Join Dr. Scott Hardin, author of Science Shepherd curriculum, for online homeschool life science live classes. Science Shepherd Life Science is a comprehensive middle/high school (grades 6-10) curriculum. Topics covered include the characteristics of life, cells, heredity, classification, anatomy and physiology, creation/evolution and more. See full scope and sequence.
This class is a full year (2 semester) course following Science Shepherd’s Life Science Textbook.
Live teaching sessions are held on Tuesdays at 1:00pm Central Time, August 23, 2022 to May 2, 2023.
Dr. Hardin teaches one 45-60 minute class per week, with additional time allowed for student questions, based on the assigned reading for the upcoming week. All classes are recorded and available anytime should a student not be able to make the live class or want to re-watch a class.
For students who opt to do the virtual lab component, an additional 20 minute live lab meeting is available to join on Mondays at 11am CT. See "Lab" tab for details.
Dr. Hardin is available by email to answer questions about the reading material, live class content, labs, etc., and responds within several hours. If there are more complicated questions, he can schedule a video meeting with the student
Students log into the Science Shepherd student portal and then enter the classroom for the weekly live class. Dr. Hardin will start promptly at the scheduled time.
Enrollment includes access to all live and recorded classes through May 31, 2023.
Science Shepherd Life Science was recognized as a 2019 Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Family Favorite for middle school science. You can be confident that our Life Science homeschool curriculum will provide an excellent educational experience to your middle school student.
Labs are an optional part of the curriculum but highly recommended as they are really an important part of learning all sciences.
There is an average of 1 lab every other week, but there are some weeks with no labs and others with more than 1. The burden of lab time is not too much, especially when one considers how important labs are not only in science but in learning how to think logically and objectively about all aspects of life.
There are three lab formats available to choose from.
Lab Option 1: At-home "wet labs" using the Life Science Quest for Middle Grades lab manual, with most supplies being readily available already in the home or easily obtained at a local store. This is a self-paced lab experience, with the student submitting lab reports to Dr. Hardin for grading.
Consider this option if your student loves science and wants to do labs at home, and/or if your student wants to pursue science-related work or a college degree.
The student completes the labs at his/her convenience and when they are due submits the lab reports to Dr. Hardin for grading and suggestions for improvement.
Lab Option 2: If the student does not want to actually do the labs at home (“wet labs”), then for an additional $250 the student can enroll in our virtual lab program. This option does not require the purchase of any supplies or a lab manual; everything needed is provided through the online labs themselves.
Consider this option if your student isn't really the "sciency" type, is not interested in pursuing science beyond high school, or doing labs in your home just won't work out well.
The virtual labs are not exactly the same as those done in the “wet lab” option but are none-the-less an excellent lab experience and will reinforce textbook/teaching concepts and “count” as lab experience on a transcript.
Online labs are provided through Labster.com, and the student will log into that website to access the appropriate lab (we will create a Labster account for each student, with additional instructions provided after class registration).
Mondays at 11am CT, Dr. Hardin will provide a 20-ish minute introduction to the lab(s) that is/are scheduled for that week, review the use of Labster.com, as well as discuss the proper formatting of a lab report. If there are no labs, then he will be live during that time for questions. These sessions will also be recorded and available 24/7 through the Science Shepherd student portal.
Students collect data during the virtual lab to prepare a lab report to submit to Dr. Hardin. He grades each report and provides helpful feedback for continuous improvements.
Lab Option 3: No labs. Textbook/live class learning only.
To better tailor the learning experience to your student(s), there are two options available for grading end-of-chapter review questions and tests.
Option 1: Dr. Hardin grades the end-of-chapter questions and tests.
Each chapter has end-of-chapter questions printed in the Textbook, and we also have a separate Test Booklet. They both present short answer, fill-in-the-blank and true-false questions.
Consider this option if your student wants to gain a more definitive mastery of the material, and/or wants to pursue science beyond high school and/or does better answering questions in written format (as opposed to multiple choice).
Option 2: Automatic scoring.
The end-of-chapter and test questions are provided online through the Science Shepherd student portal and are all multiple choice and true-false.
Consider this option if your student doesn’t want to pursue science beyond high school and/or if your student does better with multiple choice questions as opposed to fill in the blank and short answer.
Regardless of the method chosen for grading, all classes are graded on an absolute scale, rather than a curve.
A = 90-100 B = 80-89 C = 70-79 D = 60-69 A failing grade is less than 60.
For students doing labs, grades are a composite of performance on end-of-chapter questions (40% of total score), test questions (30% of total score) and lab reports (30% of total score).
For students not doing labs, grades are a composite of performance on end-of-chapter questions (55% of total score) and test questions (45% of total score).
Since grading is NOT on a curve, and if it meets the goals of the student and is OK with parents, Dr. Hardin does not mind if students use the Textbook for exams (“open book”), but they must complete the tests within the allotted time.
End-of-chapter questions are specifically designed to be used with reference back to the chapter material, as needed.
We will send an email after registration to find out your preference on grading – Dr. Hardin grading the short answer/fill in the blank and true-false questions from the Textbook and Test Booklet (Option 1) or automatic scoring of the multiple choice and true-false questions by the Science Shepherd student portal (Option 2).