Thursday, July 13, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Fascinating Education

My son, who has diagnoses of ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome (High-Functioning Autism), excels at Science. With his other Learning Disabilities, finding a curriculum that is a good fit can be difficult. Fascinating Education, a full online curriculum, offers Fascinating Biology and I accepted the opportunity to review it with my son.

Below is a breakdown, by unit, of the topics covered in the Fascinating Biology course.

Lesson Overview:
Lesson One: What Is Life?
Lesson Two: Chemistry Review
Lesson Three: Cell Membrane
Lesson Four: Take in Nutrients
Lesson Five: Take in Energy, Part 1
Lesson Six: Take in Energy, Part 2
Lesson Seven: Take in Energy, Part 3
Lesson Eight: Take in Energy, Part 4
Lesson Nine: Grow
Lesson Ten: Reproduce, Part 1
Lesson Eleven: Reproduce, Part 2
Lesson Twelve: Reproduce, Part 3
Lesson Thirteen: Homeostasis, Part 1
Lesson Fourteen: Homeostasis, Part 2
Lesson Fifteen: Adapt, Part 1
Lesson Sixteen: Adapt, Part 2
Lesson Seventeen: Prokaryotes, Protists, Animals, and Fungi
Lesson Eighteen: Plants

Each lesson has a red Lesson button, a blue Script button, and a yellow Test button (see above photo) that your student will click on to select that particular task. Have your student start by watching the Lesson. Then, you can review the unit utilizing the Script, which can also be printed from a PDF copy. Finally, your student can take the Test. I especially like the Script as it can easily be utilized with students who have diagnosed Learning Disabilities as Open Text Tests. This is especially helpful for students who have memory issues or Traumatic Brain Injuries.

My son liked that each lesson was short and concise. The lesson taught the main points in clear, easy to understand terms. Having visuals that accompanied each critical point was also helpful. Finally, the tests weren't intimidating. They were all multiple choice and not complicated in testing his knowledge. Furthermore, they weren't timed which helps ease his anxiety as well. I liked that the lessons were easy to understand and did a thorough job of explaining main points. This is especially helpful for parents who don't have a background in Science or don't feel competent teaching advanced Science courses.

Because I am endorsing this curriculum, I feel it is important to mention that Fascinating Biology does mention Darwin and evolution. While we are strong Christians who believe in Creationism, I also feel that my child needs to be aware of opposing views so that he can defend his beliefs. Personally, I appreciated the way Fascinating Biology handles evolution by explaining, much in the same way I have explained to my son in previous years that evolution should be viewed as changes in species as they migrate and adapt to new climates in order to meet their basic needs such as food, shelter, and protection against enemies. The lesson also explains that Darwin's theories were, and remain, controversial as they contradict the Bible. It then goes on to explain that species vary and that as our planet has changed, animals have adapted. Therefore, they are like cousins who look very similar yet are different. The diagram below gives an example of this from this particular unit.

Below is a sample video of an online Fascinating Biology lesson on Calcium.

Fascinating Biology - Lesson on Calcium by Dr. Sheldon Margulies

I strongly encourage you to visit Fascinating Education to view the various samples they provide for not only their Fascinating Biology course but their other courses such as Fascinating Chemistry and Fascinating Physics. Furthermore, you can read additional reviews about all of these courses at Homeschool Review Crew.

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