Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Encourage a Love of Science with Self-paced Online Homeschool Science Classes and Labs {Our Experience with Greg Landry College Prep Science} #HomeschoolScience #AD

 I received compensation and classes in exchange for this post. All views and opinions are my own.
Last year (2020) has taught us many, many things... and while many of those things were not great, there were some good lessons to come of it. We learned to treasure our time with family. We learned that it's okay to take a step back and enjoy not being on the go all the time. We learned not to take things for granted. Oh yes, there were many important lessons learned. In our family, we learned that not all schooling options work for all students.
Having a child with special needs, school has always been a bit of a struggle, due not to my son's academic abilities, but rather behaviors occurring within the classroom environment. Without going into details, these issues had gotten progressively worse over the past few years. By the time 2020 was beginning, I'd found myself seriously considering homeschooling, but nervous to take that plunge. Would it REALLY be the best option? Would we be doing him a disservice? And then the world shut down, and we were dropped into the world of e-learning.

While many students struggled with this new way of schooling, we discovered that for our son it was a blessing in disguise. Without the noise of the classroom and distraction of other students, has has thrived and brought all of his grades up tremendously. While we knew that this wasn't truly homeschooling, it DID give us a little taste of how he might do with it. With that in mind, we set out to look more into the topic and discover the right curriculum for him. So, when we were given the chance to try out
Greg Landry College Prep Science, we jumped at the chance. While I am confident in many subjects, I know there are some -science included- that would be better taught by those with more knowledge and experience so this really appealed to me. So what is this course?

They are self-paced online classes that allow students to work at their own pace while still receiving active teaching with recorded video classes with Greg Landry as well class study guide in PDF format. Classes are 20-30 minutes each, which is an ideal length for kids like my son. All lessons are taught by Greg Landry, a 20-year veteran homeschool dad and former college professor, who is also available for questions via email. There are optional homework assignments to be graded by parents as well.

Sounds great, right? We thought so and couldn't wait to try it out. Now, as my son is currently already enrolled in a science class with his current school, I must admit that he did not complete the course in it's entirety as that would have been simply too much for him. Instead we checked out enough lessons to get a good feel of the style and to decide whether or not it was a potential option for us in upcoming years. What did we think? Here are a few thoughts:

  • First, I have to go back to the video length. They were packed full of the information kids need to learn, but without dragging on. My son requires a lot of breaks during his school day and cannot tolerate longer lectures, so this was greatly appreciated.
  • I also liked that these videos were pre-recorded and not live. While I have nothing against live teaching in general, I just find that this route offers a lot more options. Students can work not only at their pace, but at their own time too. When I was homeschooled myself, I found that I was able to work whenever. Most often I finished my work before lunchtime, but if there was something else going on- doctor's appointments, etc., it could be done later. I really liked that flexibility in my own homeschooling days, and is something that I miss with e-learning and zoom sessions that my children are doing now. In addition, this also allows them to be watched as much as needed. With my son's attention span, that is again a great thing for him as the repetition can be quite beneficial for him.
  • Greg Landry was knowledgeable and easy to follow. Like I said, I'm not a professional and I want to make sure my kids get the best possible education in an atmosphere that works best for them. I feel like this gives them that--- learning at home from someone who know this stuff much better than myself. In each video, we see Greg as he's teaching, but also see the diagrams and notes straight from the PDF study guide that students are given as well.
  • Speaking of the study guide... well, these study guides are golden! Each has full color pages with all the information that students need to be learning, which is then followed by a blank black and white page as well. I love this for two reasons. First, I think the use of color even for older kids is sometimes overlooked a bit... but many of us are quite visual and those bright colors and designs actually help to grab our attention and keep us interested. My son certainly falls into that category. I also believe that rewriting information is one of the absolute best ways to study, as it really helps us to remember well. I remember in high school re-writing my notes over and over, often copying much of the textbook word for word. I love that these sheets really offer a great way to organize that information. While I enjoyed the videos very much, I must admit that it was the study guides that really took it to the next level for me.
  • This course is Christian-based. Greg is a young Earth creationist, and as such discusses creationism and a young earth timeline within the lessons. Knowing that this can be a topic of debate even among Christians, I was sure to check out the video lesson that addresses the subject. If you're not a Christian, chances are this isn't going to be the curriculum for you. If you're a Christian, but aren't sure quite what to make of the thousands of years vs millions of years debate, I feel like the topic was addressed quite well. While it's clear where he stands on the subject and the notes do reflect such, the lesson itself does mention that there are various beliefs held among Christian. I felt it was done respectfully and in a way that can open up the conversation between you and your student to further discuss. 
  • Beyond creationism, the Christian nature of this curriculum was made evident by the prayers that started each class. I loved this. While science tends to be one of my son's best subjects, school in general can be quite stressful for him, so I love this idea for starting each class on a positive note.
Again, while we really didn't take the course completely, my son and I both were happy with the videos we watched and found it to be a definite possibility to consider in the future as we look over options. If you are looking for self-paced online homeschool science classes and labs for your child, this is most certainly one to check out for yourself.
Do you currently- or have you considered- homeschooling? What do you like most about Greg Landry College Prep Science?


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