We’ve been using a science curricula that we’ve enjoyed but as my children have gotten older we’ve been looking for something less like a textbook and with more hands-on learning and I think we found that during our review period with Supercharged Science. I was given the e-Science Premium Membership to use with my children, although I used it mainly with my oldest daughter who is 12 and is working at a middle school grade level – however this program is for all grades, K-12, so I did have my other two use it and I’ll explain that in a bit. There are two different ‘levels’ of programs the one is for lower elementary children K-8th and that is $37 a month but if you want all grades K-12 it is $57 a month – I was given the Premium and so was able to look at all the levels/grades available.
As I said above I was mainly gearing our use towards my oldest daughter who wanted a more hands-on approach and less textbook science curricula, yes it came along at the right time, and I let her basically run with it – choosing which subject areas she wanted to pursue. Aurora Lipper, the creator of Supercharged Science used to work for NASA and teaches at a university, created this e-science program so that children could work with science the way real scientists and engineers do – hands-on. Worried that you don’t ‘know’ how to teach science? Concerned that you don’t have science brain? No worries, Aurora has taken the worry out of science – you can chose to work along side your child or just let them work on their own as I did with my oldest. Here is some of what you’ll get in this homeschool science program:
- classroom style lessons and demonstrations
- experiments, projects and activities (a lot of them, 800+)
- textbook readings (all online so no text to buy) for the older students
- exercises and quizzes
- and more – if you’d like to learn more you can take a look at a longer explanation here.
So what happens after you sign up and sign in? Well Aurora has everything divided by both grade and subject area – so if you’re like other homeschool families, as I am, and your child really doesn’t have a grade then take a look at the subjects listed. In the topics you’ll find everything from matter, alternative energy to thermodynamics and more chose the one or have your child chose the one they want to begin with. My daughter chose unit 18, Biology 1 to start with and worked her way through – I told her she could chose how long each time to use the program. It is encouraged that the students take notes as they read, watch and do through out the lessons so make sure to give them access to a notebook or something that they can use to journal their learning experiences. My son especially liked to watch the videos with his sister and I and found the bug aspirator and the predator-prey column to be especially interesting and now that it’s warming up we’ll actually be able to do these activities and experiments.
If you’re still not sure how to fully used Supercharged Science be sure to work your way through, or if you have an older student have them begin with the getting started section which will explain more about how to get the full intended learning experience out of the program. There are some fun and simple activities to get you started like bouncy balls and flying contraptions to give you and introduction into the whole program without being overwhelming. Under topics there are several items of note such as new to e-science, unit 0: overview of e-science, and the scientific method which are good to watch if you’re new to Supercharged Science or need a bit of a refresher on scientific methods.
After you or your child has chosen the unit to start with – then it’s time to begin. You can download the unit which will tell you how much time is involved depending on how many activities are completed, which lesson segments are for which grades, as well as items needed for the experiments, vocabulary and more – so it’s a good idea to download it even if you don’t plan on printing it out. There are some lessons that have been recorded so that you can download them and listen to them if you can’t be at your computer at some point – they are in mp3 format so you can put them on a compatible device and listen on the go! What I appreciated is I didn’t have to stand over my daughter and tell her what to do next – if your child is an independent worker this will be great, the next steps are all hyper-linked and will guide the child to the next part of the unit. If there is something that needs to be done first they’ll be guided to do that – such as in Unit 5 there is an experiment to make a mystery toy but first they should complete the pendulum experiment – and that is noted and linked so it can be easily found and completed.
There will be other areas where the student will download activity sheets and exercises which will open in a PDF document – I found it easier to right click and open in a new window so that the Supercharge Science site was still open as well as the downloaded document – some will need to be printed while others your child could answer the questions in the journal or on a piece of notebook paper. Another interesting feature of this program is the way you can leave comments on the experiments and Aurora will answer them for you, which also aids other parents and students who may have the same question or you can call and speak to a live person during their office hours. The whole homeschool science curriculum is well done and very professional, my personal like about it is that the experiments are clearly explained in the videos and it’s not rushed, like I often felt when I was in a classroom, Aurora takes her time and her love of science and teaching shines through.
I’d also like to mention that Supercharged Science can be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and they also have a blog. Be sure to follow along for updates and even ways to interact with other users and comments. Supercharged Science has also graciously given my readers (and those of other Schoolhouse Review bloggers) a chance to try out the full access to Supercharged Science for only $1 for 30 days (after which you can cancel or have your credit card billed) by using this special link or you can have access to sample experiments by following this link.
If you’d like to read what other homeschool parents though about Supercharged Science please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.