Fascinating Education has a high school level Fascinating Biology course that we reviewed with my 8th grader. Obviously, not a high schooler but the course can be used by middle school students as well.
The online biology course is delivered via video to the students. I enjoy using videos for science because some concepts can seem quite abstract and my visual learner definitely thrives with course material that is in video format. There are 19 lessons is the program and at a first glance I didn’t think that was enough. But if you click on the individual lessons the amount of info that is in each lesson is amazing.
There was no way that my son could complete one lesson a day. There’s just too much information. I like that the glossary tab was easily accessible from the video area because you could pause the video and read the definitions that were needed in the lesson. And it was easy to switch back.
There is a script available for those that would like to read along as the narrator speaks throughout the video. Each lesson includes one test. Your child had to have a score of 80% to pass but you could retake the test as needed. The questions were all multiple choice questions which pulled the most important concepts from the video.
I wished there would have been more questions in the test or more of a review for each lesson. There is just so much information, it’s so easy to forget what you just learned.
I had my son take notes as he watched the videos, he also like to draw the pictures out to get a better handle on the material. I would love it if the course had a hands on component to the lessons that included labs or experiments. Something to get the child thinking about how these principles would be applicable in real life. I’d also love more open ended questions that get the student thinking about ways they can apply these principles to actual problems and how they could be solved in different ways.
The online science curriculum is well thought out in terms of the content that is delivered and explains it in a way that is easy to understand even though you are learning more advanced material.
I’d love an emailed report on my son’s progress, it doesn’t keep track of where you are in the lesson so that you have to remember where you left off since you’re not able to finish a lesson in one sitting.
The course material is well done but I feel that you would want to supplement with a hands on component for your students to add in experiments to go along with each lesson so you are not just “book” learning. My right brain son would definitely appreciate that.
Fascinating Biology is geared towards high school students but can be used by middle school students as well if you feel they are ready. If you’d like to purchase Fascinating Biology, it costs $79 for 1 year of access. If you register for 2 courses at the same time the cost is $125 for a years access. If you register for all 3 courses it is $175 for 2 years access.
You can read the other reviews of Fascinating Education on the Schoolhouse Review Crew site.