My Turtlegirl loves science. She completed a physics course early in high school but neither of us have been confident that it provided enough of the math part of physics. Since her high school career is winding down and we’re in the college app and h.s. transcript stage I began to panic wondering what to do about her Physics credit.
Last year, Tailorbear had the opportunity to try the biology course from Fascinating Education. When the crew offered the chance to review Fascinating Physics, Turtlegirl and I decided that we needed to check it out.
Dr. Marguiles, a neurologist, developed Fascinating Science. He sees learning as a neurological issue and uses his education, training, and experience to help kids understand how our world works.
Fascinating Education uses an audiovisual technique. Students hear science explained in a step by step manner that breaks down complicated science into easy to understand “plain English.” While hearing the lecture, the student sees visual images in the form of slides. Many of these slides are animated. Images help students to process information better than just reading the text alone or hearing a lecture.
Each lesson is comprised of three parts:
- The Lesson Player ~ The Lesson Player has two tabs: Menu, which is the audio-visual lecture with slides, and Glossary which contains the terms and definitions for that lesson.
- Text Copy of the Script ~ This is in PDF form and can be downloaded. The student can use this to review the material from the test. The script contains the written lecture and copies of the slides.
- An Online Test ~ The online test also includes explanations to the questions. There are pdf copies of the tests available under a special teacher only password area for those who prefer to use a physical test.
Fascinating Physics Course
Dr. Margulies divided the Fascinating Physics course into 15 lessons. That doesn’t seem like a very long course but each lesson lecture is brimming with information. For example, Lesson 2 includes 27 slides or 27 sections of information on the topic of Vectors. (Note: Slides are not numbered in the Lesson Player, but they are numbered in the Script. I think it would be helpful to include the slide numbers with the topics in the menu of the Lesson Player)
Fascinating Education courses are designed to cover what you would expect to find covered in a typical high school course. Students contemplating the physics course should be proficient in basic algebra and geometry.
Using Fascinating Physics
Turtlegirl spends about 45 minutes a day working through physics. She does not cover one lesson in one day. “That would cause my brain to explode.” She sets the timer for 30 minutes and uses the Lesson Player to watch as many slides as she can during that time. She takes notes as this helps her to process the information. She then spends about 15 minutes reviewing her notes and the script for the slides she watched. She had a slow start as she was overwhelmed with the sheer volume contained in the lesson. Once we came up with a structured approach, things have gone much better. I think having more “catch your breath” slides throughout all the lessons would help students like Turtlegirl who need to take time to digest all the information.
Both Turtlegirl and I thought that she would move quickly through Fascinating Physics course because she had already worked through physics with another program. We were a little concerned about the math but the math was the main reason we wanted her to take this course.
Turtlegirl says that the concepts are very well explained and she is having no trouble understanding the science. Here’s her words:
The teacher explains the concepts really well, and it's easy to understand the concepts. However, I wish there was more explanation of the equations, and more on how to create and solve those equations. It’s not that I don’t understand the math concepts, it’s that I don’t understand how to apply them. I don’t know which equations I am supposed to use when. I wish he would include a list of equations at the end of every lesson.
Both of us think this is a thorough program that explains physics well.
- The Vendor: Fascinating Education
- The Product: Fascinating Physics
- The Author: Dr. Sheldon Margulies
- Format: Online Subscription with downloadable PDF scripts and test options
- Age Range: High School ~ The physics course requires basic proficiency in algebra and geometry
- Price: $79 for a single subject for a full year. Combo packages are also available.
- Also Available: Fascinating Biology and Fascinating Chemistry
- NOTE: Read my review of Fascinating Biology
You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews to find more great products.