Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A TOS Review: Standard Deviants Accelerate

We haven’t actually studied nutrition formally.

Unless you count “I don’t think green frosting is considered a breakfast food.”

We recently had a chance to review Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses through Standard Deviants Accelerate. I thought Josiah would benefit from a fun nutrition course, so I signed him up for the Nutrition class intended for grades 6 +.

I was fairly certain that green frosting wouldn’t be on their Top Ten List for Healthy Foods.

Standard Deviants Accelerate (SDA) is a online education resource primarily used as a supplement. I have used a few of their clips on Youtube, myself. The courses (as far as I can tell) are self-paced. I received a full year subscription and had quite a few options to choose from.

Subscription choices are:

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 did take a meander through a few of the other courses, but we focused on Nutrition. 

For the regular Standard Deviants courses, homeschoolers can purchase the course (for one student) for $99 a year or $24.95 a month. There are AP courses available as well. Those courses are available for $14.95 a month (for one student).

For the course I needed a reliable internet connection, my trusty laptop and an email account for Josiah. 

 There are 8 chapters within the curriculum. Each lesson contains the same kinds of activities. I want to show you how it works and give you an idea about how I used it.

The Nutrition Course covers the following topics.


Josiah is currently “taking” Nutrition 3 days a week. We are using it as one of his electives. The lessons generally take him about 20-25 minutes….sometimes he wants (or needs) to watch the video again.

Each lesson contains a video, vocabulary, diagram and quiz section. 

You can print a full transcript of the videos. There is also a place the student can take notes while watching the video. The student is then able to save those notes to their “Locker.” Josiah did take a few notes during our review period. I had to watch him, however. He decided that it was a good spot to write down his favorite video game playlist.

The Vocabulary section has important words along with the definition. I appreciated the audio feature. Josiah was able to review the words as needed.

The Diagram section has drag/drop activities to practice what the student has learned.

 The Quiz is where Josiah can learn if he has “learned” the material. There is immediate feedback on the quiz. 

In fact, if you get an incorrectly there is a short video with a correct answer available for viewing.

This is the view of the the Locker. Josiah can take a look at all of his work right here. I never remember my Locker in school being so cool...or so fragrance free. 

At the end of each chapter there is a review section. There are a variety activities available to try. They take into account different learning styles.

Many of the activities are for groups, but I think they can be adapted for a single student if you choose to use them. 

There is also a post test and critical thinking questions for each chapter.

My Thoughts

This program was a lot of fun for Josiah. The videos are clever and humorous. They kept him engaged. He did have to repeat the lessons. He does better when he can mull over things a bit. 

It was incredibly easy for me to use. There wasn’t any prep work…at all. It was a bit harder for me to figure out how to check on his work, but that could be because of old brain cells. 

On the flip side I am not so sure how much he is actually learning. His quiz results have been hit and miss. He is dyslexic and some of the terminology has been more challenging for him to navigate. I am not opposed to assisting him where necessary. 

Unless there is Green Frosting involved. 

On the whole I think this program is an excellent alternative to traditional education. The videos are extremely well made and the interactive aspect of the lessons really appeal to my techy guy. 

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