Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fascinating Education: Chemistry Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2015 #hsmommas #hsreviews

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Fascinating Education Review

    Science is a big part of our school day around here, the boys have two favorite subjects and Science is one of those. History is the other. The Schoolhouse Review Crew was offered a choice of one of the three Science courses from Fascinating Education. We chose Fascinating Chemistry to help fill in some of the gap for the boys. We are carefully monitoring what they are completing now that they are in High School. The courses offered are for high school, although some middle school students as young as 6th grade could do the Biology and Chemistry courses.

   Fascinating Education suggests starting with Fascinating Chemistry and then moving onto Biology and then finishing with Physics this sequence worked well for us as we are in the middle of Chemistry this year with Taylor.  Taylor has a basic understanding or better of Chemistry and we have gotten through more than half way into his Chemistry book. I wanted this to serve as more of a helper and refrsher and maybe fill in a gap or two that our main book is not covering. Being completely online, programs like Fascinating Chemistry work great for Taylor's busy schedule this year, allowing him to work independently as his schedule allows. This helps me not to have to spend so much time juggling schedules to sit down with him, now that he is older he works much better on his own and can do this when he feels he has the extra time. This in turn opens up more time to focus on other subjects that require our combined attention, which nowadays is less and less.

    The photo below shows how the site is set up each lesson has buttons underneath. There is a button for lessons, the script and the test. Most tests are only on one lesson but occasionally there may be a test that covers more than one lesson. Each lesson is accompanied by a script and a quiz. The quiz and answer key can be printed in pdf format under a separate login for the parent/teacher. My kids prefer to take the quizzes online, this way they received instant feedback when they were finished and if they did not obtain a passing score of 80% or better they could retake the quiz. The quizzes are all multiple choice so it is fairly straight forward.They could also review their quiz and in this process they were shown the right answers. Usually Taylor passed on the first try. Even if  he passed he could still choose to review his  answers or retake for a better score. The website does not retain your scores but you can print out the page at the end that shows the score.
Fascinating Education Review

 The labs that are associated with the course are very easy to complete and use mostly household objects and supplies you already have on hand. Isn't the lab the most fun anyway?? My boys would do just labs if they could get away with it. This could easily be used as a full course of Chemistry on it's own with the included labs, but since Taylor loves Science so much I think he is going to continue using in conjunction with his primary text book.  This of course is all dependent on what you count as a credit.  This is of course would all depend on what your states requirements are and where your child plans on going after homeschool high school graduation.
The topics that are covered in the Chemistry course are as follows....

Lesson 1: Intramolecular Bonding
 The Periodic Table of Elements
 Bohr Model of the Atom
 Electrons, Protons, Neutrons, Nucleus
 The Strong Force
 Intramolecular Bond
Lesson 2: The Ionic Bond
 Law of Entropy
 How Ionic bonds form molecules
 Reaching a lower energy level
 Polarity
 Ionic bonds
 Pauling’s Electronegativity Chart
 Atomic Numbers
Lesson 3: The Covalent Bond
 Covalent Bonds
 Gases
 van der Waals forces
Lesson 4: The Polar Covalent Bond
 Giving away electrons
 Polar covalent bonds
 Intramolecular bonds hold atoms
 Intermolecular bonds hold molecules
 Polarity of a molecule
 Dipoles
Lesson 5: The Metallic Bond, Part 1
 The Metallic Bond
 Metals in the Periodic Table
 Transition metals
 Electron shells
 Block groups of the Periodic Table
 Electron configuration

Taylor uses this 3-4 days a week spending about a half hour each session and he enjoyed the added labs as opposed to just watching videos and doing worksheets and a test. He likes doing the labs and projects more than book work and enjoys some of his lessons being on the  computer. Especially when it is an actual lesson from a teacher other than Mom.  I feel even without the lab component that this serves a purpose of review and fill in that Taylor and maybe your students may otherwise be  lacking. This is a great program for both Auditory and Visual learners and I am impressed with the quality of the videos. They are fun and engaging and interactive as Dr. Margulies teaches the lessons. Chemistry as well as Biology and Physics from Fascinating Education all run $79 for a full year's access.
Overall I think this is a valuable program to use with your homeschool, whether it be like us as an add on to your curriculum you already have in place or to use as a stand alone program. Either options are a good choice it truly just depends on what you are looking to get out of it.
 Be sure to check out the website for all the details and a sample lesson.
Fascinating Education Review

Dr. Margulies is uniquely qualified to create science curricula for middle and high school students. Being a neurologist, he understands how the brain works; including how we learn, how we focus our attention, how we retrieve information, and how emotion and motivation affect learning. 

Dr. Margulies is the author of The Fascinating Body - How it Works, Everyday Doctoring, and Learning Law - The Mastery of Legal Logic

Be sure to head over to the crew blog by clicking the banner below so you can read all of the reviews from the crew for Fascinating Education.
Fascinating Education Review

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