I was recently given the opportunity to test out and review Visual Learning Systems’ program: Digital Science Online Elementary Edition (Grades K-5) and the Secondary Edition (Grades 6-12). We received a yearly subscription for our kids who are in grades K and 2nd. Today, I get to talk to you all about the program and why it might work for your family, too.
Digital Science Online is available in two subscription formats: K-5 and 6-12. Once you have that subscription, you can access any grade within that range. We actually watched some of the more advanced videos just to check them out, and they are challenging but great for their intended age range. It’s nice to know that we have a wide variety of material available for different grades. I know how important this is for many families who homeschool multiple ages and grades at once.
We used the product three times a week initially, but my kids liked having a marathon science day instead, in all reality. We have always done science that way. Near the end, we wound up using it to watch a chunk of videos, do the review, go over the worksheets, and talk about what we learned once a week. I love that it is versatile enough that we could use it that way and have it work for us, but you might use it differently. When my kids get off on a science tangent, it can often turn into a whole day thing. We might read a book on the topic, do an experiment, do worksheets, get into a lengthy discussion, you name it. I love science days, but I actually like to do them less frequently and with more driving power on that day.
Visual Learning Systems’ program is set up so you can watch very short (a couple of minutes) videos on a given topic and do an activity with them (printables included) or watch all the videos in the series (about 10 minutes total) in one sitting. The videos are clear, easy-to-understand, and give good information. The material covers Earth science, biology, life science, physical science, health, and zoology to name a few.
Some of the lessons we were able to cover during our review time were: Grouping Living Things, What is a Reptile?, What is a Bird?, What is a Fish?, Helping Us Work, and Describing Matter. The worksheets that complement the video lessons include things like word searches, labeling the parts of a fish, and a review each lesson to show what you’ve learned during the lesson. Helping Us Work was one of the Toolman’s favorites because it covered simple machines and he is super into machines, tools, building and moving things, so this was right up his alley.
In a Nutshell
I enjoyed using this product and have nothing bad to say about it at all. My kids’ only real complaint was that they wished there were more videos about animals. They could watch animal videos all day; Wild Kratts is one of their all-time favorite shows. While no one can compete with cartoons, Visual Learning Systems is an awesome supplemental curriculum to pair with your regular science curriculum. Even my four year old enjoyed sitting and watching the videos, then guessing the answers to the quiz at the end.
If you would like to see how other homeschooling families liked this program and how they used it for their unique situation, please click the banner below.
I was not compensated in any way for this review. If my family loves the products, I will let you know. If they didn’t work for us, I will let you know that too. I’m all about the honesty.
*This post originally appeared on BlogHer March of 2015.*