Our Experiences with Bridgeway Academy’s Apologia Biology Course & Lab 2017-2018 (Plus a Coupon)

I can hardly believe it, but we are in the final few weeks of my son Jackson’s 10th grade homeschool year.  We were incredibly blessed to be able to partner with Bridgeway Academy this year, and Jackson took his high school biology course–Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology (FYC Biology Course w/Lab)–online with them.  I couldn’t be happier with Jackson’s experiences, and I’d love to share our final thoughts with you as the semester winds down!



Bridgeway Academy

Are you familiar with Bridgeway Academy?  The company provides accredited homeschool options that can fit any family’s lifestyle. From customized textbook and online options to live online and blended learning, Bridgeway helps families find exactly what they need for a successful homeschooling year.  Live courses, which are attended online by students in first grade all the way through 12th grade, provide fascinating academic experiences for families. In fact, thousands of students have participated in Bridgeway Academy Learning Lab classes from 1989 to the present day.  And parents will be interested to know that 92% of Bridgeway Academy enrolled students proceed to their first choice college!


High School Biology & Lab with Apologia

Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology is the course I had always hoped and intended to use with my son for his high school biology credits.  The textbook is both rigorous and intellectually challenging, and covers biology in an interesting way.  Chapters cover the following topics:

  • the definitions of life and biology plus classification, taxonomy, and biological keys
  • Kingdoms Monera, Protista, and Fungi
  • the chemistry of life
  • the cell, cellular reproduction, and DNA
  • Mendel and Genetics
  • Evolution
  • Ecology
  • Kingdom Animalia (invertebrates, arthropoda, chordata)
  • Kingdom Plantae
  • Reptiles, birds, and mammals

Each chapter also includes two challenging review sections (for test preparation), experiments, and question-and-answer portions in addition to text, vivid photos and diagrams.  This is the textbook that is utilized by Bridgeway Academy in the FYC Biology Course w/Lab, along with the company’s Biology Lab Kit.  The lab kit provides everything from a stainless steel dissection kit, lab supplies, and 7 lab specimens (earthworm, grasshopper, perch, crayfish, frog, cow eye, and fetal pig) for the dissections that are covered in the course.  When the student completes this course (with a D average or above) he’ll have accumulated 1.5 academic credits for both the biology course and lab.


High School Biology with Bridgeway Academy

So, what does Bridgeway Academy bring to the table when they’re offering an online course with the already-excellent Apologia Exploring Creation with Biology?  What would you think if I answered, “More than I could have imagined!”

First of all, they provide an exceptional online classroom experience.  Bridgeway Academy utilizes Moodle for its online classrooms.  Collaborate within Moodle allows students to attend classes alongside their peers who are taking the same class.  The teacher teaches the class via video and students can interact with him/her and with each other using their own computers’ cameras or text chat.  Moodle also provides a way for teachers to administer tests and daily or weekly assignments.  Students upload their assignments and projects to Moodle, where teachers grade them and a record of work is kept.  Technologically, Moodle made it very easy for Jackson to interact with his class, stay up-to-date on his assignments, and keep track of his work.  There were a few times where Moodle had glitches but they were few and far between.  And if you are taking an online class, that’s exactly what you need and want!

Secondly, Bridgeway Academy hires interesting instructors who bring years of education and training to the classroom.  Jackson’s biology teacher, Mrs. Carla Berg, is an experienced and accredited scientist and educator.  In every single class, Mrs. Berg brought impeccable scientific training to make her classes interesting and exciting to the students.  But just as important, she brought excellent classroom management abilities to bear as she guided students through their own interactions with the class.  I’m sure that she is also well-aware that students have different learning styles, because I saw her utilize classroom activities for visual learners, auditory learners, and kinesthetic learners in every class.  She also varied classroom activities every week, which helped her students stay engaged and learning all semester long.



Third, Bridgeway Academy provided a learning experience with this high school biology class that truly exceeded the best that I could have done myself.  I am interested in science.  But I freely admit to you that I am not a trained scientist, nor is high school biology my forte.  And honestly, the very thought of dissections…well, those also are not my forte!  But with Bridgeway Academy, I didn’t have to excel at any of those things.  Instead, Jackson was able to take a top-notch, academically rigorous, well-done biology class taught by an experienced teacher whose love for science poured out in each class.



What I’d like for you to know about our experiences

There are so many positive outcomes that both Jackson and I have experienced during our high school biology year with Bridgeway Academy.  (More than I could actually fit into a blog post!)  But there are things I’d love to share about them here.  (And I’ll try my best to keep the list from becoming too lengthy!)

  • He has received an exceptional education in high school biology that has prepared him well for college science coursework
  • He was challenged to produce his best work continuously throughout the year, whether it was on tests and projects, in-class participation, or daily reading and Q&As
  • He had the benefit of a well-educated and interesting instructor who was committed to her students’ success
  • Bridgeway Academy’s Moodle provided excellent record-keeping for each student (including a portfolio download option)



Does that sound amazing to you as a homeschool mom or as a student?  I just cannot speak highly enough about Bridgeway Academy and their incredible classes.  If you’d like to discover more about Bridgeway Academy, visit Bridgeway Academy Learning Labs and check out their extensive list of awesome online courses.  Whether your student is in the elementary, middle school, or high school grades, you’ll find some incredible options.

And just so you know, Bridgeway Academy would like to provide a coupon for you to use when you sign your child up for a class!  Just use coupon code WREN18 when you visit the Bridgeway Academy site to receive  10% off any Learning Lab purchase.  (Coupon expires June 1, 2018.)

Enjoy–and think of Bridgeway Academy when you’re considering your child’s next homeschool courses!  –Wren

Bridgeway Academy on social media:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/HomeschoolingHelp

Twitter- https://twitter.com/bridgewayvoice/

Pinterest- https://www.pinterest.com/bridgewayacademy/

YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/user/bwacademy

Blog- http://www.homeschoolacademy.com/blog/


DISCLAIMER:  From time to time, FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.



Apologia Biology: Our Fall Semester with Bridgeway Academy (plus a coupon code for you!)

Are you homeschooling high school, or preparing to?  If so, Biology is probably on your mind as you’re planning your student’s classes and high school transcript.  We were so fortunate to be invited to review Bridgeway Academy‘s high school Apologia Biology course (FYC Biology Course w/Lab), which Jackson started in September.  It has been an academically rigorous, yet fascinating and enjoyable, way to study high school Biology.  I’d like to share some of my son’s experiences with this class and studies.



What is Bridgeway Academy?

Bridgeway Academy is an online educational provider that we’ve long admired.  They provide accredited courses, taught online by qualified educational professionals and teachers, which are both academically excellent and interesting to homeschool students. Live courses are offered for students in first grade all the way through 12th grade, and over 30,000 students have participated in Bridgeway Academy classes from 1989 on. And 83% of Bridgeway Academy students proceed to their first choice college!


Apologia Biology

Jackson is enrolled in Bridgeway Academy’s FYC Biology Course w/Lab for the 2017-2018 school year.  This Learning Lab course uses the Exploring Creation with Biology textbook, along with Bridgeway Academy’s own Biology Lab Kit, and the course provides 1.5 credits upon completion with a D grade or higher.

The 16-chapter textbook covers:

  • the definitions of life and biology plus classification, taxonomy, and biological keys
  • Kingdoms Monera, Protista, and Fungi
  • the chemistry of life
  • the cell, cellular reproduction, and DNA
  • Mendel and Genetics
  • Evolution
  • Ecology
  • Kingdom Animalia (invertebrates, arthropoda, chordata)
  • Kingdom Plantae
  • Reptiles, birds, and mammals

The textbook contains daily reading sections and questions to answer on the reading, plus experiments, study guides, and review questions for each chapter.  It’s definitely a textbook that’s written for high school students; the material is advanced but still very doable for the high schoolers.  Good reading and comprehension skills would be an advantage for students, however.


The supplies

Everything we needed for the course (the Apologia Exploring Creation with Biology 2nd Edition, the Bridgeway Biology Lab Kit, including the Bridgeway Biology Lab Manual) was purchased from Bridgeway Academy.  Also included with these are the Apologia Exploring Creation with Biology answer booklets, for the parent.  The course and supplies (books & lab kit) are priced separately, so you can price compare items or obtain a used copy of the textbook if you so desire.

You can see the ingredients of the lab kit above.  It is shipped in a sturdy cardboard box, but we purchased the plastic containers with lids so we could store them more effectively.  (Plus I wanted to keep the dissection specimens, above on the right, in a separate container.  As anyone knows who’s ever done a biology dissection, there is an odor to those specimens that we didn’t necessarily want permeating our house!)  There is also a dissection pad which is pictured below.

Students will need some additional household goods and objects, like ice cubes, eggs, vinegar, etc.


Class slideshow on matter

What a typical class period looks like

The live online class, taught by Carla Berg, an experienced certified science teacher (as well as a very fun and interesting one!), meets once weekly for an hour and a half.  Mrs. Berg introduces and teaches about the current chapter’s materials.  She includes scientific photos and videos, Powerpoint-type presentations, questions-and-answers (of various styles), and lots of interaction with the students.  The students have the opportunity to communicate via text chat as well as via computer audio/video as they answer questions and participate in class discussions.  Below, you can see the whiteboard she also uses for class interaction and Q&A and the students’ responses.


Jackson says, “The live class work does usually stay for an hour and a half, with the first 30 minutes covering an introductory topic or some questions that Mrs. Berg wants to address from the previous week.  The last hour is usually composed of learning about the topics that will come up in your book that week and doing fun activities sometimes with several other (groups of) people in the class.  These many assignments help towards the full grade.  The class itself overall is well-taught and the class participation helps the students get to know each other and the time is used well to teach or participate in activities.”


Interaction via the class whiteboard on Moodle


It’s clear that Mrs. Berg is an experienced and quality teacher.  She does a fantastic job interacting with the students and teaching and presenting the information.  She has high expectations for the students which are communicated clearly.

Following the class, Mrs. Berg puts the week’s assignments and links up on the Moodle site.  Moodle is the interactive classroom where the Bridgeway Academy classes are held.  Through the Moodle site, students can attend class, view/complete/submit for grading their daily assignments, take tests, and keep tabs on their class scores and grades.  It works incredibly well and is, I think, a great tool for today’s generation of students.  Generally, the week’s work could include: daily reading and questions; glossary work; experiments; test review assignments.  Tests occur every few weeks, one chapter (module) at a time.


Dissecting a mushroom on the dissection pad

What we’ve covered this fall

As of this week, Jackson has completed the work for weeks 1-10 of the semester.  He has studied these chapters (or modules, as they’re known in Apologia world):

  • Biology:  The Study of Life
  • Kingdom Monera (a.k.a. bacteria)
  • Kingdom Protista (including protozoa and algae)
  • Kingdom Fungi (yeasts, mushrooms, slime molds, and more)

He has completed several experiments at home, many of which have been just amazing.  He grew bacteria in petri dishes for several days, and wrote an extensive lab report on his observations.  He’s dissected a mushroom (which you can see above) and drew a diagram labeling the various components of the fungus.  That was a painless introduction to the world of dissection and dissection tools.  Currently, as he studies the 5th chapter (Chemistry of Life), he’s learning the difference between chemical and physical reactions. (We have an egg in the kitchen which has been soaking in vinegar for two days.  The shell has completely dissolved and the egg has expanded.  Tonight we’ll switch the vinegar for Karo syrup and make more observations in 24 hours, then soak it again in distilled water.  Jackson keeps daily reports on the egg, its measurements, and any visible changes.)

Sometimes, the experiments are done during the actual class time.  When Jackson learned about yeasts, Mrs. Berg displayed photos of the changes in yeast that occur when they’re being used in the making of bread.  All of these experiments deepen the students’ understanding of the kingdoms being studied and really help them to remember and retain the information.

The tests for the chapters are difficult and challenging, yet still very doable.  They are fantastic college preparation, in my opinion; students who are used to a homeschool environment with Mom or Dad can still, via Bridgeway Academy’s classes, learn how to interact with a non-parental teacher in a given subject.  He also took a quarter test (sort of a mini-midterm) over the first four chapters.  And he and his classmates are just beginning work on a Biology project which they’ll present to their classmates via Powerpoint, YouTube videos, or spoken presentation later in December.  Great experiences, all of them.


My impressions thus far

I honestly couldn’t be happier with Bridgeway Academy, Apologia Biology, and Mrs. Berg, as Jackson is working through this high school Biology course.  He is gaining vital experience that will benefit him not only for college, but for life after college and even the remainder of his high school studies.  The course is fascinating and the class time is enjoyable.  Jackson is getting a excellent Biology education in this course.

Jackson says, “This is a good preparation for the type of work one would have to do in college if he’d never taken any homeschool classes like this before.  Thus, since I hadn’t, it has been a little challenging.  But the On Your Own questions (from the textbook) are good-length assignments and the tests are well-spaced out.  They have review pages that are the assignments before these tests, which are good because they help you prepare for it.  The labs have people do some very neat and cool experiments, showing different processes in the biological world, such as osmosis, diffusion, and other in-depth topics that cover something in a very neat way.”

I also wanted to mention that last week, Mrs. Berg scheduled a phone conversation with the parents of each student in the class.  During this time, she was able to share how she thinks each student is doing in class–sort of a phone parent-teacher conference.  I felt that I already knew how Jackson was doing (because I can access his Moodle page, plus I sit nearby for all his classes, but I enjoyed getting to hear Mrs. Berg’s impressions.

I have seen some incredible growth in my son this semester as he has participated in this Apologia Biology Learning Lab. He has learned to schedule and complete his assignments each day so that his class work is completed at the end of each week.  By interacting with Mrs. Berg, he is learning more about how to do excellent work; he is challenged not only by the daily assignments and tests but also by the interactive class time, where he is expected to participate.  He is also learning about persevering when faced with a difficult task…until success is achieved!


And a coupon for you…to save 15% on a class!

So…does this make you think that you’d like for your child to take a Bridgeway Academy course?  I hope so!  Our experience has been most excellent and we’re looking forward to the remainder of the year in Biology.  (That is saying something, because Biology has always been my least favorite of the sciences!)

–Save 15% Thru December 13.  Use Code AUTUMN17 at checkout!

Sign-up today and get 15% off of your selection from over 30 highly engaging, real time, instructor led Learning Lab  courses. Live online Learning Labs offer expert teaching and in-depth study opportunities within a supportive learning community. Designed for students in grades 1 – 12, Bridgeway live online Learning Labs have something for every student!

For the full list of live online courses and to register* visit Bridgeway Academy Learning Labs

*Each course has limited space available. Kits & materials as additional purchase may be required for some courses.See Bridgeway Academy for details.


In closing

Be sure to visit Bridgeway Academy Learning Labs and check out their extensive list of awesome online courses.  They truly are amazing and you might find just what you’re looking for, for your own family!

And just so you know, they have much more than just high school courses.  You’ll find elementary and middle school courses as well!

Bridgeway Academy on social media:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/HomeschoolingHelp

Twitter- https://twitter.com/bridgewayvoice/

Pinterest- https://www.pinterest.com/bridgewayacademy/

YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/user/bwacademy

Blog- http://www.homeschoolacademy.com/blog/

We’ll continue to share with you over the year more about our experiences with Apologia Biology and Bridgeway Academy, so be sure to stop back by to see more about our homeschool life and science.

Enjoy!  –Wren



From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinions, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

Physics 101 from The 101 Series ~ Our Review

We have just had the opportunity to use and review a quite captivating science course, complete with teaching videos:  Physics 101 from The 101 Series.  This was a brand-new way for us to experience science and we learned a ton while truly enjoying ourselves!   (You really have to love it when you can say that about schoolwork.)



The 101 Series

The 101 Series was created by Wes and Tammy Olson.  Homeschoolers themselves, the Olsons researched and created The 101 Series when they didn’t find high school science curricula that was just right for their family.  Wes Olson, who worked in corporate filmmaking for over 15 years, also has a deep interest in science.  Working together with scientific experts, Wes brings his own filmmaking expertise to produce excellent, understandable science from a Christian worldview.  The Olsons have produced three high school science curricula thus far:  Physics 101, Chemistry 101, and Biology 101.  (I understand from their website that they’re currently working on a general science curriculum as well!




The 101 Series’ Physics 101

Physics 101 is a 4-disc DVD set which contains 20 chapters of video material.  It’s designed for high school students, ages 15 and up (though my son is a bit younger than that and enjoyed and understood it well).  Each chapter, or lesson, teaches about a specific area of physics, in videos which last from 20-40 minutes apiece.  The video lessons are taught by Wes Olson, who’s an engaging and often funny teacher.  The chapters are divided into 7 different areas, with 1-3 lessons in each chapter, covering:

  • The Physics of Light
  • The Physics of Sound
  • The Physics of Heat
  • The Physics of Electricity
  • The Physics of Motion
  • The Physics of the Weird (hilarious, I know–but that’s really the section title!)
  • The Future of Physics

However, this DVD set is not only teaching videos.  One disc also contains a printable student guidebook, quizzes for each lesson, and a lesson plan for the teacher to use.  Students use the guidebook and the videos to create a physics notebook, complete experiments, do further research on various topics, and write papers on what they learn.  It’s an excellent program which utilizes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning methods, as well as helping students refine their own research skills.



How we used it

Physics is something that I always wish I had learned more about.  I have a decent background in optics—and while that is awesome, it still leaves out sound, motion, electricity, and heat.  (Probably more than that, but that’s what I am aware of at the moment!)  Anyway, I was very excited for us to use and review Physics 101, and my son Jackson (who’s 14) and I worked together on the various lessons.  The teachers’ plans for each segment are fantastic, and give clear instructions on how the student should complete each segment.  We simply followed those plans.  First, we’d watch the videos.  The student guidebook serves as a sort of textbook that goes along with the videos, and could either be used alongside the videos, or read after we viewed them.  There are discussion questions which will also deepen and expand the students’ understanding of the various physics lessons and applications.  Following that, we completed the labs (a.k.a. experiments) which are included in each segment.  Jackson then did the research and wrote essays on the topics listed (e.g., why is the sky blue?  Why is my face upside down in a spoon? etc.).  To close out the learning for each segment, students watch the teaching video once more and then take a quiz, which is included in the guidebook.


Our experiences

I can sum them up in one word:


Wes Olson takes the sometimes ephemeral truths and lessons about some non-tangible scientific principles—and makes them clear and understandable.  Really!  Did you ever think about how God created light first…but the sun wasn’t created until the 4th day of creation?  Hmm!  That’s very interesting, isn’t it?  And there is a scientific principle behind that that I have never, ever heard before.  I’m not going to spoil it for you by telling you what it is, but I’ll give you a key word that might be in the answer:  electrons.

Or how about that sky that is so blue…what makes it that way?  (Hint: it’s not the oceans.)  Or why exactly are the things in your driver’s side rearview mirror closer than they appear?  There is a reason for that and it has to do with convex mirrors.  Or…why do oil and water refract things differently?

All of those questions can be answered by….physics!  And it is truly fascinating.  Jackson and I were amazed and so interested in the videos.  We always enjoy experiments, and I appreciated the way that all of the labs more deeply teach the principles taught in the videos.  Jackson says:  “He is a good person to be (teaching) it because he can add good humor to a situation.”  I think that might be my son’s way of saying that Mr. Olson makes physics both fun and fascinating, never dry or boring.

One thing in particular was a learning experience I believe my son had that was influenced by the great teaching on the videos (as well as the additional research he did on his own).  There were two times when we would be watching the video teaching when he made a leap of understanding; where he took the information that he was learning from the teaching video and was able to extrapolate, or draw further conclusions about scientific principles.  That was so exciting!

I also appreciated the extra research Jackson had to do.  Both websites and library books, or other reference materials, can be used for the research.  Jackson wrote his essays on the computer, then printed them for his notebook.

Physics 101 covers the equivalent of one year’s high school science study.  For our purposes it was very, very effective.




Where can you find The 101 Series?

You may purchase Physics 101 from The 101 Series, simply by clicking the links and heading over to the company’s site.  In fact, you may also purchase other excellent science curricula, like Chemistry 101 or Biology 101, from the same website.  Would you like to find out more about those other courses?  Many Crew members reviewed one of these three courses, and you can find out more about their experiences by clicking the banner below.

You can visit The 101 Series at their social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/the101series
Twitter: https://twitter.com/the101series/ @the101series
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/the101series/

Enjoy!  –Wren

Physics, Chemistry & Biology 101 {The 101 Series}Crew Disclaimer

All About Capacitors – Our Experiences with EEME’s “Fade to Black”

*affiliate links included*

We just completed another EEME project, Fade to Black!  EEME generously provided this project for us to use, so we could share our opinions and review with you!  And we loved Fade to Black just as much as we have all the EEME kits we’ve tried.  It’s really just exceptional kid science.


And for any parent out there who wanted to know what Doc Brown’s “flux capacitor” really did….Fade to Black will unlock that mystery for you!  🙂

What is Fade to Black?

The Fade to Black project introduces kid scientists to the STEM world of LEDs, Farads, stored energy, circuits, and capacitors.  This project, like all EEME projects, builds on the original breadboard and battery set that comes in the Basic 6-Project Set (in the first project, Genius Light, to be exact).

The new components in Fade to Black are:

  • an LED light
  • a transistor
  • long wires
  • resistors
  • Two capacitors
  • a push-button switch

With these components, the child will build four different circuits that accomplish four different jobs.  As always, the project comes with a complete step-by-step video tutorial by EEME Dad Jack, with instructions, safety features, questions for the student, and scientific explanations for the whys and hows of the activities.  An accompanying lesson summary can also be printed, if you’d like to have a record of what your child has studied and learned in this.


Some of the amazing things we saw in Fade to Black:

A push-button, which, when connected to the battery and LED lights via wires and resistors, caused the LED light to come on….as well as performing another important task!

Two kinds of capacitors!  You can see one of them in the picture above; it’s the component with the blue arrow pointing at it.  I want to tell you what it does, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers!  (Yes, if you really want to know what the flux capacitor did, you’re going to have to try out Fade to Black for yourself!)  I will tell you that there is a connection between the button, the capacitor, and the LED (no pun intended).

Those are only two of the builds/activities we completed in Fade to Black.  As EEME Dad Jack has done in our other projects, he starts with the simplest build or activity to introduce the components and principles to the child.  Then, each activity becomes a little more complex or contains more components and steps.  But every single activity certainly contains the “Wow!” factor!


And finally….

Fade to Black was our 5th EEME project.  And I noticed some really wonderful things as we worked through this one!  First, Jackson has really grown in his understanding of circuits, electricity, technology, and the various components EEME has introduced him to.  Other than taking the photos, I didn’t do anything on this project besides sitting and watching the teaching videos and Jackson’s construction of each activity!  Second, he has really grown in his confidence in working with these technologies.  He’s very comfortable watching the videos and following the directions EEME Dad Jack is giving.  I am truly excited about this, because I know that he is REALLY learning.  And I love that he’s learning these things now, because he’ll revisit these concepts again in high school, when he takes physics.  EEME is an incredible, delightful, and truly wonderful addition to our science studies.

Jackson said, when I asked him if he could share a couple of things he liked about Fade to Black, “Of course!  I loved the buttons!”  So here are his impressions:

“This was our first EEME project to feature a push-button component, and I absolutely loved it. Pushing the button to make the light come on is fun, but it becomes even more fun and cool as the project progresses and when you let go of the button, the light fades. This project introduced me to some new components such as the button and the capacitors, and was a very well-done project.”

As you can see, he loved this project!

I’m very happy to recommend both EEME and Fade to Black to you!  You can purchase Fade to Black from EEME, via their Basic 6-Project Set.  Be sure to visit EEME and check out their free materials, which you can download directly from their website.  I think you’ll be very, very impressed!

Enjoy—I know you will!  –Wren

Disclosure: We at finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog.  We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews.  We share our own (and our family’s) opinions of these products.  We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.


Science Shepherd Life Science ~ A TOS Review from finchnwren

Recently, we were offered the opportunity to review Science Shepherd‘s Science Shepherd Life Science, via the Schoolhouse Review Crew (TOS).  What a complete and full life science curriculum!

Science Shepherd banner 1

What is Science Shepherd?

Science Shepherd is a science curriculum company which was started by a homeschool dad, Dr. Scott Hardin (who has a bachelor’s degree in science and is also a practicing physician), as his children were approaching high school age and he was concerned about what he saw as a lack of exceptional science curricula for older homeschooled students.  This company has produced both biology and life science courses (for older students), plus an introductory science course for younger ones.  Dr. Hardin’s hope was that with these materials, parents who were intimidated about teaching high school science courses would be able to teach them successfully while their children learned the necessary science concepts.

What is the Science Shepherd Life Science course?

The Science Shepherd Life Science is a complete life science course for middle school and junior high school students.  The course includes three components:

  • The Science Shepherd Life Science hardback textbook
  • The Science Shepherd Life Science Test Booklet (softcover)
  • The Science Shepherd Life Science Answer Key & Parent Companion (softcover)

Science Shepherd 3The Science Shepherd Life Science Textbook

This textbook contains 19 chapters which cover key life science topics.  Here’s just a sampling of the rich information covered here:

  • Characteristics and chemistry of life
  • Cells; their membranes, interiors, and reproduction
  • DNA; its structure and function
  • Heredity
  • Evolution and Creation
  • Scientific Classification (from bacteria and viruses to plants and animals)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • and more!

The pages are glossy with a nice finish, and each page has interesting photos or great diagrams on the material being presented.  The chapters are divided into segments (4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and so on), and scientific terms are in boldface print.  Each chapter begins with a number of questions to be answered and ends with definitions of terms discussed in each one.  In addition, chapters close with a list of study questions which students can answer (although they’ll need to provide their own paper, a spiral notebook, or a binder if they’d like to write the answers).  The book starts with the definition and characteristics of life, and moves into more intricate areas as the chapters progress.

The Science Shepherd Life Science Test Booklet

The Science Shepherd Life Science Test Booklet is designed to be used alongside the life science textbook.  Every few chapters, the textbook will refer the parent and student to take the accompanying test in the test booklet.  There are 9 tests in the booklet, which cover all the chapters in the book.  The test questions are all essay or short answer.  Students can actually write in the booklet, as there are spaces left under each question.

This test booklet is designed to show mastery of the science learned; that the student really understands what he has been studying.  Parents may assign all, or some, of the questions, and they can be answered by the student either orally or in written form.  If students learn and know the definitions at the end of each chapter in the textbook, and can completely answer the study questions there, they ought to be able to successfully complete the questions in the test booklet.


Science Shepherd pic 2The Science Shepherd Life Science Answer Key & Parent Companion

This book might just be one of the more effective teacher’s guide for parents that I’ve ever seen!  It contains a 5-day schedule for each of the 36 weeks it takes to complete the Science Shepherd Life Science textbook, with sections assigned for daily reading.  There are also days scheduled for the students to answer the chapters’ study questions, and take the tests.  So many parents will simply be able to follow this schedule to complete the course in one school year.

Also, it contains an answer key for both the study questions and the tests.  Last but not least, the entire second half of the book walks parents step-by-step through what is covered in each textbook chapter.  It has all the sections covered in each chapter reprinted in this book; but here, it has the answers for each question in addition to the definitions and explanations.  So, parents can use this book alongside their students without having to borrow the textbook from their children.


Science Shepherd pic 1How we used this:

We intended to use this life science course for our main science spine during the review period…which we did.  There is SO much that I love about Science Shepherd.  It is written from the perspective of the truthfulness of God’s Word, and the evolution theory being a complete contrast to Genesis’ account of creation.  So, that perspective informs the science taught from the first chapter all the way through the end.

However, I discovered that it was a much more difficult course than I had anticipated.  It is designed for middle school or junior high school students (which I have; my son Jackson, who used this course, is an 8th grader).  We struggled to find just the right way for him to study it.  We began by using the recommended schedule in the Answer Key & Parent Companion.  But it became apparent that that was too much information, covered too quickly for us.  So we cut down the reading a bit, which helped some, but we still needed to find a way for him to read and absorb the information at the same time.

I finally had the idea to create some worksheets, where Jackson could write in definitions, draw diagrams, and list pertinent information as he was reading.  Jackson also utilized some blank notebooking pages.  (Neither of these is included in the curriculum.)   Bonanza!  This was what we had needed all along.  Suddenly, the scientific material that had sort of swirled around his head became concrete, visual, and understandable.  And an added bonus was that now, he was creating his own study sheets for the tests!

In conclusion:

Science Shepherd Life Science is well-written and well-organized.  We would say that it is a challenging program for middle-schoolers, but that it IS doable by them.  It will require diligent study, but the rewards of that study will be appreciated; and the curriculum really prepares students for more difficult high school science courses later on.

If you’re looking for a rigorous homeschool science curriculum that is Biblically-based for your children, try Science Shepherd.  It is beautifully designed and has great resources for the parent/teacher.  (We just recommend that you somehow find a way for your student to involve writing as he studies.  This will help in both retention and understanding.)

You may purchase both Science Shepherd Life Science and other science courses from Science Shepherd.

Enjoy!  –Wren

Visit Science Shepherd at their social media sites:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ScienceShepherd/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/scienceshepherd
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/scienceshepherd

Science Shepherd ReviewCrew Disclaimer

HelpTeaching.com ~ A Plethora of Worksheets, Activities and Teaching Games

Recently, Jackson and I were selected by the Schoolhouse Review Crew to use and review an incredible resource for homeschoolers, teachers and other educators: HelpTeaching.com.  Crew reviewers were given a one-year subscription to HelpTeaching.com‘s Pro Plan, which provides unlimited access to the website’s materials for $24.95.


HelpTeaching.com Banner

What is HelpTeaching.com?

HelpTeaching.com is a fantastic website full of materials which enable educators to teach and test, and students to learn.  You’ll find lesson plans for grades K-12, arranged by both subject and grade level.  (There is also a section of HelpTeaching.com for Early Education.)  You’ll also find printable tests, games, and worksheets for all grades.  The site produces a highly readable educational blog, which has posts on many different topics of interest for homeschoolers.   Educators can use HelpTeaching.com to assign tests to students, administer tests, and assign lessons that even include videos on the subject matter.  There are colorful graphics on many lessons, like the lunar phases lesson below.

HT Lunar PhasesWhat types of lessons are available?

HelpTeaching.com contains lessons for students in K-12 on the following subjects:

  • Grammar, vocabulary, spelling
  • Literature and reading
  • PE
  • Math (from basic arithmetic to advanced math)
  • Geography, history, government, social studies
  • Science (anatomy, biology, life science, chemistry and more)
  • Additional subjects like life skills, business, study skills, vocational education, and technology


HT Irr NumbersHow we used it:

We used HelpTeaching.com over the course of about 6 weeks, 3 times per week.  (You could certainly use more or less than that.)  Much of this time was spent in our exploring all the possibilities.  I would browse through the subjects and lessons and select several to assign to my son.  (There is a way you can email the web address of your assignments to your student, so that he can simply click on and work on the assignment.  Couldn’t be easier!)

Jackson is a middle schooler.  So, I selected lessons in math (algebra, fractions, number line, irrational numbers), sciences, grammar, literature, and others.  The lessons were either in print form (which could be viewed directly from the website) or they were print with a video lesson.  After the lesson’s conclusions, the student clicks through to practice questions,  where the website asks the student to answer questions about the lesson, screen by screen, until the lesson is completed.  Lessons also include links to further study on the topic or additional activities.

Jackson found the lessons interesting to complete…and always looked forward to our HelpTeaching.com time.  (How awesome is that….no groaning!)  Occasionally, he had some questions about a math or science topic, which I’d help him with; then he’d move on.  And some of our favorite lessons weren’t things we’d had in our curricula, like the Harlem Renaissance (we haven’t gotten to that part of 20th century art); a fascinating lesson on rational and irrational  numbers from Khan Academy; and some reminders of the civil rights movement’s key figures.

HT ed gamesWays you could use HelpTeaching.com:

There is SO much available at HelpTeaching.com.  We explored and used a lot…but we haven’t honestly plumbed the depths of everything this website could provide for us in our homeschool.  Here are some other activities you could explore!

  • Make a test with Test Maker.  You can even make tests using middle school and high school math equations, with squares, differentials, and algebraic formulas.
  • Administer an online test to your student (this feature is available in the Pro Plan)
  • Set up an online classroom for your student
  • Keep a record of your student’s performance over time
  • Create games for your student
  • Make study sheets for various subjects
  • Select your own topics to teach and expand your student’s learning opportunities

That’s just a sampling.  There is a LOT on this website!  And new lessons are added all the time…it seemed like there were new things every day.

HT math probabilOur thoughts and impressions:

This was an incredibly useful website!  I especially appreciate that I can generate worksheets on algebra and pre-algebra; HelpTeaching.com has a lot of features that parents of middle schoolers and high schoolers can use.  I loved the science lessons and several of the literature lessons.  The vocabulary section is also excellent, and there were amazing lessons that I used for math enrichment, for no other reason but that they were cool and fascinating.

I love that HelpTeaching.com is busily adding new lessons all the time.  It is definitely multi-faceted in its learning possibilities, and teachers and students won’t run out of new material any time soon!  (If ever.)

It’s also very, very creative in its lesson presentations.  Sometimes the lessons are simply (yet very well-done) printed information and questions.  But HelpTeaching.com also utilizes some fantastic video lessons from Khan Academy, Educator.com and Bozeman Academy.  Both my son and I found these fascinating, and kept his interest level very high.

It is a great resource for a homeschooler.  I can use it to expand what we’re learning, to reinforce lessons, or to help me teach a challenging topic in a brand new way.

There were a couple of challenges we experienced with the website.  First, I would love to see them add a search bar.  The lessons and tests are very clearly organized into grade and subject.  But sometimes I might want to assign a lesson on a particular skill set (in math, for example), and lessons on that topic might be spread throughout several grade levelevel listings.  I’d love to just be able to search and pull up a topic (like exponents, for example) and get a list of all the lessons covering it.

Second, there are some incredible tests on the website.   But they aren’t all, as far as I could tell, connected to a corresponding lesson which teaches the items on the test.  So I might have a fantastic and thorough test, but I might not have a lesson which provides the information that’s covered on the test itself.  I might have that in a textbook at home, or I might find it on HelpTeaching.com.  I just didn’t find them connected together.

HT product imageAnd finally….

I would definitely recommend HelpTeaching.com‘s Pro Plan!  There is so much I can utilize as we continue to explore HelpTeaching.com.  We haven’t spent the time on the website’s art lessons yet that I’d like to, and I’ll continue to use the science worksheets and lessons as a supplement for our science curriculum.  And the math!  I will be using this to create worksheets so that my son can continue to grow in and solidify the math we’re working on.  And the history…and the geography…the list of future amazing educational opportunities goes on and on!

Visit HelpTeaching.com at the links I’ve included, and you can see for yourself how amazing it is.  You can also visit HelpTeaching.com at their social media hangouts below:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helpteaching

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/helpteaching/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/helpteaching

And, you can click on the banner below to read about other Crew members’ experiences!

HelpTeaching ReviewCrew DisclaimerEnjoy! –Wren

Science & Electricity: Our Experiences with EEME’s Project Attraction

*Affiliate links are included in this post.*

Over the holidays, we completed our most recent EEME kit:  Project Attraction.

EEME is a wonderful company which creates STEM project kits for children.  Even younger kids can complete these projects, but generally with parents’ assistance.  For each project kit, EEME provides a step-by-step video tutorial (at the EEME website, available for each kit) which walks the user through all the different building directions for each kit.  We’ve happily completed EEME’s Project Tentacles, Project DIY Display (my personal fave, thus far), and Project Genius Light.  Each one of these projects has been a joy to put together and learn from; both my son Jackson and I have learned more than I could have imagined about engineering and technology!  EEME’s kits have been a phenomenal addition to our science studies.

What is Project Attraction?

Project Attraction builds on the original breadboard (and battery), like the other EEME projects in this series; each kit teaches children about some facet of STEM technology.  This one teaches about electricity, magnetism, current, heat, and….electromagnetism!

This kit includes the following components, which enable you to complete several projects with this kit:

  • A tiny, yet powerful, magnet
  • A steel bolt
  • LED light
  • Resistor
  • A reed switch
  • Wire coil
  • Long wire
  • AA battery
  • Paper clip, sandpaper, rubber band
  • (We use the original breadboard from the first EEME set.)

And as always, EEME has provided a step-by-step online tutorial which provides instruction, cautionary recommendations, and the whys and wherefores of the way the components work alone and when put together.

Of the four EEME projects that we’ve built, Project Attraction has the most for the parent to do. This is because Project Attraction adds an electromagnet and more electrical current in the building of the kit on the breadboard; and also because the wire used to create the electromagnet is somewhat delicate.  I admit that this made me a little nervous; I just don’t have that much familiarity or experience with electrical current.  However, EEME’s tutorial provides very clear instructions while issuing very clear warnings about what NOT to do (like using a more powerful battery instead of the one included in the kit; i.e. DO NOT DO THIS).  So as you can imagine, we followed EEME Dad’s instructions TO THE LETTER.  And we were able to complete our project successfully!

So…what were some of the cool things we did in Project Attraction?

We built an electromagnet!

We learned about reed switches (I’m not going to describe them too much, because I don’t want to give you too many spoilers!).  These are seriously one of the coolest components we’ve been introduced to by EEME…and that’s saying something!  You can see it below; it’s the one with the arrow pointing at it.  You might also notice that the LED light is on.  Don’t you wonder how that happened?

We also learned about how and why heat is generated in an electromagnet; how to get power using an electromagnet; how and why to strip a wire, and so much more.

In conclusion:

Project Attraction is yet another fascinating STEM project from EEME.  Although there are a number of important safety procedures to follow, the parent and child build electronics and tech that are high in the “wow!” factor, and teach more important STEM principles.

You can purchase Project Attraction and the Basic 6-Project Set at EEME’s website, along with all their other excellent and affordable science kits.  Check it out!  And, you can also find free online STEM lessons at the same links, where you can get more of a taste of what EEME is like.

Enjoy!  –Wren

DISCLOSURE:  Finch and Wren have affiliate relationships with a number of excellent companies.  If you purchase an item through our affiliate links, finchnwren will earn a commission.  However, you will never pay more for the item when you purchase it through our links.  And, we only recommend products that we truly believe in.  Thank you!


Enter to Win a 3-Month Subscription to EEME–Our Fave Kid Science/Electronics!

If you’ve read the finchnwren blog this fall, you’ve probably seen the EEME button on our sidebar…and maybe you’ve seen our posts reviewing their cool science project kits!

EEME 3-set giveaway banner

EEME is a company that teaches STEM techniques and lessons to children through their amazing electronic project kits, where children (and parents) build complete circuits, lights that switch on and off, buzzers that actually sound and more!  We have absolutely loved every kit we’ve received and built, and Jackson has learned some incredible engineering, technology, and science skills.

You can see more about the cool kits we’ve built and reviewed by clicking on the links below:


Proj Gen 4Project Genius Light


EEME Proj DIY Display 1Project DIY Display


Project Tentacles pic 4Project Tentacles

And now—the giveaway!

How would you like to win a fabulous three-month subscription to EEME, so that you and your kiddos can build some of these fascinating projects yourself?

Well, you can!  EEME and finchnwren are joining together to give away these awesome STEM kid projects.  What you’ll need to do (no Rafflecopter this time!) is hop over to the EEME Facebook page via this link:  Win an EEME 3-Month Subscription!

EEME Dad Jack has designed a fun giveaway.  He has a tub full of the buzzer component from the Project Tentacles kit.  All you have to do is guess the number of the buzzers!  Then, you can like the posts and share.

These kits are SO amazing and cool.  They make learning about STEM the most rewarding and enriching experience.

One winner will be selected on 11/30/15, and the projects will be shipped directly to that winner.

Enter today—and best wishes!

Enjoy!  –Wren


Standard Deviants Accelerate ~ A TOS Review

Recently, our family was given a year’s online subscription to Standard Deviants Accelerate (SDA) via the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  Through this membership, we’ve had access to some excellent Homeschool Courses, geared to students in grades 3-12.

SDA banner

What is Standard Deviants Accelerate?

Standard Deviants Accelerate, or SDA, is a company which produces many online educational courses for students.  Their courses are well-suited to homeschoolers, yet are also accessible for traditional public or private students.  Primarily, SDA‘s courses are for middle schoolers and high school students, although there are several for elementary ages.

The course listings are broad!  Here is a listing of the SDA courses:

  • English Composition
  • Sciences:  Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Nutrition
  • Math:  Algebra, Arithmetic, Fundamental Mathmatics
  • U.S. History
  • Test Prep Courses for:  AP American Government & Politics; AP Biology; AP Chemistry; AP English Language and Composition; AP U.S. History

Each of these courses is a stand-alone course, except the Test Prep courses which are intended to be used by students preparing for those specific AP courses.  The regular courses provide between 30 to 40 hours of “class” time per course.


SDA pic 1How do the SDA courses present their materials?

Because Standard Deviants Accelerate is a teaching website, students receive a login and set up a password to access their coursework.  Students may take as many courses at a time as they like, and each course is fully interactive.  (Parents have a separate login to the account and can access/view classes, progress, grades, and so on for each individual student.)


SDA pic 2 jpg versionStudents’ accounts provide access to the course(s), and each account has a “locker,” where notes taken during class can be stored.  And, each course includes the following sections:

  • Video:  In this section, the topic is taught using a transcript of each spoken word on the left (which is printable for the student), and colorful videos with actors speaking the lines.  Each video contains both graphics and cartoons…and a lot of humor!
  • Vocabulary:  When you click on this tab, you’re taken to a page where all the new vocabulary words are defined.  There is also a speaker icon next to each word, so that students can hear the pronunciation of the words.  The vocabulary pages are also printable.
  • Diagram:  This third section is a more visual presentation of the lesson taught.  Students drag and drop answers into the correct sections to answer questions.
  • Quiz:  There is a short quiz covering the information taught in each lesson.
  • Written Answer:  This is an essay portion for each lesson.  A few questions are given and the student writes about what he has just learned.

In addition, there is a text box (it’s below the yellow Print Transcript button in the picture above) where the student can take notes about what he is learning.  This text can then be saved to the student’s locker.

As the student progresses through each lesson and activity, the work is scored and recorded, so that there is always a record of the student’s progress and grades overall.  There is also a chapter test for each section.


SDA pic 4How we used Standard Deviants Accelerate:

We were selected to review the Nutrition course in SDA‘s science section.  This course is designed for students from grades 6 and up.  My son, Jackson, is an 8th grader, and I found that the learning level, pace of the course, and coursework was very appropriate for him.

The Nutrition course covers the following material:

  • Cells and Macronutrients
  • What Your Body Does With Food (digestion, metabolism, calories, etc.)
  • Food Spectrum (the different food groups)
  • Micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, water)
  • Preventing Nutritional Disorders
  • Eating in Context
  • Where Does Your Food Come From? (the food industry, organic foods, etc.)
  • The Savvy Eater
  • Course Review and a Final Exam

Each chapter has from 3-6 different lessons, all following the lesson sections listed above.  We utilized this Nutrition course as our science course for the semester.  We haven’t finished it yet, but plan to.  We generally did about three lessons per week.  Jackson and I would watch the video course together.  Then, he would review the vocabulary for the lesson, and answer the different questions.  Some days he would take the lesson quiz on the same day, and for other chapters, he would take it a day or so later.

One of the things that makes the SDA company unusual is that they love to present lessons and information in a funny way.  Actors assume different personalities and dress in unusual costume, and will use jokes to cement new information firmly in the students’ heads.  I have to say that Jackson laughed at some of these, and thought other parts were silly.  (But he is 13 years old, so that’s not that surprising.)  He understood the information well and was able to successfully complete the quizzes.


SDA logoOur conclusions:

The Standard Deviants Accelerate Nutrition course has been one that has effectively taught my son about the many facets of food, how it’s used by the human body, and what makes up a healthy diet.  There is much more for him to learn, but as we move through the course I’m confident he will do so.  SDA‘s company worldview does not have any religious affiliation, and the science is taught from an evolutionary/old earth standpoint.

Also, as a mom, I have to say that this Nutrition course has been very easy to use.  I’ve watched the videos along with Jackson, but he has done the work alone.  However, if he has a question he can come to me, since I’ve seen the videos and the lessons.  The humor does make the information taught both memorable and enjoyable.

I am very interested in the AP test prep information as well….but it’s still a few years early for us to get into those!  I will definitely remember them, though, in future years.

You may purchase this Nutrition course, and other Homeschool Courses, from the Standard Deviants Accelerate website.

Other Crew members reviewed a variety of the Standard Deviants Accelerate courses, and if you click on the banner below you can see what they thought!

Enjoy! –Wren

Social Media links for
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SDAccelerate
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SDAccelerate
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Sdaccelerate/posts
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/SDAccelerate/

Standard Deviants Accelerate ReviewCrew Disclaimer

Project Tentacles–Our Newest Amazing EEME Kit

*affiliate links are included in this post*

What happens when you combine transistors, a buzzer, and a circuit?


You get the newest EEME product we’ve put together!  Project Tentacles is the third project in EEME’s Builder Basic 6-Project Set, and it is every bit as cool and interesting as its name implies.


What is EEME?

EEME is a company devoted to making science, technology, engineering and math accessible to children, especially those aged 7-12.  EEME Dad Jack has created excellent kits which teach children how to build electronic projects.  These kits teach the kid builders  about electricity, programming (we’ve built a project based on binary programming already), and engineering principles.  Designed for parents and kids to do together, EEME’s kits are easy to understand and fun to build, even for those with no engineering experience!


How does Project Tentacles work?

Project Tentacles, like Project Genius Light (#1) and Project DIY Display (#2), works on the breadboard from the first project.  So, we reused the breadboard and battery set.  However, EEME did send us the following additional components:

  • A buzzer
  • Wires, both long and short
  • Resistors
  • Transistors

And, as always, a complete video tutorial is included from EEME, along with clear step-by-step instructions.  The video tutorial for Project Tentacles contains 33 sub-lessons.  These sub-lessons teach safety tips; what each component in the project does; and assign questions which review what the students learn as they complete each project.



And the cool projects students build in Project Tentacles?  Completing a circuit so a buzzer sounds.  Adding wires to the buzzer circuit, for a more complex project.  Using resistors in the circuit.  Working with two different types of transistors, with different results.


How we used Project Tentacles:

Since EEME includes many different projects in each kit, we’ve found that we learn best when we break up the projects over the course of a week or so.  That means that we’ll do about 5-7 sub-lessons on a given day.  And, each day that we worked on some sub-lessons, Jackson built something fascinating that taught some specific scientific principles.  Here’s a short list of some of the principles he learned with Project Tentacles:

  • The function of a closed circuit in electricity
  • What a resistor does to the flow of electricity
  • Different kinds of transistors and the way they work
  • What each pin on a transistor accomplishes
  • How electricity affects sound


Our conclusions about Project Tentacles:

I have said before how much we love EEME and the EEME projects we’ve built.  There really is a beauty in working through all of the Builder Basic 6-Project Set, and I’ve been able to watch it happen.  Even though we’ve only completed the first three projects of the 6, I have watched Jackson become very comfortable working with breadboards, electricity circuits (which are powered by 2 AA batteries), and all the different components that are included with each set.  He understands circuits and the flow of power through the resistors, wires, and transistors.  And, he’s learning that there are very practical uses for these projects!  (How about setting up an alarm with Project Tentacles on your door or dresser drawer?)

Just as important, he is able to follow the step-by-step instructions which direct the student in completing the projects.  And, when he gets to the end of several steps and doesn’t achieve the desired end result, he can work back through them to find his mistake and correct it.  How important is that problem-solving skill?  I’d say, it’s a crucial one!

So, Jackson and I wholeheartedly recommend both Project Tentacles and EEME’s Builder Basic 6-Project Set.  These projects are fun, exciting to complete, and fantastic for teaching excellent life skills and STEM knowledge!

You can purchase Project Tentacles and the Basic 6-Project Set at EEME’s website, where you’ll also find excellent and free STEM curricula.  Check it out!  You truly won’t be disappointed.

Enjoy!  –Wren

DISCLOSURE:  Finch and Wren have affiliate relationships with a number of excellent companies.  If you purchase an item through our affiliate links, finchnwren will earn a commission.  However, you will never pay more for the item when you purchase it through our links.  And, we only recommend products that we truly believe in.  Thank you!






Here’s what my son Jackson said about Project Tentacles:

“It works in a very fun way.  And is pretty easy and also very fun to build.  I would definitely recommend it once you have done all the previous EEME projects.  The buzzer is fun.”