Science is not my strong suit. When I was given the opportunity to review Visual Learning Systems Digital Science Online courses, I was thrilled. They offer both the Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition (Grades K-5) and Digital Science Online: Secondary Edition (Grades 6-12). Because we are doing Kindergarten this year, we stayed in the Primary and Elementary Editions.
We started out with the videos on measurement. My daughter was not keen on learning about ruler, distance and how you measure objects. I tried giving her a ruler so she could measure things herself. That did help some. She is definitely more of a hands-on learner.
While we are still learning how to spell and write words, my daughter can draw pictures. Before we start a video, we grab paper and colored pencils so she can draw pictures of what she is learning. It keeps her hands busy, and she seems to retain so much more. We then would spell out words together after the video and label the pictures.
Her favorite lessons were on plants. We dissected flowers and talked about the different parts. She was so excited during this lessons. She would pause the video herself and tell me all about what she just learned. We pulled out the paper and colored pencils and she drew a flower with roots in the soil, and the sun in the sky. She couldn’t wait to tell her Daddy all about photosynthesis when he got home, and how much we need plants so we can breathe.
While we enjoyed using the Visual Learning Systems videos, and will continue to utilize this resource, if you have a hands-on learner like I do, focus more on the activities with a side of videos. Digital Science Online is great for families on the go. I do like the fact that when we travel with my husband for work, we don’t have pack a suitcase full of books. I make sure I have the login information, the iPad with the protective case, a notebook, and we are good to go.
You might be slightly alarmed at the cost per student and the minimum required on the website and the graphic above. That cost is for public, private, and charter schools. Visual Learning Systems offers pricing for homeschooling families which includes all the videos, teacher’s guides as well as discounts on their physical products for a much reasonable cost.