Teaching High School Biology Science With Fascinating Biology
Our oldest daughter is really interested in science. So I'm always on the lookout for great science programs for her.
Homeschool High School Science Curriculum
Fascinating Education was started by Dr. Margulies who wanted to flip the teaching process around and teach science in a right brain method. Instead of using textbooks at the primary teaching tool, Dr. Margulies uses colourful illustrations and audio as the main learning tool.
Fascinating Education currently offers 3 science courses for children in middle school and high school.
In Fascinating Chemistry students learn about how atoms bond to form molecules and how each bond effects the resulting molecule. They learn how these work to explain things from water freezing, nuclear energy to weather.
In Fascinating Biology students learn about the basic biology principles. Cell membranes, chemical energy, growing, etc.
In Fascinating Physics students study the laws of nature in movement, energy and sound. They learn about the forces of gravity, magnetism and electricity and more.
Online High School Biology Curriculum
For our review we received the course Fascinating Biology. It contains 19 lessons.
Lesson 1: What is Life
Lesson 2: Chemistry Review
Lesson 3: The Cell Membrane
Lesson 4: Take in Nutrients
Lesson 5: Take in Energy Part 1
Lesson 6: Take in Energy Part 2
Lesson 7: Take in Energy Part 3
Lesson 8: Take in Energy Part 4
Lesson 9: Grow
Lesson 10: Reproduce Part 1
Lesson 11: Reproduce Part 2
Lesson 12: Reproduce Part 3
Lesson 13: Homeostasis Part 1
Lesson 14: Homeostasis Part 2
Lesson 15: Adapt Part 1
Lesson 16: Adapt Part 2
Lesson 17: Prokaryotes, Protists, Animals, and Fungi
Lesson 18: Plants
Lesson 19: Hypothesis Testing
When you log into Fascinating Biology each unit is laid out in a grid. Each unit is represented by a thumbnail image that has something to do with the topic of that unit. Under each unit image are 3 buttons. The first one is Lesson clicking this launches the lesson play list. The next is Script, this opens a PDF of the lesson, if your student would like to read along. The last button is Test, clicking this opens up the lesson test.
When you click on Lessons it opens up that unit's work in a new browser tab. The lesson is set up like a powerpoint type of show. The unit is broken down into shorter lessons that are a few minutes long. Don't let the small size of each lesson fool you, there is a LOT packed into each one. You can pause the lesson at any time and skip back and forth in each section if you want to review something.
When you're finished you close that lesson tab and go to the main unit grid screen. Then launch the test. The test is set up in a multiple choice format. I like that the test require at least 80% to pass, but are set up to help your children succeed. After taking the test they can view what questions they got wrong and it shows them what the correct answers are. They can then go back and retake the test.
I'm using this course with my 12 year old daughter in grade 7. She loves science and is a strong right brain learner, so I thought this course would be a good fit for her. We have had some road bumps using it. At first I thought we could do a lesson at a time, but I was wrong. There is so much information packed into each unit lesson we had to slow down to doing 4 or 5 of the smaller lessons in each unit.
There is also a lot of new vocabulary terms that are new to her and not covered in other science programs she has used yet. So I found I had to sit with her and pause the lessons to help explain what they are and what it means. Because of this, she wasn't able to do the lessons independently as I had hoped she could.
My personal opinion is although these courses are intended for middle school and high school children, I think the biology course is better suited to high school or advanced middle school students. At least if you want them to be able to work independently.
I really like that the tests focus more on building the students understanding of the topic, rather then just you passed or failed. When our little perfectionist didn't pass the first test on the first try she was quite upset. But I explained to her that the point is to assess what you do know and what you need to learn more about.
When the test is finished you can view the questions and your score. It shows you what ones you answered correctly and what ones were wrong. On the wrong questions it shows you the right answer. This is the opportunity to read the questions and the right answer. If they still don't understand why that answer is right, they can go back and review the lessons again. Once they are more confident in the material they can try the test again.
When the test is passed you are able to print out a record of the score. I would love it if there was a parent/teacher area that had these saved so they could be reviewed and printed by the parent. If your child forgets to print the score, then you can't access it again unless you have your child retake the test again.
I don't normally use secular courses as our core courses, but I found this one easy to work around. Some of the lessons we have done in the biology unit had quit a bit of evolutionary theory in them. At this level of work I'm not worried about it, since we teach other theories that disagree with our beliefs. I think it's important to understand what others believe and why we do or do not agree with it. I just told my daughter to answer the questions according to the theory they are asking about and it wasn't a problem for us at this point.
I would recommend Fascinating Biology to anyone looking for an online audio based program. I do think it's best suited to high school students over middle school students. I thinking about having our daughter retake the course once she reaches the high school level, because I think she will get much more out of it then.
Fascinating Chemistry, Fascinating Biology and Fascinating Physics cost $79 each for 1 years 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.
Fascinating Education also has FREE samples of each class online if you would like to try it out and see if it is a good fit for your family.