The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Focus on Science Investigations 1 / Focus on Science Investigations 2 Science Diagrams 2 / Focus on Geography - River Studies Review by Christine Hindle

David Hodge
Focus Educational Software
PO Box 52
Truro, Cornwall, United Kingdom TR1 1ZJ

Focus on Science Investigations 1
Focus on Science Investigations 2
Science Diagrams 2

These programs are meant to be a supplement to your science courses. In the science curriculum we use, a lab notebook is required and there are a lot of experiments to be done. Science Investigations 1 and 2 offer some simulated experiments that would be a helpful addition to our curriculum. Both cover Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They take you through the steps of the experiment and help you present your data on graphs and diagrams. Two examples of some of the processes demonstrated are Osmosis (2) and Photosynthesis (1). Science Diagrams offers a way to make the diagrams needed for your lab notebook, and import them into a word document. It is a fun little drawing program with plenty of helps for drawing the elements of your experiments, as well as diagrams of organs and systems in your body. You can draw your own, or use pre-drawn shapes from the Library which is found on the program.

Focus on Geography - River Studies

This is a geography program but I think it is science related as well. The student can do river study field work right at their computer on a simulated river and learn the skills needed for when they do actual fieldwork. This will help the student learn about river flow and bedload analysis. It also shows the student how to analyze and record the data obtained from the study.

I found all these programs easy to understand and navigate through. Being a very "hand on" type of person, I really enjoyed the Diagramming program. My granddaughter, who is a visual learner, is going to enjoy working through the simulated experiments. I think these programs would be a good fit with any science curriculum that homeschoolers are using. The only drawback that I can foresee is that these items are from a company in the UK, and therefore are sold in pounds sterling rather than dollars, and the postage could be prohibitive which might be a deterrent to some.  

Product review by Christine Hindle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2012