Science4US.com is a web-based science program aimed at grades K-2 (grades 3-5 can use it as a review). We’ve been using the Science4Us.com online subscription for the past month and a half and it’s been a great hit in our home.
The week before Tristan started his trial we had taken a day-trip down to Dublin, Ireland to meet Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield. With space one of Tristan’s favourite things to learn about and not my strong area, this is where we started.
Tristan dove right into this kindergarten science curriculum immediately! In fact, it took a few days before we realised there was so much more to this site because he was so busy spending his time learning and I couldn’t get a chance to look through the site and discover it all!
Parents have their own area to log into and they can set the assignments for their children, including start and end dates if desired. Each unit has a video for the student and what he will learn/should have learned. Each unit has a discussion about the unit for parents to do with their children. There are also printable worksheets for each module and an evaluation you can print off at the end of each unit to do off-line and keep for your records. There are also on-line evaluations (which are different than the printed ones).
Then the children have their own log-ins to see the assignments that they’ve been assigned and can choose among them.
We were able to attend a webinar on how to get the most out of Science4US.com. Webinars are also available for parents, I would definitely suggest you make use of it to get the full potential of Science4Us.com. There’s much more to this kindergarten science curriculum that what meets the eye.
The main areas within the Science4Us.com curriculum are: science skills, force & motion, energy, matter, living things, balance in nature, earth, and space. Each of these main areas are then broken down into smaller units and then there are about 11 modules within each unit. Each module will take about 30 minutes to complete from start to finish if every activity is completed. The on-line time is only about 3-5 minutes per module but is enough time for the student to grasp the concept and be able to explain it clearly to me.
Science4US.com can be done in different levels: Kindergarten, Grade 1 or Grade 2. Everyone has the same on-line activities, but this grade difference comes into effect when it comes to the printables. You can choose to print off the appropriate grade level for your own child. Tristan has done some of each level. I look at each of the printable evaluation levels and if I think he can do a higher level than Kindergarten I’ll challenge him. In this case I’ll read the questions to him but he does the drawings or chooses thee answers on his own.
Even Kallista has done a little of the off-line work at the age of 3! She has done some of the Kindergarten level work for sorting hot and cold items in a T-graph. It’s great because it makes Kallista feel included. Her favourite phrase the past month has been “When I’m 5 I’ll do science on the computer!”
Tristan is really picking up the concepts quickly. When it came to the food webs and I printed off one of the worksheets he right away began to explain everything to me. I was surprised at how much he had retained in such a short period of time.
Tristan loves the Syllables/Silly Bulls area, and this has helped him to understand about breaking down words into smaller parts to sound them out. This is great for helping him to read print books without getting as frustrated with larger words. Tristan says his favourite part of Science4Us.com are the quizzes! “Quizzes are my favourite part because I’m so good at them. I only miss a few. I like the computer quiz more than the paper quiz.”
The off-line worksheets mean that not all the time is spent in front of a computer screen, which I really like. In fact, the screen time is only a short part of the total time spent on each module.
We’ve had lots of appointments over the past 3 weeks that have interrupted our usual routine. However, Tristan has kept busy and continued learning. Even when we missed the train, he worked on an off-line worksheet in the waiting room while we waited an hour for the next train and it helped to pass the time inside as we were in the middle of a wet winter’s storm.
As a parent I can let Tristan work on his own and not worry. Later on I can log into the parent’s area and see what he has completed and I can see the results of his activities and quizzes, including the questions he’s done right or wrong. This way I know where he is excelling and in which areas he needs a little extra work.
It really makes me happy to see my son so enthusiatstic about this kindergarten science curriculum. And he’s able to take his new knowledge and apply it to other situations as well. Result!
Science4Us.com is priced at $7.95 per child per month. With all that it covers, and the enthusiasm that it brings, I think it worth the price.
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