Teaching Biology at Planet Homeschool To Publications / Articles
Planet Homeschool Leadership Team
Planet Homeschool’s wonderful and much-beloved biology instructor has moved on to new and exciting things, and while we’re quite happy for her, it does leave us looking for a replacement! Our equally-beloved chemistry instructor, Dr. Tom Anderson, has agreed to teach biology if no replacement can be found, but we’re in agreement that it’s best for the co-op to rely on more than one science teacher!
For 2022-2023, our co-op members are looking for someone to teach a 28-week (35-hour) full-year high school biology course with a hands-on lab.
Fall Semester is Friday 9 September–Friday 9 December 2022
(no classes on 7 October & 25 November).
Spring Semester is Friday 6 January–Friday 5 May 2023
(no classes on 17 February & 7 April)
(Friday 12 May is our co-op’s bad-weather make-up day).
Class would be held on Fridays from 12:30 PM–1:45 PM (75 minutes or 1¼ hours).
Planet Homeschool is a vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive secular learning community for homeschooling students ages 10–19. Our classes are small, fostering a comfortable, informal atmosphere and close relationships among instructors, students, and parents & guardians. At the heart of our community are our awesome youth: the lively and intellectually curious students who truly enjoy being here and learning together. Classes may be offered for ages 10–19 or for a smaller age range, such as middle school (10–14), high school (14–19), teenagers (13–19), etc.
COVID-19: PHS’s approach to COVID-19 is cautious, science-minded, and informed by the needs of our most vulnerable members. We are making every effort to ensure that our in-person courses are safe and accessible. When we are indoors together, those efforts include vaccination, masking, and air filtration.
Classes are held in Saint Anthony Village (a small first-ring suburb surrounded by northeast Minneapolis, Roseville, New Brighton, and Columbia Heights).
While the grounds of Faith UMC are not extensive, they are pleasant. Instructors may hold classes outside whenever the weather allows.
As the instructor, you will set your own course plan, but if (and only if) it proves helpful, below is the course description used by our prior biology instructor:
“Explore the wonders of the living world! Students will participate in hands-on lab activities in class that will complement and enhance their at home biology learning. Learn about the nature of life, the scientific method, the principles of ecology, cellular biology exploring cell organelles, cellular processes including photosynthesis and cellular respiration, and how cells reproduce, living organism classification and the structures of life from microorganisms to plants and animals, genetics and evolution.”
Our co-op’s goal is to have a three-year rotation of High School Biology and Middle School Biology plus an Elective year. The elective year might consist of a full-year course or two semester-length courses. The elective does not have to be a science class — it may be anything that interests the instructor. (The point of offering the elective is to ensure our science instructors have a course on our co-op’s schedule every semester.)
|High School||Middle School||Elective|
|2022–2023||High School Biology
|Middle School Chemistry
Dr. Tom Anderson
Astronomy and Backyard Ballistics, …
|2023–2024||High School Physics||Middle School Biology||Elective Chemistry
Dr. Tom Anderson
|2024–2025||High School Chemistry
Dr. Tom Anderson
|Middle School Physics||Elective Biology|
We recognize that curriculum development takes time, but we can recommend some free and low-cost textbooks to use as a backbone:
CK-12 Biology for High School 2.0 free online textbook
OpenStax’s Biology 2e free online textbook
Lumen Learning’s Boundless Biology free online textbook with lecture slides (as PowerPoint decks) and quiz files
The instructor must supply their own lab equipment, but may charge a supply fee to cover the cost of lab supplies. The room used for science classes has a kitchen sink and an electric stove.
The Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments free online PDF
If you are new to teaching at homeschool co-ops, please note that Planet Homeschool is a homeschool co-op, not a school. Planet Homeschool does not and cannot hire instructors. Instead, our co-op members co-operatively decide together what courses our children want to take in a group setting and then work together to find instructors to teach those courses and pool resources to provide a space for those courses to be taught, and otherwise ensure our children can have a group learning experience. Instructors are hired by the individual families whose children enroll in their courses, not by Planet Homeschool.