Lately, I have truly discovered the joy in self-paced online courses. We have experienced history, Bible, and latin. Now I can add science! I am truly excited about this. Today, I have the opportunity to tell you about Science Shepherd ~ (http://www.scienceshepherd.com/) where my second grade (six and a half-year-old daughter) is working her way through Introductory Science.
In a complete science curriculum, Introductory Science covers the topics starting with Creation, and moving on to Science Skills and Equipment and on to topics of Earth Science and Life Science including through geology, biology, astronomy, oceanography, meteorolgy, plants and much more!
This course, Introductory Science is intended to be used five days per week for a total of 35 weeks. For the purposes of review, we received access to 12-months of daily on-demand video lessons as well as a Level A consumable spiral workbook and Answer Key to go along with the complete science curriculum course intended for ages 6-11.
I immediately took the jump to choose Level A for my six-year-old student, as Level B is geared toward ages 9-11. Level B is said to contain the same material as Level A, plus additional content. After several weeks in, I believe that Level A is quite easy for her, and she probably would have been able to be challenged appropriately with Level B. However, perhaps every once in a while, we need to take an easier course instead of rushing head on through our studies.
When we first gained access to the online course, I added it to our moderated and supervised browser and approved the domain for my girls to gain access from their profile in Google Chrome on the Linux Ubuntu laptop. We had to find some old speakers to plug in, because otherwise we could not heard the audio of his speaking very well without them. I expected my daughter, AppleBlossom to go through one lesson and then come discuss things with me…
To my surprise, when we touched base later in the day, I asked how her first lesson was. Indeed, she had gone through 7+ lessons of the video and the worksheets to accompany it. She showed me her art pages of hands-on activity that she had been instructed to complete and asked if she could do a different variety.
Science Shepherd has me in awe! I found myself completely shocked to discover how easy it is for my daughter to truly just trek on at her own pace. The capability of her to rewatch a short video again and again if she needs to, or keep going when she is ready is phenomenal.
Introductory Science from Science Shepherd is unapologetically Christian, young-earth science and is presented in a very neat way. The short videos range from 2-5 minutes in length and are mostly lecture with images of relevant topic appearing in the background while Dr. Scott Hardin talks.
With this review, I went back another time without my student to re-watch the videos and I am pleased with the level of the material being covered. The workbooks are not very complex, but again I think I often make things harder than they need to be. The workbook has fill in the blank, multiple choice, word search, activity instructions all in a varying order keeping things interesting and informative. They provide a very decent review of the material lectured on.
Science Shepherd has truly impressed me. You can watch a preview lesson on their website and see samples of the workbooks and keys. There is also a Life Science course for Middle School grades and Biology course for High School. The absolute only problem for me is that there is not a science course for every year!
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