Monday, 5 October 2015


Two of the review companies have offered discounts for my readers.

The first is from unlock math offering $50 off the annual purchase

The second is from Fascinating Education and they are offering  a 50% discount up to December 31, 2015.   Use coupon code 2015REVCREW – this code will provide a discount of 50% on any one course OR any of the combination of courses.

You can read my reviews of Unlock Math and Fascinating Education if you want to know more about how they work.

Review pockets

I've been loving the weekly review elements from our classical conversations work but bemoaning the topics it doesn't cover, this lead me to put together my not so little pet project.

I found some tiny pocket folders in Rymans that were just the right size for index cards then sat down and wrote a number of index cards.

I decided on spelling (or blends for Rose), Latin vocabulary, Spanish vocabulary, math, English kings and queens (because the cards were sat gathering dust on my shelf) and science - I know CC does do science review but I wanted to add extra to refresh topics we covered last year.

The idea is they spend a 10 min slot each day answering the questions on the cards, they can either do this with me or a sibling but if needed they can do it on their own as the answers are on the back of the cards.

It has taken a while to write the cards out but it seems to be worth it as its working well.

Glow Stick update

Just a quick note for those interested -Tulip and Rose's plan to make long lasting glow sticks by placing them in cold water in the fridge during the day worked.

Those babies were still glowing 4 days nights later : )

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Speedy chemical reactions

In science this week we were looking at how chemical reactions are affected by heat.

To prove our point we started with two identical glow sticks, we placed one in a cup of hot water and one in a cup of cold water - within a few minuets we could easily see that the hot glowstick was much brighter.

We allowed them both to adjust to room temperature then popped one in the freezer for just over an hour. Which again showed that the cold stick was less bright because the reaction was slowing down.

We then decided to see if heating the vinegar would make a difference to our soda and washing up liquid explosions - lots of messy fun.

Going to bed the girls decided to put the glowsticks in a glass of cold water on their shelf, when I asked why Rose responded 'cause it will last longer'. Glad to see the lesson stuck :)

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Fascinating Education Biology - TOS Review

I loved reviewing the Chemistry programme from Fascinating Education last year, so was very pleased when the chance to review Fascinating Biology came up.

Fascinating Education is an on-line curriculum that uses audio-visual techniques to teach science in an engaging way. Created by Dr Margulies (a neurologist) as a way to introduce and teach science to those with no previous knowledge - he presents the information slowly, in plain english and following a structured story line. He has created three courses, aimed at middle to high school ages, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, each is a complete on-line science program with lessons, scripts and tests.

Fascinating Biology is an 18 chapter biology course, the chapters include:

  • What is Life
  • Chemistry Review
  • Cell Membrane
  • Take in Nutrients
  • Take in Energy
  • Metallic Bond
  • Growth
  • Reproduce
  • Homeostasis
  • Adaptation
  • Protists, Animals and Fungi
  • Animals
Because chemistry is so important to understanding biology, Dr. Margulies has created a 6 lesson chemistry pre-course that is useful for students who haven’t studied chemistry yet.

Each lesson contains a series of images/slides displayed whilst Dr Margulies explains the concept in a clear, easy to understand manner. Each lesson includes a script as well as a glossary of terms and a test.

The lesson is divided into subtopics, which are displayed to the left side of the screen on a menu bar. This allows you to stop the lessons at any time, recap information you may not have understood the first time around and pause a lesson to come back where you left off at a later time.

The Script comes as a PDF of the lesson, we printed them out and they were really helpful for annotating and making notes on.

The glossary defines some of the terms. This was very useful for the girls as it helped them with some of the harder words. 

The review test at the end is a multiple choice test, there is the option to review the answers if you get too many wrong and then retake the test. There is also the option to print out the tests.

Both Lilly (13) and Sunflower (11) used this programme and I watched it alongside them. They found the lessons engaging and fairly easy to follow and once again I was pleased by breath of knowledge covered.

I was very impressed by this programme, I think its great that he designs the course so you can complete it with no previous science knowledge and I think it perfect for anyone who wants to learn science in an easy way. I think it would have been nice to see more hands on lab type work with the course (the Chemistry labs were great) and I think a nice touch would have been a link to the relevant video clip to correct a wrong answer rather than just showing what the right answer is.

Fascinating Biology is available for $79 for a year’s access (Chemistry and Physics are the same price) and the Chemistry pre-course is $20. You can combine any two courses for $125 a year, or have all three for $175 for two years. You can also see the course outlines and get a free sample lesson for each course.

You can see what my crewmates thought of this, Fascinating Chemistry or Fascinating Physics over at the TOS Blog

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...