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Teaching Biology at Planet Homeschool To Publications / Articles - Teaching Biology at Planet Homeschool

Posted 7/3/22
PHS Leadership Team | Instructor Search

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!

Photo of of Phytoplankton - the foundation of the oceanic food chain, 2019, by NOAA on UnsplashFor 2023-2024, our co-op members are looking for someone to teach a 28-week (35-hour) full-year middle school biology course with a hands-on lab. (Our co-op is open to a single semester middle school biology course as well.)

Classes would be held on Fridays. The class period is not yet set. Class periods are 75 minutes or 1¼ hours long.

  • First period: 9:15 AM–10:30 AM
  • Second period: 10:35 AM–11:50 AM
  • Third period: 12:30 PM–1:45 PM
  • Fourth period: 1:50 PM–3:05 PM
  • Fifth period: 3:15 PM–4:30 PM (experimental)

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
2023–2024 High School Physics Middle School Biology
instructor needed
Elective Chemistry
Dr. Tom Anderson
2024–2025 High School Chemistry
Dr. Tom Anderson
Middle School Physics Elective Biology
instructor needed
2025–2026 High School Biology
instructor needed
Middle School Chemistry
Dr. Tom Anderson
Elective Physics

Planet Homeschool is a secular homeschool co-op. Science classes at PHS use curriculum and materials that include and present scientific facts, principles, models, and theories as recommended by the majority of practicing experts in the field of study. Topics covered include evolution, the Big Bang, climate change, and global warming.

We recognize that curriculum development takes time, but we can recommend some free and low-cost textbooks to use as a backbone:

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.

We have a very extensive webpage about teaching at Planet Homeschool but please feel free to reach out with any questions! Contact our co-op’s Lead Volunteers at

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.


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Image: Photo of Phytoplankton - the foundation of the oceanic food chain, 2019, by NOAA on Unsplash.
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