Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Introductory Science by Science Shepherd ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Science is definitely a favorite subject for Gavin. He has wanted to learn about all things science since he was very young. Hands on experiments have also been one of his favorite things about homeschool. We have been using Introductory Science by Science Shepherd the last few weeks and have really enjoyed it. It has successfully combined all of the things that Gavin loves about science into one curriculum.

What we received for this review:

12 month access to the daily videos and activities
Workbook (Level B) 383 page spiral bound consumable book
Answer Key (Level B) 41 page booklet

Who is Science Shepherd and what is Introductory Science?

I had never used any products from Science Shepherd or heard of it before we had the opportunity to work on this review. Science Shepherd curriculum was created by Scott Hardin, a homeschool dad, who has been homeschooling his children since 1998. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors along with a Medical Doctor degree, and he has been practicing medicine in Wisconsin since 1997.

Science Shepherd Introductory Science is a creation based, complete science curriculum, created for ages 6-11. It covers fun topics that include:

  • Creation
  • Biology
  • Astronomy
  • Oceanography
  • Meteorology
  • and more
Introductory Science is divided into 35 weeks so it can be a full year of curriculum, but it's easy to work at your own schedule.

The curriculum is video and workbook based which we love. Each video is between 2 and 5 minutes long each day. Another plus is that they have two workbooks available, Level A is adapted more for ages 6 to 8 while Level B is designed for ages 9 to 11. They both include the same material, but Level B has a bit more included for older students. 

How did we use this in our school?

This program is so fun and easy to use. It's Gavin's favorite thing to do right now. It isn't time consuming and complicated but it is still extremely educational. It actually only takes him 10 to 15 minutes a day to complete it. I love the fact that this program is already broken down for me into daily lessons. It is designed for 5 days a week, but that can be easily adjusted to fit your needs. It makes my life so much easier because I don't have to worry about trying to lesson plan it. It's already done for me! That is always a huge time saver and a plus in my book.

Let's talk first about the videos. Like I said before they are between 2-5 minutes long, so that's perfect for a daily lesson for some kids. Gavin stays completely engaged the entire time, and often wishes they were a bit longer. The teacher isn't boring and the graphics are good. His words!

The workbook has different things to do everyday. It may be a question and answer, or puzzle, or even an experiment. Gavin did a few that he had fun with. One of the lessons was on sorting and classifying flowers. It was fun and made the point, but I felt it was a bit more for younger kids. He had to color the flowers different colors and then sort and classify them by color, by petals, or by both. It was still a very good lesson. 

He really enjoys science experiments so when he got to the Meteorology portion, he had fun doing an experiment to see that there is always water in the air. We can assure you of this since we live in Texas. It is 230498233058% humid here all of the time!

He had to have 2 tin cans, ice water and warm water. That's simple enough and doable!

He filled one can with ice water and one with warm water.

After filling the cans he left them to see what would happen.

 We have condensation!

What did we think?

I think overall this is a great educational program. Gavin loves it and wants to continue to do it. There are many things that I also really love about it. I am always in favor of a curriculum that is creation based, and also includes a bible verse at the beginning of every lesson.  

My only issue as a mom so far is that it seems a bit too easy for him. He even mentioned to me that the lessons weren't challenging him enough and that he would have more fun if it was a bit harder. He really felt like he's covered a lot of this and with it being Level B rather than A, I was hoping it would have just dug in a little bit more. I think that if there were a little more to each daily lesson, and the questions were just a little bit more challenging, that this would be a homerun! I still think it's fantastic, but just more for students in Kindergarten through maybe 2nd, possibly even 3rd grade. We will definitely continue to use it, but maybe use it as a guide and branch out on these subjects a bit more. Especially those that he's super interested in, like weather. It's a great concept and fun, and that is always a plus for Gavin! If you are looking for an early elementary science program I would definitely recommend Introductory Science by Science Shepherd

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