If you read here on this blog at all, you know that I am NOT a science person and we need lots of outside help to get science done in our homeschool. Fascinating Education is a company we’ve come to rely on for just that! We had the pleasure of reviewing for them last year, and this year received Fascinating Physics in exchange for an honest review. This company is providing my homeschool high school student with a well-rounded science education, and we are thrilled!
The way the program works is that your student accesses the lesson videos one at a time. Each lesson has separate slides, similar to a PowerPoint presentation. It keeps track of where you are if you close the window or exit the site in the middle of a video, which is super helpful in our home! The videos tend to be at least 20 minutes in length.
Besides the video, there is a PDF document with the script to the video. Basically, it’s exactly the same as what the person on the video is saying, but in text form. My student found that reading along with the video was helpful for him; you might have a student that would do better reading the text instead of the video. The video has some visual aids, but those still pictures are usually included in the script as well.
After you watch the video (or read the script, or both), the site has an online quiz assembled based on the content you just saw. The quizzes contain about 15 or 20 questions, and my son has found it to take him approximately 10 or 15 minutes to complete. The quizzes themselves are about first the basic concepts, and after that you are launched into real-life examples – using math to get answers. My son is putting his algebra education to work. He says that they have used some vocabulary from his geometry course, but he hasn’t run into any math that he didn’t already know how to do. The formulas are new; the math is not.
Another thing he has found, is that with every mathematical concept presented, there is a way to present it visually. For instance, there are graphs and things done with circles that help explain the concept. The concepts are explained with the visual aids first, and then are shown as applied through a mathematical formula. Because it’s presented this way and not vice-versa, it’s a little easier to understand.
My personal experience with science is from public high school. We did Physical Science in 9th grade, Biology in 10th grade, and then you had the option of doing Chemistry. I didn’t take Chemistry until my senior year, but if I’d taken it as a junior with everyone else, I could’ve taken Physics as a senior. Because of my experience, I thought Physics was the last in order and that it makes more sense to take Chemistry before Physics. With the Fascinating Education program, that’s not necessarily true.
The site recommends taking first Chemistry, then Biology, and then Physics. We took Fascinating Biology last year, but mathematically we weren’t sure that my son was ready for Chemistry. Physics has been challenging for him, but it’s exactly on-par with what he needs to be doing. My son will finish with Chemistry instead of taking it first, but isn’t running into very many issues with not having already had it prior to the Physics course.
Don’t forget to check the other Crew Reviews, as other moms and kids reviewed some of the other programs from Fascinating Education!