- Reviewed on Sunday, September 18, 2011
- Grades Used: 3-4
- Dates used: 2011
Great curri culum, I can only third what the other reviewers have said.
I have one slight issue with it, which for many people probably wouldn't be an issue at all. The unit studies can be VERY computer heavy. I'd prefer a few more non-computer activities. This might be just the units we've used so far (middle ages-3rd grade and chemistry I - 3rd grade).
That said, it was very easy to adapt this to reduce computer time, for example by substituting real books for read-through web links, and cutting the activities which repeat a bit (Intellego tends to reinforce the same concept several times in slightly different ways, and is upfront that not all kids will need all activities). Yes this pushed the cost up a little, because I had to buy some books, but still, this is amazing value for money. I also really appreciate being able to download it direct.
- Reviewed on Sunday, January 3, 2010
- Grades Used: K-2, 5-12
- Dates used: 2009-2010
Intellego is like nothing I have seen before in my 12+ years of homeschooling. I strongly recommend their unit studies and CORE curriculum. Here is my detailed review:
Exceptionally through and the multidisciplinary units are ENORMOUS! The K-2 units can be completed in a month. The multidisciplinary units for older kids are much longer because they are exceptionally thorough, well researched, and COMPLETE!
•Ease of implementation. Easy to use?
VERY easy to use! The only thing I have to do is gather the materials for the hands-on activities and experiments. Everything we’ve needed is right in the unit study or through one of the links. Which reminds me about the links – in the first 3 we did, every single link worked. In the 4th unit study, 2 links were dead. We emailed Intellego and they responded with new working links within an hour! Their customer service is exceptional. In the last unit, one link that had gone down had already been replaced! They must check their links constantly and update them through a database. If a link goes down and they replace it, when you click on it, their database bounces you to the new link. Well done, Intellego! Doesn’t get any easier than that!
•Explain how a lesson is supposed to be conducted.
These are web linked units, but with a nice selection of time at the computer as well as time away from the computer doing activities and projects. The units all have chapters broken down into activities. We just open up to Chapter 1 and begin the first activity, which is always an intro to find out what your child already knows about the topic and to get them excited about the topic. Then we move on to the next activity, which usually has a bit of light reading before directing you to a link that takes you to a movie, an interactive web site, a reading, an audio file, or whatever. The links are not just thrown at you with directions to go and learn. The links are well planned and directly connected to the content. After the link, you go back to the unit study and move on to the next activity. VERY easy to follow and VERY easy to use. It’s all right there for you.
•What is covered?
These are VERY thorough. If I had to compare these to the notebook or lapbook style of unit studies, there really is no comparison in quality or content. Intellego far exceeds the others I’ve seen in both quality and content. These are rigorous unit studies without all of the cutting and coloring. It is clear that Intellego units are put together by professional writers and educators who really want kids to learn how to think, discuss, debate, present, speak, defend their positions, etc. Really thorough and rigorous, but FUN! Also, it is very easy to use these to cover multiple subject areas. For example, my kids love the writing prompts in Intellego units, but they hate the writing prompts in our language arts program. Therefore, I’ve all but dumped our language arts program for my younger kids – I just look to see what they need to be covering and I use the writing prompts in the Intellego unit studies to teach these concepts as well. My kids love it.
•Illustrated or not? Quality of illustrations.
Excellent full color graphics! The solar system unit study has amazing photos! All of them do, actually. Very well done. No need to print – just enjoy them on the computer!
•Does your student enjoy using the product? Is the price in line with what you receive?
My kids love Intellego. I’d pay three times as much and still consider it a bargain!
•Its approach (mastery, spiral, unit study, hands on).
This is a mastery product with a hands-on, unit study approach. Multisensory and varied. The ones we’ve done have had reading, videos, interactive web sites with games, music, art projects, building projects, etc. These really teach to the whole brain of the child.
•Teacher's guide/key necessary or not? Tests available? Necessary?
These are really meant for parents to do WITH their kids. This is not a workbook or something you hand to your child and say “Come see me when you’re done learning it.” Intellego has really brought the parent into this by making it fun and engaging for the parent, too. For example, last summer we did the Great Lakes unit study. In an activity on shipwrecks, I was thrilled to see that Intellego had included the lyrics and even a video of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” in an extension (optional) activity. That launched a whole new discussion with my kids and it is where Intellego, in my opinion, really excels. They put information in that the parents can relate to! This is not a product that parents teach TO the kids. It is a product in which the parents learn or experience with the kids. If you know the material already, that’s great! Even then, you will enjoy watching the videos and doing the activities with your kids. For example, I already know the planets, but I enjoyed the solar system unit as much as the kids did.
Also, the discussion prompts are outstanding. These are not fact based discussion prompts, such as “name the capital of Arizona.” These prompts really get the kids (and parents) thinking. Intellego clearly is aiming for teaching kids how to think, not just what to think. These are the skills they will need in the future. Nothing is dumbed-down!
•Religious, secular, or multi-use, amount of religion in each subject.
Multi-use, but they state on their web site that they are secular (non-religious). No religious content whatsoever, so perfect for secular homeschoolers or religious homeschoolers who want the best curriculum for their kids (and can add in religion on their own).
•Is using it overall a positive experience?
Very positive. I’d say that the demographic most likely to enjoy Intellego is the educated homeschooling parent who wants a rigorous and ENJOYABLE college-prep education for their child. Not every activity will appeal to every child, but there’s so much in these unit studies and they are so thorough. They also give you the option to spend some time on child-led learning, which is another outstanding feature. I would recommend them with two thumbs up (which by the way, is the first time in 12 years I have said that about a homeschool curriculum product!)
Dr. Chris Collins