Busy families often find it difficult to find homeschool science projects that are fun, engaging, and easy to set up; over the past month my children have been using e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum by Supercharged Science. We received a year’s access for levels K-12 to write our review to share with you.
My children love science – the anticipation of what will happen and why things do what they do is always a great draw. Science has been lacking from their curriculum this year, so I had already decided that this summer was going to be a season of science when the opportunity for this review came up, so it was perfect timing. Throw in the fact I have children interested in astronauts, and that Aurora has worked for NASA, and that gave them added incentive to get going.
How can something be both online and hands-on? Log into Supercharged Science and you will not be short on videos as well as written information about a wide variety of topics from mechanics to astrophysics.
The lessons can be accessed in two ways; by topic and by grade, so that students can learn about a topic they are interested in, or you can have them work through what is fitting for their current grade level. One thing that I hope will be done is that there will be a place where I can see at a glance within a topic which lessons are aligned to which grades as it’s very difficult when my children want to work on a specific lesson and I need to figure out if it will be too easy or too difficult for them so that I can adjust our expectations and the work accordingly. There will soon be new navigation within the site, so I’m looking forward to see if this is addressed.
Homeschool Science Projects
Which homeschool science projects have the children done?
To begin with, my children found a video in each of the 20 topics that interested them and watched it. They had just purchased new rocks so they gravitated towards this geology video to learn more about them.
Now that they were familiar with Aurora’s style, they moved onto deeper learning by choosing a lesson, watching the videos, reading the information, and answering the questions provided. They also worked on some of the experiments as well. Some of them together, and others they did their own thing on topics that were of particular interest to each of them. You can see that Tristan was amazed by the erupting soap in the microwave!
Sound waves can be an interesting phenomenon. I didn’t learn about them until grade 11 physics, but with this simple experiment Tristan set up himself, he had fun learning about sound waves.
Many of the experiments can be done completely by children on their own. Depending on the age and maturity of the students, they may or may not need adult supervision. As you can see, this only involved a bowl of water, some rubber bands, and a wooden spoon, which are pretty safe in most instances. Some of the higher level projects are more involved and may require some supervision.
Kallista saw this mechanical hand project and wanted to do it. Again, you can see that it uses items commonly found at home. She had a little help from Dad when it came to using the hot glue gun (and perhaps cutting the cardboard so nicely, although I know she did the tracing). I loved how Dad could also be involved and could jump in without any additional background information or ‘training’ so the kids could have fun with him and learn, while I had other projects that needed my attention.
Tristan set up this magnetic experiment on his own…and then realised after he had done it that he had misunderstood and all his work was wrong. He calmly started over again and completed the experiment the right way and found that it worked so much better. I loved that he was able to do this all on his own and learn from his errors and remain calm.
What Works and What Doesn’t (for us)
Home education is different than school in that schools can purchase equipment once and have it used hundreds of times by hundreds of pupils. As frugal home educators, we simply cannot afford to purchase equipment that is expensive and will only be used once by one student. There are so many experiments that my children can do using what we already have, which is great. There are a few that I will purchase a few pieces of equipment for, such as electronics, to add to my son’s kit that will enable him to grow with it and use it in new ways. For those experiments that use items we cannot purchase, the videos are great so that the kids can watch them and see what would happen — as if they were in a classroom watching the teacher at the front of the class.
We haven’t tried it out ourselves (yet), but children can ask Aurora and her team questions in the comments section within the site, and they will get a reply back. This isn’t like some programs where you get all the attention for the first few months it’s released and then you never hear from them again. That’s a wonderful thing and really will keep children going knowing that their questions are important.
Videos – have I mentioned those? There are over a thousand! Aurora talks as fast as I do in some of them – it’s clear she has a lot of information in her head that she is enthusiastic to share with children. Some videos are short – about 5 minutes, while others are about 20 minutes in length. You could sit there for days watching and learning.
There is one thing that I would suggest. There are an extreme number of emails received after you sign up, and many of them are geared towards those who have not purchased a class. Perhaps having separate email lists might help as there’s no reason to sell to someone who has already bought. The emails that send out a link to a specific lesson and give some details about it, I don’t mind – I pass those ones on to the kids and they do them because they’re from Aurora and not ‘Mom’ telling them to do it.
Finding affordable high school science for home education is extremely difficult, and I love that this program covers the bases right from kindergarten to the end of high school, and that the grades overlap the classes, which also allows for flexibility.
My children are enjoying doing homeschool science projects through Supercharged Science, and this will indeed be the Summer of Science!
Click here to read 65 more reviews about Supercharged Science by the Homeschool Review Crew.