Liberty and Eden, ages 9 and 11, have been working through several courses on Standard Deviants Accelerate with their Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses. Liberty’s grade level put her into four classes, Arithmetic, Fundamental Math, Earth Science, and Nutrition. I tried to get her time on the computer four times a week for half hour to an hour. Eden’s grade level put her in Arithmetic and Fundamental Math, but she worked a grade ahead and did Earth Science and Nutrition as well. All SDA courses are written for grade 3/age 8 through high school.
I knew before we started that evolution is taught in Earth Science. After a bit of deliberation and a discussion my my co-teacher, aka Daddy, I decided to have the girls do that course anyway, but be certain I was nearby so that we could discuss what they’d heard. We do not believe in evolution, but a literal six-day creation, so this sparked much discussion. It was a good way to introduce what they’ve heard only bits and pieces about and why we do not believe this. There was no mention of God in the course at all – several different theories of evolution were discussed and other beliefs were not mentioned. This disappointed me; I thought it could have at least touched on Creation as a theory. Either way, it provided good discussion starters.
Each of the courses had a video to watch, a place to take notes, and a bit of humor to keep the student entertained. (A bit more humor: I had the hardest time remembering what SDA stood for. At one point, I referred to it during dinner to my husband and called it Student Deviants Accelerate. I think I made him choke on his pasta in his disbelief regarding what I’ve been teaching our daughters. I stand corrected. No real deviants here, I promise!)
Arithmetic and Fundamental Math both touched on subjects my girls have studied much. They didn’t learn new concepts, but it did reinforce what they already know. Measurements, decimals, fractions, multiplication… it’s all covered in Arithmetic, plus more. Shapes, gathering data, and more measurements were a few topics in Fundamental Math. Earth Science discusses volcanoes, erosion, matter, and more. Nutrition is the class I expected to hear the most about and was not my girls’ favorite. How the body uses food, nutrients, and making healthy choices are just a few of the topics discussed.
Unfortunately, SDA wasn’t a big hit in our family. Getting past the evolution part was minor since I expected it, but this program just didn’t make a big impact with my girls in how information is introduced. They liked the joking in the videos, but didn’t look forward to using the program at all. Since it is designed to use as a supplement to your schoolwork and not a curriculum choice, I’d rather have it be something they enjoy. They didn’t dread it or complain, but I had to remind them every day to keep up with it. I struggled to find scores on what they’ve done, or to find the notes they’ve written. Grading links wouldn’t load for me, and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. It did give me grades for quizzes they’ve taken, and most grades were good, so they must have learned something along the way – but the program on their end seemed to work well and on my end as far as the Admin Toolbox, it was a frustrating experience.
Grade levels for the courses we used are:
Arithmetic – Grades 3+
Fundamental Math – Grades 4+
Earth Science – Grades 6+
Nutrition – Grades 6+
There are a host of pricing plans to fit your individual homeschool, homeschool group, and family. For one year of core subjects for one student, SDA is priced at $99, or $24.95 per month. If you have more than one student, they encourage you to contact them to work out a plan!
There are at least 85 of us trying out SDA – check out what the others thought at the Review Crew Blog!