Science4us.com Review

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Here we are again, talking about science. Science4us.com is a wonderful online curriculum for K-2 which can also be used in grades 3rd-5th for review of key concepts. It was developed in 2010 and has since received several awards. The Department of Education gave them a grant for game-based learning innovation and they used it well.

Science4us.com activity

Science4us.com activity

This is an online curriculum so once you pay ($7.95 per month) they will send you login information and you are good to go. Once logged in, you can choose from four books: Life, Physical, Inquiry, and Earth/Space. Inside each book, you will find different modules which can be picked up in random order. Once inside a module though, you should start from the top left and work your way down through the activities in order.  Continue reading »

Science in the early grades can be a liberating subject, because you really don’t have to do it. As such, there is no guilt on the days when you did not do it. And when you do do it, it’s fun for the kids and you feel like a superhero. When you do math in K-6 grades, you are actually doing science, because math is the basis for scientific equations.

Boy and girl working on computers

Working on different levels of science4us.com

I have reviewed this curriculum once before, two years ago. My children were 5 and 3 at the time. They are now 7 and 5. I thought it might be interesting to watch how they interact with an online course and the content of a science course at their new level.

It turns out, they could no longer stay on the same level, on one computer. Two years ago, the three-year-old was happy to watch and learn. Now, she wanted to do her own clicking, circling, matching and so on. So we had them work on two separate computers.

Science4us.com activity

Another science4us.com screen up close

This curriculum comes in handy especially if you have to give one-on-one attention to your students. I found it very helpful when my young one “did school” with science4us.com while I worked with my oldest.

The activities are interactive but short lectures do get presented from time to time, teaching young kids to sit through a small theoretical explanation. I have only found one game which is nothing but a game. The rest of the material serves an educational purpose and does not feel like a game per se. It is however very colorful and easy to navigate.

Robots walk the kids through the different modules. They even have exercises in alphabetizing, taking notes, and spelling. There is a final test at the end of each module, but throughout the module there are small quizzes to check for understanding. If the answer is not correct, there is a button to push for the concept to be repeated.

I have my own interface, as a teacher, and can see which modules they covered, their test results and how much time they spent online. This curriculum can be used in a large classroom, obviously, or in a small homeschool. If you don’t like teaching science or doing experiments in the kitchen, investing in science4us.com would be a great idea.

The opinions expressed here are my own. I received a free subscription to science4us.com in exchange for my honest review of this product on my blog. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in any other way. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.


Science 4 Us Review Coming Up

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Over the next 30 days, I will be reviewing www.Science4Us.com. Science4Us is an engaging, elementary science curriculum that teaches science using a fun, interactive approach. If you have your own blog and would like to review Science4Us, check out their homeschool review program. Make sure to come back and read my full review.


Science4Us.com Review

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I have written here before how science is not my cup of tea and how I delegate it as much as I can. One of the ways to delegate science is to buy a Science4Us.com Online Subscription. Science4Us.com has made it easy for me to integrate science in our homeschool routine. I am excited about this product because we have been using it in our homeschool for the past couple of months and it has helped me so much.

Not only has it given me hope that yes, I can actually homeschool even though I don’t like teaching science, but it has also given me time. You see, the children tutor themselves through a series of interactive activities on the computer screen and I have time to myself. Don’t get too excited. It’s not uninterrupted time. In fact, I am in the same room, doing things that allow me to pay attention to what they are learning. Why? Because there are discussion questions and, as my son reads them off the screen, they expect me to lead the discussion.

The kids are watching one of the short video presentations on science4us.com

The kids are watching one of the short video presentations on Science4Us.com

But at least I get some housekeeping items out of the way while they homeschool. When was the last time you swept the floor or checked your emails while your children were learning? One must remember my children are three and six. As such, they need a lot of hand-holding throughout their learning activities. But not with Science4Us.com.

I think it also prepares them for the future, when they will walk themselves through new material and only come to me with questions. At least, that’s the future I envision and hope for.

The online subscription, which is only $7.95 per child per month, allows you access to the full curriculum which consists of four books of science – Inquiry, Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth/Space. Each book breaks down into units, which break down into modules. There are 28 modules total in Science4Us.com. For my children, it takes about one hour to finish a module. They are not bored and it goes by fast.

If you were to follow their lesson plans and if you had a larger group of students, each module would take two weeks to teach in 30-minute increments. This curriculum was designed for either a classroom setting or a homeschool setting. So you make it your own.

This is what we do: my son is six and he handles the laptop. My daughter is three and she just sits there, watching it all unfold and learning by osmosis. Pun intended. We log in and I let them choose whichever module they want to do. He walks them through the screens, which are interactive and intuitive. Now and then they ask for help and I am right there, so I help.

Science4Us Review
I have not used their lesson plans because I feel the material they cover through the online lessons and our offline discussions and activities is plenty for my children’s age. By the way, Science4Us.com is geared toward grades K-2, but children in grades 3-5 can also use it as a thorough review of prior knowledge.

If you were to use all the teacher materials provided, you would do a thorough job of teaching science. They give you a description of each lesson, core concepts covered, essential vocabulary and even professional development in the form of videos or a PDF. So even if you are shaky on some of the subject matter, the professional development area for each lesson plan will equip you to teach with confidence.

Each module is structured according to the 5-E instructional model. Thus, you will have Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. Engage is the part where the students activate prior knowledge, so that the new concepts will be connected to something they might already know. Through a short video and a quick exercise where they are asked to circle items that give natural light, for instance, they are then ready for a teacher-lead discussion.

Science4Us Review

Explore follows the same pattern: online activities which the students can do on their own, followed by offline discussions and offline activities. Explain represents the core of your lesson and teaching.

Under Elaborate, several activities have been designed to offer not only science instruction, but literacy and math concepts. Silly Bulls is a cute section where children get to break words into syllables (and yes, there are some silly bulls dancing around before and after the section, but it’s brief and almost painless). Take A Note, on the other hand, is where they learn about why and how scientists record their findings. Investigate and Alphabetizing round up this section of the lesson plan.

Finally, Evaluate tests the students. I like how they try to relax the students before taking the quiz, with a cute army of ants who sing while marching. They also say things like, “You already know this. Just show what you know.” This is good preparation for taking more formal tests, in my opinion.

Science4Us Review
I am very proud that my son gets 100% on these tests, often completely on his own. He always wants me there for the quiz though and I have to help him think through the answers sometimes. I don’t mind, because I think that, at his age, he needs to be taught the process of accessing his database of knowledge and working through answering a question.

At this point, my three-year-old daughter sits and takes it all in. She suggests a module now and then and my son obliges, clicking on the right icon. She likes repetition and some of the characters teaching them, so she will ask to repeat an activity.

Again, I think it is perfectly fine for them at this age to have fun with it and enjoy a less structured approach while getting all the benefits of learning. The other day she saw her own reflection in my computer screen and said, “Look, mama, my reflection!” I really like how they add vocabulary painlessly through these Science4Us.com lessons.

You should know that you can log in either as teacher or as student. As a teacher, you have access to your class roster, where you can add or delete students, preview curriculum, assign curriculum to certain students, monitor their progress and see how many minutes they logged in, their notebook entries and their test results. It gets so detailed, you can actually see how many attempts they had at a quiz, what they got wrong, and when they completed the test for the first time.

On their site, you will find some free examples of some of their lessons, which I invite you to take a look at. You don’t really know what a product feels like until you try it out yourself.

Science4Us Review

Here are some other ways you can connect with the team at Science4Us.com:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Science4UsSays
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/science4us/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Science4Us
G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/112259351657747584252/

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