Visual Learning Systems Online Science Program a Review

This entry is part 3 of 25 in the series 2015 Homeschool Reviews

Visual Learning Systems Review
When homeschooling parents are asked to list which subject gives them the most pause it’s a toss up between Math and Science.

We recently got to review the  Digital Science Online Elementary Edition (Grades K-5th Grade) by Visual Learning Systems. There is also a Digital Science Online: Secondary Edition (Grades 6-12)

Homeschool parents take a deep breath when it comes to teaching your visual learner science. Digital Science Online is a complete online science program with videos, images, animations and a teacher’s guide with all the forms you need for at home online science learning.


Let me walk you through the program.

Before you start your chosen subject in Visual Learning Systems, in the Teacher’s Guide section there is a printable Preliminary Assessment where you can gauge what your student already knows.

In the teacher’s guide there is a pre-lesson evaluation, worksheets for video review, and a post assessment. There are also various worksheets and activities depending on the unit lesson.

Once you have that in hand it will let you plan your lesson plans easier. You’ll know how much supplemental material to include in your lesson plans or whether you’re under the right grade level to being with.

There are three grade levels in the version we are using.

  1. Primary
  2. Elementary
  3. Middle/High School

Visual Learning Systems Review

The Sweet Peanut has already been taking a Science course for three years. It’s one of her favorite subjects. In the Visual Learning Systems we started in the Elementary Level and then Subject the Earth (Under the Earth subject there are 28 sub-topics) and finally sub topic Earth, Moon and Sun. We were already halfway through another program’s unit study on the Moon and I thought we could use the videos here to supplement those lessons.

My first plan was to have my daughter watch one video a day and do the video assessments. We didn’t do the Preliminary Assessment but instead chose to use Digital Science Online to supplement what we were already doing.

Sweet P enjoyed the videos a lot more than I thought so she ended up watching about 3 per day. She probably would have watched more but Science is in the middle of our school day. And although it wasn’t necessarily new information it was presented in a slightly different way AND she’s old, so there’s more t ponder.

We also did the Video Assessment worksheets from the Teacher’s Guide area so I could get a feel for how much she was learning or better yet retaining.

Each video portion in the Online Science Program is rather short. 15 minutes or less so it’s easy to watch a couple at a time. The videos zero on the each topic and give your visual learning child a indepth look at the current subject.

Like I said we started in the Exploring Earth, Moon, Sun portion. There are 10 learning videos here, including summing it up, and a video quiz in this section.

The Video Assessment/Quiz at the end was a good review. They were the kinds of things she we (yes we’re in this together) learned last year in Science so it was a good brush up to go through it.

I also let my daughter hop on into the high school portion of the Digital Science Online under the Earth subject section so she could have some more details on the moon. This is pretty easy to do and your child could do it on their own if they wished.

Next up we studied Earth, Weathering and Erosion.

We started off with the Pre-Test so I could get a feel of her knowledge.

I like that the videos are not cartoon characters or super simplified for kids. The videos are real life or sophisticated (my word for it) animation. The female narrator describes each segment you are watching and her voice reminds me of a popular television show on how things are made.

The extra images are great for talking more about what is going on if I get the feeling she is not “getting it”.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 2_opt
Screenshot of how Digital Science Online looks during a lesson.


Online Science Video does teach about the world being billions of years old etc. When this comes up it always provides a nice discussion point for my daughter and I. This is not a problem for us when using Science programs as we know what we believe and it provides a chance to talk about it and why we believe it. When it comes to science this is a subject that will come up often so it’s better to wade through it than to try and avoid it altogether.

We had our second to last computer break down right before this review but I imagine once we get the new one my daughter will be logging into Digital Science Online on her own time. She’s observing the frogs in our backyard and having a resource like this is helping her learn, in a fun way, about the world around us.

I like Digital Science Online. While we’re using it as a supplement program (’cause we love Science) it can very well stand on it’s own. I imagine you could probably use it with several children, near in age, at once too due to it’s setup.

Digital Science Online has special pricing for at home use. Up to 8 students is $99 (I think that’s for a year). You can also order DVDs and VHS versions of the lessons. See more information here.

In addition to their website you can connect with Digital Science Online online here…


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  1. With the Digital Science Online, do you need to buy the e-textbook? Also, are the teaching materials included with the online program?

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