In our family, everyone has different strengths and interests. Science is one of those things that I want everyone to learn, but not everyone enjoys exploring it. CrossWired Science has a new online curriculum for teaching the entire family about (and how to love!) science. It’s geared toward all ages, and is full of rich resources, videos, recommended readings, quizzes, and more.
The Christian curriculum is still being developed and updated, but it will eventually provide 6 full years of homeschool science curriculum, to be used as a standalone program or as a supplement to anything you might already be using. Currently, they have released the Global Topics of Sound, and Fluid Dynamics. Each of these topics is meant to last from about a month to two months, depending on what pacing you would like to use or how many activities and field trips you would like to participate in to enrich the experience even more for your children. They have provided a few sample calendars and tips for scheduling, as seen below, or you can use it however works best for your family.
I let my kids use CrossWired Science as a supplement. I allowed them to complete things how they wanted, as long as they were working on it 3-4 times a week. They usually chose to watch a video and then complete the quiz for it, which appears below the video on the same page. There are also worksheets available, and plenty of ways for students to further explore all of the topics.
The program does save their progress and denotes “finished” lessons, so it was easy for each of my students to remember what they had already completed to keep track easily.
I had my 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 8th graders all using the program. We did it in the “First Timers” mode, which is for students new to the studies. If you do it again as a “Second Timer”, you’re able to check off everything once again and the material will likely be processed and understood differently the second time around! It would be for older students who have completed it once and are wanted to revisit the information for a more in-depth look.
I did sit with my first grader to read out the questions and answer choices to him and to discuss it a bit before he answered. He loved being able to look through the available lessons and choose what looked best. He chose to do Sound first, but each child picked which Global Topic to start with. Since it takes a month or two to complete each Global Topic, my kids should be just about done with the videos and some of the other assignments, such as devotionals, Digging Deeper exercises, additional readings, and research projects about the time our normal school year is over.
My kids have mostly been watching the videos and filling out the quizzes. In the Sound topic, they really loved the Bats & Moon Explosions video. I think that my kids have been surprised at how much they’ve been enjoying the videos. They are very kid-friendly and informative in a fun way.
The Fluid Dynamics curriculum is also really interesting, and I’ve been looking through that myself. I have enjoyed digging in and learning more about things like the advanced aerodynamics of our very own NOSES!
They have explored the other areas of the website and know that they will be completing these in time. They have looked through the book suggestions and have also read several of them. There are places in the curriculum for students to do worksheets, summaries, further reading, and more. What appears pretty simple at first glance is really just scratching at the surface once you start digging!
We have decided that we want to complete experiments together as a family in a few weeks to wrap up the program. I think that will be fun as a farewell to the school year and a great way to get hands-on learning that ties it all together. I will also be assigning the research projects as a week-long assignment for each of my kids and we’ll have them present to each other at the end of the week.
I love that the program doesn’t just tell the kids to do research, but it walks them through the steps and gives choices that make it doable for kids of all learning styles and ages. There are tons of provided recommended resources for students to use in their research. When they are done, they are even asked to do a reflective assignment summarizing how it all went. This is especially helpful for older students, and I will certainly require more detailed answers from my middle school kids.
As I mentioned, this website is still being built and fleshed out. They have added additional lessons and resources throughout the review period, so we’ve been able to see just how rich it is as a program. I am looking forward to seeing what additional Global Topics that they add to make available.
My children love learning online, so this is a wonderful way to quench that for them, but also to give them practical, hands-on (and off-screen!) activities to reinforce and expand upon their learning. We will continue to use this throughout the school year and will be anxiously waiting to see what they release next!
Are you interested in how other families used this program with their kids? Click the link below for more reviews: