Anatomy & Physiology

Course Overview

Anatomy & Physiology is an online human anatomy high school course in which you will study the most amazing organic machine: the human body. Drawing on your course textbook, hands-on labs and dissections, and lively discussion forums, you and your classmates will study, share, and compare your knowledge of the eleven body systems, discerning how every aspect of the body is carefully interwoven to produce an incredible working organism.

Students who have successfully completed a high school biology class will be well-suited for this course if they are: a) interested in preparing themselves for a medical field—doctor, physician's assistant, nurse, physical therapist—or a sports field, such as exercise physiology or sports medicine, b) interested in taking another high school science, but not ready or interested in chemistry or physics, and/or c) interested in--or needing to take--a fourth year of science, having completed the basic requirements of biology, chemistry, and an earth or physical science.


The lab portion of this course will enable you to view life through a different “lens” as you conduct hands-on experiments. With the use of a microscope, you will examine body tissues and identify structures vital to maintaining homeostasis. Labs will train you to ask questions, make observations and predictions, analyze data, construct arguments, and form conclusions—both individually and collaboratively with your classmates.
 Performing dissections—with the close involvement of your instructor and the aid of virtual technology and videos—you and your classmates will explore the internal designs and discuss the importance of body systems within a variety of species. You will have the opportunity to dissect a sheep’s brain, heart, and kidney, as well as a cow’s eye and a fetal pig. Taking a medical “case study” approach, you will be taught how apply your anatomy and physiology knowledge, critically analyze, synthesize your findings, and formulate conclusions. With the guidance of your instructor, you then will learn how to effectively communicate your scientific findings in written investigative reports. 
 A second-semester research project will offer you the opportunity to closely examine a medical condition of interest and investigate historical, mainstream, and cutting-edge treatment options. Instruction and guidance will be provided by your instructor to help you learn the proper way to research, format, and write a scientific paper. 
Enjoy dynamic interaction with your instructor and with home-schooled high schoolers from across the country who are as interested in science as you are. As you explore the human body together at a microscopic and macroscopic level, you’ll gain an even greater appreciation of the body’s artistry!

Course Goals

  • To study the relationship that exists among the eleven body systems
  • To learn the different characteristics of organs within each body system and their contribution to a state of homeostasis within the body
  • To explain the cellular processes involved in the maintenance of stable internal conditions within organisms
  • To explain the processes and structures involved in the processes of digestion and nutrient absorption and how these processes allow organisms to both acquire energy and maintain homeostasis
  • To review case studies, critically analyze different disease processes and possible treatments, and report your findings in a scientific manner
  • To respond to feedback and revise course assignments
  • To actively participate in on-line class discussion forums, collaborating and providing encouragement to homeschool peers

Student Resources

Please plan to purchase or obtain resources and supplies before the first week of class. Used resources, such as a borrowed microscope or dissection kit, are highly encouraged.

Class Texts and Supplies:  

Lab Resources and Supplies:

       The instructor will offer a complete lab kit (microscope not included) for purchase as well as a list of suggested
       suppliers—including links to online vendors—if families wish to purchase their own supplies.
  • Microscope
  • Safety goggles
  • Microscope slide set for human anatomy
  • Individual blood test kit
  • Dissection kit (tools) 
  • Dissection specimens: cow’s eye or sheep’s eye; sheep’s heart, brain, and kidney; fetal pig
  • Additional lab supplies indicated per module: all supplies are easily obtainable at your local supermarket

Online Format

This is an asynchronous course. While it is highly interactive, with considerable online discussion, instruction, and collaboration, there are no live or recorded lectures.  There may be some live audio or video involved. The asynchronous online format offers you the flexibility to plan and complete your weekly coursework in a manner that works with your busy academic and extra-curricular schedule. Assignments are set up on a Monday-Saturday timetable, with no specific point during the week that you must be available to "meet" online with your instructor or classmates. You will want to access the website regularly, interacting with your classmates and instructor throughout each week.

moodle-ladders.jpgThe class is hosted on Moodle, a learning management system that is popular among online educators and universities. (See a 1-minute video here.) You will complete and/or submit your assignments directly on the website, with written work—such as lab reports—uploaded as Word documents. The course website is password protected. You will need access to a computer with an up-to-date browser: Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome. Older versions of browsers may limit your interaction with the website. 

Course Tuition, Size, and Schedule

Anatomy & Physiology is open to homeschooled high schoolers. Tuition for 2017-18 is $600.00. A small class size will allow the instructor to be fully engaged in the class each week, offering individual instruction, assistance, and detailed feedback.

  • Course Prerequisitethe successful completion of a high school Biology class.
  • Age and Grade Guidelines: 9th-12th graders (age 14+).

The class will begin on Monday, August 21, 2017 and conclude on Friday, May 11, 2018. There will be a one-week fall break (October 9-15), a shortened Thanksgiving week, a two-week Christmas break (December 18 - Jan 1), and a one-week spring break (March 12-18, 2019).


If you have questions about whether Anatomy & Physiology is a good fit for your student or if you would like additional information about this course, please contact the instructorLearn about Irene Paine's background and experience by scrolling down on these pages: