Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A TOS Review: Science Shepherd Life Science

Recently, I had the chance to review a wonderful science curriculum. Science Shepherd is a company started by a homeschool dad (and medical doctor) who wanted to provide higher level science education for homeschool families. We  were generously provided with their Science Shepherd Life Science for review. 

Science Shepherd is a Scripture-based curriculum.  This, of course, is in line with our beliefs. Science can be a rather tricky subject to navigate for those of us who appreciate sound Biblical teaching. After reading Science Shepherds take on science education, I knew that this would be a curriculum I could trust.

Life Science is intended for Middle School grades. I received a Student Text Bok, Answer Key and Parent Companion and Test Booklet. 

The Student Book features beautiful pictures and illustrations and is easily navigated. It contains 19 chapters.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Characteristics of Life
Chapter 3: The Chemistry of Life and Light Energy
Chapter 4: Cell membrane: Passive and Active Transport
Chapter 5: Cell Interior: Structure and Function
Chapter 6: DNA Structure and Function
Chapter 7: Cell Reproduction
Chapter 8: Heredity
Chapter 9: Evolution and Creation
Chapter 10: Scientific Classification I: Overview, Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, and Viruses
Chapter 11: Scientific Classification II: Protista and Fungi
Chapter 12: Scientific Classification: Plantae I
Chapter 13:  Scientific Classification: Plantae II
Chapter 14: Scientific Classification: Kingdom Animalia I
Chapter 15: Scientific Classification: Kingdom Animalia II
Chapter: 16: Scientific Classification: Kingdom Animalia III
Chapter 17: Scientific Classification: Human Anatomy and Physiology: Control, Support, and Movement
Chapter 18: Nutrition, Circulation, Respiration, and Protection
Chapter 19: Earth Studies

The Answer Key and Parent Companion contains a suggested student schedule, a Study Question Answer Key and Test Answer Key. There are also plenty of notes for you as the parent to help your student.

The Test Booklet contains all the tests that you will need for the curriculum. There are 9 tests in all.

How We Used It

Before I share my thoughts, I have to tell you that I am not a scientist. It is not my most favorite subject to teach. I took the minimal amount of science courses required for my college degree. My mind starts wandering whenever all those "sciencey" words start floating around. 

There are only so many history and literature courses we can do in a semester. 

Josiah is in 8th grade at present and will shortly be heading into High School. My concern is that he needs a rigorous science curriculum that will prepare him for other science courses he needs. 

However, Josiah is dyslexic and I know that he needs something that is understandable and not overwhelming.

We took turns reading the curriculum. I found it to be very easy to navigate and explained things in such a way that weren’t overwhelming. For one, there is plenty of white space in the text for easy reading.

This picture is from the second chapter of book (Characteristics of Life). This second point (cells) is clearly defined. You can also see that there are highlighted words. These words are also included in the glossary at the end of the chapter. 

 Each point is given an example to help aid in the understanding of it. At the end of each chapter are study questions. The Answer Key provides all the information you will need to help your student succeed. 

Testing is meant to be fairly flexible with this curriculum. For example, Test #1 has 32 questions! However, we as parents are encouraged to test the student according to our student's particular needs.  This might be that the test is shortened or that the students are allowed to answer the questions verbally.

Of course, verbal testing is more our speed. I appreciate the flexibility we are provided. 

This is a really excellent curriculum.  It is engaging and easy to understand. I wish I had had this curriculum before I took Anatomy and Physiology in college (or the nightmare course that was).  If you are wanting to provide your middle or high school student with a strong foundation in Biology this is the course for you! 

You can connect with Science Shepherd via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews. 

Science Shepherd Review

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