A chemistry subscription box for kids. Is it worth the price?
I signed up for MEL Science back in March, the same day as I canceled our spring break vacation plans. At the time, I was facing an unknown amount of time stuck at home with my two sons. I was desperate for entertainment ideas and excited by the prospect of something educational. A MEL Science add hit me at the perfect time, and I ordered a years subscription.
MEL Science is a monthly subscription box for kids ages 10+. They send everything you need from chemicals, to beakers, to safety glasses to complete two hands on chemistry experiments each month. All for the low price of $34.90 per month, or $314 for 12 months. Back in March, this sounded great. Now that it’s November, I’ll tell you how I really feel.
They really do send you everything you need. The instructions are easy to follow. And the experiments are fun to watch. They don’t take very long to do, and can be a fun hands on activity for your family. If you’re looking for a monthly subscription for your kids that will get them to set their screens aside every once in a while, MEL Science is great.
What MEL Science isn’t as good at doing is actually teaching your kids chemistry. The monthly kits include instructions on how to do the experiment and all the chemicals and equipment you’ll need, and nothing else. There is no booklet about what these chemicals are doing and how the reaction works. There is no mention of the periodic table or the structure of an atom anywhere in MEL Science.
I started homeschooling my kids about a month after I signed up for MEL Science. I now know that $314 is really expensive for a year long homeschool curriculum. I also know that MEL Science is not a comprehensive homeschool curriculum. I ended up spending even more money on books about the periodic table and the structure of a atom to try and pull together a workable chemistry program that would include not only fun hands on activities, but also actual learning. Even that was relatively unsuccessful, because the topics covered in these books have no correlation with the experiments.
When I decided to continue homeschooling for the 2020-2021 school year, I opted to get a different more comprehensive science curriculum, that included labs and was still significantly cheaper than MEL Science. We’re still getting MEL Science experiments delivered each month, and I’m still doing these experiments with my kids. They aren’t a part of their homeschool though, they’re just a fun hands on activity to do when we’re board at home.
Is MEL Science right for your family? That depends entire on what you’re looking for. If you want a homeschool science curriculum, I would not recommend this program. But if you simply want a fun hands on activity to do with your kids, and your budget can easily support a $34.90 expense, then give it a try.