For this review, my family received access to the Fascinating Biology course, along with a short crash-course in Chemistry from Fascinating Education. Fascinating Education is a new online science program offering courses in Biology, Physics and Chemistry.
How It Works
You purchase access to the course with a yearly subscription- so when you purchase, be sure you are ready to jump right in, because the course will expire at the end of the year.
The course is broken down by topics. In the Biology course, there are 18 lessons, and they cover these topics:
What is Life?
Take in Nutrients
Take in Energy
Prokaryotes, Protists, Animals and Fungi
Lessons are delivered through videos, which are basically powerpoint presentations with recorded lectures. The lectures do include a significant amount of vocabulary, which is clearly defined, but your child will probably want to take notes during the lecture just like they would in a traditional classroom. Each lecture has multiple slides and subtopics, so you can stop the lesson at any time and come back where you left off as long as you note what slide you were on.
At the end of a lecture, there is a test for your child to take, either online, or you can print a PDF version.
Fascinating Education is a wonderful choice for secular homeschoolers looking for an online science program. It is lecture based, so it is going to work best for auditory and visual learners- it is lacking in hands-on activities for our more active students.
Bug loves science, but got a little bored with this program. He does with most lecture-based programs, and I tell you because I feel like you really need to keep your child in mind when selecting curriculum. He’s the kind of kid who needs more interaction and wiggle time- I would love to see this program add in more interactive elements in between topics, because each lecture feels quite long without some sort of a break. Kids who are great at sitting down and digging into topics without the need for much fuss will probably love this. It’s not terribly dry or boring- it’s just a lecture, so know that going into it.
We did not use the tests with Bug because I just don’t feel like they are required at this point for our family, but I do appreciate that they are available both online and printable forms. I liked that the lectures are printable as well- Bug liked to have them in front of him to read, and I think many students probably need them to take notes and study for the exams if you are going to use them.
I feel that this is most appropriate for 11 to 14-year-old students, who are ready for more “textbook” like learning and lectures. This is a solid, rigorous, evolutionary science based program that I think many secular homeschoolers will enjoy. It gets my stamp of approval!