Awesome, Creation-Based, Online Science Curriculum From Science Shepherd (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

I have to admit that it is sometimes difficult to make time for the “extra” subjects like science when the kids are elementary-aged and I’m doing most of the teaching. It’s much easier when they hit high school and are doing all of their subjects independently. But for the younger crew, I usually only fit science in two times a week.

I’ve seen online science curricula and wondered if this could be the answer to this problem. If the kids could work independently online, they could fit in science more often. The problem is that I want a creation-based, Christian-worldview science curriculum- especially in the lower grades, and I haven’t been able to find that in a good online course. Enter Science Shepherd. We had the opportunity to review Introductory Science from Science Shepherd for a recent Crew review, and we’ve found a new science curriculum that we love.

Video science curriculum review

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We received the Introductory Science video course- which is a twelve month access, Workbook Level B (I purchased an additional workbook so that both Ashlyne and Rachel could use this course.), and an answer key for the workbook.

What is Science Shepherd?

Science Shepherd was begun by a Christian homeschool dad of six. Scott Hardin has a science degree and a medical degree, and he was concerned about the fact that many homeschool families decided not to homeschool in high school because of a lack of stringent science courses available.

The program began offering a biology course and life science course for upper grade students. They’ve since expanded and begun the streaming video classes and are creating more classes for more grade levels.

The tagline on the Science Shepherd website is “Homeschool Science Curriculum with Simplicity, Excellence, and Biblical Perspective” and this is exactly what you can find. The video classes are presented simply without lots of bells and whistles. The material is thorough. And it all comes from a solid Christian worldview and emphasizes the fact that science and the Bible can go hand in hand.

Online homeschool science

Currently there are three classes offered.

  • Biology is a complete high school curriculum.
  • Life Science is a junior high/middle school curriculum.
  • Introductory Science is recommended for ages 6-11, with two different levels of student workbook.

There are also free Creation Science videos available for watching on the site.

What is covered in Introductory Science?

We chose to review Introductory Science with Ashlyne- who just turned 12- and Rachel- age 10. Introductory Science consists of 35 weeks of video lessons, with one short (less around five minutes) video lesson for each day. Some weeks have four lessons, and one video is a hands-on activity to watch.

There is a corresponding workbook, and two different levels are offered. Level A is recommended for  approximately ages 6-8, and Level B is recommended for approximately ages 9-11. The workbook has questions and fill-in-the blank activities based off of the videos.

Homeschool science workbook

There are also occasional hands-on activities in each week’s lessons. These are demonstrated by children in the video.

Hands-on science activities

The course begins with an introduction to science and talks about Creation. It then goes on to teach about the scientific method, tools, and investigation. Then it covers a variety of basic science topics.

  • Earth Science- Meteorology, Geology, Oceanography, and Astronomy
  • Life Science- Plants, Underwater Creatures, Flying Creatures, Land Creatures, Human Beings, Health, and Ecology and Natural Resources
  • Physical Science– Matter, Energy, Motion, and Magnets

How does it all work?

When we first logged into our account, we could choose from the courses that we owned. Choosing the Introductory Science course took us to a main page where all thirty five weeks of classes could be accessed.

Video based homeschool science

Each week’s set has five videos. Sometimes there are five lessons in the week, and sometimes one of the videos is a hands-on activity demonstration. The videos have a variety of ways of presenting the material. Using a lecture style, graphics, and real life children, the videos change up the various presentation methods, and this really holds kids’ interest.

Homeschool science online

The course material on the website explains that you can schedule the course in whatever way fits your family. This is one of my favorite things about the curriculum. You can easily set up to do a lesson a day, everyday. Or- because the video lessons are so short- you can watch and complete multiple lessons in one day.

We tried to do science everyday, with the girls each logging in and watching one lesson. They usually watched the lesson together and then completed their workbooks separately. But because it’s streaming video that they can watch anytime, they didn’t have to do it together. We had flexibility. Some days we didn’t get to science, and it was easy to catch up by watching two videos the next day. The information presented is valuable and complete, but the lessons are short and can be completed quickly.

Online homeschool science

The girls answered questions or filled in blanks in the workbook as they watched. When there was a hands-on activity, they did it after watching. Some of the hands-on activities were fun ones that we could do together. For example, when they were learning about observing and investigating as part of science, I found several household objects and put them in a brown paper bag. They took turns reaching into the bag and describing what they were feeling. Then they tried to guess what the item was before they pulled it out.

Online science courses

There was very little prep for me after initially teaching them how to login and how the course worked. I did try to look ahead at the activity for the week to see if we needed special materials or if there was something fun we could do together. Otherwise the program is very self-directed. It was a perfect way to make sure that we were fitting in science.

What do we think?

We have truly loved this course. We’ve all appreciated the ease of use, and it’s a subject the girls really look forward to doing each day.

I love that they are presenting good, detailed information in a simplistic, straightforward way. It makes things easy to understand, and it makes fitting in science very doable.

I love that there is very little prep involved. As the girls get older, I look for more and more that they can do independently as they transition into middle school and then high school. With Science Shepherd, I can make them responsible for their science and just check up on what they’re doing and help with activities.

Creation based homeschool science

I love that it’s science presented from a Christian worldview. The course began with the Bible, which is where science should begin. And the information goes back again and again to God and His creation and using science to learn about it.

We are definitely continuing with Science Shepherd. My plan is to continue using it occasionally throughout the summer and then, hopefully, ordering the middle school Life Science when this one is complete. Introductory Science has been pretty easy for my girls because they are on the upper end of the age range. It was still an excellent place to start because watching and taking notes and answering questions independently has been a new experience for them. So it was better to start with a course that was going to be pretty easy.

The only negative for me is that Science Shepherd doesn’t have more courses. I would love for my high school students to be able to use it, but they’ve already taken biology. I’m really hoping more and more courses become available as Ashlyne and Rachel get older.

If you’re looking for a science curriculum that makes science easy to complete, is an independent program for kids, and has a strong Christian worldview, you can’t beat Science Shepherd. Other Crew members reviewed this course and the other two available Science Shepherd courses. You can read those reviews by clicking below.

Science Shepherd Review

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