REAL Science Odyssey – Biology Level 2


REAL Science Odyssey- Biology Level 2 is a year-long, secular homeschool biology curriculum for middle and high school. Students immerse themselves in the biological world, from the complex inner workings of cells to food webs and biogeochemical cycles.


REAL Science Odyssey- Biology Level 2

Pages: 306

Grade level: 6th – 10th grade

Course type: textbook

Author: Blair H. Lee, M.S.


What is Biology Level 2?

REAL Science Odyssey Biology Level 2, which includes this textbook, a Workbook, and a Teacher Guide, is a year-long, secular homeschool biology curriculum for middle and high school. Students immerse themselves in the biological world, from the complex inner workings of cells to food webs and biogeochemical cycles. The textbook for Biology Level 2 presents information to the student via engaging readings; color images, diagrams and charts; and the occasional poem. All lessons are informed by valid, scientific research and theory, not supernatural explanations or manufactured debates about accepted science.

This course challenges middle and high school students to conduct independent research, think critically, and make connections between concepts on the page and the real world. Each lesson builds on the last, introducing new vocabulary and concepts in a logical progression. Math, a basic tool for all scientists, is integrated throughout. Labs, found in the Workbook, guide students in using the scientific method and discovering for themselves how living organisms function and survive. Optional (but recommended) microscope labs introduce students to the critical structures of life that are too small to observe with the naked eye.


Who can use Biology Level 2?

RSO Biology Level 2 is designed for homeschool middle and high school students, or roughly grades 6-10. The lessons are written at a level appropriate for independent readers in these grades. Workbook assignments, especially labs, may require more guidance from the parent or teacher. And of course, we always encourage you to discuss the big ideas and questions presented in each lesson.

That covers things from the student side, but maybe it’s been a while since you studied biology. Not to worry! RSO Biology Level 2 was developed with non-science parents and teachers in mind. The Teacher Guide provides a review of important concepts and relevant math for each lesson and answer keys.


Course Structure

RSO Biology Level 2 homeschool science curriculum consists of three products:

  • The textbook (this product), containing 32 progressive, narrative lessons designed for your middle or high school student to read independently.
  • The Workbook, containing labs, Famous Science Series independent research projects, Show What You Know Quizzes, and unit assessments.
  • The Teacher Guide, containing lesson plans, materials lists, scheduling suggestions and more.

Each lesson follows the same general format:

  • A reading in the textbook that introduces key concepts and vocabulary in context.
  • Hands-on labs, research projects, and quizzes found in the Workbook.
  • Six Unit assessments are included in the workbook as well, which you may treat as tests, or simply use for review.

Biology Level 2 allows flexibility within this format. You can choose how many times per week to teach biology. You may choose to skip some or all the microscope labs for middle school. You can allow notes with the exams or not, or simply use them to review. No two homeschools are alike, and we make it easy for you to adapt the course to your needs.


Science Skills Covered

REAL Science Odyssey- Biology Level 2 starts with the basics, and covers progressively more complex concepts as you move through the course. Every unit reinforces aspects of the scientific method and critical thinking. Each lesson explores a big idea or question in depth through reading, experiments, and conversation.
Organisms and Cells

Organisms and Cells

  • Characteristics of living things
  • Organisms
  • Are viruses alive?
  • Types of cells
  • Structure and Organelles
  • Chemistry of life
  • Cell Energy


  • DNA Structure & Chemistry
  • Replication, Transcription, & Translation
  • Mitosis & Meiosis
Anatomy and Physiology

Anatomy and Physiology

  • Multicellularity
  • Plant Anatomy & Reproduction
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology


  • The origins of life on Earth
  • Variation, genetic drift, speciation, and natural selection
  • Evidence for evolution


  • The Biosphere
  • Food webs
  • Biogeochemical cycles–Water, Nitrogen, Carbon, Phosphorus
Biological Classification

Biological Classification

  • History of classification
  • Taxonomy
  • Binomial nomenclature
  • Bacteria and Archaea
  • Plant Kingdom
  • Animal Kingdom

Planning and Scheduling

RSO Biology Level 2 is designed to fit in a 36-week school year. The Teacher Guide contains week-by-week scheduling guidance so you don’t have to plan the entire year on your own! There are two, three, and five-day per week scheduling options, so however often you teach, you’ll know exactly what you need to cover to stay on track.


Important Copyright Information

If you choose the eBook version of this course, you are purchasing a license to use the PDF for your own children. You may make copies for your own children, but you may not share (email, download, print and distribute, resell, etc.) this eBook or any portion of this eBook to others.

Licensing is available for group, school, and co-op use. Please contact Pandia Press for details on group licensing (

Many of the supplies for Biology Level 2 are likely already in your household. Others, you can find them at big-box retailers, grocery, or craft stores. A complete supply list is found in the Teacher Guide—you can review it before purchase by downloading the Try Before You Buy pages. Biology for middle and high school students does require some specialized equipment though, especially if you plan to include the microscope labs from the Workbook. These supplies can be found at online science supply companies. If you choose to include the microscope labs, you will also a need a good quality, student microscope.

Uncommon Supplies Needed for Course Labs:

Microscope– Choose either monocular or binocular, and either oil immersion or not. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a microscope, but avoid toy microscopes and those priced under $80 (new).
Microscope slides with covers
Dissecting pins
Dissecting tray or small pan
Forceps (for microscope specimens) or large tweezers
Lens wipes
Prepared slide of an allium (onion) root tip
Methylene blue dye
Oil for oil immersion slide (if applicable and if not included with microscope)
Prepared slide of a lilium (lily), anther meiosis
Legume inoculant (rhizobacteria)

Home Science Tools offers supply kits for all RSO courses.