I think Supergirl’s favorite way to learn is watching DVD’s. One of the first words she learned to sign was “movie”. Recently we’ve been watching two Go Science DVD’s. provided by Library & Educational Services.
For each crew member selected for the review, Library & Educational Services (LES) gave a choice of two (yes TWO!) of the 6 available DVD’s for Go Science. I chose Volume 4 (Chemistry, States of Matter, and Life Sciences) and Volume 6 (Water, Space and the Solar System)
Description from the website: “ Even kids who claim an aversion to science will be engaged by the high-energy science demonstrations of Ben Roy! Ben teaches science methods at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is the former director of a science program on television. With this expertise, Ben captivates, motivates, and inspires students to be excited about science, while providing effective instruction based on science phenomena. Each of the 67 spectacular demonstrations of physical or chemical science has a spiritual application and points to our Creator! Recommended for ages 6 to 14” The website also states: “These episodes were originally produced for a religious television show.”
Supergirl loves the two DVD’s we received. She frequently requests them. Often I will hear “mom can we do that.” Developmentally, these science demonstrations seem perfect for her. They engage her interest, excite a desire to learn more about science and they entertain her.
I love Ben Roy’s enthusiasm. He loves what he does and that love pours out into the demonstrations. Turtlegirl, age 14 1/2, says Mr. Roy’s enthusiasm is the only reason she watches the DVDs. “When he says isn’t that cool, you know he means it because it is obvious from his facial expressions and body language.” She also commented on Mr. Roy’s faith. “It is clear he really believes what he’s teaching in the devotional part of each demonstration.” *sh* don’t tell but she confessed that she watches to see how he does it and not the results.
Her biggest complaint (and I agree with her) is that we want to know more about why it works. We want more science. More explanations. But I think that just may be his point: get students excited about science so that they’ll want to go and learn more.
My 13 year old shared this with me: “he didn’t get down into the science of why these experiments worked otherwise I really liked the way he did things. He’s a really happy person. He can really grab the kids’ attention.” In other words she had the same complaint as her older sister. She wants to know more about the why. She still recommends the dvds. But she stresses that you’ll want to have some science books around to explain the stuff.
I do want to stress that these are science demonstrations. These are not experiments. We are not given full scientific explanations. We are not given information on how to “do this at home.” In fact for several of the demonstrations he states “do not do this at home.” That being said, these demonstrations have inspired Supergirl to want to do more hands on science activities and have confirmed for my 13 and 14 year olds that yes they really do love science and want to know more about how the world around them works.
I also appreciated seeing a wide range of ages in the audience. The cover and website states ages 6-14 and there are children from that range in the audience and as helpers. I think this DVD series is a good choice for getting children excited about science. I want to caution that these are also devotionals centered around science. Ben Roy uses each demonstration as a take off point for a biblical concept devotional. For example, he uses a flash paper demonstration as a jump off point to talk to kids about God’s forgiveness. This wasn’t a problem for my family, though some of the concepts did not align with our Orthodox faith.
These DVDs are available from L.E.S. as a bundle package for $47.95 or individually for $8.95. You can visit the L.E.S. website to see all the Go Science titles. I love L.E.S. They have so many great deals. I love the fact that they consider homeschool teachers as educators so that homeschoolers qualify for those great deals. You can visit the L.E.S website to learn more. To browse the online catalog you must first register but it is free.