Science is a favorite topic of study in our home, because Daddy is a scientist! We’ve stayed busy learning about science with this new homeschool science curriculum product I received to review: Introductory Science from Science Shepherd.
What is the Science Shepherd homeschool science curriculum?
I love it when homeschool dads get involved with educating their children. Science Shepherd was created by one such dad who saw a need for quality science instruction for homeschoolers. Dr. Scott Hardin began with a special focus on the higher level grades, but then branched into science courses for all grade levels. Science Shepherd now offers four online video courses, plus workbooks/textbooks for each!
The Introductory Science course which we reviewed is designed for ages 6-11. I like how each course covers a range of ages, so the whole family can enjoy the same course at once! I am a big fan of this kind of mixed-ages learning!
Course topics include Science Skills & Tools, Meteorology, Geology, Plants, Creatures, Human Body, and some light physical science topics.
The self-paced course features a daily video (5 day week), plus a video activity. Each video is no more than 3-5 minutes, and introduces a concept clearly for the students, which parents can then expound on at home. As 36 week course, you could use it for a full year, or adjust to fit your schedule.
The videos show Dr. Hardin speaking, with text and video onscreen around him. It’s a simple video with him playing a “news host” role, talking as images appear. I would have liked to see a little more excitement in the voiceovers, as sometimes it was an exciting topic but spoken very low-key! Kids tune into the excitement in our voices, and what is more exciting than science!? And, I found the video sound to be “low” volume; if I turned up my computer all the way, we could hear it.
Each week’s Video Activity features two young scientists working through a simple activity kids can complete at home after watching. Activities in Level A involve basic household objects and craft materials. For instance, Week 1, we created a diagram of the days of creation. Week 3, we practiced classification by coloring different kinds of flower images, cutting them out and then sorting.
Workbooks are also available to extend the learning. Choose from Workbook A or B for younger and older students. Level B has extra content.
Parents purchase a one-year course subscription, plus workbooks and answer keys desired. You can use the video course without the workbook. A course, workbook, and answer key for Introductory Science is about $50, depending on which level you buy. You can also purchase “extensions” if you don’t finish watching the course videos within one year’s time.
How we used Science Shepherd in our home
Science Shepherd’s Introductory Science is easy to implement into a homeschool curriculum. We watched the daily video, completed the workbook questions, and had discussion time, if needed. Sometimes I supplemented by reading science books related to the topic, or reviewing Bible verses mentioned.
Since the videos are very short, we sometimes watched a few videos back to back with short breaks to answer the workbook questions. This gave us a longer “class time” and if the boys were interested, we would keep going. If they showed signs of tiring, then a single video was enough for that day.
My six-year-old is in kindergarten and just learned to read this year. Many questions were lengthy, so I had to read them or shorten so he could grasp what was being asked. Once I did that, he was fine as most of the questions are simple recall of facts, true / false, matching, and fill in the blank.
I was torn on the Level A book – the question length was above my son’s reading level (long sentences and words like “dominion,” “classification,” etc), yet asking the question verbally was perfectly easy for him to answer. I would have liked to see the question wording simplified for early readers at this level.
Also, I would’ve liked at least once a week to have open-ended “thinking” questions to foster discussions. I am wondering if this is included at Level B.
I can appreciate the simplicity of this program for busy homeschool moms like myself. I don’t use much screen time in our homeschooling, but the short videos kept the screen time to a minimum for us. For the parent who needs to add on a science component to their curriculum, Science Shepherd has design a clear and concise curriculum with valuable content at an affordable price!
Read more reviews…
As I mentioned, there are several other homeschool science curriculum courses from Science Shepherd, and different levels for each course. If you have a different science need besides Introductory, or you just want to hear someone else’s take on this course, click here to read more reviews from fellow homeschool parents!