Conceptual Academy offers full-year high school and college level science courses for 1) individual family, self-study use and for 2) homeschool co-op use. The courses include textbooks (published by Pearson), video lessons, at-home labs, and more.
So, what’s the difference between Conceptual Academy and Learn ScienceAcademy?
ConceptualAcademy.com is a comprehensive learning platform that houses all the tools your student needs to take one of their self-study courses.
The textbook is where students can read. Conceptual Academy is where they can watch and listen to corresponding lesson videos. These two formats complement each other and work well for different learning styles.
The graphic below shows how a course at Conceptual Academy is structured with its different components.
And here are the various class options.
So, if you don’t feel comfortable teaching Physics, no problem! 🙂
For more information on the different courses, videos and labs, just click on the links below:
- Physics Textbook Chapter Info and Sample Video
- Chemistry Textbook Chapter Info and Sample Video
- Physical Science Text and Sample Video
- Integrated Science Textbook and Sample Video
- Physical Science Explorations Text and Sample Video
- Integrated Science Explorations Text and Sample Video
- Contextual Chemistry Textbook Chapter Info and Sample Video
- Video Gallery
- Lab Info
Also, you can click here for a student tour.
And you can click here for a free sample course!
(BTW – actual self study courses contain many more classes and chapter sections than what’s provided in the slimmed-down sampler)
Here are some screen shots from the sample lesson.
It starts off with this GREAT video!
I like Kai and Mailie!
You can see that I watched the videos and did well on the quizzes
I didn’t read the text, but just guessed my way through it. Students have to do both – watch the videos and read the text – I just wanted to verify this! 🙂
So, what should your student’s first course be?
For junior high school students:
You can choose between the Physical Science Explorations and Integrated Science Explorations courses. Either of these makes for a good start. Also, because so much material is covered in these textbooks, either one can be extended and become a 2 year program. More typical, however, is a single full year. Which “explorations” title you choose should depend upon the interests of your student. You can review the Table of Contents within the course description pages to help give you some direction.
For high school students:
Well this is interesting! Conceptual Academy is a “physics first” advocate, which means a physics => chemistry => biology sequence. For an average student, the company recommends that your student have already gone through one of their explorations titles before undertaking Conceptual Physics in the 9th grade. For an average 9th grader without this background, they recommend jumping right into the Physical Science Explorations (CPSE) course, then taking Conceptual Physics in the 10th grade. However, if in taking CPSE your student shows an affinity for chemistry or life sciences, then you can skip Conceptual Physics and jump right into Conceptual Chemistry.
As an alternative, you might consider starting your 9th grade student off with Conceptual Astronomy. This course provides a strong physics background sufficient for taking Conceptual Chemistry as a 10th grader.
So, how does this work?
Your student doesn’t have to work on science every day. When your child is doing science, it will probably look like this – she will start by heading to class at Conceptual Academy where she will watch the video lessons for that class and also answer the video check quizzes. Then she’ll move to the reading assignment within the textbook, which is followed by taking the reading check quiz for that class at Conceptual Academy.
At this point, your child has been sufficiently introduced to the material. Next, your child will work on the odd-numbered questions at the back of the chapter, complete worksheets, perform the hands-on activities or experiments from a lab kit, and then explain to others what she thinks she’s learned.
Each “lesson” corresponds to about a week’s worth of material. But this depends upon the material. Some lessons might take up to two weeks, especially for early chapters. For each “lesson” the student is to study all the chapter sections shown to the left. Study involves reading these sections within the textbook and also watching the video lessons that pop up within this area after clicking on that section. You’ll note most sections have multiple videos, all of which need to be watched to complete that chapter section. Study also includes working on the the questions at the back of each chapter in the textbook.
Students do have to spend quite a bit of time per week on these science courses.
Labs? Are they difficult?
Not at all! Each of the textbooks features many hands-on science activities, which are easy to perform, and doable using household materials and equipment. Plus, there are a number of experiments within the lab manuals the accompany each textbook, that can also be done at home (some however, do require a lab environment – you can skip these). Also, Conceptual Academy has an association with eScience Labs and they offer lab kits that accompany the CA chemistry courses. Also available – third party lab kits such as those found through Arbor Scientific (best for physics and astronomy) and Flinn Scientifc (best for all other fields). So, you can see, there are lots of options.
What do I like about Conceptual Academy and Learn Science Academy?
- I like everything that’s included! In addition to the textbooks and videos, courses come with numerous worksheets, chapter summaries, and unit exams. There are numerous hands-on activities within the textbook that can serve as the lab experience and additional labs can be found in the lab manual (sold separately) or with lab kits (again, old separately). I love experiments, and think they are educational, so I don’t mind the additional expense.
- I like how the courses and the classes are organized. Classes start out with a FYI section where the content is summarized, and study advise and direction are given. At the bottom of each FYI page there is the Doc Share, which is where the student can download valuable documents including chapter summaries, worksheets, labs, and unit exams (all unit exams and answer keys are posted in the Doc Share of the last FYI page of each unit). You can scroll down to the bottom of any course page to find the nested course syllabus. This is the main navigation tool for proceeding from one lesson to the next throughout the academic year.
- I enjoy the videos. Videos end with “Good Chemistry to You.” This makes me think of Make It So. 🙂
- I appreciate the checks that are in place, as my student is learning. Each course comes with a set of automated reading checks and video quizzes. These quizzes help students (and their parents) make sure they’re getting the main points from their reading and video assignments.
What do I like about Conceptual Academy and Learn Science Academy?
- It is easy to track my child’s progress. I can easily check my child’s answers to the chapter problems against the answers in the back of the book and I can do the same for the worksheets.
- Also, pyramid exams are great! I appreciate the collaborative aspect of them.
- With all that’s offered, I can focus on being a teacher/mentor rather than devising worksheets, quizzes and more. This is HUGE.
- And honestly, I don’t feel comfortable teaching some of these courses on my own. I appreciate the extra help.
- It’s interesting how the same book can be used for different courses.
- Your enrollment fee for a particular course entitles you to a year of access. However, there is no hard cut-off date for any of the courses, so in actually, you often have access to a course for more than 12 months.
- The classes work well for in-home use or co-op use (I like options). For a co-op, the company offers “instructor-led” courses, which the co-op teacher teaches. The Conceptual Academy sister support site for co-ops is ConceptualScience.com
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