While we enjoy science, we have not yet found a homeschool science program that is just “the” one for our family. Science Shepherd has definitely come pretty close with the product Miss J has been using recently – Introductory Science.
I had heard about Science Shepherd quite a bit from my friends on the Crew when discussions about science came up. However, I had not checked into it because what we were doing worked. It worked but wasn’t great. When we had the opportunity to review Science Shepherd and I took some time to look into it, I kind of wondered why I hadn’t paid more attention in the past. It looked great. And, we have not been disappointed!
We have been using Introductory Science, an online video series and the physical workbook Level A. Miss J has been the student using it, though the other girls have been sneaking views of the videos while they are going on.
The use of the program is surprisingly simple. You log into the site (you have to have purchased the course and have a computer with internet access as these are not downloadable) to access the video lessons. You click through to the video you are on and the watch and listen to the video. The videos are tending to run between 2 and 4 minutes. I am sure there are some that are longer but this is the range of most of them for us so far. After watching the video, the student completes the workbook page(s). Simple as that.
Science Shepherd is creation based. I love that! It takes what the girls believe and uses it as the lens through which science is viewed. Beginning at God’s creation of the world, these videos cover everything! Ok – probably not everything but definitely a lot of science at the introductory level. Topics include:
- Science Skills and tools
- other Life Sciences
- other Earth Sciences, and
- other Physical Sciences.
It is not designed to be an in-depth study but is great for student who have not done a lot with science yet. That means it is perfect for younger students. Miss J is 7 and completing first grade; this is right up her alley! The level A workbook is good but I think she could easily have used the level B workbook.
The level A workbook is designed to follow the video lessons. After watching each lesson, there is a page or two in the workbook to complete. The pages have a question or two, sometimes three. The print is large and well spaced, making it easy for new readers to be able to read. The lines, though they are single lines, are big enough to be able to use. Handwriting lines with a dotted center line would be super helpful here for these young writers and there is plenty of space on the pages to be able to do so. There is often a puzzle or activity of some sort, as well. A crossword puzzle or a word find or drawing a picture. Once it asked for the student to create something out of clay.
Something that I have really liked about this program and the workbook is its adaptability. Miss J broke her arm, of course – the one she writes with, while we were reviewing this program. In regards to completing the work for this program, it was not a big deal. The workbook is done in such a way that instead of having to write answers, she could often just circle the correct answer in the question. Also, because the spaces were so large, when she did need to write or draw and wanted to do so, there was plenty of space. It also worked well for doing a narration-style answer for the workbook with a big sister or parent doing the writing on some of the questions and activities. Easy adaptation is a bonus for me.
Once a week or so, there is also a video demonstration for the student to watch. There are girls on the video showing the activity. The student is then to go do the activity. There are often directions in the workbook, as well. These were fun activities that just gave a hands on approach to what the topic of the week was. An example: For creation, she created a picture for each day of creation. It is hanging on the wall next to me as I type. 🙂
Miss J’s take on the program:
I loved it! I have a whole book full of pages for me to answer and get to watch videos to find the answers.
This is truly a very enjoyable, gentle program. It is covering a lot of territory in topics and I am finding that some of that is really quite in depth, though not enough for it to be an upper elementary program in my mind. This is a very good, age appropriate program that exposes the children to a lot of the world of science through the lens of the Bible.
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