A Review of Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education

 

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High school science can be so intimidating for us home schooling families so I was happy for our family to review Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education.  For this review, our sixteen year old son was the one doing the actual coursework.  This is an online course that offers some printable components as well.

I love how easy the website is to navigate.  When the student enters the website for Fascinating Education and login to the members’ area,  the student then selects their correct course by clicking on the correct logo.  Here is a screenshot of that screen.

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So our son would select Fascinating Chemistry from the list by clicking on it.  In this case, it is important to pay attention to the fact there are two Chemistry courses – the one we are reviewing along with one that indicates it is a pre-course for Biology.

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The next screen that displays lists all of the lessons.  For Fascinating Chemistry, each lesson offers slideshows for the lesson, the script for the lesson, and a computerized version of the test for each lesson.  I appreciated the way this screen is laid out.  It is easy to see each lesson along with the components for each lesson.  So if we wanted to complete the lesson using a three-day schedule, the first two days could be spent watching the videos and completing any exercises for that lesson.  Then the last day could be used for taking the lesson quiz.  I appreciated how the scripts for every lesson are provided.  This allows for easy notetaking and also for review.

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In a separate section under the members tab, there is an option for Chemistry labs.   The instructions were well-written and appear to be easy to follow.  I liked how at the top of the page for the labs a clear safety warning was provided that indicates adult supervision is necessary for these labs.  The labs seemed to require items that were easily obtainable.  I would have liked for a complete lab supply list to be provided so that all the needed supplies could be purchased at one time.  Because I prefer my husband to do any science labs with our children, we decided to hold off and do the labs during his vacation later in the summer.  So look for us to post more about that sometime in late August to early September.

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As my son watched the slideshows, he was disappointed that he did not have an option to view the lessons in full-screen mode.  Like my son, for videos like this, I would prefer to have the option of watching the videos in full-screen since it makes it easier to see.

There are several things I would have liked to have with this course.  The first would have been the ability to watch the slides in full-screen.  I also would have appreciated some kind of grade book or the ability to have scores emailed to me for the tests.  This would allow for easier recordkeeping.  Without some kind of record, it could be difficult to provide proof of his scores.

But otherwise, I have to say we were very pleased with the course overall.  I felt the material was explained and the videos were well done.  The course outlines, lab instructions and PDF versions of the tests and answer keys were all easy to read and to follow the instructions for overall.  For a student that is not going into a science field, this course is perfect.  However, if a student is planning on going on to a science-type field, it may be better to look at some other options.

Fascinating Education also offers courses for Biology, a Chemistry Pre-Course for Biology, Fascinating Physics, Fascinating Anatomy & Physiology, and Fascinating Logic of Medicine.  If you would like to read more reviews of either Fascinating Chemistry or some of the other courses offered by Fascinating Education, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review for Apologia Educational Ministries’ Internship for High School Credit

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A well-planned internship can be a great way for a high school student to explore a possible career path and Apologia Educational Ministries has created Internship for High School Credit to walk students and parents through the process of a high school internship and determining high school credit for the internship.  I love the idea of my children gaining practical experience in areas related to the field they think they want to go into in the future.

When I saw the opportunity to review this product, I was excited for our family.  Over the years, we have enjoyed using many of Apologia’s products.  So I felt confident this product would be amazing and it did not disappoint me.  With a son who is about to turn twenty-one and three children still in high school, this seemed to be an excellent product to review.  Because of plans we already had for this summer and other commitments, I decided to review this product with the goal of having at least one of our children doing an internship either next spring or summer.

This review is being done from my perspective as a parent.  The workbook is broken into five sections. The introduction discusses the difference between an apprenticeship and an internship.  Also, it recognizes the need for students to have practical hands-on experience in addition to book work.  Instructions for using the workbook are included here as well.  I found the workbook to be straight-forward and easy to read.
The first section is about getting started.  This section includes determining the type of internship.  So in my oldest son’s case, he wants to be a Youth Pastor – so even though he is college-aged, this book would be a great program for him to work through and obtain an internship.  There are also suggestions for students who do not know what they want to do in the future.  My third son fits this category.  We have discussed the idea of him doing an internship and he is receptive to the idea. So once he is done helping with Vacation Bible School and then attending our church’s Youth Service Camp, I plan on going through some assessments online to find where his strengths and interest lie.  This way we can start to make actual preparations in the fall for an internship in either the spring or summer in a field that actually interests him.

Here are some examples of some brainstorming pages I did for my oldest and youngest sons as well as our 14-year-old daughter.

The first section provides information on interviewing, writing resumes, determining high school credit and even how to prepare for the first day.  All of these are important skills to know.  I know growing up I was glad to have my parents’ assistance with such tasks.  There are even suggestions for the first day.

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The second section includes information for parents.  The first part addresses contact the parents should have with potential supervisors.  It also stresses the importance of knowing and following the child labor laws for your state.  I found it helpful that parents need to make sure they know what hours students may work and how many hours are acceptable.  I also found it helpful this section points out safety concerns and that parents need to know the working conditions are acceptable.  Transcript documentation, course titles, grades and the number of credits to be earned are also discussed.   Here are some sample pages.

The third section looks at the first semester and includes worksheets for semester goals, weekly worksheets, performance worksheets, and skills gained worksheets.  Questions and activities are also provided for each week with a place for the supervisor to sign.  These worksheet pages also include helpful tips, quotes, and other helpful information.  End-of-Semester Work performance worksheets are also provided.  Here are some samples of these pages.

 

If the student is going to do another semester for the internship, additional worksheets are provided for that as well in Part IV.  A final writing assignment, thank you note suggestions and examples, along with a discussion about obtaining a letter of recommendation and how to update a resume are included.

The detailed records that are going to be accumulated through the course of the internship will provide valuable documentation for student records, portfolios or other required documentation for colleges or other organizations.  I feel confident my children will benefit from these pages in the future.  I look forward to actually setting up an internship for our third son in the coming months and seeing where the journey will take him.  Even if he decides whatever field he interns in is not for him, I know he will take away valuable insights from the experience.

If you would like to read more reviews about Internship for High School Credit or another one of Apologia Educational Ministries‘ products, How to Homeschool with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook), click here or on the graphic below.

 

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