Monday, May 23, 2016

Science Shepherd - Introductory Science (TOS Review

Today's review features the online Introductory Science from Science Shepherd. Because of Lindsey's age and grade level, we are using the Level B workbook.

This curriculum is unapologetically Creation based.   Chapters 1 and 2 are introductory and focus on God's Word being true, and that He truly created all things by speaking them into existence, and then moving into the 7 days of creation.   Chapters 3 and beyond then move into a systematic 35 week science study.

Each lesson begins with a brief (2-5 minute) online video, and Lindsey really likes those.   One reason that I shy away from online classes is because of the slow buffering that sometimes happens for those of us with slower speed Internet.  This has been an issue with this product, but since the lessons are so short, it's not as agonizing as I'd expected.

The online instructor has a pleasant voice and as both girls stated "He seems quite knowledgeable."   The student workbook is very straight forward, black and white with an occasional lesson related graphic.  Each lesson has a related Bible scripture at the top of the page.  For example Day 1 Week 1 has "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1 listed.

The workbook works as a review for the video.  Whatever topic the video covers for that day is in the student workbook.    There are fill in the blanks, word searches, circle the best answer and matching questions.   The weekly reviews are crossword puzzles.    There are also activity pages, some of which have corresponding activity videos, that reinforce the lesson.  For example, in week 4 the video activity shows the student how to make a bird feeder from pine cones, nut-butter and bird seeds.   The workbook lists the items needed and numbered steps to complete the activity.  You can then watch the video and complete the activity.

Both the videos and workbook components are brief, easily digestible lessons that aren't overwhelming to young students.   However, for those older student who are wanting to go deeper, there is enough given to spark the urge to research. While Lindsey isn't a "science geek" at all, I do feel like I need to add a bit extra to the lessons.  I asked her opinion and she agreed that while she does like it, it's not very involved.   Hands on projects, outdoor exploration and living books would easily allow older students to explore more in depth.  I'm sure I'll be adding those items as this will be our actual science curriculum for the upcoming school year.

The Answer Key, is a pamphlet style, with the outer cover being made of the same paper as the pages.  This key lists the content by week, with a brief explanation of what is covered.  Here is an example:

Week 6:  Earth Science Meteorology
Storms, thunder, lightning, wind, tornadoes, hurricanes, the Great Flood

Answers to all questions, puzzles and diagrams are included in the 41 page teacher key.   There is no instruction in the answer key, only answers to the workbook.

Other Crew reviews can be read here.

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