This post: Looking for online homeschool science? Let me tell you about the curriculum our family loves (hint: you’ll never lesson plan or grade tests again).
Teaching kids science isn’t my strong suite. I’m the mom who botched every science experiment ever attempted. Eventually, I gave up trying to make a “hands on” science cirruculum work.
I mostly enjoy learning alongside my kids, which means I prefer not to be the “expert” and just let an online homeschool science do the work for me.
The only catch?
Online science curricula are not created equal. Most are over-priced. Others are too rigorous or just downright boring. I’ve got neither time nor money to waste, and that’s how the search for an online science curriculum began.
Since most of my five kids are audio or kinesthetic learners, textbook-based curricula isn’t usually a good fit. (Reason number one we switched from traditional homeschooling to Charlotte Mason methods.) Something visually and audibly engaging, like a video-based course, fits the bill; so last summer I started searching for an online science course. With my kids’ learning styles in mind, here’s what I looked for:
- Something that worked for multiple ages + grades (since I still have four kids in school).
- Little or no prep time required from me (remember, I’m not a science girl!).
- No lengthy reading assignments for my kids (dyslexia + boys = enough said).
What I found.
Well, I found exactly what I went looking for. But before I share my great discovery, let me tell you the back story.
I’ve been homeschooling my kids ever since Noah built the Ark. (Or maybe it just feels that way?) About a decade ago, I discovered Luke + Trisha Gilkerson: a super cool husband-and-wife team who are the parents of five boys (+ a baby girl), amazing writers, and passionate educators. They are also the genius minds behind my favorite Scripture copywork curriculum, Write Through the Bible (which I’ve talk about a lot here on the blog).
Since I’ve used their handwriting curriculum for years, I’m familiar with the quality of their work. So when I received an email telling about their new video-based homeschool courses- Journey Homeschool Academy– I was immediately interested.
I previewed the science courses and enrolled all four of my kids.
Bottom line: Subscribe to amazing bloggers + read their emails. You just never know what solution will land in your inbox. *wink*
Perks of an Online Homeschool Science
At the time I’m writing this article, my kids have nearly completed Luke + Trisha’s online science course, Experience Astronomy. I’ll give you the full review in a minute, but first here’s a peek at the benefits of choosing this video-based cirruculum.
All the Sciences (+More)
You really don’t have to be an expert (for me, that’s a huge relief!). Luke has got us covered in Biology, Astronomy, Chemistry + Earth Science, and Trisha picks up with a great online Bible curriculum.
Want to take a look? You can preview all the courses here.
Something for K – 12th
If you’re like me + have kids of multiple ages, Journey Academy’s science is a really great solution. Astronomy + Earth Science are available in three levels: elementary, middle school, and high school. That means the whole family can study the same subject at the same time, at their own levels.
Really, the elementary courses (Astronomy, Biology, + Earth Science) could easily work for students as young as kindergarten age. See my tips for teaching younger siblings alongside an older student.
Just need high school classes? Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry + New Testament Survey are available for high school students.
Absolutely No Lesson Planning, Ever
This is a big perk for me, and I think lots of homeschooling moms would agree. Journey Homeschool courses are completely pre-scheduled+ ready to use once the school year kicks off. There’s NO lesson planning, EVER.
Honestly, they had me right here! But there’s more…
Yep, it keeps getting better! There’s no teaching involved, only learning along with your kids, if you choose to. (I recommend it!) Luke is an amazing teacher who really does make science so fun + interesting.
The online quizzes and exams are automatically graded. The only thing I ever have to “check” are the worksheets (answers are provided in the back of workbooks).
No Heavy Reading
This is great if you have younger kids, struggling readers, dyslexic kids, or (ahem) boys who don’t love spending hours in a book. The weekly reading assignments are thorough, but not overwhelming. Most of the learning takes place through review + video lessons/lectures.
Bottom line: Since families with multiple ages can dive in and learn together, each at their own level- plus no lesson planning, teaching, or grading is required- this curriculum really is a huge win for homeschooling moms.
Now let’s take a peek at how the online courses are set up!
How It All Works
The first step is enrolling your student(s) in a Journey Academy course.
If you’re enrolling more than one student in the same family, be sure + take advantage of the sibling discount!
Next, you’ll set up your student’s profile on the site. Each of your students will have a separate login and will need their own email. From the student dashboard, kids can access video lessons, take quizes + tests, view memory work videos, watch tutorials for projects, and more.
You will have a parent login. From the dashboard, you can access your students’ grades, completed work, or contact customer support with questions or issues. (By the way, we’ve encountered zero issues with the video lessons + have had an excellent experience with customer support.)
If you enroll in a middle school or high school level, courses begin in late-August or mid-September. You’ll receive emails from Journey Academy with lots of prep ideas, books or workbooks to order, and links for helpful downloads.
Before the school year kicks off, you’ll want to order textbooks, workbooks, or memory cards for your students. These are very affordable + super helpful.
Once the course begins in the fall, your middle school or high school students will receive one new lesson per week for the duration of the school year. They will need to complete each week’s assigned lessons, reading, and quizzes before the next lesson is released. In other words, there’s accountability for both you + your student to stay on track (not hard to do), and the new lesson automatically “drips” each week.
Elementary Science Courses
Elementary courses are a bit different. Instead of “dripping” on a preset schedule, the lessons are completely self-paced. Students have access to all of their video lessons right away.
Bottom line: Journey Homeschool Academy courses are uncomplicated, user-friendly, + engaging video-based courses that moms will love as much as their kids.
Our “Experience Astronomy” Review
This school year, we chose to study astronomy, so that’s what I’ll be reviewing in this post.
Keep in mind that if you’re looking for an online homeschool biology class, life science homeschool curriculum, homeschool earth science curriculum, or an online homeschool chemistry course, Journey Homeschool Academy has got you covered! I plan to enroll in their other science courses in the future, but for now we’ve thoroughly enjoyed all three levels of Experience Astronomy.
What We’ve Loved About “Experience Astronomy”
I don’t remember anything about the solar system from my elementary years. I’m not even sure if I studied it in middle school or high school.
I’m pretty sure my kids are having a difference experience! I’ve learned so much alongside my kids this year with the Experience Astronomy courses. Here’s how that has looked for us in real life.
High School Astronomy
My ninth grade daughter, Emily, really isn’t a science fan. In fact, she happens to prefer Broadway musicals and theatre over science, any day of the week. The good news? We’ve both been pleasantly surprised at how much she’s enjoyed this course.
Her weekly high school astronomy lessons include watching a “lecture” by Luke (typically about 20 minutes long); completing a reading assignment in this textbook; worksheet assignments; field guide activities; and a weekly quiz. At the end of each semester, there’s an exam, and one final exam at the end of the year.
Once she’s completed the full course in May, Emily will have earned one science credit for her high school transcript.
Bottom line: The high school level of Experience Astronomy is engaging, interesting, and thorough, but leaves time for other passions (like theatre) for students who aren’t big into science. If you want a more hands on science experience, you can dig deeper with the Field Guide; there are lots of star gazing activities, charts, and other cool stuff for science kids to enjoy.
Middle School Astonomy
My 13-year old son, Keith, is a bit more interested in science than his sister. He has thoroughly enjoyed the middle school Experience Astronomy course. This kid is a social learner, so I watch his weekly lectures (which are the same as the high school course lectures) with him whenever I can. When I miss a video, he voluntarily talks about what he’s learning- a big indication of how much he engages with the content.
Keith, who is in 7th grade, has a similar learning path as his high school sister: a weekly lecture + online quiz, textbook reading (but not too much), worksheets to answer, and an optional field guide assignment. The middle school astronomy also has semester exams, and one final exam at the end of the year.
Because the middle school level has fewer assignment than the high school course, it doesn’t count as a high school credit.
Bottom line: The middle school Experience Astronomy course is ideal for a 7th or 8th grader who learns best with a visual/audio teaching style. My kiddo is proof that it works for dyslexic boys. xo Enough said!
My two youngest kids, Colton (fifth grade) and Caleb (third grade) are taking elementary Experience Astronomy together. These boys look forward to their weekly science videos and, yes, I watch them too. Together, we’ve learned so much about the solar system, and typically our science conversations continue throughout the week.
As I already mentioned, the elementary videos are available on demand and the course is self-paced. There are 30 video lessons for the school year, and each lesson has a corresponding lesson in the workbook. My boys watch one or two science videos each week; the videos are different from the middle school and high school level lectures (shorter, less details, super engaging for kids).
Teaching a Younger Sibling Along with an Older Student
It’s been absolutely seamless to combine my fifth and third grade boys’ learning experience with this science course. Here’s how we do it:
Tailor the work. Colton, who is in fifth grade, does the workbook assignments several days a week. The worksheets include a weekly quiz, plus Scripture handwriting practice. Caleb, the third grader, only watches the video lessons. Since he isn’t a strong reader or writer yet, I didn’t order a workbook for him.
Buy the memory cards + use them. Along with the astronomy Workbooks, Journey Academy offers pre-made memory cards that go along with each of the 30 lessons in the course. I highly recommend these! The memory cards are a fun + easy way to review what you’re learning, and it’s easy to include younger siblings.
Implement the recommended picture books. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the recommended picture books that correspond with the online video lessons. This is another simple + fun way to engage a younger child who’s learning alongside an older student. I prefer to buy books instead of borrowing them, but that can get a bit pricey. I look for the recommended science books at our local library… and order the ones I really like from Amazon. xo
If you’re interested in honest Journey Homeschool Academy reviews, let me summarize with this statement: What sold me on this online homeschool science is the fact that my kids cannot get enough of it. They talk about science throughout the day, all week long. The younger boys love wearing their science tee shirts, and I often find them “playing astronauts” throughout the day. Caleb, who will turn nine next week, asked if he could watch two of Mr. Luke’s science videos for his birthday. So there you go!
Experience Astronomy has made science come alive for all of us this year. I whole-heartedly recommend this astronomy homeschool curriculum, and fully believe that each of the other science courses will be equally professional and engaging.
Well done, Luke + Trisha!
Interested in finding out more?
Want to try before you buy? Journey Homeschool Academy offers some fabulous mini courses for families! Click the images below to grab a free online course:
Have you ever tried an online homeschool science? Or are you familiar with Journey Academy science courses? I’d love to hear your thoughts + experiences!