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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Homeschooling Science Online with CyberEd

This year for science my family chose CyberEd science online, available through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. Now the news has been released that CyberEd are closing their business doors. This product is available only until December 3rd at 1pm Eastern, and only, I believe, through Homeschool Buyers Co-op. Subscriptions run for one calendar year and will be honored; sign up now and you can cover science needs until December 2009. Given that I've found a science curriculum supplier we are extremely pleased with, I am left wondering what to do.

Game Boy has been using the CyberEd Physical Science course, which is just the right level for a middle schooler. He hasn't complained at all about this course, which is a big endorsement around our house. In fact he is self-motivated; he works on it every school day without prompting from me. Of course he might rather be playing a video game, but he likes the interaction of this course. I've every reason to believe that while using CyberEd Physical Science he is tying together a lot of knowledge gained from years of TV science programs, and masses of science books he's read over and over. The only thing it is lacking is related hands-on experiments, which I can easily cover from a few of the Usborne science books I have on my bookshelves. Since Game Boy is a good way through the Physical Science course, I'm seriously contemplating signing up for the Life Science and Earth Science courses - I think he could get to the end of all 3 by December 2009.

Artist Girl, who is working at high school level, is using CyberEd Biology. What she likes about this course is that it is to the point and does not cover any excess unnecessary stuff. In fact CyberEd Biology is described as Introductory to AP Biology. I'd say that is pretty accurate. For Artist Girl it's a pretty big assignment to get through this course in one year. She knows a lot of Biology already from previous homeschool studying; it's the terminology/vocabulary that makes it challenging. With a motivated student who has a good background knowledge you can get through the course in one year. You don't have to do the whole course though. One thing you get with the course is an extremely comprehensive guide to how CyberEd Biology fits with your state standards. Let's say that guide is not for the faint hearted. What it conveyed to me however was that once Artist Girl finishes CyberEd Biology she will have covered almost all of the Kansas state requirements for Biology, a good number of the requirements for Chemistry, and even some of the Physics requirements. I had every intention of us using CyberEd Chemistry next year, but I know we can't get through the remainder of Biology and start Chemistry now and get through Chemistry by December of 2009. So much for finding a course format we like; unless Homeschool Buyers Co-op pull off some kind of alternative agreement, we'll be searching for something else.

OK, well if you like the sound of CyberEd science courses, hot-foot it over there to Homeschool Buyers Co-op and get signed up before the December 3rd deadline. I can thoroughly recommend the Physical Science, Earth Science, and Life Science courses for your independent middle schooler who likes computer based learning. The high school courses I think are wonderful, but not for everyone.

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1 comment:

Anthony said...

I don't know any other resource better to study biology than Biology Questions and Answers. A simple, logical and well organized website.

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