I am not a science oriented person. I did not take a single science course in high school. I avoided Biology completely. I did my best to avoid chemistry as well, choosing to meet my college science with a lab requirements by taking Geology classes. Dissecting a rock is much easier than dissecting a frog! As a home school mom I’ve learned to love science, but even though I’ve had two high school students complete biology in my home school, I still prefer that someone else teach it.
Tailorbear loves biology. The options I used with BooBear and Turtlegirl require more independent study and so are not as suitable for Tailorbear’s temperament. We were excited to see Fascinating Biology offered from Fascinating Education.
Dr. Margulies is the founder and creator of Fascinating Education. He is a neurologist, author of three educational textbooks and currently holds the title clinical assistant professor at two universities. As a neurologist he understands the brain. He understands how it works and how we learning. Tailorbear struggles with focusing her attention, Dr. Margulies understands how attention is focused, and on how motivation affects learning. Since Tailorbear struggles with focusing her attention, Dr. Margulies Biology program would seem tailor made.
Fascinating Biology uses an audio/visual approach to present the material. Students listen to a lecture while watching slides. It is designed to cover what you would find in a typical high school course. There are 19 Lessons and each lesson includes the audio lecture with video, a glossary tab, a script and a test. I love that each lesson has a transcript of the lecture that you can download. The average length of each presentation is about 45 minutes.
The tests can be taken online and automatically graded or the parent can use a special password to access printable tests along with answer keys and administer a paper test. The test questions are multiple choice. Once the student has completed the test, her score, along with the minimum passing score are revealed. Students have the option of retaking the test, or printing the test score.
If you would like more detailed information on how the program works, Dr. Margulies has created a detailed tutorial that demonstrates step by step how to log in to the course and use the tools. The tutorial is presented the same way as course lessons.
Some Things To Note:
This program does not have a lab option for biology. I think including labs would take this closer to being a college prep level high school biology program. Also, this biology course is written from a biochemistry point of view and the suggested sequence for Fascinating Education curricula is Chemistry, Biology, and then Physics. Tailorbear has completed an integrated Chemistry and Physics course so I felt she had the prerequisite background in chemistry to start with biology. For students who want to take biology but have not had chemistry Fascinating Education does offer a subset of Chemistry for a $20 add on.
Thoughts from Tailorbear:
"I really like the format of the lectures. It gave me a visual and auditory way to learn the material. And it was very helpful. I really like the test format too. This gave me a way to understand what I missed. Overall I love this biology program! I really feel like I am learning science!"
Like Tailorbear, I like the format of the lectures. I also love that a transcript of the lecture is available so that the student can review the material. I do wish however, that the program included labs. I’m also concerned that there is enough material and that is presented in-depth enough for a full high school credit of Biology. This program is wonderful as a spine and I love that my daughter loves it. We’ll be adding in supplemental material and labs so that I can be sure she has covered enough to earn a full high school biology credit to put on her transcript.
- The Vendor: Fascinating Education
- The Product: Fascinating Biology
- Format: Online Subscription
- Age Range: High School though some middle school students could do the program
- Price: $79 for Full Year Access
- Also Available: Fascinating Chemistry and Fascinating Physics
- NOTE: You can view a SAMPLE lesson and read the FAQ to get even more information about Fascinating Education and Fascinating Biology.
You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews to find more great products.