Are you hunting the internet looking for all the information and College Prep Science reviews?
Intrigued by the awesome name of the curriculum…but a little shy about signing up without more information?
I actually jumped on board with the first-ever semester of College Prep Science’s Young Scientist Courses.
Well, I should say my 4th-grade daughter and I were the guinea pigs together. We have trailblazed through about half of this course and I am more than ready to write out all the details for you.
This extensive review of College Prep Science will tell you everything you need to know to make a decision – and whether or not hitting that “Buy” button is right for you and your family.
What is College Prep Science: Young Scientist?
This is a sponsored post. College Prep Science gave me free access to the curriculum in exchange for a review. As always, it is still my very honest opinion. And you should know that I was the one that offered a review in exchange for the curriculum – because I really wanted to try it! See my full disclosure policy for more information.
It is a self-paced (recorded) science class for 4th grade – 7th grade that is taught from a Biblical Worldview.
Professor Landry is the creator and instructor. He is a former college professor with 20+ years of experience teaching science and a homeschool dad himself.
He has been teaching College Prep Science classes for years, but “Young Scientist” is the first time the curriculum has offered classes for elementary-aged kids.
There are an impressive number of courses you can choose from:
Young Scientist Anatomy & Physiology
Covers scientific method, overview of human anatomy and physiology and these systems: skeletal, muscular, circulatory – heart, blood, veins, arteries, digestive, and respiratory. Reproductive system is not covered.
Young Scientist Biology
Covers the scientific method, measurement, the cell, mitosis, organelles, membranes, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, DNA, genetics, plants, animals, taxonomy, God’s creation.
Young Scientist Chemistry
Covers the scientific method, measurement, the periodic table, solutions, mixtures. density, atoms, moles, acids and bases, chemical reactions.
Young Scientist Physics
Covers the scientific method, measurement, Newton’s 3 laws of motion, momentum, gravity, atoms, matter, solids, liquids, gases, temperature, heat, sound. light, electricity, magnetism.
Young Scientist Earth & Space Science
Covers maps, soil, rocks, time zones, bodies of water, islands, volcanoes, weather, climate, minerals, sun’s seasonal positions, atmosphere, solar system, mountains and hills.
Each course is considered a semester course, but you have access to the curriculum for a year after your registration date.
How “College Prep Science: Young Scientist” Curriculum Works
****Don’t miss my exclusive promo code at the bottom of this post!
So let’s get right down to it and start talking about how this curriculum works and what it will look like in your homeschool.
1. Choose a Young Scientist Course
I thought the course choices above were very impressive and difficult to choose between. I was an Emergency Room RN in my former life, so I decided to go with Anatomy & Physiology after talking it over with my daughter.
2. Log Onto Canvas and Click on the Course You Registered for
Once you have registered, you will receive an email that will get you set up on the Canvas platform. This is where your dashboard, course materials, and videos will all be located.
I am not so great with technology, but I still found it easy to set up and navigate.
3. Print and Organize the Included PDF Study Guide
The included PDF is another very impressive part of the College Prep Science curriculum. My daughter and I were definitely drawn to the colorful, detailed graphics.
There is a section for each chapter that contains pages for you to follow along with Professor Landry’s video and review sheets.
I 3-hole-punched the whole thing and put it in a binder with dividers. Easy peasy.
4. Do Not Skip the Intro Video
When you’re looking at all the videos, it may be tempting to skip the Introduction Video because you just want to get going with the curriculum.
The intro video gives very important guidelines on how to use the curriculum with elementary-aged kids in order to customize it to their level.
I felt much more confident about how to handle the curriculum after watching the video. Yes, I made my daughter watch it with me. She didn’t really love that part, but it helped her understand what was expected from her and what was ahead.
5. Watch the video lessons with your student and start going through the curriculum
Once you’re at this point, there is no teacher prep. You simply get out your Study Guide and hit play on the video.
I will talk about this later in the review, but I would not recommend your student do this course independently. You are going to need to sit down with your student in order to make sure they are tracking the material and to help them with notetaking and review exercises (which includes teaching the material back to you).
6. A Note on Time Investment
I am sure you are curious to know how much time you should plan to spend with this course. That is a bit tough to answer.
There are 13 Lessons in the Anatomy & Physiology class and each video ranges from 25-60 minutes. There are also worksheets and review sheets to complete.
How much time you spend will depend on the age, maturity, and attention span of your kid.
Exactly How I Use College Prep Science Young Scientist in My Homeschool
As a rule, I try to do science as a group in my homeschool. But with this curriculum, I decided to do it with just my oldest (4th grade) daughter.
I could tell that it would be a bit over my 5 and 7-year-olds’ heads.
After printing off the study guide, we started watching the videos together after I had finished school with my younger children. Following the guidance in the Intro Video, we decided to only watch about 15 minutes of video at a time.
I sat with my daughter and we paused the video OFTEN for questions, discussion, and notetaking. I really enjoy this part of the curriculum. My daughter and I have a lot of fun going through the material and discussing it.
After the video, we spend time going through her notes, having her teach the notes back to me, and then I would verbally go through the review questions.
She is in 4th grade and on the younger end of the age bracket this course is teaching to, so I made sure it was enjoyable for her without too much writing.
It was tempting for my type-A personality to focus on making sure she had memorized certain terms and facts. I started to realize though that at her age – just exposure, review, and discussion was more than enough to meet her science needs.
I would say that we spend between 30-60 minutes over 3 days to complete one of the 13 chapters in the course. The range depended on how interested my kid was and how much time we spent talking about the subject.
We have decided to stretch this College Prep Science course over the span of the school year as opposed to just one semester.
That is partially because of our busy homeschool schedule, but I also wanted to do the curriculum justice and not rush through it. Investing an entire year in Anatomy and Physiology is not a bad idea – it’s a big topic!
Next year we will likely focus on the Young Scientist Biology course, and so on. That works well for my student and our homeschool schedule.
College Prep Science Young Scientist – What I Love About the Curriculum
This is usually referred to as “The Bottom Line”, but I’m going to put it at the top of my list since most homeschool families run on a tight budget.
I know several homeschool families who spend THOUSANDS of dollars on online courses for their kids. Just yesterday I was sent a group email asking who wanted to join an art class with Veritas Press for $600 per student!
And one of my friends commented, “Good deal!”
I was shell shocked. Oh, and of course the price didn’t include the materials you needed to buy. That came at a separate “discounted” price.
So you can see, why I was so pleasantly surprised to see the high quality and in-depth classes from College Prep Science at much more reasonable prices. Oh, and when you register for a Young Scientist course, you can use it with all your kids that year.
The study guide is included in the overall price.
I consider that a good deal.
2. Included PDF Study Guide
So, I’ve been talking a bit about this study guide, but I wanted to dive in and explain how professional and well put together this handbook is. I personally think that Professor Landry could easily bind this thing into a book and sell it.
The graphics really pop and draw my daughter’s attention.
The visual helps her to follow along with what Professor Landry’s teaching and take notes right on the page (Yes, she’s learned to take notes with this class! More on that later.).
3. Focuses on Actually Preparing My Child for College
All three of my kids (ages 9, 7, and 5) already know that they are going to college. That is the path they are on and the goal we are reaching for.
I love that this curriculum takes that so literally.
The first chapter in this book is about how to take notes effectively and how to study/prepare for tests. I didn’t really learn notetaking till college (and that was a baptism by fire for sure), so I was very excited to sit down and talk to my daughter about how to take notes and what to do with those notes once you have them.
After the lesson, I thought of it as good exposure and conversation about the future…but it went further than that!
My daughter became very proactive about taking notes during her next video lessons, pausing the recording, keeping them organized, and then teaching me from her notes (a study tool that Professor Landry recommends).
I was super impressed!
These are crucial skills and I was so excited to see my kid picking them up during these early years.
This is no joke college prep!
4. Challenging, Rich Science Material
The content of this course is challenging and I noticed very quickly that my daughter enjoyed that.
For example, with Anatomy and Physiology, I thought we would jump right into talking about bones and organs.
We spent time learning about the history and use of the metric system – which turned out to be much more interesting than you would think – in order for my daughter to understand how scientific measurement works.
The next chapter covered the use of the scientific method and how to write a proper lab report. Kids love experiments, so this was great for my daughter to see a much deeper look at running an experiment than what all those Youtube kids science shows do.
And the next chapter was about the building blocks of anatomy – cells!
My point is that College Prep Science does such a good job of not “dumbing down” their science curriculum. They don’t skip over things because they assume a kid won’t be interested in it. The curriculum is rich and definitely lays a solid foundation in science for any kid.
5. Lack of Teacher Prep
I love teaching my kids, but I have to admit that is nice to sit down and hit play on a video.
Professor Landry does a great job of speaking and engaging through the medium of video. He comes across as very likeable and approachable.
He also includes personal stories during the lessons and that really appealed to my daughter.
Overall, very pleased with this aspect of the course.
6. Ability to customize the curriculum
This turned out to be more crucial for me than I thought it would be.
Initially, I thought for sure that we would be done with the whole course by December (it’s meant to be a semester course, but you have access for a full year).
Yeah, I didn’t see some of my “schedule interruptions” coming, and I quickly fell behind on my intended plan.
Thankfully, the introductory video makes it very clear that you can and should use this curriculum as you see fit.
One chapter a week – great!
One chapter spread over two weeks – totally fine!
There are a total of 13 chapters, so you could even do almost one chapter per month before your one year of access is up.
Whatever works for your homeschool, will work with this curriculum.
7. Biblical Worldview of College Prep Science
I cannot tell you how much I hate watching a science video with my kids and the narrator starts talking about the Big Bang theory as if it is fact.
I have also closed books that start to talk about “millions and millions of years ago.”
You’re not going to have that problem with College Prep Science. Every video lesson begins with prayer and is taught from a Biblical worldview.
Here is what Professor Greg Landry had to say about his science classes:
“The fact that our classes and labs are taught from a Christian / Creationist worldview does not mean they’re ‘watered down. Quite the contrary – they are very challenging. I believe we should think critically, deeply, creatively, and biblically. God is glorified as we explore his creation… illuminating His Creation, revealing His glory.”
As a Christian mom, that is so encouraging to hear!
I know my daughter will encounter teachers in the future who do not share our beliefs. All the more reason she should be taught from a young age how the Bible and science go hand in hand.
College Prep Science Young Scientist – What I Didn’t Love About the Curriculum
As with all my reviews, I make a point to think through any and all things I didn’t like about the curriculum. I want you to have a very full and honest look at our experience.
1. Curriculum is Consumable
After one year, you lose access to the course. I am okay with that, but I know there are many homeschool families who prefer to invest in materials they can pass down to their younger kids.
I have personally gotten away from worrying about that type of curriculum. Companies seem to be constantly “updating” their curriculum, so it can be difficult to find the right edition of workbooks or other consumable materials that go along with the teacher’s manual you already have. Just a pet peeve of mine I guess.
2. No Included Tests
I personally can’t believe I’m writing this, but I would have liked to see some chapter level tests offered with the course. I have been against testing in my homeschool, but this course has such an emphasis on test prep.
My daughter and I both thought that it would have been kind of fun to take a test and see how well the notetaking and review skills paid off.
I would have liked for her to compare what she thought was important in notetaking with what the professor actually thought was important in a test.
3. Range in the Length of Lesson Videos
As I said, the lessons vary between 25-60 minutes long.
This difference in length is really big to a 4th grader. It made it a little difficult to plan our lessons every week because I didn’t know how many days I would need to complete a video.
Sometimes we could do it in 2 days and sometimes it stretched over 4 days.
This is where you have to be comfortable with customizing the curriculum to meet the needs and limitations of your kid and your homeschool. I learned to be flexible and we made the curriculum work for us.
What My Kid Had to Say about College Prep Science: Young Scientist
I always check in with my kids when I’m reviewing a curriculum and ask for their opinions. I was braced for impact after doing chapters on notes, studying, and test-taking skills, and the metric system.
I was a little shocked when she said things like “I liked it,” “It’s interesting,” and “I think it’s fun.”
I actually told her that the homeschool moms of American need her to be honest here.
Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear.
What do you REALLY think?
I was so happy to hear that she was really enjoying the classes and Professor Landry! Woohoo!
She even wanted to do a chapter over Thanksgiving week…but I told her absolutely not.
We all need a good rest, am I right?!
But my heart melted that she wanted to do the work – she’s enjoying the material and Professor Landry that much.
Another thing I would add is that all of this talk about “College Prep Science”, taking notes, and learning more in-depth material has gotten my daughter super interested in everything college.
After our lessons, she has been asking to look at colleges online. She has suddenly decided that she definitely wants to be a Pre-Vet major and she wants to find the best colleges out there!
It has been so fun to talk to my daughter about her future and help her connect the dots that all the work she does in our homeschool is going to help her reach those goals!
College Prep Science is for you if…
You are in the market for a challenging, solid science curriculum.
You are interested in developing skills for future college success.
You are a Christian and interested in curriculum with a Biblical worldview.
You have dependable internet connection and a computer.
You could use a break during the homeschool day while someone else teaches.
Your life is crazy and you need a curriculum with a flexible schedule.
College Prep Science is not for you if…
You need a curriculum that is fully student independent.
You are not interested in a college path for your child.
You are not a Christian and would prefer a more secular science curriculum.
You do not have dependable access to the internet.
Your student does not learn well from videos.
You like teaching everything yourself.
Still Need More Information About College Prep Science: Young Scientist?
I know that was a lot of information, but there is still a good chance you want more before you can make a decision about College Prep Science: Young Scientist classes.
I really enjoy reading parent reviews to get a better understanding of a curriculum, and College Prep Science has a flood of them!
Here are some of my favorites:
“Greg, …your orientation toward training students to be researchers and critical thinkers is just what our girls needed. It has also spilled over into how they approach history and literature…”
“Greg, thank you for pointing to the Creator in all that you teach…”
– Allison Wright
“John didn’t want to take this class – he had no interest in studying the body. After three weeks in your class he’s talking about the possibility of a career in medicine or some field related to the body. He loves your class, can’t wait for it every week, and always comes away with excitement, anxious to tell us about what he’s learned.”
There are dozens of other parent/student comments. You can check them out here.
You can also check out Professor Landry on his podcast: Homeschool Moms Science Podcast
And definitely check out the free science printables offered on his website! They are a great supplement to any curriculum you are already working with.
Just click here to view the freebies and see what works with your homeschool!
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College Prep Science is running an early registration sale for school year 2021-2022 (starts in August).
They are offering an EXTRA 10% off on top of that discount for The Simple Homeschooler readers!
Hurray to take advantage of this sale – it ends January 25th, 2021.
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Recap College Prep Science Review
I have written just about everything I can think of into this lengthy review of College Prep Science: Young Scientist.
Hopefully, you have a crystal clear image of what this curriculum is all about – and if it is the right move for your homeschool.
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