Standard Deviants Accelerate: Online Learning That Is Different and Fun (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

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Online learning can sometimes be a life saver for courses that I can't teach as well or for my kids who need something a little different to hold their interest. Standard Deviants Accelerate offers online video classes that are funny and unique to capture the interest of kids. The kids and I have had the opportunity to have access to all of the Homeschool Courses offered for a year for this review.

Review of an online learning program

What is Standard Deviants Accelerate?

The Standard Deviants brand has been around for over twenty years. Originally the company produced videos with full academic classes. The videos were designed to be funny to capture the attention of students. Over time, the company wanted to expand beyond just videos, and so the streaming content was created- Standard Deviants Accelerate. The courses can be used in a classroom setting or as a complement to homeschooling curricula. You can access them on a computer, tablet or phone that can access streaming video.

What is included with the Homeschool Courses?

The Homeschool Courses available are:

  • Earth Science (grades 6+)
  • Nutrition (6+)
  • Biology (7+)
  • Chemistry (9+)
  • Arithmetic (3+)
  • Fundamental Math (4+)
  • Algebra (7+)
  • English Composition (9+)
  • US History (9+)
  • AP Biology (11+)
  • AP Chemistry (11+)
  • AP Government and Politics (11+)
  • AP US History (11+)
  • AP English Composition (11+)
These courses can be paid for per class per month for up to five students or as a one-time fee that covers all classes for up to ten students.

How does it all work?

Standard Deviants- online homeschool learning

The parent/teacher has an administration area upon logging in. In this area, you can view all of the courses you have available to you. On each course, you can add students. To add a student to a course, the student needs to have his own email account. The students are added to the course by sending a code to their email. They then login using the code and are added to the class. 

Standard Deviants- curriculum supplement

In the parent administration area, you can also see grade reports and grade written student assignments. Each course has occasional quizzes and writing assignments. These writing assignments have a rubric for grading. When a student has completed one, you can access and grade it.

Standard Deviants writing rubric for grading

When a student is assigned to a class, he can log in and have access to the course he is assigned to. Each course is broken up into several chapters that are then broken down into lessons. There are also chapter reviews that have hands-on assignments for students to complete as well as writing assignments.

Supplement to homeschool curriculum

The lessons all have a video component (most about five to ten minutes) with a blank section for notetaking on the screen and a printable transcript of the video, a vocabulary section that covers words that may be unfamiliar, a diagram that shows important information in a graphic way, a multiple choice quiz that is automatically graded and shows students video portions when they have an incorrect answer, and a written answer section where work will be graded by the parent/teacher according to a rubric.

Online homeschool program

The videos are humorous, sometimes silly to the extreme. But they cover the information thoroughly.The vocabulary words have a speaker that allows them to be pronounced, and they can also be printed. All of the elements of the lesson work together to allow students to hear and process the information in a variety of ways, great for different learning styles!

How did we use it?

I primarily used the courses for Kathryne- an 11th grader- and Charles- a 9th grader. Kathryne watched some of the AP class videos because she is planning to take some of the AP exams. Charles used the nutrition class to be one component of his state required health and nutrition course. I also watched some of the videos in other sections just to get an idea of what was available. There are some of the arithmetic and fundamental math lessons that may be relevant to my younger girls later on.

I had a little difficulty figuring out how to add students and set up the classes. There is no help section from the Home page when I was logged in as a teacher. After some searching, I found a How It Works for Homeschool. There is a video tutorial here about setting up classes. But much of this seems to be directed for classrooms where there will be class periods with a set of students in each class. There is also a demonstration of the grading reports section, but there isn't really much information about how to set this up. I wasn't planning on using the classes as ones that I needed a specific grade for, so I didn't worry about the grade reporting. I did figure out after some trial and error how to add the kids to specific classes. So I added Charles to the nutrition course, Kathryne to the AP courses, and the younger girls to the two basic math courses for later on.

Charles used the nutrition course several times a week. He could login on his computer or on his phone to watch the videos, take notes, study the lesson and take the lesson quiz. Kathryne viewed a couple of the AP courses. These courses are constructed differently than the other courses. The AP courses have five segments: an introduction to the test, a description of how to take the test, an explanation of the free answer or writing parts of the test, two 30 in 30 sections where thirty of the topics covered in the test are covered in an overview style in a thirty minute video, and a chapter review section.

Online homeschool learning

What did we think?

I really struggled with getting everything set up. I would have especially struggled if I had been intending to keep grades for the courses. Perhaps it's just that I am sometimes technically challenged, but I wish the setup had been easier.

I love that the courses cover information in such a variety of ways. The video helps auditory and visual learners. The diagram section is also great for visual learners. The vocabulary words and definitions can be heard read aloud, great for auditory learners. The writing response is good for a hands on learner. Some kids do better writing an open-ended response than with multiple choice.

Standard Deviants- online learning

The fact that everything can be printed is great. You can print the transcripts of the videos. You can print the vocabulary words and definitions. You can print your written responses. I think that the ability to print things is so good for required documentation as well as having information that the kids can look back on when they study.

I think that the silly videos grab the attention of kids. Charles thought the videos were silly to the extreme and occasionally complained about them. However, I think that the silliness is sometimes what makes the kids tune in and pay attention.

Overall, I think that Standard Deviants Accelerate offers online learning that is unique and fun. I think that the courses offered are some that we'll continue to use to complement our other learning. There is some really good content here that presents detailed information in a way that gets and holds kids' attention.

The Facts:
Standard Deviants- online homeschool learning supplement

Age recommendation- some courses are grades 3/4 and up; most are middle and high school
Connect with Standard Deviants Accelerate-

Crew Disclaimer

Other Review Crew members reviewed Standard Deviants Accelerate. You can see what they thought be clicking below.

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

Standard Deviants Accelerate: Online Learning That Is Different and Fun (A Schoolhouse Crew Review) Standard Deviants Accelerate: Online Learning That Is Different and Fun (A Schoolhouse Crew Review) Reviewed by Leah Courtney on 12:44:00 AM Rating: 5

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