Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Have you been looking for a fun, but substantial, homeschool science program? I have one to recommend! We were given the opportunity to review Experience Biology: Elementary from Journey Homeschool Academy, and we are so happy with it.
Let me start off by saying that the couple who produces this program is unashamedly Christian, and that comes through in Experience Biology. The first lesson discusses the account of Creation, they talk about God as the Intelligent Designer, and much of the memory work and copy work is straight from the Bible. Personally, our family considers this a plus, but I want to make sure you know, in case your family feels differently.
Now on to the program! The elementary Experience Biology course is designed for kids ages 6-12. This is a brand-new homeschool science course and will contain 30 lessons when completed. As of this writing, there are 18 lessons available. I think there were 13 when I first logged in, so they’re doing a great job getting everything up quickly. So far the lessons include:
What is Life | The Building Blocks of Life
The Secret Code of Life | Fueled Up | What’s in a Name
Biomes Everywhere | Itsy Bitsy Teeny Tiny Creatures
The Junk Drawer Kingdom | The Fungus Among Us
What is a Plant | The Wide World of Plants | Mean Green Energy Making Machine | Roots and Shoots | The Reason for Flowers
It Begins With a Seed | Amazing Animals | Silly Sponges
Wiggly Worms | Majestic Medusas and Patient Polyps
Each lesson starts with a video, about 15 minutes in length. Trisha and Luke do a great job breaking down scientific concepts into bite-sized and kid-friendly explanations, while still using proper terminology. Then there’s a shorter memory video (2-3 minutes), which narrows down the lesson to a couple key points that students should work on remembering. These short videos also link the current study concept to Scripture.
Besides the videos, each lesson contains “extra material.” This includes a reading list, with suggested resources for each topic, copy work in both print and cursive, flash cards to help with committing Bible verses and key points to memory, a quiz, and an activity. This is where my kids really get excited – they love the hands-on fun!
I love it! The videos are kind of long, but I learned a lot of stuff. My favorite part is the marshmallow DNA.
-Callan, age 8
We have a teeny library system, so I’ve been unable to borrow any of the books, but we did go ahead and purchase one, and I have others that I’ll use in place of the suggested titles. I don’t require that my kids complete any of the quizzes, handwriting, or copy work, but I always print them out and let them know they’re an option. So far they’ve done all the quizzes and most of the handwriting practice – my 7-year-old especially thinks they’re fun.
We’re not very far along in the course yet, but we’ve done several activities and I’ve looked ahead to see some of the things we’ll be doing in the future. Here’s just a quick sample:
Candy DNA Models | Silly Creature Classification
Dissecting Flowers | Dissecting Fruit
Biome Diorama | Exploring Jellyfish through Art
That’s not a complete list, as every lesson has its own activity, but it gives you a good idea of the type of hands-on learning included in the program. Luke and Trisha have done a good job of reaching different learning styles (and various personalities). This homeschool science course is simple, but substantial, and you can just get your toes wet, or dive in deep. My two older kids (ages 7 and 8) are enjoying it, and the 3.5-year-old often “tags” along, popping in and out of the room for the video portion and doing his own version of the activity.
The activities are fun. And I like the quizzes.
-Charlie, age 7
Purchasing the program gives you lifelong access, which means you can take a break if you need to, or stop and dig deeper into a particular topic. You can also go back through the entire course as many times as you want, which means your current elementary-age children can learn from it now, then your toddlers can access it in a few years, once they’re a bit older.
There are a few improvements or changes I’d like to see happen. For instance, I think it would be wonderful to have all the memory cards for the whole course in their own .pdf, and all copy work, quizzes, etc. in another .pdf. This would make it easier to print all at once. But this is a small thing, the lack of which certainly doesn’t make the program any lesson valuable. When it comes to curriculum, I’m not usually overly excited, but this science program is something I would love to share with everyone. I’m having a blast doing it along with my kids, and now I want to take all their courses!
Are you fascinated? Click the banner below to read more reviews of this program, as well as Journey Homeschool Academy’s high school courses (Experience Astronomy and Experience Biology).