Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fascinating Chemistry ~ A New TOS Review!

I know that as we approach high school that some subjects will be more difficult then others to teach, especially if you, the teacher, hasn't even taken the subject. High school chemistry is one of those daunting subjects, but I was thankful to be a part of the review team for Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education. We originally chose chemistry so that my husband, an instructor at a local tech school, could brush up on his knowledge of chemistry. He runs the math and science tutoring lab there as well and had been having students come in asking for help and he was a little rusty on his knowledge. Unfortunately, his load at school has not really allowed him to look at this curriculum as close as he was hoping. BUT, we were able to view several of the lessons as a family. I have then gone on to continue working my way through the lessons on a subject I pretty much knew nothing about.
Fascinating Chemistry

I have found the lessons to be indeed fascinating! Dr. Sheldon Marguiles, the founder and creator of Fascinating Education, has tied together both auditory and visual learning in a way that as my eldest daughter puts it  "brought life into his words".  This program is designed for high school, but middle school students may be able to take it as well if they excel in mathematics.  Even my youngest mentioned that he "liked watching it while listening" and he's only 8.

Dr. Marguiles is a retired neurologist who used his expertise of the brain to create a program that really helps people learn these upper level science courses.  Not only do they have Fascinating Chemistry, but also Fascinating BiologyFascinating Physics, and Fascinating Medicine which is broken down into Fascinating Anatomy & Physiology as well as Fascinating Logic of Medicine. He starts with an assumption that the student knows absolutely nothing about the subject he is teaching. He also breaks the information down into the smallest slices. He wants his students to ask WHY. And he wants them to see how these sciences explain the world we live in.

Each of the courses are taught online with an audio visual approach which consists of about 20 slides to cover the standard topics taught in the particular subject. Dr. Marguiles has a clear to understand voice which makes learning easy to understand and not too monotone that would cause you to zone out or get distracted. He uses common verbiage and not technical speech which also aid in the learning process.

There are also tests and labs within the courses. The tests in Fascinating Chemistry were mostly multiple choice and fill in the blanks. My middle school daughter remarked that she really liked "the multiple choice for the tests, especially since I felt this subject was a little hard for me. But it was still very interesting to hear it while watching the visual pictures and graphs."

The labs at first were hard to find - they said I didn't have access. But then I realized you had to go under the Member tab and you would see Chemistry Labs. Once you clicked that tab you were brought to another screen that had 12 labs to further instruct your student in the class. Once you hit "access lab" you would be brought to a PDF that explained the lab, items you'd need, the purpose and science of the lab, and the directions of how to do the lab.

Each of the lessons take about 45 minutes to an hour to complete, but you can pause or stop if needed. When you come back to the lesson (on the same device) you will be asked if you want to resume from where you stopped. That is a supper neat feature. The lessons can be viewed visually (slides and audio), or as a PDF script. The slides (which are pictures, graphs, and animations) proceed on their own, but each one can be paused for you to take notes or to highlight on your PDF script. Once you've completed a section of the lesson it's caption will become grayed out so you always know where you are in the lesson.

Each lesson does also have a test. The tests are about 20 questions in length and you must make an 80% to pass, but you can take the test over multiple times. And if you need help on a question of the test you can push the "Need Help" tab for some written info from the lesson to help jog your memory. has 19 lessons, with the last one being on "Final Problems."  My eldest daughter says she really has enjoyed this course and plans on continuing it throughout the summer and into the fall.

Along the way if you ever need help there is an email to contact the staff of Fascinating Education. They want to help the student and teacher to get the most out of their science education and want to help you succeed.

My husband is hoping he can carve out some time to either do the lessons on his own or when we all do them as a family. Since 2 of my kiddos aren't at the 'right' age for this curriculum, they will definitely be just absorbing the information by watching and listening. However, I think hearing the info early on will actually help when you hear it again when it counts later in high school.  I believe this is a program that at first glance can seem 'too easy' but in reality is just as rigorous as a traditional textbook drive course. Thing is is that not every child can learn by reading a textbook.  Fascinating Education has a well-rounded program for all learning styles and we plan on finishing the Fascinating Chemistry course over the next year.
Fascinating Education

If you think homeschool high school is hard and are dreading the sciences, check out what others on the review team thought of the other courses offered by clicking the link below. And if you do give it a go, please comment and let us know what you thought!
Biology, Chemistry & Physics {Fascinating Education Reviews}

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