Fascinating Biology ~ A TOS Review

Are you looking for interesting science courses for your middle or high school student?

Our latest review from Fascinating Education, an online course called Fascinating Biology, may interest you then!  We received a full year’s subscription to Fascinating Biology, a complete online science program with lessons, scripts and tests.


What is Fascinating Biology?

Fascinating Biology is one of three courses offered by Fascinating Education.  They also produce Fascinating Physics and Fascinating Chemistry, which we reviewed last fall.  The biology and chemistry classes are designed for high school students but many middle schoolers have taken the courses and understood them.  The physics course builds on mathematical understanding gained in algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus.

Fascinating Biology is an 18-chapter biology lesson course.  Each lesson contains a slide show with excellent graphics, taught by Dr. Sheldon Margulies, the creator of the Fascinating Education courses.  The lessons include a script (images and Dr. Margulies’ teaching in written form), as well as a glossary of terms and a test.  Here is a listing of some of the Fascinating Biology lessons:

  • The Cell Membrane
  • Take In Energy
  • Take In Nutrients
  • Grow
  • Reproduce
  • Homeostasis
  • Protists, Animals, and Fungi
  • Plants

Because so much of biology is based on principles of chemistry, Dr. Margulies has prepared a 6-lesson chemistry pre-course that is useful for students who haven’t studied chemistry yet.  It can be purchased separately from the biology course.


I’d also like to share a little with you about what is in each chapter or lesson, because simply sharing the chapter titles doesn’t really show you the depth and breadth of all the concepts that are taught in Fascinating Biology.  Here’s a few of the concepts discussed in Lesson 7, “Take In Energy – Part 3:”

  • Storing and using glucose
  • Glycogen
  • Fat for energy
  • Fat cells under a microscope
  • Epinephrine
  • Carnitine
  • Oxidation releases energy
  • Mitochondria
  • and much more than that!

Each of the biology lessons introduces new information plus a review of what has been learned.

How we used it:

During the review period, we utilized this course as our main science spine.  We found that the best way for us to use it was to print the script (in the blue buttons above) and refer to it while watching the videos; and then study and review the script.  We discovered, as a matter of fact, that we needed to put in more study time than we had, to really learn the information.  We did utilize portions of the chemistry pre-course, but since we had studied it last fall we didn’t review all six pre-course lessons.

Jackson (and sometimes, the two of us together), would watch the video lessons, using the printed script and the drop-down glossary definitions alongside them.  After some additional time of study and before we moved on to the next lesson, he took some of the tests.

What we thought about Fascinating Biology:

Both the Fascinating Education courses (chemistry and biology) we’ve studied are well-written.  They’re beautifully produced, and the images are both vibrant and interesting and really help to explain the lessons Dr. Margulies is teaching.  The printable scripts are a great resource, as are the glossaries in each lesson.


Fasc Chem metallic bond image

Some of the information really surprised us…like the reasons gold is so soft, or the way it interacts with other elements (in a chemistry lesson on Metallic Bonds in the biology course), or the way photosynthesis works.  Or, the way nutrients move across cell walls.

Here’s what Jackson had to say about it:  “It is an awesome curriculum.”

However, I do think that the information was a little challenging for my son.  Jackson is in 8th grade, so he does fit into the age groups this course can be used with.  We did find that some of the concepts explained would have been better understood, had we covered more science in these categories before we took Fascinating Biology.  Or, if he were just a little older!  The tests were very difficult, and showed that we probably needed to do a lot more study before taking them, and perhaps made flash cards for some of the topics.  Apprehending this information can require daily study and review of the concepts that are so beautifully presented in Fascinating Biology.  One of the things that I think would have helped me as a homeschool mom is a lesson plan, which could recommend a little more on how to break down the lessons, study them, and review them prior to taking the tests.

However, it is a very enjoyable course.  I just believe that Jackson would have found it an even better fit in a couple of years.  I can see how it would fit very well into a high school course of study.  We’ll continue to use it from time to time as a science adjunct, though; the video teachings are just a joy to watch.

In conclusion:

I think very highly of the Fascinating Education company.  Their products are well-produced, interesting, and cover a lot of information.  I can recommend it for high school students for sure.

You can purchase Fascinating Biology from the Fascinating Education website.  And, if you’d like to see more about the biology course before you purchase, you can download a sample lesson (Take In Nutrients) and also view a PDF of the biology course outline.  It’s an impressive course and company.


Fascinating Education Review

Crew DisclaimerEnjoy! –Wren

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