Our family was excited to review the e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum by Supercharged Science. My kids and I were thrilled that it promised LOTS of hands-on experiments, was one of Cathy Duffy’s top 102 picks and Homeschool World’s best science curriculum.
I first received a Welcome email from Aurora Lipper, the Supercharged Science person. It contained our login information for a full year of access for all levels, K-12, and some tips for getting started with e-Science.
I’m glad she did, because the website is FULL of all things science. A link in the email directed me to the Getting Started Page with videos on how to get started and how to get the most out of the program.
At the top of the page, I noticed a note that stated:
We’ve received several requests to make the navigation on our website easier to use, so please note that we’re developing a new navigation structure that will be put into place soon!
It was nice to see that the request was being addressed.
Not only was this request being addressed, but as I looked through the site, I noticed that questions from members were quickly being addressed as well. Aurora and her team are no joke when it comes to providing full support for all of your science (and even tech) questions.
Now, to the Science Part
There are two main ways to use the program, Topics and Grade Level. I had originally decided to use both. One way with each child. As I looked through the grade levels, I noticed that each was divided into – topics. Or the main scientific concepts that students learn in that particular grade level.
Because I like to maximize our time, I wanted to be able to have the kids do their science experiments together. Even though the program promises that the materials can easily be acquired, I still like to watch the budget by doing one experiment with all my kids.
I noticed that each grade level experiment directed you to a unit where the concept and reading could be found in the Topics section. So, I decided we would go with the Grade level for my youngest and Topics for my oldest. That way, I could tailor the experiments to the level of my youngest, my oldest could still be engaged, and they would both feel comfortable with their particular lesson.
Our first Topic that was also covered in Grade Level 1 was Life Science – specifically Plants. We were able to combine two separate experiments into one project. Monocots and Dicots for my Grade Level learner and Turning Compost Into Gold for my Topics learner.
These two experiments are ones that don’t have videos to accompany them. So, while I can’t comment on videos for these particular experiments, there are hundreds of experiment videos to follow if that is helpful for your kiddos.
I started with my oldest by making compost in our banana circle behind the house. It’s just a simple pit dug between a circle of banana trees. We added vegetable trash, banana peels, coffee grinds, mandarin lemon peels, watermelon rinds, pineapple rinds, etc. Nana’s horse, ZeZe, left us a “gift” right outside the patio that we used as well.
(We got help adding ZeZe’s contribution. Bleckh!)
Once our compost was a couple of weeks in the making, we filled some open, cleaned eggshells with the soil. Then we added seeds for tomatoes in some shells and seeds for carrots in the rest of the shells. Half of the eggshells received compost and the other half received soil that had not been composted.
After four days, it was easy to see the seeds in the composted eggshells were thriving. While the regular soil began to look sandy.
My youngest daughter was also able to tell if the newly sprouted seedling was a monocot or a dicot.
We will be transferring those eggshells to our new garden soon and (hopefully) enjoying some carrots and tomatoes in the near future.
Concluding with a caveat…sort of
I should “warn” you…because e-Science is a science curriculum, there will be a lot of scientific terms in the readings. Don’t panic or let that sway you from testing it out for a month with a full money-back guarantee. Remember that with many of the experiments, Aurora has already done the work for you and there are accompanying videos that break them down.
How is THAT for support?
Speaking of support…
Remember the note from the Getting Started page that I mentioned earlier?
Well, they are already on it. In a couple of weeks, e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum is getting a facelift with improved navigation. They are still getting the site ready for launch, but I have looked through it. The content is the same. However, navigation and appearance are definitely cleaner.
I wanted to give you a heads up since the new site will probably be the one you will use.
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