Marty asked yesterday where do I purchase the specimens and how far in advance should they be ordered.
Good questions that do need to be answered.
On my Apologia Biology page I have a link to where I have the students order their specimens. It is much easier on me to have the students order their own specimens, keep them, and bring them in when they are needed.
I suggest ordering them from Apologia Ministries, only because they have all the specimens in one package and it is at a low cost. You can find the Biology specimens here.
With the above package you get: 5″ frog, 6″ crayfish, 9-12″ perch, and 9-12″ Earthworm
Some of my students had small specimens and some had very large specimens. You never know what you are going to get. We have always had at least one really great specimen.
Some students order their specimens from other places like:
Home Science Tools They sell the whole kit. Specimens, tray, and tools. Our co-op has the trays and tools, so we didn’t need to order these. If you want just the specimens, they sell those individually.
RockSolid This store offers free shipping for any orders over $90.00. I didn’t know they had specimens and they’re a local store. LOL
Homeschool Gear I don’t know anything about this place.
I have the students order the specimens at the beginning of the year. They are preserved, so they will keep until needed. 🙂 If you wait until the last minute, you run the risk of not getting them on time. Remember, every other homeschooling student will be ordering their specimens at the same time. Best to order early. One mother waited and then paid the extra over-night shipping to get them on time. She planned on this, because she didn’t want the specimens in her home. 😀
For my class I have added the fetal pig as an extra dissecting experiment. This is done at the end of the year. It is not in the Apologia Biology book at all. All the students look forward to dissecting the pig. It is a good experience for them.
These are ordered by the students from Bio Corporation. You can also order the frog, crayfish, worm, and perch from here. Again, some students may have ordered it from somewhere else.
For the dissecting tool replacements, I order from Home Science Tools. For these I collect a small fee from each students (this year is was $2.15), to replace blades and some scissors. This year I order only one new blade for each student. I have learned that we will need a new blade for every dissecting specimen. Dull blades cause nothing but frustration.
I hope I have answered the questions to your satisfaction. If not, please ask more. Love answering questions!