I don’t do well teaching science, and I never have; co-ops and scouting groups have been a staple in our home for pretty much our entire homeschooling career. I’d heard wonderful things about Science Shepherd so I was happy to have the chance to review it! We received an online subscription to Introductory Science as well as the Level B student workbook. Though most of the Science Shepherd material is life and creation science (which we have done repeatedly), I was happy to do this Intro review to make sure that my middle kids have covered all the bases!
The program is an online video course. There is one video per day, 5 days per week. Each video is right about 2 minutes long – seriously! I will admit to these videos being a little dry and boring, even though they try to make it more appealing by using a news room set; he’s just sitting there and reading material and my twins were annoyed. But really, the videos are only 2 minutes and it’s got lots of great material. We like it just fine!
After the video, there are workbooks available to use with your student; pick Level A or Level B according to your student’s age. Level A is designated for ages 6-8 and Level B is designated for ages 9-11. We used Level B for everyone; we decided to just do the questions orally rather than utilize the worksheets. The levels are probably pretty accurate, but simple for those ages. I had an almost-13-year-old plus an 11-year-old doing this course, and really these worksheets were entirely too easy for them.
The program is geared to watch the video and then do the worksheets in the same sitting. The videos are super short, and so usually are the worksheets. This really is a course that can be done in easily 10 to 15 minutes a day. There are also several Video Activities that can be done to supplement throughout the course. The Video Activities are scheduled right into the week’s videos, and there is an instruction page in the workbook as well. The projects are super simple and easily done with materials around the home, only take a few minutes for the most part, and really add depth to the course itself.
Using the workbooks as oral review worked perfectly for us. My kindergartners were able to keep up and learn with this program and are continuing to do so; they will be 6 this fall. Some of the worksheets are word finds and crossword puzzles. For our family, we just skipped those with the youngest kids or may have asked the crossword clues as oral “fill in the blank” type questions.
Because this program is geared towards younger kids, and it was so easy to implement because of the short time the lessons take, my older kids are doing more than one lesson at once. My 11 year old is doing basically 2 lessons per day; my 13 year old is doing a whole week’s worth of work. He tries to complete it every day, but really it’s worked out to about 3 days per week. So in a single week, he completes approximately 3 weeks’ worth of assignments and that makes me super happy!
He’s gotten further in the program than we could have during the review period otherwise, and is currently studying plants, having covered dinosaurs. We are “creation science” lovers and have used several programs in the past that encourage this approach. This course falls in line beautifully with those courses, and I love the way it was purposefully discussed in each section.
If you’re looking for a great science overview that has a creation science worldview but covers so much more than animal and creation science, this is a great option! My 13 year old says that while he knew most of the material presented, he’s absolutely having educational holes filled by this program. For instance, in Week 6 there were some things about the Great Flood that he didn’t already know, and in Week 8 they did a great job connecting the Ice Age to that same event and explaining it from a creation worldview.
We will continue the slow pace with my kindergartners, and let my middle school kids finish this up to fill in those science learning gaps. Happy to have this one available to us and I hope you’ll check into it! You can connect with Science Shepherd on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Don’t forget to read the other Crew reviews!