Monday, March 09, 2015

Visual Learning Systems ~ Review

Friends, in our family, we love all things science. We love watching science videos, reading science books, doing science experiments and especially reviewing science products. We were recently blessed with the opportunity to review Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition (Grades K-5) and the Secondary Edition (Grades 6-12) from Visual Learning Systems. I reviewed this with my daughters who are 11, 10, and 8 and we absolutely loved this review. 

Visual Learning Systems is a great company that offers a wonderful online science program called Digital Science Online. It is full of wonderful lessons, high-quality videos, animations, student worksheets and teaching guides. Teachers and students have 24/7 access to Visual Learning Systems’ vast online science media library. 

Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition is made up of topics for the K-5 levels. There are two groups: the primary level for K-2 and the elementary level for grades 2-5. You may pick and choose which subject and topics you would like to learn about in either of the levels. For this review we also had access to the Secondary Edition, which is for grades 6-12. We didn't get around to exploring this edition as much as I would have liked, but definitely plan to do so in the near future.

We mostly used Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition  for grades 2-5. In this section there are three subjects to choose from. The subjects are Physical, Earth and Life. We loved the many different topics to choose from within each subject. 

Once we choose a topic to learn about, we were able to watch a high-quality video. The videos are broke down into chapters. I really loved this about the videos. It made watching them easier. If we needed to go back and review a portion, we didn't have to go through the whole video searching. At the end of each video there is a video assessment. This was wonderful. The assessments allowed my daughters and I to see how much we retained and learned during the course of the video.   

A favorite part for my daughters was also being able to see animations and images that are included in the videos. I have very visual children and these options truly helped my daughters learn more. My favorite part was of course the teacher guides. I loved that I had the choice to download and print out wonderful worksheets as they were needed and the option to download and print out the full guide. I always enjoyed printing out the a worksheet called video review. The video review worksheet allowed my daughters to answer questions as they watched the video. This was extremely helpful for remembering key points within the videos.

We found that Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition (Grades K-5) not only taught us visually but also allowed us to get very hands-on with each topic. For instance, when my daughters learned about landforms, I was able to download a worksheet that gave us very clear instructions on making salt dough landforms. This was so fun for my daughters. I loved that they seemed to be having so much fun learning. That's always what I aim for when teaching my daughters and Visual Learning Systems helped me achieve that. 

Through the course of the review my daughters learned about Earth's Nearest Neighbors, Earth's Rotation and Revolution, Landforms, and Minerals. We are looking forward to learning about so much more. Visual Learning Systems was a true blessing to our family. 

How much does it cost?

Visual Learning Systems offers subscription pricing for both public and homeschool families. 

If you are a public school, the pricing is 90 cents per student, with a $300 minimum order, per year. 

Homeschool pricing for the online program is $99/yr. for the elementary edition (K-5) and $99/yr for the secondary edition (6-12). This does not include any public performance rights. 

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Visual Learning Systems Review

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