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Friday, October 30, 2015

TOS Review - Standard Deviants Accelerate Learning Site

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
I was thrilled to get a chance to review the Homeschool Courses from Standard Deviants Accelerate.

The name alone is enough to excite me - When you're talking about stocks and bonds, the Standard Deviant has to do with risk of return. When you're talking, in general about statistics, the standard deviant is the measure of dispersion from the mean. When you're talking about kids learning, I have at least one student who probably fits into being defined as a standard deviant. He doesn't learn from textbooks or from any curriculum that tells him "This is what you need to know" with no explanation as to why he needs to know it yet he is brilliant!

What is Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses?

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

This is an online learning site but takes each lesson and makes it interesting...really! Educational videos is how SDA got their start more than 20 years ago. The founders knew how to take information and create funny videos. The result was that students were learning. The information stuck. So, they took this learning tool and turned it into a supplemental education site for middle and high schoolers.

The site allows parents to have access to red flag alerts, progress indicators, grade reports, and editable rubrics. The student views short video lessons, assignments, automatic grading of tests and quizzes, a note taking feature, a printing function, and the ability to message a parent for help on specific lessons.

While video instruction is at the heart of what SDA is all about, it's the chapter review projects that sets it apart as well. The student has the choice of presenting what he or she has learned to various imagined audiences. These chapter review sections really approach all styles of learners and interests.

The available courses I had to choose from include:
Grade 3+:
Grades 4+:
Fundamental Math
Grades 6+:
Earth Science 
Grades 7+:
Grades 9+:
English Comp.
U.S. History
Grades 11+:
AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP U.S. Gov. and Politics
AP Eng. Composition

I received access to all of their Homeschool Courses for one full year. I was asked to use the Homeschool Courses with one or more of my children for the course of the review.

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

How Did We Use It?

After I set up the classes, I pretty much turned it over to my son to complete the lessons on his own. There was really no teacher-interaction from me needed other than at the end of each section and to monitor progress.

The first classes he completed were the AP courses which basically covered how to take AP tests. He then began with the higher level English, Science, and Algebra classes.

I initially set up both my son and one of my daughter's for use on the site, but then ended up only using it with my son who accessed it through his desktop. I accessed it through my laptop, but apparently it can be viewed and used from any device, making it extremely versatile and great for on-the-go schooling.

It's homeschooling on the go!
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

What Did We Think?

This program is great, captivating, and easy-to-use. Honestly, the hardest part of the whole program is assigning the classes to the student. It's a bit tricky with figuring it all out but boils down to getting the class course number to the student for signing up. Once you get it all set up, it's easy to access for both the student to learn through the lessons and for the parent instructor to view progress reports and assign additional courses as needed. My son loves this program so much that the only thing we wish is that the courses included a full high school curriculum so he could do just SDA. He would be a happy student.

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Read what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

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