I have a wonderful creation based middle school (junior high) science to share with you today. Science Shepherd sent us their Science Shepherd Life Science for review. This is a complete course with a Student text book, Answer key and Parent companion and test booklet.
The Student Text book is hard bound and includes over 280 pages. This is a beautiful book featuring many colorful illustrations and examples throughout the text. It is broken up into 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 student text has important words in bold for students to take note. Each chapter concludes with Key Points, Definitions and Study Questions.
The Answer Key and Parent Companion is a soft bound book of 110 pages. Included is a suggested student schedule, Study Question Answer Key, Test Answer Key and Parent Companion ( This is the teacher manual portion which gives key points of study topic questions and answers.)
The 31 page Test booklet is soft bound. Pages are not removable and not reproducible. (you will need one for each student.) There are 9 test included. Most of the chapter test are several chapters combined so you do not test after each level.
How We Used This Course:
My 8th grader was the primary student for this review. After looking over the sample chapters I knew he needed this course before taking on Biology. It was very independent for him to work on this course. We did work a little slower than the suggest schedule but when we pick up this course again after summer break we will work on an accelerated level (he will also be in 9th at that time.) Most days he did reading and at the end of the chapter he worked on review questions. Test are not after every chapter so it was easy to go along without stopping to study for chapter test. The schedule actually has a study day built in which I love. I think it is super important to teach kids to take time to review and study.
There is a note to the parent about testing - that it should not be a stressful time for the student. Shepard Science includes a lot of questions. Test #1 had 32 questions. It is up to the parent how many the student has to complete. They also offer options to do the test verbally if that works better for the student. Since we are at the end of our school year I allowed my son to do it that way because I knew he would be stressed with a full written test at this time. His older brother sat in on the testing and answered any questions he got wrong which ended up being a fun family time.
I ended up having my older son read through several chapters in this book because I felt like he had missed some of the foundations and was struggling a little bit with biology. I think it helped make things click for him because he was able to spout off the test answers with no problem.
I wish I had this course two years ago. I think it would have helped my older son have more success with biology and I definitely recommend this course as a must do in 8th grade before advancing onto biology course. Why? Because it is written at a slightly easier level but still gives plenty of information. You are not bogged down by lots of busy work with this course either. It is reading, comprehension questions and testing every few chapters. It makes is fairly easy to progress through in a timely fashion. I feel like it builds a stronger foundation because it touches on plenty of topics but really digs in on the ones that need to be cemented for biology (such as classification). I plan on having my older son complete reading this book leisurely over the summer and my 8th grader will complete this course before moving fully onto biology.
The CREW reviewed three of Shepard Science courses which spanned from grade school to high school biology so be sure to see what they all had to say by clicking on the banner below!
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