Science is actually why I finally decided to homeschool. How could I tell my son (then in 6th Grade) to trust and respect his teachers and yet tell him that what they were teaching him was incorrect and not to believe / follow it (specifically when they would teach about evolution). That was the final straw for me. It was time to bring him home! Since then we’ve had another son, who is now eight years old, and I am so glad we don’t have to worry about having this conversation with him! Homeschooling offers us the opportunity to keep God in every subject, especially science! Science is one of our favorite subjects and we enjoy learning in many different ways, so I was excited to find Science Shepherd, an online homeschool science curriculum that is fairly new.
They currently offer:
- Introductory Science recommended for ages 6 – 11.
- Life Science for Middle School / Jr High ages.
- Biology for High School ages.
- Unearthing the Bible (archaeology) Brand new as of 8/2016.
- Creation Science which offers a few free resources.
As it says at the top of their page: Homeschool Science Curriculum with Simplicity, Excellence, and Biblical Perspective. PERFECT! Science Shepherd is designed by a homeschool dad, Scott Hardin, who saw a huge need in the homeschool world for a more fun and yet still informative way to learn science. Initially they started with the upper science classes but afterward continued to provide for the younger grades. Dr. Hardin holds a Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, as well as a Medical Doctor degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and has been practicing medicine in Wisconsin since 1997. So he definitely has the knowledge to provide these courses!
We have been using the Introductory Science program and have found it to be a spectacular fit for us! There are two possible workbooks that go along with this level of learning: Book A which is recommended for ages 6 – 8 and Book B which is recommended for ages 9 – 11. The main difference between the two is there are a few more questions per day with Book B. You can find samples of both books HERE. Although my son is eight, we chose Book B.
This course offers 35 weeks of five day instruction. Each day of each week the student watches a two to five minute video and then answers the questions in the workbook. We LOVE the videos! SO MUCH INFORMATION is packed in to these short videos! I know what you are thinking – five minute videos!?!?! What can one possibly learn in less than five minutes!?!??!! Well, honestly – a lot! They are jam packed full of information! And there are different pictures and words that are shown on the screen to help mentally process what is being discussed (as shown below).
As Dr. Hardin is speaking, the four different areas (behind him, to his left, to his right and below him) have rotating pictures and words that correspond to what he is talking about – it really is an ingenious idea!
Now, this wouldn’t be a complete review without mentioning if there is something that doesn’t work real well for our family. With that, the only thing I don’t really like about this program is that it doesn’t keep track of where you left off. However it is easy enough to look in the workbook and find out, or for me, I write it down. For example, Week 4, Day 3. I did start an excel sheet so I could just check it off but I printed the page with only the first three weeks so I just hand wrote it after that. *grin* I suppose I could go in and finish the sheet and print it again … but that hasn’t happened yet. With that, this is what the screen looks like when you login and go to this course. This is what you see at the top and you click on which week you want to view.
Once you pick your week, at the bottom you choose which day you want to watch:
It is as easy as that! So, in the big scheme of life this really isn’t a large issue. If you are interested in seeing a sample video, you can view one HERE.
All in all this is a program we absolutely LOVE! My son is very active so the short lessons work really well for him. He also enjoys the ease of the workbook (he doesn’t like to write, it takes too long) and the crossword puzzles at the end of each week of lessons. Here is a sample page from our workbook:
Honestly, we normally do about three days lessons at one setting and that seems to work really well for us – but we also don’t do it every day – so all in all I think it will work out perfectly for the entire year of learning.
So, when using the Introductory Science curriculum you have online access for one year from the date of purchase. And it is AFFORDABLE! The one year video course is $35 and the workbooks are either $12 (for A) or $15 (for B). You can also order answer keys for $3. Personally, I watch/ed the videos with my son (because I love to learn too!) so didn’t find that we needed the answer key.
Here’s praying you have fun learning!