Thrift Schooling
0 is an online based science curriculum that includes both online and offline resources. I received the Online Subscription for both my Kindergartner and Second Grader.
($7.95 per child, per month). This program is designed for K-2 but could easily be used for 3-5th grades students as well. It is a perfect fit for families who have several elementary aged children since there are group activities and discussion questions geared towards a group. It would work well for an individual child also.

Scissors/Glue and Crayons
Common Household Items for Offline Activities

* I found that having each child at their own computer, at the same time, during the online activities worked the best. If not possible, you will need to allow 5-15 minutes for each child's online time.

Access to Online Animated Lessons and Activities
Printable Teacher Guide for Each Lesson
Teacher Explain Printables for Each Modules
Printable Worksheets for Each Grade (K-2)
Ability to Assign Lessons to Individual Students 
Ability to View Student Work Completed Online
Teaching Strategies
Access to Student Reports
Online Tests (Printable Tests Available)

This program includes modules that are divided into the following categories:
- Life 
- Earth/Space
- Physical
Each module has eight lessons that can each be completed in two weeks if used four times a week. 
Each module has a similar structure:

- Engage (Day 1)
The Engage sessions use students prior knowledge of the subject to introduce the topic.
- Explore (Day 2)
This session promotes interest in the subject.
- Explain (Day 3)
The Explain lesson provides the bulk of the instruction on the material of the subject.
- Elaborate (Days 4-7)
Elaborate sessions include plenty of activities both online and offline to review the subject.
- Evaluate (Day 8)
Test Day! 
Test are taken online. Printable tests are also available.
When we began, I simply went through and found a module that I liked. One that would work with what the children were learning about already. The beauty of is you can do that. You don't have to start with "lesson 1" and work your way through. You can pick and choose from among the four main topics. Then, I would sign in under my teacher's account. An example of what a teacher's account looks like is pictured below.

Science4Us Review

I would then go to the "Quick Assign" tab on the upper left and assign my two students their work for the next two weeks. It only takes a minute and then their assignments show up on their screen the next time they log in. After I assigned them their work, I would print out the Teacher Support Materials found on the right and the offline materials directly below it for that week. Each session tells you how long to expect to spend for that day for that topic. We set aside roughly 30 minutes each day, Monday through Thursday. I had the two boys each on separate computers and signed into their own screen. An example of a student screen is pictured below.

Science4Us Review

I would have them work on the activity of the day at the same time on their computers. The online activities vary from videos, to songs, to instruction to games. My boys found them quite entertaining and enjoyed the fact that there was variety. Some days were quite interactive. Other days were mostly teaching, but still kept the children engaged. One highlight is the "take a note" feature. The children were encouraged to "take a note" in their virtual notebooks while learning. This feature would allow for text and had different drawing tools for my kindergartner who is just now learning to write. My boys loved using this tool.

Science4Us Review

After they both completed their online activity we would all head over to the kitchen table and work on the offline materials together. I would read the discussion questions, guide them through worksheets that reiterated what they were learning about, or we would participate in a group activity together. When learning about physical change, we would need simple materials such as paper and play dough. Many activities called for cutting and pasting. Our favorite was when we did the food chain and food webs. The kids had pictures of animals and string all over the kitchen floor trying to figure out the concept of the food chain!

Thoughts From A Creationist

I'm extremely picky when it comes to teaching science to my children. I'm a strong creationist and any hint of evolution based teachings make me nervous. So I went into this program with my eyes and ears open. Overall, this program seemed fairly neutral. With my limited experience with the program I never heard the term "evolution." They do use the term "adaptation," though. This term can go either way. They never came out and said that animals adapted over millions of years and changed into something entirely different but they did mention that a giraffe adapted to thrive in it's surroundings. At face value there is nothing wrong with that statement, but I made sure to tell my kids afterwards that God is the one that created the giraffe. I realized after that lesson that even though this curriculum is a wonderful and quality curriculum that we enjoyed, we aren't going to continue on with it. 

Who Would Benefit From

I could see this working very well in a private school setting. I could see students in a computer lab enjoying their time working on their own lessons and then coming back together as a class for activities and discussion. I also see this working well for homeschool families with several children in the elementary age range. Not only do the children have their own screen time and activities they are able to complete on the computer but they can work together with the parent offline as well. 

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