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Monday, May 23, 2016

Science Shepherd (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)



I like science. Actually, that would be a huge understatement - I absolutely LOVE science.  I was the science nerd in high school who actually took extra science classes as electives instead of easier electives.  Science is one of those subjects that I feel is the launching pad for other studies such as history, mathematics and even English, so I always felt having a strong science background was important.  Plus, I just find science to be very interesting to begin with. Because of this, I really want to instill a love of science for the kids as well.   I love reviewing Science curriculum for this reason and so when I was given the opportunity to review Introductory Science from Science Shepherd, I was all over it.   Science Shepherd gave us a one year online subscription to their Introductory Science Video Course curriculum as well as a physical copy of the Introductory Science Workbook Level B and a physical copy of the corresponding answer key.

Science Shepherd, homeschool science, video science curriculum, online homeschool science​


Science Shepherd Science Curriculum is the brainchild of Dr. Scott Hardin, a practicing physician as well as a homeschooling dad of six.  Dr Hardin wasn't happy with the science curriculum available for homeschooling families, especially for older students and was frustrated with the fact many parents choose to stop homeschooling students in the upper grades because they didn't feel confident in teaching more advanced sciences.  With his Science degree, Dr Hardin set out to design a science curriculum that would help parents feel more confident in their teaching while providing a more than adequate science platform for the student. Thus, Science Shepherd, a Biblical based science curriculum, was born.

Science Shepherd currently offers three courses of science study:  Introductory Science, Life Science and Biology.  All three courses look amazing but we opted to review the Introductory Science curriculum which is geared for students ages 6-11, which is perfect for both Garrett and Ashleigh.  The Introductory Science is a 35 week complete science course that is completely browser based and consists of videos and an optional workbook.  This is a Biblical base science curriculum which focuses on Creationism and the chapters and lessons are arranged by the order in which God would have created them.

The first component of the Introductory Science curriculum is the online streaming video lessons.  Subjects are divided into 35 weeks. Each week has it's own "Dashboard" where a series of daily videos for that week can be found.  Students are required to watch one to two videos a day, usually the lesson video and sometimes a secondary video that demonstrates a hands-on activity that the students can also do in addition to the lesson. Videos are clearly marked for the week and day that they correspond with.  These videos are very short, usually about 3-5 minutes long and are lecture style with Dr Hardin.  The lessons almost have a news anchor feel to it.   Dr Hardin uses full color photographs and slides though these lessons to help demonstrate the lesson.   Topics covered include Earth Sciences such as Meteorology, Geography, Astronomy and Oceanography,   Life Sciences such as plants, living creatures and Ecology, and Physical Science such as Matter, Energy, and Motion.  A full Scope and Sequence for the course is provided online.  The videos are all recorded in High Definition and looked amazing when I connected my computer to my HDTV via an HDMI cord.   These videos are very professional looking with very clear picture and audio.

Science Shepherd, homeschool science, video science curriculum, online homeschool science​


The second component of the Science Shepherd  is the optional (but wonderful as well as reasonably priced) workbook.  The workbook comes in two levels, A or B.  Level A is geared for students 6-8 years of age where Level B is for a targeted 9-11 years of age.  Because I wanted to use this curriculum with both Ashleigh (age 8) and Garrett (age 9), I opted to purchase the Level A workbook for Ashleigh to use along with Garrett who would use the Level B workbook we were reviewing.  Each workbook is a spiral bound paperback consumable workbook that has questions and activities for each week of lessons.   A comparison of the Level A vs Level B workbooks are apparent when side by side, the Level B has more questions and activities then the Level A workbook and has more than 50 more pages as well.  I honestly think Ashleigh could have done just as well with the Level B workbook as she answered those questions not in her workbook orally with no problems.  My kids actually really enjoyed doing the activities in their workbooks each day and never gave me any problem when it came time to doing them.  An optional Answer Key guide can also be purchased that provides answers to all questions as well as solutions for the various crossword puzzles and word finds. I found it very convenient to punch holes in this and keep it inside my planning binder.

Science Shepherd, homeschool science, video science curriculum, online homeschool science​

Science Shepherd, homeschool science, video science curriculum, online homeschool science​
Comparison of Workbooks for the Same lesson for both Level A and Level B
Science Shepherd, homeschool science, video science curriculum, online homeschool science​
Answer Key for the Level B Workbook

The hands-on activities are lots of fun as well.  While we are only on the 6th week of the program, we have had fun making pine cone bird feeders as well as performing experiments in regards to condensation and learning about sorting and organization.  These experiments are pretty simple in design and do not require large amounts of preparation or expensive supplies. Most of the supplies we've needed so far were items I had already, such as paper lunch bags, pine cones (which are a constant in our house, hence our blog's name.. lol), string, and cans.    The experiments are well thought out and do a great job of demonstrating the concepts being learned in that day's lesson.

Science Shepherd, homeschool science, video science curriculum, online homeschool science​
Learning about Water Condensation 
Science Shepherd, homeschool science, video science curriculum, online homeschool science​
Sorting and Organizing based on Color and Petal Numbers
Learning about the Water Cycle
Overall, this is a solid curriculum and we are really enjoying using it.  It provides enough information to provide a more than adequate knowledge base for younger students and will easily prepare them for more involved scientific classes later on.   My only complaint about Science Shepherd is that they do not offer a Chemistry class (but their website does say that one might be in the works in the future) so that my older daughter could use it.

Science Shepherd, homeschool science, video science curriculum, online homeschool science​

For more information about Introductory Science as well as the Biology and Life Science courses offered by Science Shepherd, be sure to visit their website or find them on the following social media sites:






Science Shepherd Review

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