Last year we had great fun reviewing Standard Deviants Accelerate. In fact, Firecracker found the Earth Science class that he took last year to be so much fun that he has even asked a little this fall about “using the class with all the funny videos.” So, when we received another opportunity to review the Homeschool Courses that Standard Deviants Accelerate offers, I knew that Firecracker would want me to take the review.
About Standard Deviants Accelerate
Standard Deviants Accelerate offers a large amount of supplemental courses in various subject areas for middle and high school students. The subjects that they offer range from basic arithmetic and algebra, to middle and high school science topics, US History, and AP Classics in many subjects. These classes are video-rich and are attuned to the humor and pacing that middle school and high school aged students appreciate.
They gave us the opportunity to access and use any of the classes on their website that we wished during this review, but since my Firecracker is a fifth grader, and we completed the Earth Science class last year, we elected to try out the Nutrition class this year.
The Nutrition course is a course that is meant for sixth grade and up. This course teaches about the building blocks of food, the types of food we eat and how that all affects our bodies. This course is broken into eight main subject areas for study:
- Cells and Macronutrients
- What Your Body Does with Food
- The Food Spectrum
- Micronutrients: Vitamins, Minerals and Water
- Preventing Nutritional Disorders
- Eating in Context
- Where Does Your Food Come From?
- The Savvy Eater
These eight subject areas are each broken again into 3-6 segments per major area. For example, in the Cells and Macronutrients area, there were segments on:
- What is Nutrition?
With each segment of the class, there is a 5-15 minute video, length depending on the complexity of topic, a set of vocabulary words, a chart or diagram to fill out, a quiz and a place for more extensive writing. Most days, we watched a video, completed a diagram, and took a quiz. One of the features that I most love about the quizzes is that when Firecracker got the answer wrong, he was able to pull up the video clip that contained the answer and rewatch the clip for reinforcement.
Our basic opinion still hasn’t changed. This is a great resource of videos, quizzes and vocabulary for studying the subjects that they offer. The videos are funny and memorable. They’re enjoyable to watch, and I think that Firecracker and I both learned a lot from sitting and watching these videos.
I found, as I watched these videos that they are so jam-packed with information that sometimes they are difficult to absorb everything that you’d want to learn from a video. As a parent and teacher, I’d love to have the videos broken into smaller segments to target exactly what we’re learning at any given point. I understand that this is a supplemental class, but I’m just thinking about the things that would make this easier to use in daily lessons with my fifth grader. My main concern is that the class is so fast paced that I’m not sure how well Firecracker is able to retain the material.
On the other hand, watching is pure pleasure, and we’d often find ourselves watching a video three or four times to absorb everything and because the videos were just that much fun. Not everything you do in schooling is that fun, so it’s nice when you’re able to take a class and have it be fun too. On that level, I heartily recommend that if you have a subject you’re studying that Standard Deviants Accelerate makes a class to go with that the videos alone are worth the price of the subscription.