to survive, or how living things are classified.
While utilizing a specific textbook or curriculum can be an easy method of teaching a subject like biology, using online classes and resources gives homeschool educators and students more choices and options of materials, videos, virtual labs and other teaching and learning tools. By taking advantage of free online classes for biology, home educators free up funds for other homeschooling options like field trips or sports activities. In addition, it gives the home educator ultimate control over what the student learns. For instance, Christian homeschoolers might choose to select a Christian homeschool program that teaches creation rather than evolution in a biology course.
National Repository of Online Courses
Choose a free homeschool online biology class from one of the three excellent ones available from the National Repository of Online Courses (NROC). There are two advanced placement (AP) classes, which include all the information deemed necessary to prepare students to take the College Board examinations for biology. There is also a course called Non Majors Biology. The classes are offered by NROC through Hippo Campus.
There are two courses offered over two semesters: Advanced Placement Biology I and Advanced Placement Biology II. Virtual labs and interactive exercises are used in lieu of lectures. The courses include discussion questions, homework, readings and assessments to measure and quantify student progress.
Biology I AP
This course is comprised of six units divided into 18 chapters and 32 lessons. The lessons include:
- Welcome to Biology
- Cell Structure and Function
- The Gene
- Principles of Heredity
- Evolution of Biology
- Biological Diversity
Biology II AP
This course is composed of six units, 14 chapters, and 35 lessons:
- The Energetics of Life
- Animal Structure, Reproduction, and Development
- Circulation, Body Defenses, Nutrition
- Nervous System and Internal Controls
- Plants: Form and Function
Non Majors Biology
The course is composed of 24 chapters. Students are responsible for assigned readings, lessons and assignments. There are four virtual animations for interactive support of the lesson materials. Assessments, mid-terms and finals help measure student progress.
MIT OpenCourseWare is an ongoing project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The courses are free and available to anyone. No registration is necessary, and a student works through the courses at his own pace. Courses include various materials like lecture notes, videos and exams. There are over 70 biology classes from which to choose like:
- Introduction to Biology
- Cell Biology
- Principles of Human Disease
A useful feature of the website is a page called Highlights for High School. Homeschool educators can use this page to locate quickly the courses like the biology exam preparation that would most benefit their students. Simply type in a topic and subtopic and the most relevant videos and courses are located and displayed.
Online Homeschool Class Tips
When researching free homeschool online biology classes for your student, there are some important things to keep in mind as you evaluate classes. Ask yourself questions like these:
- If necessary, does the course comply with state regulations?
- Will it fit in with the style and methodology of the other courses in the homeschool curriculum?
- Does the course approach biology from a secular or Biblical worldview? (For instance, if evolution rather than creation is taught as part of the course, will that be acceptable?)
Also, keep in mind that even though a course is advertised as free, there could be hidden costs or obligations. Read all information carefully before committing to any course of study. Online biology courses are an inexpensive way for students to learn this core subject. As long as a course meets the required state guidelines or any personal requirements, give it a try.