Monday, May 23, 2016

Review: Science Shepherd

Science Shepherd ReviewAhhhh, my nemesis ... Science. Actually I have two of these "bad guys" when it comes to my homeschooling. (1) Math and (2) Science. So far, I can keep up with the boys math. (I probably have about 2 or 3 more years before I can't teach them), however, science is not something I feel comfortable teaching even at a young age. My husband attempts to do a lot of science with the kiddos around the farm, but I know I will be relying heavily on a solid science curriculum with my kiddos. And, with the Introductory Science Level A from Science Shepherd we found just that!

There are a variety of programs presented by Science Shepherd, however, I had the choice to either review Level A (ages 6-8) or Level B (ages 9-11). Since my boys are 7 and 8, I chose level A, and off we went.

This program is an online Christian video instruction-based curriculum. I received year-long access which allows us to finish this at our own pace. We also received a hard copy of a student workbook and answer key. The program is intended to be used 5 days a week for 36 weeks. However, these lessons are so short that sometimes the boys asked to do a second one. (Always a good sign when they don't mind the work!)

It was created by Scott Hardin, MD. He is a physician and has been homeschooling his own six children! I loved his reason for completing this program.

"As our oldest child got nearer and nearer to first junior and then senior high school, we began to have conversations with other parents about continuing homeschooling as their children proceeded through the higher grade levels. Unfortunately, some parents made the decision not to continue homeschooling their children through the higher grades, and one of the most common reasons was because of concern about not being able to provide excellent higher level science education. We have developed the Science Shepherd Life Sciences and Biology programs so that parents can feel confident their children’s higher level science needs will be more than adequately met, thus helping to allow the continuance of homeschooling through the higher grade levels. More recently, we saw a need at all levels for courses utilizing more technologically advanced modes of presentation, such as integrating video, pictures and graphics into a streaming teaching format. So, we are starting to branch out and produce more and more science courses for all grade levels with that specific goal in mind."

The lessons in the Introductory Science Level A from Science Shepherd we found just cover things like:

  • God's word
  • Meteorology
  • Geology
  • Oceanography
  • Plants
  • Astronomy
  • Underwater creatures
  • Land creatures
  • Human beings
  • Be Healthy
  • Ecology and natural resources
  • Energy
  • Motion
  • Magnets
Most of the lessons begin with the instructor sitting behind a desk talking. At first I thought this might be very boring, but he doesn't speak for very long in any lesson, and there are other images and pictures scattered throughout to make it visually interesting. Here is a snap of my boys as some of the graphics pop up on the screen:

After each short video lesson, there are a few questions in the workbook to answer. These are intended to be consumable (used once), however, we decided to let both boys do it and instead copying the workbook, just answer the questions orally.

This worked very well for us!

My only complaint with the videos was a very minor one. Dr. Hardin starts talking so quickly, that we always had to restart the video because we missed the first 10-15 seconds of what he was saying before our volume "kicked in". Again, very minor!

I loved how short the lessons were. This made the boys feel great success, and they didn't feel overwhelmed. They looked forward to the lessons and sometimes asked if they could do another one.

In addition to the videos and workbooks, there are labs provided with full instruction. Some of the experiments we just watched on the video and others we actually did depending on how difficult they were and whether we thought we needed the hands on to "get" what was happening.

Overall, I am a very big fan of this program. I should note that this is creation-based. While my husband and I are Christians and believe the Bible to one hundred percent accurate, we did not necessarily align with everything presented in these videos. (We do not believe in the 7-day creation and thus some of what was presented differed from what we are teaching our children.) We simply skipped the lessons that included stuff that wasn't quite how we would have presented it. Again these were not non-Biblical. They were simply a little bit different than how we see Science.

You can check out Science Shepherd at the following locations:

Also I happened to notice a fellow reviewer, Tere, who wrote a fantastic post about this product.  She has a TON of fantastic pictures on her Blog. (I didn't take nearly as many pictures.) In addition, if you are interested in her review or other reviewers who reviewed different products for Science Shepherd you can click on the link below:

Science Shepherd Review

And don't forget the disclaimer:

Crew Disclaimer

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