My daughter is very glad that we purchased the textbook. I tried using the online CD course for the first half of the year with her. She kept falling further and further behind. We discovered she is not one to read the all of the course materials on the computer and comprehend the information. The textbook, for her, works much better. I will say though, the computer course has a lot of additional information links and visuals.
This is excellent for teaching the scientific method from a Biblical Worldview. My 12 year old son has been able to work independently and the labs reinforce the material covered in a fun educational way. Excellent material for a great price!
Overall, this is a good science program - I highly recommend getting the student notebook - it contains all the lab report write ups, a daily schedule (so you know how to plan out all the sections/modules for the year).
I did not buy the student notebook initially, and then bought it 2 weeks later - it is really a must for making this science curriculum work well.