Science - Lab Supplies, Kits, Microscopes

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DS4home
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Science - Lab Supplies, Kits, Microscopes

Unread post by DS4home » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:38 pm

Dissection kits and microscopes
Winni wrote:I see at the Apologia website for Biology that there are dissection kits and microscopes...are we not going to be using those? I won't need this stuff for a year or so, but I am wondering now. Thanks!
Yes, you do need the extras. If you want to be able to give a full high school credit for Biology the student needs to do the lab portion of the curriculum along with reading the textbook. I bought our microscope and dissection kit from Home Science Tools ( I think). It's been a couple years.

Dawn
Celebrating our 28th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(9th).

2018: AHL for the 4th time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

Lucy
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Unread post by Lucy » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:37 pm

Hi Tracey,

MFW gives you a couple of places that you can order these from in the lesson plan book that comes with the package. One is the Apologia site https://apologia.securesites.net/store/ ... Path=26_29 and the other is http://www.naturesworkshopplus.com .

As Dawn has already said you will need these item. I have to order this soon too for my daughter!

Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

gressman9
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:56 pm

Unread post by gressman9 » Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:07 am

You might want to check with Knight's Book Nook, too. Though I don't know if they have a website or if you just call them. They are located in GA, but travel to a lot of homeschool conferences. They sell all the kits, microscopes and other science related stuff. Like MFW ...they are a homeschool family business.

Carylee
mom2seven

KimberlyND
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:55 pm
Location: United States

Apologia Science Biology Question

Unread post by KimberlyND » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:48 am

amylynn12 wrote:Has anyone used Apologia Biology yet? Did you purchase a microscope? I was wondering if anyone could share a good place to purchase one. We are still finishing up Physical Science, so I don't have a copy of Biology to look through to see how often we would use a microscope. We are trying to budget for it and just wondering about how much a good one would cost and if we absolutely need one.
Thanks for any help. :-)
We did purchase a microscope when our oldest was doing biology. The homeschool company that sold it was Nature Workshop Plus. I went to their site. The microscopes are a little more expensive than when we bought ours. And they have a lot more to choose from. We have always been very happy with the one we got.

I know others have found used microscopes they bought from public schools. I guess you would have to determine what type you needed. If you called the MFW office I'll bet they could help you with that and the original question of whether you need one.

I have never been sorry that we got our microscope. I don't know if it is necessary to have one to do the text as now you can get the "Multimedia Companion CD for Exploring Creation with Biology." Pray about it as it is a big money investment, check on what type you would need, and look around for the best prices if you decide you will get one.

Blessings!
Kimberly in ND
MFW user since 2007, gone through K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CtG, RtR, Exp. to 1850, & 1850 to Modern Times
Using ECC 2014-2015 with an 8th grade son and 4th grade daughter
Have been HS for 19 years and graduated 3 dc.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Apologia Science Biology Question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:14 am

I remember agonizing over this with my older dd. Like Kimberly, I personally think you could manage without one but might confirm with the MFW office (it should be in your MFW Lesson Plans but I see you don't have those yet). Lucy & Dawn both seem to find it important here: [above]

I bought ours at Sonlight & I felt it was competitively priced. There are even more features you can get at places like HomeScienceTools, such as stereo view (like eyeglasses with two lenses) or dual view (where mom & son can both look at same time), but ours is fine.

We take it out every year for one thing or another, and I'm happy to be able to provide that experience to my children. I will say that I learned (a) not to get a toy -- I actually visited a local laboratory store to ask/see what the difference was & it's no competition; and (b) not to expect it to be totally easy to work with, since these tools take some amount of focusing & manipulating, depending on the specimen.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Re: Apologia Science Biology Question

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:01 pm

let's let apologia confuse us. I'll copy and paste from their site
Exploring Creation With Biology contains three types of laboratory exercises for the student to perform: 1) Household labs - Only household equipment is used. These labs should be done by all students. 2) Microscope labs - Require a microscope + slide set. These labs are optional. 3) Dissection labs - Require a dissection kit. These labs are optional (except for Internet course participants.) We do not REQUIRE you to perform the microscope and dissection labs. They will be beneficial to the student (especially if he or she is science-oriented) but they are not absolutely necessary. Thus, you should not feel pressured into purchasing the microscope or dissection equipment. Do so only if you can afford it! For students who wish to count biology as a “lab credit” they must complete 2 of the 3 types of labs. For example, the student could do all of the household labs and all of the dissection labs to receive lab credit. This eliminates the need to purchase the microscope. If you have the financial means, we do make available the microscopy and dissection laboratory equipment. We have worked very hard with our equipment supplier, Nature’s Workshop Plus!, to provide you with a quality set at a very low price. Indeed, this set is close to half the cost of the recommended set for other homeschool biology courses.
Basically, there are 3 kinds of lab experiments in Apologia Biology. In order to receive high school biology with lab credit, Apologia on their website recommends that you do all of at least 2 types of experiments:
1. standard labs that were "household" items (all students should do these)
2. labs with microscope and slide set. these are optional
3. dissections -those require the dissection kits. optional, unless you are taking the internet version of the class.

So, for lab credit, you have to do the "household items" one. and then choose either the microscope and slides, or dissections. So if you can't afford a microscope you can skip it and just get the dissection kit. Apologia says it has worked with nature workshop Plus! to get good quality, lower cost for a microscope if you can afford it.

in any case.... just in case there are other places that a microscope is useful outside of the lab credit, try to find someone near you to share it with. I know when I was in Indiana, there was always someone ahead of me in Apologia. They said "hey if you need to share a microscope...." Maybe you can find someone to cost share.

-crystal

DS4home
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Microscope Selection Help! PLEASE

Unread post by DS4home » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:12 pm

amelasky wrote:I have an urgent request. Will those of you with "older" children, please let me know what microscopes that you use. If you like them, and why OR if you don't like them and why???

My parents are requesting that I give them the information on which microscope that is a good one, and they want to BUY one for us for Christmas. I do not know where to even begin! Terrible coming from a certified Science teacher, I know.

There are digital ones, and battery powered, and SO many choices. We don't want a "toy" one, but one that will last us through High School. Thank you SO much for your help!
We bought the one Apologia recommends, when my oldest did Biology. I had no idea what to look for, so I went with their recommendation. It has been fun to use. It is a very durable, high school level, microscope. You won't go wrong with this purchase, IMO. We also got the premade slides - they were really cool :)

Dawn
Celebrating our 28th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(9th).

2018: AHL for the 4th time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

KimberlyND
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:55 pm
Location: United States

Re: Microscope Selection Help! PLEASE

Unread post by KimberlyND » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:51 pm

We, too, got the one Apologia recommended. We are still using it as ds (8) wanted to get it out the other day and look at different things with it.
Kimberly in ND
MFW user since 2007, gone through K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CtG, RtR, Exp. to 1850, & 1850 to Modern Times
Using ECC 2014-2015 with an 8th grade son and 4th grade daughter
Have been HS for 19 years and graduated 3 dc.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Microscope Selection Help! PLEASE

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:33 pm

Hi Annie,
What a great thing for your parents to do!

I got a microscope from Sonlight when my dd was doing Biology. We've used it now & again ever since & have been very happy. Here's something I wrote a while back when the purchase was fresher in my mind:
  • When I started homeschooling, I had a high schooler & spent a lot of time researching microscopes. I even bought a few "mistakes" off of eBay or somewhere.

    I finally found a local microscope store & went there in person to see what I was looking for. They were not really designed for shoppers like me, but were very kind. They explained all the features that I had read about online, and let me see the difference in person. (They were very forgiving that I could not afford their materials & bought from Sonlight -- though I think I got some little thing from them.)

    Now-a-days, you can look at microscopes at some conventions. What a great opportunity!

    The two things I think I learned through my experience were (1) real microscopes are in a different price range than toys, and (2) the amount of magnification is not really the issue because some impressive higher powers are only useful for looking at parts of cells or something your kid is unlikely to ever need.

    We don't use the microscope often, probably not even monthly. It is not as necessary as I originally thought, and can largely be made up for at group classes, local field trips, and even our local junior hi offers some science labs. But several times a year, it's a great tool to have, and the investment lasts a long time.
When I think about what features I like, these are things I think of. But not all of them are essential...
- a light is essential to me, since the mirror technique was a bear for us to work with
- 2-3 different power lenses, because different things are viewable at different powers
- the viewer part of our microscope can be turned towards me or towards my child, without moving the actual microscope; just kinda handy
- the viewer part of our microscope has a little "arrow" inside so we can "point" to something & show the other person; again, just handy sometimes
- the stage that the glass slide sits on has a clamp to hold the slide still, and it has knobs so it can be moved a little bit in either direction when something on the edge is partially seen & you want to move it over
- ours has two focus knobs: one moves the slide closer & closer to the lens, and the other is for finer focusing? anyways, you want to be able to focus a bit :)

One thing we don't have is "binocular" type viewers for two eyes (stereo). I think that might be nice but we've done fine without it. Also, there are a couple popular durable low-power microscopes which would be fun for viewing rocks & bigger things, but we've had to settle for a magnifying glass :)
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Chemistry

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:37 am

Teresa in TX wrote:Also, we'll be doing Apologia Chemistry next year. What will we need with that? I looked at Apologia's website and there are two options to go with it. One option was $55 and the other was like choice 2 which was optional. Another website had a chemistry kit that was $44 or so. I'm thinking, from the looks of it, the $44 or $55 kit may be the same and would be all we'd need? Am I right? Thanks!!
I've glanced at the lab list by each module on their site, nice to see what comes in the kit that way.

I wondered the same thing too -- especially about that choice 2 lab kit
I'm looking forward to hearing those who have done chemistry.

-crystal

LA in Baltimore
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:01 pm

Re: Chemistry for 10th grade

Unread post by LA in Baltimore » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:00 am

As far as Chemistry...
Glad to hear Apologia offers kits. I think it depends on how science oriented your student is. If you already know God is leading them in the direction of a science field (nursing, etc.) you'd want to make sure you choose the kits that are more comprehensive.
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
Currently enjoying Rome to the Reformation
Graduated oldest May 2010, Three more to go!

cbollin

Supply kit/microscope for Apologia Biology?

Unread post by cbollin » Sun May 02, 2010 6:19 pm

Winni wrote:Now...a microscope is really needed this year, right? I want to get one...anyone have any suggestions? The one at Sonlight is a couple hundred, I think. I don't mind the investment since we have 5 children who will be using it. Just wondering if someone got one somewhere else for less that is good? Thanks!
I just bought my microscope for Apologia Biology from Home Science Tools. They sell kits for Apologia.

That company recommends this one for high school stuff and it seems good enough to us
the model is Item# MI-4100STD
and that site is hometrainingtools.com
(even though they aren't a direct competitor, I think I'll just say the web site instead of linking...)

cost is about $180.
and we got the slide kit from them too.
I was very pleased with their service and shipping. fast. Not costly shipping (which surprised me). So far, we're happy with it from playing with it.

MFW's lesson plans recommend Nature's Plus Workshop -- but that price is higher. But NWP is the pseudo official supplier that Apologia recommends. They sell the stuff that shows up on the same recommendations as Apologia's website.

oh... there's a note in the MFW plans -- if you order the dissection stuff -- plan to not get it too early in the year. Order later because specimens for dissection have limits on that stuff.

But yeah, for a high school lab quality microscope,--- you should be expecting about $200 ish range. I know.... I fainted too. But as my dh said "better than the $20,000 equipment we have in the lab".

-crystal

Tracey in ME
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Location: Litchfield, Maine
Contact:

Re: Supply kit/microscope for Apologia Biology?

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Sun May 23, 2010 7:00 pm

Ha! Turns out the whole set (minus the dead critters...I'll buy those just before we need them -- ewwww!) is about $60 cheaper at Home Science Tools...so I bought it there!
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
2006 - Present - My Father's World
2001-2005 Sonlight

Our blog: http://traceys-journal.blogspot.com/

Bret Welshymer

Re: Chemistry for 10th grade

Unread post by Bret Welshymer » Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:25 pm

MFW Lesson Plans for Apologia Science recommend getting the needed lab materials from Nature's Workshop Plus. Nature's Workshop Plus has specific lab kits for each Apologia program. The contact information is listed in the MFW Lesson Plans. Our family has been very pleased with the kits from NWP. You will notice NWP only recommends one lab kit for Apologia Chemistry ($55).

Teresa in TX
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:20 pm

Re: Chemistry for 10th grade

Unread post by Teresa in TX » Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:35 pm

Ahh, thank you!! I'll do that. $55 will be much easier to swallow next year than all of the stuff for Biology <gulp>.
Teresa, Mom of 5: 15yo dd, 12yo ds, 7yo ds, 5yo ds, and 1yo ds

4th year with MFW
Using:
MFW 1st w/ 7yo ds
MFW RtR w/ 7th grade ds
MFW World History with 10th grade dd
So far we have used: ECC, 1850-Present, CTG, RtR, High School Ancients and MFW K

cbollin

Biology lab equipment

Unread post by cbollin » Thu May 19, 2011 12:30 pm

tiffany wrote:Two of my kids will be doing Apologia Biology together starting in August, and I need to gather materials. I will not be collecting the lab items myself, so I'm wanting input on which kits people have liked- and if and where they purchased a microscope. Thanks!
I was happy with our purchase from HomeScience Tools.
http://www.hometrainingtools.com/Default.asp?
They have recommendations on their site for kits for many programs, and a cross comparison list for microscope shopping.

I went with this one
http://www.hometrainingtools.com/home-m ... I-4100STD/
and bought the apologia lab kit for it.

you might want to ask around local friends to see if anyone has the slide set just sitting around. or the ability to rent you/loan a microscope. or even the dissection pans and tools.

I was amazed that I was able to get "free specimens" because someone had unopened ones after changing their minds. We did 3 out of 4 (minimum in the apologia book for that portion of lab credit.) So we never did the frog. There was alternative experiment for frog dissection and my oldest just had to skip dissection. Even with her dad being lab partner...

and guess what? I didn't want dead frog in the house. right? what? that specimen totally freaked me out. I had to take anxiety meds on it. It creeped me out. ok. so, I put a notice on local homeschool forum "free frog to cut up....." it was gone within an hour to some mom whose 9 year old son really wanted it.

go figure.

but, silly me silly story here..... b/c I had the free specimens (which you don't have to order until you are closer to module 11), I only ordered dissection tools. Silly me... I forgot the pan! We had to improvise with cardboard and egg cartons and it all worked out.

enjoy the pond water experiment :) I got our water from a local greenhouse. I had my biology text with me and said "I just need about 16 ounces of really scummy water from bottom of a pond and I"m too scared to cross into private lake across the street." The owner just looked at me and said "ok.... over here." LOL

and you'll really think I"m a homeschooler on this one...

early on there is some experiment to grow mold or look at mold from blue cheeses or something. What I should have done, in retrospect, was to just go to the cheese counter at kroger, and take my biology book and ask for sample, or even pay for just a spoon ful of that stuff.

I mean. roquefort cheese isn't cheap, right? ok. so I end up getting the smallest smallest pre cut stuff at the cheese shop at kroger. And guess what? I was able to give the rest away to another family or two doing apologia. Only on homeschooling forums do you post "For Give away: 1 ounce of roquefort cheese. Perfect for apologia biology lab module" and then the week and all of that. yep.... gone in less than an hour as well.

-crystal

MelissaB
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Yes, invest in a microscope

Unread post by MelissaB » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:08 pm

Hi, Moms -

For anyone who has been debating whether or not to invest in a microscope, I wanted to share our experience.

Our daughters are 11 and 8 (5th & 2nd grades). Last year, we ordered a microscope to help study botany. It was wonderful to view the head of a stamen with fuzzy-looking pollen, and to look at the egg of the flower under the microscope. It made everything in the textbook jump out into reality. This year, we're using it with anatomy.

Today, however, we used it to view a dead yellow jacket that we found in our youngest dd's bedroom. We cut it into three parts, and studied insect anatomy: head, thorax and abdomen. The little smooth-looking head was actually very hairy; the eyes were like filled-in window screens; the legs were covered with long hairs; and the wings shimmered with beautiful rainbow colors.

This may be my dorkiest entry ever. ;) But for anyone debating purchasing a microscope for younger students - while it absolutely is not a necessity! - it has made learning more interesting.

Does anyone else have recommendations for extra "tools" to use that make learning more hands-on and real?

I'd love to hear your ideas!! :-)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Yes, invest in a microscope

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:14 pm

Hi Melissa,
We've been glad to have a microscope over the years, as well. Although I'm in awe of some of the things you describe seeing!

As for other things, I always looked at convention for some kind of kit and some kind of music or audio every year. Didn't need to look for curriculum, so that gave me something to do :) The kit I chose might be for science, math, history, or art. Fun to have so many choices now-a-days.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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