For those students who do not need advanced science on their transcript for their decided major, I have a great junior or senior science course that is also fun. This year we decided to include Botany for science because my son loves to garden. He basically runs our garden; planting it, weeding it, harvesting, and taking care of both pests and nutrients.
I searched around mainly for some type of course that would offer me a way to give him a “grade” for his transcript. I mainly wanted to be able to give him the quizzes and tests and record the grades, but also fill in the gaps that he might not have gotten from just taking care of the garden.
In searching I found that 99% of the botany curricula out there is written for elementary and is very minimal and basic at best. They didn’t dig into soil pH or pesticides, organics, or any of the actual scientific meat of botany. Finally, however, I found a great botany book for high school, Botany Adventure by Kym Wright. Best of all it sells for less than $20!
This book is a unit study format, but has great labs, and research guidance. There is no textbook for your student to read and then quiz them on. Instead, each chapter is on a different topic of botany with a series of questions that the student has to research and answer on their own. This is coupled with labs and worksheets to flesh out the material they are researching. Depending on the questions, I assigned anywhere from 3 – 10 per day for 2 days /week. That gives my student plenty of time to research and respond. In the below sample, you can see these are NOT elementary questions and these are some of the easy ones!
I added daily grades to his grade book from the research questions and quiz grades from the lab sheets. Occasionally I would use the flash cards as a quiz as well. At the end of the book are 4 lab sheets that cover the majority of the material to be mastered. These are each used twice, once for review after each quarter of the book (semester test) and again as a final exam.
Included in the book is a grid of lesson plans, chapter questions, flashcards for the various items they have to memorize, vocabulary words for each chapter, and lab sheets. The lab sheets vary from microscope work to labeling parts plants, to vocabulary crossword puzzles. It is a very well thought out curriculum for a high school credit and meets all the criteria for a rigorous botany education.
In addition to this book, I added a botany coloring book (adult level) that adds an element of study and can stand in for some of the research questions. Instead of having to look up the parts of the flower/plant cell/etc. I had my student do the corresponding coloring book pages. It was less than $20 as well. You can click the image below to find it on Amazon.
Cathy Duffy has done a review on the botany unit study book. I have posted the link below for your convenience.
Botany Adventure Review by Cathy Duffy
I hope you learned something and that I provided resource information you may have needed! Feel free to forward these posts to your other homeschool friends who might be looking for this!
Praying for y’all!