I really enjoyed science when I was in school and want to impart that love to my children as we homeschool. I’ve used several science programs but never found that perfect fit. I wanted something that I could use with all of my kids! Recently as part of the TOS Crew we received a full year subscription to Visual Learning Systems to review. This is an online science for multi ages, from preschool through grade 12. In their program they divide it out into two sections. The first section is Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition(grades K-5) while their other section is the Digital Science Online: Secondary Edition(grades 6-12).
While I received access to both levels, my oldest is only 10 and in a third/fourth grade level so we didn’t have anyone to use the Secondary Edition. We used the Elementary Edition. Within the Elementary level you have access to Primary and Elementary. I divided my children in half so the younger ones did the Primary lessons while the older children did the Elementary lessons. Basically for us Kindergarten and Preschool did Primary while the 2nd-4th did Elementary together.
Let me tell you a bit about the program. Once you login you get to choose which level you want. Let’s start with Primary here. My primaries would do their science in the mornings. After you choose the primary level you then get to choose which subject you want. In primary you can choose from Physical, Earth, Life, and Health. Each of these then has sublevels that you choose to do your lessons. Once you choose the lesson you then have chapters to go through. You can print out worksheets to go with the chapters and have your children complete those hands on or orally. With my younger kids who can’t yet read and write on their own we did it verbally. We’d watch the clip and then talk about it answering the questions.
Another spot to talk about is that there are more than just videos for each lesson. It took me a few chapters before I realized that at the top you can choose between video, animation, images, and teacher’s guides. The videos are the chapters for each lesson. The animations and images are extra learning tools that you can add and use to help understand what you’re learning while the teacher’s guides also contain the student activities. Great resources and I wanted to make sure you know about those from the get go!
When you move up to the Elementary level you see that you lose Health as a Subject but you still have Physical, Earth, and Life to choose from. The rest of the set up is the same. If you’re using the secondary level(which I hope we get to before our year is out) you will find more subjects. Subjects for this edition are Physical, Earth, Life, Integrated, Health, and Biology. Everything else is set up the same way.
My kids really have enjoyed this program. Part of the review period I was in the hospital with my youngest and the kids were able to continue their lessons. It’s easy to use and my husband/mom were able to step in without knowing what they were doing and help the kids. Any program that other people can easily teach to my kids while I’m not available has gained new respect in my eyes.
I want to mention that we were supposed to use this three times a week for the review period. My kids easily used this five days a week. Some weeks they did it on Saturdays too. They didn’t just do one chapter a day either. They truly loved these and enjoyed doing them.
I have used the program on two computers. Both are HP with windows. As far as I know you can use this on any device from a Mac to a PC to a tablet to an iPad. I don’t have any of those, but we did use it on my laptop and a desktop. You can even run the program on two computers at once. That is awesome when you’re using two different levels or have kids that want to work on different subjects.
So to summarize quickly for you. We loved this program. I would not have probably signed up for this on my own because I’m not big on online programs. But this is one that we would definitely purchase. It’s great and the kids are learning so much from it. We finally have a Science curriculum that is teaching them and that they are excited to learn from. We’ve done science within other programs but hadn’t found a perfect fit to do science as its own subject. This has the potential to be that fit for us! Make sure you check it out! It’s a great online science for multi ages. You can use it with preschool all the way up to grade 12!
Ready to learn more about Visual Learning Systems? Check out all the other reviews over on the TOS Crew blog post. You’ll find out what other reviewers thought of both the elementary and secondary editions and how they used theirs. You can also learn more by finding Visual Learning Systems on Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy learning!