I don’t know about you, but I have some young children that love Science. As part of the TOS Crew we were given access to the e-Science Premium Membership
from Supercharged Science
to try out. We received a 6 month membership as part of the review. With our membership we have access to all levels and units of the K-12 membership.
The e-Science Program is available in two forms. For grades K-8 or grades K-12. We received the K-12 version for our review. A membership is $57 for one month. Available right now you can try out a month of the K-8 level or 9-12 level e-Science program for $1 by signing up via this link.
The e-Science Program is an online science program that helps to let your child learn and want to learn. It is not structured in that you have to do this on day one and this one day two and work on this program 5 days a week. Though you certainly can use it daily! We used this 3 times per week for the most part. There were some weeks we did a few more and some weeks we might have used the program all 5 days but not even finished one experiment if my kiddos didn’t really grasp the concepts.
You can choose what you want to learn about and experiment with by grade level or by topic. There are 20 different units and too many lessons for me to count! These experiments are taught in detailed videos as well as having worksheets, lesson plans, and links to other experiments that compliment what is being learned in the current experiment.
I have to admit that science is not my favorite subject. I like science, but only certain parts of science. I’m more of the A and P, biology, less of the what this chemical does with this chemical type of person. Science is probably the one I struggle to teach the most. This is partially because I have boys that love science and making things explode.
I know I have broken some of the how not to teach kids science rules. Knowing this I knew that this year I was going to have to change up the way I was doing science. My plan was to study what my kids wanted. So at the beginning of the year we talked about the different types of science and what we could do. I had some that wanted to do anatomy and some who wanted to build volcanoes. It’s truthful to say that there is never a dull moment in our science classes!
I like that there are quizzes and some homework assignments so that there is something you can keep to show what your child has done/learned through the program. I know a lot of people use online curriculums and have found ways to keep records through them, but I like to have some copies of my students work as well to keep in my notebook. In general, I am not a fan of online curriculums for a few reasons. Mainly we only have one computer that our kids can use but also because I don’t like not being as involved in my children’s schooling.
With this program I can either let my kids go and learn on their own with the detailed step by step videos or I can help my children in their recreation of the experiments. Because I have so many young children we started with the preschool and kindergarten level experiments. Life Science is where we started as our oldest is really into plants and animals. There are several fun experiments to use with your kids for this and they really DO learn the concepts through the experiments and the reading that goes along with them.
In our life science course the favorite experiment of my boys was the predators and prey experiment. Something to do with learning who eats who really speaks to boys. Those boys had fun building their own little eco-system. In fact, they now have their daddy purchasing them a large batch of praying mantis because they want to release them into the yard/farm to eat some of the “bad bugs”. We have a problem with fruit flies in our soil and spiders. And of course, watching the female bite off the males head is always fun! Now my girls preferred the Plant Press experiment. My daughter already has decided she is making a “field journal” this spring and summer to document all of the different flowers and plants that occur on our Loess Hills bluff.
Aurora Lipper created Supercharged Science around 10 years ago. A fun bit of trivia is that Aurora is a real rocket scientist and worked with NASA! WOW! Truly an amazing woman. She wants to get children excited about learning, but most importantly about learning science! Science becomes fun again as she teaches science for you. I find this to be a unique program in how it is taught and how it is set up.
I also have to share about another prek/kindergarten area we visited. The physics corner. I never thought that you taught physics to such a young age. I never would have done it on my own surely. But Aurora did. I am so glad she did think about this too. My boys are in heaven! My oldest boy is 7 and in 2nd grade. He has made his own slingshot with a stick and a rubber band. We have talked about how the slingshot works, why it works, and tried to guess where things shot from it will land by guessing at and mapping a trajectory pattern. And did I mention he’s only 7?! This comes from the catapults experiment in the physics section.
Another section we enjoyed was the Earth Science section of the second grade level. My daughter found a rock a few weeks ago and wanted to find out more about it. So we did a small unit study on rocks and geology. As part of that we did the hardness, luster, color streak, and tenacity experiments with her rock! She loved it! And I love being able to help my children learn things that they find interesting.
Some positives: It’s totally self guided! You and your children get to choose what they learn, how much they learn, how quickly they learn, etc. There are no rule books saying you have to do 10 experiments per month and you have to do them in this order. Your child can decide what interests them and go by topic or go by grade level. You have a real science teacher(who is very knowledgeable) give detailed step by step and show how everything is done/works. In addition to that, there is unlimited support. So if you have a question about an experiment you can contact and get your questions answered and make sure the concepts are fully understood. There are comprehensive teacher guides so that if science isn’t your thing, you have a back up to help you know what is going on. There are readings. These are textbook type readings with information to help explain not only the why and the how but also background information. There are quizzes and exercises that can be printed off and kept if you need records of grades for your child that can be shown to those in the need to know. You have a safe learning environment. All experiments are safe. If it’s something you’re not comfortable with doing in your own home, you are totally free to skip it and go on to another. Each experiment comes with a list of supplies needed so you can plan accordingly.
Some negatives(to me): To me though the cost isn’t huge, it would be too expensive for my family. It is an online curriculum, so if you do not have a good internet connection you will have problems. While we did not have trouble with most videos loading, we did have some slow playbacks and plenty of rebufferings. Really, there aren’t a lot of negatives about this program.
I think the fact that I found only two negatives about the program speaks for itself. But don’t take my word for it! Sign up for the $1 month subscription I referenced above and give it a go yourself.
Want to read more about Supercharged Science? Interested in other ways to use the program in your homeschool? Check out the Main TOS Crew post for the link up where several other reviewers share their experiences.