Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Science Shepherd -Schoolhouse Review

I think good science programs for the Elementary aged child are hard to find. There, I said it!  Really they are, especially when you desire to teach your child from a Creationist point of view.  I have spent years looking for the perfect program and think I finally found it in Science Shepherd and their Introductory Science  for kiddos ages 6-11!

Science Shepherd Review

This on-demand video lesson based program is awesome! It is a complete science program wrapped neatly into 35 weeks of videos, one for each day of the week, plus additional videos that contain experiments or activities. With your subscription, you have access to the video course for 12 months. Each video is about 2-5 minutes long.  Following the day's video your child then completes a corresponding workbook page.  Questions vary from short answer to matching and multiple choice. There is a crossword puzzle that reviews the key points learned at the end of each week.  Don't worry, there is an answer key to help you out!

There are two choices for the physical workbooks, level A for ages 6-8 and level B for ages 9-11. Level B is identical to level A, except it has additional content for older ages. If there is an additional video for that particular day, there will also be a page in the workbook to help you follow the experiment or activity, or institutions to help you complete that activity.  On the website you can also find a complete supply list for your convenience.

Subjects covered include:

Earth Science-

  • Meteorology
  • Geology
  • Oceanography

Life Science-

  • Plants
  • Astronomy
  • Underwater Creatures
  • Flying Creatures
  • Land Creatures
  • Human Beings
  • Be Healthy
  • Ecology and Natural resources

Physical Science-

  • Matter
  • Energy
  • Motion
  • Magnet

How did we use this program?
Well, we dove right in as soon as we got it, putting what we were currently using aside to give this our full attention. I am so glad we did!  Colby loves this program and I love that he is able to use it on his own!  Each day, we are on week 10, he simply pulls up the website to access his course, and watches the short video.  He loves the fact that they are short, and sometimes will even watch the same video twice in a row just because.  They only complaint he has is that his mean mom, that would be me, will not let him watch the next video until the NEXT day.  Go figure!

The videos are narrated by a teacher who sits at a desk in front of multiple screens, much like a newscaster.  Vocabulary words, pictures and videos then pop up on those screens as the concepts are taught and discussed.  While I find the narrative a little dry, Colby has had no complaints at all!  The visuals are clear and oftentimes beautiful and therefore easy to watch.  The videos are labeled by week and day on the homes screen, making it fairly easy to find your place but I think it would be awesome if there was a feature addedvthat took you directly to where you were each time you logged in.  That's a lazy mom thing, I know!

After Colby watches the video, he then finds his place in the workbook and complete the worksheet for that day.  By. Him. Self!  Yep, no help from mom is needed which any busy homeschooling mom can appreciate.  Yes, we discuss together what he has learned, but I do not have to sit beside him to help every second that he is working!  If an activity is assigned for that day, he simply let's me know and we do those together.  So far he has made a pinecone bird feeder, classified flowers, made fossils, done leaf rubbings, seen how erosion works, made volcanoes, and even learned about hot and cold air masses and how they interact.  The activities have simple instructions and are easy to do, but most importantly they are fun!

So what do we love about Science Shepherd?
Honestly, just about everything!  I love that it science is taught from a Creationist point of you.  That God is mentioned freely and often.  I love that the short videos keep the attention of my active almost 9 year old, and yet do not water down the information, and that the videos are perfect for auditory and visual learners!  I love that the program is simple enough for a child to use with minimal help from a parent. And I love that each morning my son wants to start his day with Science Shepherd. What better testimony could you have for a well done elementary age science program?

Science Shepherd Review

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