Supercharged Science Review
I love Science as well as the activities and experiments. I think it is so much fun to see and experience something happening rather than just reading it in a book. I don't, however, love the time and energy that it takes in order to put together those activities and experiments. That's why I was very excited to check out e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum by Supercharged Science. They really bring Science to life!
In order to get all of his high school credits, our high schooler needs 3 years of lab sciences. Biology and Chemistry are required, but we are able to choose the third. Supercharged Science says that student should take Physics before Biology or Chemistry. I'm not sure that I totally agree with this because the math is so much higher than what he knows. He has also already taken Biology, so we are already out of order. I looked through the materials needed for Chemistry and we are not in a place, financially, to be able to afford all that needs to be bought for that class. Our 14 year old has chosen Physics.
Physics? Really? Are we at that point in high school already? Yikes! To be honest, I never took physics in high school. I know that I took biology and chemistry, but I don't remember what the third year of science was. I just know that it wasn't physics. Our 14 year old has always been interested in the science behind physics, so this wasn't a surprise that he thought that this would be a good class to take to see if he wants to take it any further.
So, we jumped right in to the Advanced Physics course. It was a little daunting and overwhelming, at first, for both of us to look through. There is a lot of information that he will need to get through. Through this course, he will be learning about kinematics, Newton's laws, momentum, work, energy, and power, circular motion, thermodynamics, static electricity, current electricity, waves, sound waves, light waves, reflection, and refraction.
Aurora Lipper is the "professor" and she walks your child through the course. The good thing is that there are many videos to watch where she completes experiments or works out equations to help show you how to do it. Here is a note from the site:
NOTE: There are 500+ videos embedded in the 50 sections that make up the 14 chapters listed below. Plan to spend about one week per 1-2 sections. You can do as many of the labs as you have equipment for (there are a lot to choose from!).
I completely agree that there are a lot of experiments! I love that there is choice in what experiments he completes. He started with the first chapter (obviously) which is "One-Dimensional Kinematics". Ok, what?! I didn't even know what that was, but he understood it after reading the information.
I have to confess, I thought that the entire curriculum, or at least most of it, were videos to watch. From what we have seen so far, there is still a lot of reading to complete. Our high schooler liked this because he would rather read the book than watch a video or do an experiement. I know that if I was going through it, I would rather watch a video. I'm glad that there's both that compliment each other.
He was in the "Velocity" portion of the unit and he came to an experiment that I made him do. He wasn't too happy, but I reminded him that he needed lab sciences, not just reading sciences. The funny thing is, his 4th grade brother needed to do an experiment in his science that was really close to this one. Of course, it wasn't as in depth as the physics exeriment, but close though. It was wonderful to be able to go outside and they both were able to complete their experiements!
He had to roll a ball down a ramp (our driveway) and measure how far it went after 1 second, 2 seconds, and 3 seconds. His brother was the catcher and the person to mark the driveway. He measured the distance and wrote it down on his lab paper.
He had to complete each one 3 times, record their times, find the averages, and then make a graph.
He soon realized that there is a lot of math in science. Yep. There sure is. That's why I'm appreciative of the videos that are there to walk us through the math problems. She says to write them down as she's doing them, but as you can see in this picture, he didn't want to do that.
I asked him if he understood what she was doing and he said something like, "I guess I understand most of it." That wasn't too convincing, so I made him watch it again on the next day and this time he had to take notes. When another video came up, he said, "I suppose you want me to write this one down, too?" You guess it, mister! He is just much more engaged with the lesson when he takes notes.
Here is what he had to say about Supercharged Science:
"It was good and had a lot of information in it. It was a little difficult to understand, but with time it should become easier. It was hard to figure out how to go through it, which lessons come before which, and where the lessons are."
This is a very difficult course. He will need some guidance through it in order to understand all that is being presented. That means that I will need to learn it as well, since I never learned this stuff before. The videos say that we can just let her teach the students, but he didn't understand some of the information already, so I need to be prepared to be able to jump in and help. Supercharged Science has areas in the lessons to ask questions and they do get back to you quickly, but I would rather be able to understand what he's doing and offer a guiding hand, if needed (and I'm pretty sure that it will be needed).
Each unit has a "shopping list" of items needed for the experiments. I would love if they had one list to print out that was broken up into each section of experiment. That way, I don't have to click on each chapter and print out their individual lists (which don't print out with chapter titles so I had to go back and make sure that I labeled them correctly) and I can look ahead at which experiments that we will be doing per section and only get those materials.
Overall, I am happy with e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum by Supercharged Science. The site is a little difficult to maneuver, but I know that they are in the process of updating their site, so hopefully it will be easier to find where we need to go. Another thing is, when we stop in the middle of a section, there is no way to get back directly to where we stopped other than to go to the beginning of the section and click the forward arrow button until we find the right page. He got good at writing down exactly where he stopped so we could find it again. The cost is not very budget friendly, but I understand why it's that way. You get SO much information, lessons, and experiments. You have the choice of purchasing K-8 or 9-12 curriculum. It just isn't something that we would be able to afford for our two boys. We will be checking out what they have for our soon-to-be 5th grader for next school year!
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