How to Use This Course
Botany is not a course meant only for students planning on a science career. While Botany, as presented on SchoolhouseTeachers.com by Julie Polanco, is an informative scientific course that gives a perfect basis for more in-depth studies by students wanting a career in science, the information presented in this course also helps each student learn the importance of plants in their own lives. Each of the topics covered in this Botany course builds on another until your student has a fuller understanding of the wonder of the plant life God has placed around us and how to live with it and use it in everyday life or as a basis for further study. If you have a student who is interested in gardening as a hobby or to supplement the family food supply, understanding the soil requirements for different plants, the sunlight requirements, and the types of weather best suited to different plants can be most beneficial. If your student would rather grow flowers in a garden, the same information must be understood. Plants are a vital part of our lives, and the more we understand, the more we can appreciate the wonderful gift God has given us.
Since the lessons in this course build on themselves, it is best to start with lesson one and move through sequentially, as best fits your student’s schedule. While the lessons and forms needed are all able to be printed from the site, some experiments require basic household supplies and parental oversight to complete. Answer keys for worksheets are included. This course can count for a semester of Life Science. Your student should be keeping a notebook containing all worksheets and experiments. While some activities are listed as optional, this is to allow for middle school flexibility. Your high school student should be completing all activities and experiments. In addition to the online text material offered each week, it can take up to two hours for the student to complete the worksheet and any activities and experiments. As always, please check your own state’s academic requirements.
Take an in-depth look at plants in just 16 weeks. Instructor Julie Polanco proves that Botany is not boring. With many fun experiments and activities, Julie begins her course with a discussion of why it is important to study plants, and students are introduced to world-renowned botanists who have made important contributions to science and society such as John Bartram, Gregor Mendel, and George Washington Carver. Three weeks are spent looking at soil and the minerals contained within it. The function of roots, leaves, and stems, as well as plant respiration and circulation, is discussed. Students will learn about the importance of light and the process of photosynthesis. They will also learn how to tell the difference between deciduous trees and gymnosperms, find out how plants know when to get ready for winter, and why some trees don’t lose their leaves. A few weeks are spent looking at plant defenses, plants as medicine, and flowers as food. Students will begin to understand why God designed plants the way He did and what role they play in our world.
A great accompaniment to your botany studies, Julie’s book Purpose of Plants is now available for purchase through The Old Schoolhouse Store or through Lulu.
Weekly lessons contain printable study text, worksheets, and answer keys, along with related activities and experiments.
Lesson 1: Why Study Plants
Lesson 2: It All Starts with Soil
Lesson 3: More About Soil and Minerals: Part One
Lesson 4: More About Soil and Minerals: Part Two
Lesson 5: Plant Roots
Lesson 6: Water
Lesson 7: Respiration and Circulation (Transpiration)
Lesson 8: More About Leaves and Stems
Lesson 9: Light
Lesson 10: Plant Cells
Lesson 11: Plant Defenses
Lesson 12: Plants as Medicine
Lesson 13: Flowers and Food
Lesson 14: Ferns and Mosses
Lesson 15: Gymnosperms
Lesson 16: Plants and Genes
This course will run for 16 weeks and will count for a semester of Life Science. Your student should be keeping a notebook containing all worksheets and experiments. While some activities are listed as optional, this is to allow for middle school flexibility. Your high school student should be completing allactivities and experiments. In addition to the online text material offered each week, it can take up to two hours for the student to complete the worksheet and any activities and experiments. Many worksheets have answer keys; this should help you in grading. For those sheets that do not, it is because the answers will vary and you will need to check that your student has completed the assignment. For example, one lesson asks the student to do some research on carnivorous traps and how they work. You will need to make sure that the student wrote about a trap, answered the questions posed, and gave enough information. Usually, the worksheet specifies how long the paragraph or mini-essay needs to be. Please double-check the websites cited in the lessons and familiarize yourself with what is on them. I am not responsible if the websites change the location of their material, although everything was current when I included them in the lesson. I will only direct your student to legitimate, authoritative websites, such as the EPA. Two tests will be offered, one at Week Eight and one at Week Sixteen, and these will be separate from that week’s lesson material. Please plan accordingly. These are essay tests and will have an answer key. Use your own grading scale and good judgment when determining your student’s grade in this course. — Julie Polanco