A Christian Introductory Video Science Course

Disclosure: We received access to the Science Shepherd videos for Introductory Science level B, as well as the student workbook and teacher’s guide in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thanks for listening!

As luck and life would have it, we finished our science curriculum and, being on the road, did not have access to our schoolbooks that were in storage. We were offered an opportunity to review Introductory Science by Science Shepherd, which would satisfy a year’s worth of science study. I said in my head, “Naaaah. I like what we use.” Then my pocketbook said, “True, but that’s in storage several states away, and y’ain’t got the moolah to buy something you already have.” My pocketbook is very practical and annoying. I half-heartedly checked it out before agreeing.

After watching the free lesson, I was sold, so here we are. My head is happy. My pocketbook is happy. My science students are happy. And Marissa just made cookies, so Daddy is happy.

Science Shepherd Review

Faith First

One of the things I loved about our in-storage curriculum was that it was faith-based and taught science from a young-earth Creationist perspective, showing how science can and does support Creation, because the Creator is the first and greatest scientist. My kids also study evolution, but I wanted a curriculum that didn’t leave the faith-based side of it entirely to us. I don’t want to always be on the hunt for resources.

I was delighted that Science Shepherd is Creation-based as well! Your students will learn creation, geology, biology, astronomy, oceanography, and meteorology from a Biblical perspective. Cool beans, that! (FYI, as you progress in your Creation-science studies over the years, you will find that this perspective makes solid sense and isn’t just a bunch of bunk from a cult of fairy-tale-believing voodoo weirdos.)

Family First

I have eight children, as you know, and am a freelance writer, as you know, and travel the country full time for our Christian music mission, as you know, so I like to chill out with my man and pretend I don’t have time to spend prepping multiple lessons. Call me lazy.

Science Shepherd is pretty much a plug-and-play program. There isn’t really any parent prep necessary on a daily basis. You should get involved to some degree, especially if you participate in the additional activities, but it is not going to monopolize your time. Thank you, Science Shepherd!

How it Works

This is how the program works and how we used it:

  1. Watch a video each day. They are short–super short. It’s really hard to fall asleep during one of them because they’re so short, and believe me, I can fall asleep through anything! We all watched them together, but it isn’t necessary.
  2. Do a worksheet. These are short and simple, but they do review some important concepts. We did the first two weeks together aloud instead of as assignments, because it was all Creation review for us. After that, however, review over!
  3. Enjoy the midweek activity. This, of course, is optional, because you’re homeschoolers, so if it’s stressing you out, pretend the enrichment activity doesn’t exist. Homeschooler prerogative!

It’s really easy as pie–easier even–yet full of solid information. If you need to, say, hike the Grand Canyon for a couple days one week, the sessions are short enough that you can combine them with other days. We did that many times. Shhh. Don’t tell.

Additional Thoughts from My Kids

My seventh grader thought it was too easy. While I don’t recommend her for the target audience (and neither does the publisher, since this is for 9- to 11-year-olds), if science studies have been weak prior to this, or if your studies have been extremely specific, like only studying astronomy and botany, for example, this will be a nice overview which a seventh-grader could run through quickly.

My first grader thought the speaker could be more animated. The speaker says what needs to be said with no fluff, filler, or distraction. You decide if that’s a plus or a minus based on your family. Personally, I think that if he added foofoo comments about cookies and pie and posted random images, why, he’d be no less distracting than this blog! It’s a straightforward presentation–a little more animation from the speaker wouldn’t hurt, but it isn’t necessary. Maybe a tap dance? Just a little one.

My fourth grader is doing great with this program. He learns much better with screens–woe is me–and his easily distracted self thrives on the short lessons with no games and gizmos. This is ideal for him. He is the main student anyway, and is the one in the suggested age group and the one with the workbook. Imagine that.

A Little Bit More About Our Experience

The program is designed to have a workbook for each student–my other students were just tagalongs. The seven-year-old will continue to tag along, but the 13-year-old is out. Just for information’s sake, we also have a four-year-old who is tagging along with the study, and she will do…well…whatever she wants. Ha!

We added Chris Driesbach’s Creation song “God Made It All” from his kids CD Feed Your Faith. Christ is a fellow traveling Christian musician, and his song fit perfectly and helped the kids memorize and reinforce what they learned the first two weeks of Science Shepherd. Chris doesn’t have a song for the subsequent weeks, so you’ll have to figure out your own memory tricks…or just do the worksheets.

This is not an in-depth science course. It touches on many aspects of science and is an introductory course as the name suggests. You will not be going super deep into any one topic. It is an excellent overview. We have gaps in our science education (who doesn’t) because we study some topics in depth–this is great for filling in those gaps, and we skim over areas where we are already strong.

Thoughts for Large Families

We enjoy working on subjects together, and this worked great for that. Of course each child needs a workbook, so there’s that. Also, budget-wise, I am not a fan of membership sites, since you can’t pass a membership down to the next child. I prefer DVDs or books. Take this as you will.

Additional Thoughts for My Fellow Roadschoolers

The benefit to no DVDs or books is it totally fits on our total lack of shelf space! Woo hoo!

It does, unfortunately, require an internet connection, which may or may not be the same albatross to you as it is to us. In talking to many of you on the road, it’s a hit-or-miss issue with many of you. Because you can be flexible, it shouldn’t be too big a deal.

Personally, I think the solid Scriptural perspective, the short, flexible lessons, and the depth of the topics make this worth the shelf space for the student books and teacher guide. Short lessons, after all, leave lots of time for exploring the world outside the screen and page. That’s my favorite science lesson. Grin.

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Science Shepherd Review