Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Exploring Creation Through Science with Science Shepherd {A TOS Review}

It is very important to my husband and I, that the children grow up with a firm foundation in God. This includes being taught that God has created the world and all that is in it. It was learning about the truths of creationism that led me to realize the truth of the gospel almost 20 years ago. Though I had grown up attending church, I did not have a strong faith. When I was old enough, I moved away from home and I ended up falling away from God and stopped going to church. However, a while later, I learned that the Bible can be trusted and that it makes sense that God created everything. So, it is imperative that I am able to teach the children science in a way that ensures they understand these great truths. When the opportunity arose for us to review a science curriculum that acknowledged these truths, I jumped at the chance. I had never heard of Science Shepherd before, but we have been very happy using their Introductory Science program.

Science Shepherd was developed by a homeschool dad who happens to hold a Bachelor of Science degree and a Medical Doctor degree. He understood the need for quality science curriculum for homeschoolers. In addition to the Introductory Science course that we have been reviewing, Science Shepherd provides a Life Science course for middle grades and a Biology course for high school students.

The Introductory Science course is designed for elementary school children, ages 6-11. We have access for 12 months to on-demand video lessons on the site, in addition to using an integrated workbook following each lesson. The workbooks are available for two different levels, A and B. Level B is for slightly older children (9-11) than Level A is (6-8). We received the physical Introductory Science Workbook Level B along with an Answer Key.  Even though Amelia is not quite yet 8 yet, I decided that the Level B workbook would be more at her level. I also purchased an extra workbook for Tabitha so she could join in with the lessons. 

Science Shepherd Introductory Science is designed to be studied five days a week.  There are 35 weeks of lessons for a full school year.  The course starts out with 2 weeks of an Introduction to firmly instill in the child(ren) that God is in control and has created this world, and then it moves into a quick, age-appropriate introduction of science skills and tools. From there the lessons move into different aspects of science:
  • Earth Science
  • Life Science
  • Physical Science
Children will be learning such subjects as: Meteorology, Geology, Plants, Flying Creatures, Land Creatures, Human Beings, Being Healthy, Matter, Energy, Motion, and Magnets (among other subjects). 

We learn, in one of the first weeks of the course, that there is a reason for the particular order these lessons are taught. During the introduction weeks we have a quick study in the days of creation. As we move into the different subjects, we learn that our teacher, Scott Hardin, MD will be focusing on topics that correlate with the days of creation. Because God created the the firmament on day 2 that is where the lessons begin: Meteorology, learning about the atmosphere and the things that are associated with it (weather, the water cycle, temperature, etc). On day 3 God created the dry land and plants, so our next topic is plants. On day 4 God created the lights in the heavens, so the lessons move into astronomy. On day 5 the Bible tells us how God created the water and sea creatures. Yes, the lessons move into underwater creatures, and then into flying creatures. On day 6 God created land animals and man. Yep, you guess it, the next several weeks are devoted to learning about land animals and then human beings. The remainder of the year is focused on the national resources and the physical science topics, delving more into God's creation. 

So, how exactly did we use this course?

We started out by watching the scheduled video for the lesson. 

As you can see in the screen shot above, each day of the week there is at least one video to watch. There are little thumbnails below the view screen that we can click on to bring up the day's video. It then starts playing and we are to enlarge it to full screen for easier viewing. Dr. Hardin sits behind a desk and teaches us. The boards all around him will start out blank and then fill with pictures or words as the lesson proceeds. The videos are quite short, between two to five minutes in length. 

Once the video is finished the children open to the correct page in their Student Workbook. 

There are several questions that need to be answered, usually between 4 and 6. As you can see from the above picture, the type of question varies between writing out an answer to a question and circling the correct answer. True or false questions are also used on occasion.  The answers to the questions are factual questions that can be figured out by watching the videos. There are also occasional puzzle pages in addition to the daily questions. Children may be asked to draw a picture, complete a word find, crossword puzzle, or matching exercise.

Sometimes the activity may be more hands-on.

Here they are making clay animals during our first week of the course.

Here is Amelia cutting out her flowers for a classification activity.

Each week there is also at least 1 day that includes a Video Activity. We watch the activity together, and then we complete the activity. The girls have made pictures of the days of creation. We have played an observation/prediction game where I put an object in a bag and they have to guess what it is, drawing a picture of what they think the object is. I think their favorite so far was making pine cone bird feeders to help take care of a part of God's creation, of which He gave us dominion. 

They had a blast making the pinecone bird feeders.

And they were very excited to hang them in the trees in our yard.

(Yes, my girls LOVE to climb trees.)

Science Shepherd Introductory Science is a great science curriculum for young children. I love that it starts out by focusing on God and the Bible. The lessons are presented in a way the children can understand and are perfect for children for short attention spans. There is just the right mix of workbook and hands-on activities. Usually the answers to the questions are obvious to me as the parent, but it is very helpful to have an answer key to make sure I am looking for the same answer the curriculum is looking for. I also appreciate that the course is flexible. We have 24 hour 7 day a week access to the lessons, which can be watched when we have the time to do so. Due to the brief lessons, it has been easy to watch more than one a day if we have skipped a day or two during the week. If you don't want to do science five days out of the week, you can simply double up a day or two, perhaps only having science three days that week. Even with a busy routine, I have found we can stay on schedule to have this course finished within the year.

This is definitely a curriculum I highly recommend.

The Introductory Science Video Course costs $35 for a 12 month access.
The Introductory Science Workbook Level B costs $15 and can only be used by one student.
The Introductory Science Workbook Answer Key Level B costs $3.

You can find Science Shepherd on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Don't forget to check out my fellow Crew Mates' reviews of the different courses Science Shepherd has available: Introductory Science, Science Shepherd Biology, and Science Shepherd Life Science. Just click on the banner below:

Science Shepherd Review
Crew Disclaimer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I love to read your comments, so please leave me one if you have the time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails