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A DVD-Based Science Course With a Christian Worldview (A Homeschool Crew Review)

One of the lessons that has been a difficult one to learn as a homeschool mom is that my kids don't always learn best by the same methods that I do. I love to read. Some of my kids do well with heavy reading and some do not. I'm a visual learner. But some of my children are audio learners. This can make homeschooling challenging because I'll find a curriculum that I love...but it just doesn't work for one or more of the kids.

Finding science curricula for my second child- my son- has been a challenge because of this. The science curriculum that I wanted him to use for high school was heavy on reading. It was a curriculum I loved. But it wasn't a good fit for him. After much searching this past summer, I found The 101 Series, a DVD-based science curriculum for high school. Charles- who is a 10th grader now- has been using the chemistry program this past school year. And I've had the opportunity for the Homeschool Crew to review Physics 101, the curriculum that Charles is going to use for his 11th grade year. We received a four DVD set for Physics 101.

Homeschool science curriculum review
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The 101 Series

The 101 Series was created by a homeschooling family. It was originally developed because Tammy Olson couldn't find the kind of science program that she was looking for for her own children. (This sounds familiar to me!_ Wes Olson, Tammy's husband, had a background in film production and a love for science. He decided to develop the type of curriculum that they were looking for.

Over the years since 2003, there have been three programs developed by The 101 Series.

Although the programs can be used for a full high school science credit, the DVD segments could also be watched as supplemental or as an educational program for the family. They are considered to be for ages 15 and up.

Physics 101

Physics 101 is a four DVD set. The final DVD also includes two PDF files- an accreditation program booklet that describes how to use the course for a year of high school science credit and a guidebook with some reading, illustrations, quizzes and an answer key.

The main course content is contained on the four DVDs. These DVDs include twenty segments. The segments are all about 30-45 minutes long. Students will get information about seven main areas of physics.

High school science curriculum
  • The Physics of Light
  • The Physics of Sound
  • The Physics of Heat
  • The Physics of Electricity
  • The Physics of Motion
  • The Physics of The Weird
  • The Future of Physics
The Accreditation Booklet breaks down the content from the DVDs and the included printable guidebook up into activities that will constitute a year of high school science credit. 

Homeschool science for high school

This program booklet plans out reading and activities for each of the twenty segments in the course. The amount of time needed to complete each set of reading or each activity is included and this time value adds up to the typical number of hours required for a high school class credit.

Homeschool physics curriculum

The printable guidebook includes the additional information- along with the DVDs- that the student will need to complete a full course.

High school science DVD curriculum

There is an explanation about how to use the guidebook so that students and parents can understand.

The 101 Series science

The guidebook has labs for some segments and some suggested field trips throughout. At the beginning of the book is a list of materials needed for the labs in each segment. I liked that the labs are demonstrated in the DVD segments. I often had Charles complete the labs on his own, but if we didn't have the needed materials- and, yes, I sometimes neglected gathering them even though the list was all handy- I had him rewatch the labs and complete a lab report for them.

Science labs for physics

For each segment, the guidebook provides some reading and background information.

Homeschool physics program

It also has illustrations and activity explanations.

High school physics curriculum

The guidebook also has a quiz for each segment. For Charles's science course this year, I've used the grades from the quizzes as well as lab grades and the other assignment grades to make up his total grade for the class.

Homeschool science physics

At the end of the guidebook is an answer key for the quizzes.

High school science curriculum

Using the Course

The segments in the guidebook begin with a section of DVD to watch. The DVD segments aren't just a teacher lecturing- which is one reason I think this has worked well with Charles. Material is presented in a variety of ways, including explanations, lab demonstrations, and slides with words or quotes.

After the DVD segment to watch, there is material in the guidebook to read and discussion questions to answer. Then there is a section that gives the student some questions to research. These usually have a word length, meaning that the student has to think about the answer and give a longer essay-type answer and not just a word or phrase. In this section are also lab activities to complete. These are usually reproductions of labs from the video. At the end of each segment, the students review the DVD segment and take a quiz.

Why The 101 Series Works for Us

The 101 Series has been an excellent fit for us, and I'm so glad I found it. There are several reasons that it works so well for Charles.

~ The courses are light on reading. Charles isn't a strong reader. Physics 101- and the other courses in the series- has a reading component in the guidebook, but there aren't pages and pages of detailed reading in each chapter.

~ The DVD segments aren't just lecture. The segments have varied methods of communicating information. This makes them much easier to just sit and watch- and is one reason the DVDs could just be used for educational viewing and not as an entire curriculum.

~ There is a structure provided for use. When I first found The 101 Series DVDs, my first question way, "Can I make it count as a high school credit?" The Accreditation Program booklet that is included on the final DVD makes this easy. The segments are already laid out by activity. All I had to do was print it out and give it to Charles with some instruction about how many of the activities he should be covering in a week. He checks them off as he completes them.

~ The course has a Christian worldview approach to science. I prefer to use science materials that come from a Christian worldview. By high school, Charles already has a strong foundation in what we believe as Christians. But I think that science from a Christian worldview can give kids tools for explaining and defending their faith and can emphasize to kids that science doesn't contradict the Bible as culture sometimes tries to tell us. Instead science supports the idea of a supreme, intelligent Creator that has perfectly planned our world. The 101 Series approaches science from that viewpoint, and that makes it a good fit for our family.

Review of The 101 Series Physcis

Charles has been enjoying using The 101 Series this school year, and we're looking forward to his using Physics 101 for his 11th grade year. This curriculum is a great fit for us. You can see what other Homeschool Crew reviewers thought about Physics 101 and the other courses by clicking below.

Physics, Chemistry & Biology 101 {The 101 Series}

Find The 101 Series on social media.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/the101series/ @the101series
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/the101series/

Crew Disclaimer

This review will be my final Homeschool Crew review. As my kids have gotten older, it's begun to get more difficult to change up their curricula frequently to accommodate review materials. I've been blessed to be a part of this awesome group for four years now. We've received some great curricula and products and I've been blessed by the fellowship found with the Crew.

I've got some great things planned for making all of my past- and future independent- reviews into a database that you can access easily when you're looking for specific homeschool resources, so keep checking in to the blog for that.

2 comments:

  1. I will need to remember this for when My lad hits highschool level.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was really glad when we first found the chemistry for this year!

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