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Oct 22, 2014

Standard Deviants Accelerate ~ Online Learning Resource Review

We're enjoying more and more online learning resources. I've learned that Mal and Xav really benefit from a multi-sensory learning experience.  Standard Deviants Accelerate fits the bill.  The videos are jam packed with information and delivered in a funny, catchy way.  SDA has been around for 20 years, but don't worry.  You won't be subjected to dated videos and outdated information.  It's all new.  This review is for Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses.

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

This online curriculum supplement provides course instruction for grades three and up in Math, Science, Social Studies, English, and AP Test Prep.

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 Biolody - Grades 11+
AP Chemistry - Grades 11+
AP U.S. Government & Politics - Grades 11+
AP U.S. History - Grades 11+
AP Eng. Composition - Grades 11+

Danielle at Cerebellum (SDA's parent) was very accommodating and helpful about scheduling a webinar with me when I wasn't able to log in for the original appointment with The Crew.  I'm not sure how many ladies took advantage of Danielle's expertise, but it was well worth the time and she was able to answer my questions, correct my setup errors, and tell me a bit about what might be in the works to make the program more homeschooler friendly.  She also graciously accepted the few suggestions I had and took note of needs/wants I expressed.   I recommend scheduling a webinar when you start SDA.

Humorous videos with several short, memorable segments cover the topics.
Transcripts of the video lessons are available to print, read, and highlight.  Highlighting.  It's a sickness I have.  Seriously.  The video session also allows for note-taking right in the program and saving that to the student's "locker" for future review.

The student can read these or click on the little speaker and listen to the vocabulary word and the definition.  These are taken directly out of the video.

Rather than scoring right or wrong answers, this section records how many tries, or clicks, the student needed to complete the activity correctly.  I didn't like that only the correct answers would stick in place.  I tend to prefer to see where they are making the mistake, whether it's one area or the whole thing.  When I spoke with Danielle, it all sort of made sense, though I still disagreed on that point.  I just like grades.

Nutrition - We're just starting this course.
A short quiz checks for retention.  The neat thing about these quizzes, if you miss a question (or five) the answer is provided along with a direct link to the video segment with the correct answer.

Written Answer
Answer a critical thinking-type question or two.

There's a grading rubric, which is editable.  I've never used one before, but I think it's a useful tool.  I will likely use it as is.  I see no reason to reinvent the rubric wheel.  In fact, I wouldn't know how to reinvent a rubric wheel.  They have terrific explanations already.

The chapter review is made up of three sections;
  • a group activity.  This hilarious activity is for a group.  I had a class of one.  That class was Malachi.  There is no playacting with him.  Many families could complete this activity if siblings and parents were willing participants.  And why wouldn't they be?  This truly is a funny exercise.  Choose your audience, teach them a topic.

Now *that* is funny!

  • a post-test.  This test consists completely of questions already tested.  If the student misses many questions, they'll all be questions they've missed.  Otherwise, it's a random assortment of questions from the quizzes.
  • and a critical thinking section.  There were two choices for the critical thinking section, which you choose based on the student's mastery of the topic.  These questions are pretty silly, involving aliens, apple stealing squirrels, and wedding cake.  Not all at the same time, though!
Critical Thinking questions from an algebra section.

Parents/Teachers can use the progress report to see how they are doing.  Here are Mal's quiz scores.  The written reports and group activities will have arrows in them as well when that part of the topic is completed.  Simply click on those sections to see the scores there.

Students need their own email to sign in.  I needed to use three of my various emails to set up a teacher account for myself and an account each for Malachi and Xavier.  I ended up not using SDA at all with Xavier yet.  Malachi has been using Arithmetic at a very slow rate.  He grasps concepts fairly well, but he really struggles with his facts.  He's learning new things, but doesn't have the tools to apply that information in practice.  Arithmetic covers decimals, fractions, and graphs, as well as the basic adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.   I did speak to Danielle about the younger ages of my boys and we both think the Nutrition and Earth Science courses could certainly be used in a limited way for both of them.  Those courses are for 6th grade and up.  Vermont likes to see some health education on our portfolios, so SDA can fulfill that this year with Nutrition.

If you are educating anyone in late elementary, middle school, or high school, there is a course or more for your family.  And... if it's important to you, Standard Deviants Accelerate aligns to state, national, and Common Core standards in every one of the classes offered.

Price for regular courses is $99/year or $24.95/month.  The courses include a full year of content.
AP test prep is $14.95/month.
Ages 8-Adult.

Try out a course with this six month free trial.

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

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