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Monday, November 2, 2015

Standard Deviants Accelerate - Review

This is the second time we have gotten to try Standard Deviants Accelerate. and their Homeschool Courses.   The first time was almost exactly a year ago.  Last time, L-girl was my guinea pig...and lucky her...she was again this time too!  Although D-man is getting in on the action a bit too (more on that later).

They have a ton of course options for your students:

Here is the simple list of the courses that they have available:

Arithmetic - Grades 3+
Fundamental Math - Grades 4+
Earth Science - Grades 6+
Nutrition - Grades 6+
Algebra - Grades 7+
Biology - Grades 7+
Chemistry - Grades 9+
English Comp. - Grades 9+
U.S. History - Grades 9+
AP Biology - Grades 11+
AP Chemistry - Grades 11+
AP U.S. Government & Politics - Grades 11+
AP U.S. History - Grades 11+
AP Eng. Composition - Grades 11+

I think I got them all.  It is a big list!

We were boring and only used this for  Biology and Algebra for L-girl (D-man stuff later...)

Biology covers:

Moleculres and cells
Heredity and inheritance
Molecular genetics
Evolutionary biology
Organisms and populations
Human physiology and immune response

Here is Algebra...

That screen shot turned out smaller than I intended.  But, it shows that there are 7 areas under the Algebra umbrella of study:

Polynomials and Factoring
Quadratic Equations

Honestly, we like the same stuff about Standard Deviants Accelerate that we did last time.  The lessons are fairly quick and all of that jazz.  The videos  are clever and funny...and....a little quirky. L-girl is really doing well.

As the mom, I don't have to sit next to her and watch everything she is doing when she does her lessons.  Sometimes I do, just because I am reviewing it - and they always make me a laugh a little. (in the real world, if I wasn't reviewing this and we were just "doing" SDA - I probably wouldn't).  When I am not physically watching, I can just log on and check her progress report to see how she is doing.  Right now, she has an 88.5% in Algebra, as an 8th grader.

It is actually sort of funny, because Rainman usually doesn't get involved with too many of our review products.  And, honestly, most of the time doesn't even know we are working on one.  Sometimes he will say...."Hey, where did this come from?  I don't remember this."  And we will just explain that it is a review product....and he will just move on.

You may or may not remember that Rainman is sort of a mathematical genius (thus his nickname) a result of this, I will be honest and say that I pretty much leave all the higher level math teaching in his very capable hands.  (I do actually remember how to do a lot more than I thought - and I understand a lot more than I was afraid I did - now that Mr. Anlauf is not breathing down my neck)

Anyway, so, yes, L-girl is my guinea pig for this SDA course, but she is continuing to do her normal stuff with Rainman from an old algebra textbook we have.  About a week or two ago, he was a bit worried because he had been busy and hadn't gone over or corrected L-girl's "normal" algebra work he had assigned to her.  He was sort of kicking himself because he knew L-girl well enough to know that his lack of correcting things wasn't going to stop her from just plowing through and getting all her work done for the day (most of the time before he even has gotten up in the morning).  She is a diligent little thing.

So, he took her stack of work to go over and correct, said something soothing to her like, "Don't worry....if you missed stuff, it was my fault because I took so long going over stuff.  So, don't feel bad, okay?  It is my fault.  Don't kick yourself."

Well, the joke ended up being on him.  He finished correcting and she hardly had anything wrong and he said, "I don't know what you are doing differently, but it is working."

L-girl and I shared a secret little smile, told him she was working through an Algebra program for a review and all was well.

Sometimes, when I have a review product, there is a lot of moaning and groaning and complaining by my children that they are getting to try something new and cool....for free.  Ungrateful little things. Emoji   But, this time around, when I  told L-girl that we had been chosen for this one eye nothing.  So, in teenage speak, she was thrilled.  Right?

D-man using SDA:

D-man, when he transitioned from homeschool into the little college prep school that he is attending now, ended up testing well, so he was put into upper level classes - which was awesome.  Rainman and I were completely happy because it meant that, at least academically, we hadn't screwed him up.  Ha!  Only one small problem with that.... his guidance counselor just noticed that because of  him going into the higher level classes, he missed a semester of health/nutrition that he needs for graduating.  The school is allowing him to complete that course as a home study course, so we are going to work through the SDA Nutrition course at home.

Cells and macronutrients
What your body does with good
Food spectrum
Micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and water
Preventing nutritional disorders
Eating in context
Where does your food come from?
The savvy eater

Pretty sure that is going to cover all the necessary bases for his basic health/nutrition course needs before graduation!  Whew!

This is a really good, solid on-line option for homeschooling.  If you know me, you know I am not a huge fan of doing on-line or screen based school most of the time.  But, SDA makes me soften my stance on that a bit.  It is fun and quirky.  I mean, take a look at this picture and try to tell me you don't want to know what or how this is going to teach your kids something....

Prices run about $9.99/month for each course, (AP courses are $4.99)  but there is an option to get 35% off if you buy all the subjects and that also gets you lifetime access.

Take a look and see what the other TOS reviewers thought of their Standard Deviants Accelerate experiences.