These are the basics of what I did for biology with my older son, so far as I can recall. I recently recreated this for someone I talk to on the WTM boards. The Hoagland book I used as my spine is evolution based. I also had my son reading a lot of Dawkins, because his works were heavily recommended in the chapter recs of that book. I would not do that again. I simply despise Dawkins. I'd use things like Francis Collins's Language of God, Michael Behe's Edge of Evolution, a graphic novel version of Darwin's Origin, etc. At the end, you'll see a link to a website (Quarks and Quirks) where another lady used this book for bio studies since me. She has some very good links that are still viable to use along with each chapter. A lot of the links that go along with the Hoagland book are broken now.... I am going to combine what I did with what she did for next time around!
It looks like I allotted about an hour for science reading/work each day.... I've listed the other resources we used, too, as we didn't use just this book for the year....
Read Chapter 1 and prepare index cards of selected vocabulary - days 1 and 2 (Setting the Stage - cells)
Day 3 - finish index cards and begin work on chapter questions
Day 4 - complete questions
Day 5 - begin Ascent of Man
Weeks 2 and 3 - continue with Ascent of Man and write a position paper over it
(This was my auditory processing problem child who absorbed more reading on his own and writing about what he'd read, rather than discussing it orally. With my current student, who I'm beginning to suspect of dysgraphia, I'd do much more of this orally and might change up some of the books to things I know about now that are more interesting than those things suggested at the end of the Hoagland chapters. But for this first round I used their book suggestions.)
Week 4 - read through the web links for chapter one all week. I had access to these because I was previewing the book to possibly use for a co-op and the company had given me access, I think (it's been a while). I'm not sure if there are still links online that work for this book, or not.... A lot of these were interactive, too, and I believe there were some game type links, as well.... [Update: these links are available to all and are still online, but many of them are broken.]
And perhaps I should interject here that my son also had an hour long co-op class for 20 weeks during this year that covered biology. His fall semester teacher was a lady with a Masters in ecology who talked with the kids about various topics related to that subject and they did some papers for her, too, I think. In the spring, he had a college student who was a bio major who lectured from a more traditional textbook and they did some dissection work. He also got interested in biorhythms and did a science fair project related to Circadian rhythms that year. We obtained some free materials (CD's, etc.) from The Howard Hughes Institute that were used as research for this work. I also got a DNA model kit from Michael's (now there are genetics kits available....) and he did some animal and plant cell labeling; looked at prepared slides of cells using our microscope, etc.
Week 5 - Chapter 2, all week (Patterns: An Overview)
Week 6 - make index cards for selected vocab; days 2 and 3: work on questions; day 4: complete questions and begin looking over web links; day 5 continue with web links.
Week 7 - read from The Casebook of Forensic Detection - use caution with this book! Some things are going to be just too gruesome for a young teen....
Week 8 - read from The World Beneath our Feet - all week (end at invertebrates)
Make and use a Berlese Funnel
Look at samples of algae (pg. 45 in WBoF) - I think I got mine from Home Science Tools and still have them; they are still good
Look for fungi and lichens; take protozoa samples from lake and look at under our microscope
Read Chapter 3 (Energy - Light to Life)
Day 3 - 5 work on index cards of selected vocabulary and review earlier cards with me (done periodically through the year)
Days 1-2 answer chapter 3 questions
Days 3-5 look at web links for chapter 3
Read A Brief History of the Mind: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond, William Calvin
Complete book and discuss; review all vocab cards
Read Chapter 4 (Information - The Storehouse of Know-How)
Day 4 - prepare index cards on selected vocab
Day 5 - answer chapter 4 questions
Weeks 14 and 15
Read The Selfish Gene and do position paper on it
(I'm sorry, but I detest Dawkins; I'd choose other things next time around, I think, or perhaps read excerpts and juxtapose with others....)
Read through web links for chapter 4 all week.
Read Chapter 5 (Machinery - Building Smart Parts)
Day 3 - prepare index cards on selected vocab
Day 4 - answer chapter 5 questions
Day 5 - look over web links for chapter 5
Weeks 18 and 19
I had him reading the introductory chapter of a college level Botany book during this week. If I had it to do again, I'd use Kym Wright's Botany Unit Study, which is really a stand-alone course and includes a ton of lab work....
Complete looking over the rest of the web links related to chapter 5 and choose one on which to report.
Read Chapter 6 (Feedback - Signaling, Sensing, Reacting)
Day 3 - complete index cards on select vocab
Day 4 - complete questions
Day 5 - read over web links.
Read The Ages of Gaia (Or, now you could just watch Avatar, lol.... Actually, it might be a good idea to read the book and then watch the movie and discuss!)
Complete the rest of the web links for chapter 6 and answer discussion questions. (I guess there were some at one of the links....)
Select a topic and write a thorough report on it. Review vocab cards for the year for the rest of the week.
Read Chapter 7 (Community)
Day 4 and 5 - prepare index cards on selected vocab
Answer chapter 7 questions
Day 2 - complete questions and begin reading through web links
Day 3 - continue web links
Day 4 - read The Blind Watchmaker
Continue The Blind Watchmaker all week (again, I'd chuck Dawkins and find someone more even-handed)
Read Three Scientists and Their Gods
Read Chapter 8 (Evolution)
Prepare index cards for selected vocab - days 1 and 2
Day 3 - answer questions
Days 4 and 5 - look over web links
Read from World Beneath our Feet - begin with invertebrates (end at vertebrates)
Make and use a Baermann Funnel
Keep earthworms; snails; and woodlice (roly-polys)
Read The Beak of the Finch
Read [B]Chapter 21 [/B]"The Sciences: An Integrated Approach" (this is the book that goes along with the Joy of Science course from the Teaching Company) - chapter 21 covers cells
Day 4 - watch Joy of Science lecture and take notes
Day 5 - look over the suggested web links and try some of the investigations (these must be links in The Sciences book, I guess....)
Read Chapter 22 The Sciences (Organic Molecules)
Day 3 - watch lecture and take notes
Day 4 - look at suggested web links
Day 5 - make index cards for chapters 21 and 22 of any vocab we don't already have in our set of cards
Read Chapter 23 (Genetics)
Day 3 - watch video lecture and take notes
Day 4 - look over suggested web links
Day 5 - do number 5 investigation (I have no memory of these at this time, sorry!)
Read Chapter 24 (Genetic Technology)
Day 3 - listen to video lecture and take notes
Day 4 - look over suggested web links
Day 5 - read Chapter 25 and watch video lecture (guess I was running out of time....) - chapter 25 is on Evolution
ALSO, this lady's blog has a terrific plan for using this same book and I really like her online info! A lot of the web links that came with the book are broken now, because the book is older, but this lady's links are still good: