Friday, October 30, 2015

Standard Deviants Accelerate

I had the opportunity to review Homeschool Courses by, Standard Deviants Accelerate. Standard Deviants Accelerate or SDA for short is an online, homeschool supplemental curriculum. SDA is affordable and allows your student to work at their own pace. This curriculum is a secular, non-religious curriculum supplement. There are courses for grades 3-12. 

Standard Deviants Accelerate has courses in the following subjects:
  • Arithmetic (grades 3+)
  • Fundamental Math (grades 4+)
  • Earth Science (grades 6+)
  • Nutrition (grades 6+)
  • Biology (grades 7+)
  • Algebra (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. Gov. & Politics (grades 11+)
  • AP Eng. Composition (grades 11+)

The Cast
Unlike many online curriculums, SDA uses a cast of hilariously, funny individuals. There is no boring, monotone professor teaching. This crew of corny, a bit nerdy individuals help make learning subjects a bit more fun. If you have to learn you might as well have fun!! 

Each subject has videos, full transcript printable option, vocabulary, diagrams, quizzes, written answer questions, act it out, post-test, and more. The instructional videos are fairly short in length, many being between an average of 2-12 minutes in length. The site is very user friendly and easy to navigate. The layout and user options are clear and easy to follow. The drop down, My Desk, keeps track of your classes and progress. The Administrator Toolbox is available for grading and progress reports. SDA did a fabulous job of creating a user friendly, academically fun program. 

Who used the curriculum
I used SDA with my 4th, 7th, and 9th graders. 

My 9th grader loves history so I had him work through US History (grades 9+). Along with watching the videos my son printed out the full transcripts so that he could highlight, make notes, and keep the transcripts for future reference. This was a great supplement to our primarily, literature based history curriculum. It provided a great overview of history and reinforced what my son is currently reading for history. 

My 7th grader worked through Nutrition (grades 6+). Food is actually my daughter's foe due to severe allergy and GI issues. I thought that she would enjoy studying nutrition to help her better understand the role of nutrition and the body. She really found the lessons fascination and informative. This is one subject that I tend to neglect in our homeschooling studies. I was very excited to see that this was included in the list of subjects. This will definitely be a subject that I will have all of my older children complete. 

In one particular chapter review the student is asked to "act it out". My daughter thought this was great. My daughter had to develop a lesson plan. She was given topics to choose from and audience groups to choose from. My daughter chose this scenario: 

TOPIC 3: "Why is the tradition of gathering around the table at mealtimes important?"

"Cavemen learn best via primitive cave drawings. Use drawings, symbols, or charts to teach the topic. Speech can be used, but the visual aid should be the main teaching device. Don't worry if you can't draw well - there's always stick figures!"

My daughter had everyone rolling in laughter as she presented this. 

My 4th grader worked through selected section of the Arithmetic (grades 3+). My daughter struggles with math and I am always looking for curriculums that will help. She needs a great deal of repetition, more than most of my older children needed. SDA videos explained the concepts in a manner that my daughter was able to understand and follow. She loved the crazy crew. 

Final Thoughts
I really, really liked this program. I would highly recommend it to other homeschoolers. I greatly appreciated the disclaimer that SDA taught science based on evolution and the Big Bang Theory. Our family believes in Creation, so do not hold to the science views taught by Standard Deviants Accelerate. The fact that they acknowledged other views was very considerate. This in no way deterred us from using the program. I will most definitely continue to use the program with my children. 

To read more reviews click HERE

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