Wednesday, April 17, 2019

CrossWired Science (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Our family loves science.  From looking at pond water under the microscope to viewing the stars on a clear night, watching the life cycle of butterflies from caterpillars to adult and making salt crystals, my kids love learning science.  For the past few weeks, the kids and I have been having a blast learning about the science behind Sound, and Fluid Dynamics using CrossWired Science.

For this review, we were given a full year access to the CrossWired Science website for both Ashleigh and Garrett.

Designed from a Biblical standpoint, CrossWired Science can be used by any grade level (K-12th) and can be used either as a stand alone curriculum or as a supplement to your current science curriculum.  CrossWired Science is currently in its early beginnings and offers studies in Fluid Dynamics and Sound, but will be adding more units to their lineup over the next few months.

Students have their choice of either First Timer or Second Timer options.  While these two options include the same video lessons, but the questions, researching assignments and reading options offered to go along with the curriculum are designed for more advanced students, those students who want to dig deeper into the material, or those who have already gone thru the first timer materials previously.

We have had a ton of fun learning with CrossWired Science.  The kids decided that they wanted to start with the Sound Portion of the lessons and have worked their way through those lessons.

Since we had not previously used lessons from CrossWired Science before, we opted to work through the "First Timers" option Over the course of these lessons, they have learned about sonar, echolocation, and how the internal ear works, among other things.

We found the videos to be fun, entertaining and very informative.  Each video is roughly 5-10 minutes in length and include some really cute graphics that really appealed to the kids and had them paying attention.  The combination of the shorter videos and the appealing graphics seemed the perfect formula for Garrett and Ash.

 And it was a good thing that they were paying attention, because after each video is a 10 question quiz that consisted of true and false questions.  Answers come directly from the video.  CrossWired Science also adds a feature that allows the student to pause the video and take notes with a built in notepad.

Each video also has an available PDF worksheet that can be downloaded, printed out and the student can fill out for each lesson.   While we did not use the worksheets for this time around (Garrett takes FOREVER to write out the simplest of answers), I have looked over the worksheets and found them to be a great addition to the material.  I will probably start printing them out for Ashleigh to use once we move into the "Second Timers" curriculum.
In addition to the video and worksheets, the curriculum also had sections that include research ideas and experiment projects.  We found some really neat ideas for experiments that reinforced the material learned in the lesson.  We really wanted to do more of the experiments then we had the opportunity to do but due to our location, we were unable to obtain some very basic items.  This wasn't due to the curriculum or for the materials required being rare - just that they weren't items available on our base.  Example - there was a really neat experiment to create a microphone using pencil graphite, alligator clips, a battery, headphones and a matchbox.  I was able to obtain everything except a box of matches..  Another cool experiment was creating a record player - but we could not get access to a vinyl record.  However, we had a lot of fun watching videos of record players and how they work.   We did, however, have fun making the string phones.

We also really enjoyed the section that had various videos for the kids to watch.  These videos didn't seem to have any particular ties to the lessons that we were learning but were still science related and were fun.  Garrett really enjoyed the one about the "Man Vs Cassowary!" and Ashleigh enjoyed "The Magic of the Butterfly Scales".

We would have really enjoyed using the program more, however, we hit a minor setback.  Since we decided to start with the Sound aspect of the curriculum rather than the Fluid Dynamics portion and since the program is currently being added to, we ended reaching a point to where the material had yet to be uploaded.  This didn't last very long, however, as we received an email letting us know that the material had been added so we have picked back up where we left off.

As we move on thru the courses, the kids will be adding outside reading material.  I really appreciate that the materials suggested are faith based, such as YWAM Publishing selections, Creation Illustrated Magazine, Answers in Genesis and other faith based selections.  Since Garrett really enjoys the biographies from YWAM, he will be reading about George Washington Carver while Ashleigh will be reading a few back issues of Creation Illustrated. Both will have to prepare a oral report over what they learn based on what they read.

Another aspect of the curriculum that we are enjoying is the field trip ideas.  One of the suggestions is camping trips, so we took the kids camping and hiking thru nearby Red Rock Canyon State Park.  The kids had a great time observing the flora and fauna of the area and looking at the geology of the area.  We will also be using a visit to Yosemite National Park, Griffith Observatory and the Museum of Natural History as other field trip ideas that the website suggests.

Overall, we've been really happy with this online curriculum, especially as a stand alone unit studies.  As more material is added, I can see where this could eventually progress to a full science curriculum, especially when using the research, reading and report options.

#hsreviews #science #onlinescience #onlinesciencelessons #CWS #homeschoolscience #learningonline

Be sure to click the banner below to read the reviews of other Crew members and see how they used CrossWired Science in their homeschool.

Sound, and Fluid Dynamics {CrossWired Science Reviews}

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