Friday, September 18, 2015

Fascniating Education Fascinating Chemistry Review

Stinky Kid Math Review
We LOVE all things Science in our homeschool, so I was just tickled to death to have the chance to review Fascinating Chemistry by Fascinating Education. Fascinating Chemistry is an online based homeschool chemistry curriculum designed for high school students. Fascinating Education uses easy to understand "real world" language to teach science concepts, making it easy to understand and follow along. The curriculum breaks down each subject into its smallest parts and teaches it in a real world like manner.
Stinky Kid Math Review
Fascinating Education features courses in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. For this review, we were blessed with a full year's access to Fascinating Chemistry. NOTE: This is a HIGH SCHOOL level program. Mr. B is only 10 and in 5th grade, but autism has blessed him with a very advanced understanding of science. I do not suggest this course for younger students as it does seem to be on par with the high school crowd. I just wanted to make sure that was made clear. 
Stinky Kid Math Review

Fascinating Chemistry offers a full curriculum of chemistry goodies. There is a huge emphasis on using real language and downplaying the more fancy big words and terminology. I am a fan of using real world verbage, but I also value the technical terms when needed. I found this to be a nice blend of the two. I also really appreciate the real world application and examples. The videos are very nice and offer a nice audio-visual component to really reinforce the lesson. 
Mr B. really enjoys the colorful presentations, and he is easily able to follow along since he's not getting stuck on trying to decipher technical terms instead of focusing on the lesson. Another bonus is the script of each lesson. It's nice to print out so that your student can go over it first, or use it to follow along with the lesson. Each lesson is followed by a test, so that you can keep track and follow up on any confusion or weak areas.

Overall, I like Fascinating Chemistry. I think it is age appropriate for the high school crowd, with upper middle perhaps using it with a little help. I don't think I would use it 100% as a stand alone science curriculum since I like more beef in terms of hands on and written work, but it is a great way to explain topics and explore the subject. It would be great to use as a refresher, or as a supplement for a more traditional curriculum. I think this would also be fantastic to use to introduce any of the subjects as well, to prepare in advance. I don't think this would necessarily give your students EVERYTHING they need if they are going to pursue the sciences at a higher education, but it would certainly help give them an advantage in the topic! I really wish I had had Fascinating Chemistry during my high school and college years! It would have been a huge help! 
Does Fascinating Education Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

While you are in control of the speed and schedule, I do not suggest skipping ahead. You do have the ability to stop and take breaks when needed, or replay any videos, so you can modify and set your own schedule in that respect. But lessons do tend to build upon one another, just the nature of the topics at hand, so you don't want to skip.

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees? 

With your paid membership, you get access for a full year. For Chemistry, that is 18 lessons plus quizzes and text scripts. Each membership is only 1 course, so you do not have access to the other courses. They do offer a bundle plan where you can bundle more than one class in the event you have multiple students you wish to partake in these courses.

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

The videos are not very long, so they are good for short attention spans. The topics are broken up by these short videos, so that is good. The graphics and color are nice, also. 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have? 

This is just a science class, so it will not tie into things like history or reading.

Fascinating Education Review
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