Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Go Science Videos (Series 2)

When Lexie and Ashlyn were younger, our cable included 3ABN network, and they enjoyed watching 3 ABN's "Kid's Time" show. One of their favorite segments on Kid's Time was the science time with Ben Roy. Two years ago Library and Educational Services gave us the opportunity to review a couple of Ben Roy's Go Science DVDs from Series 1, and we happily agreed. This spring Library and Educational Services again offered us 2 of their Go Science DVDs this time from the new Series 2.

I let Lexie and Ashlyn each choose one DVD to review, and they chose Volume 6: Chemistry, and Volume 7: Engineering, Design, Flight.

We received these soon after my husband's surgery, so the timing was perfect to use them as something special to watch on Sabbath while we couldn't be attending church.  Library and Educational Services lists the suggested age for these videos as 6 to 10, but the videos themselves say for ages 4-12, so my girls (ages 5 & 11) fall within the range as stated by the video, and I was interested to see what they think of them at these ages. Because our current cable doesn't include 3ABN, Little Bit hadn't seen the Go Science segments before, and the older girls hadn't seen them for a couple years.

Each of the Go Science DVDs we received includes 11 short (3-6 minutes each) science experiments, done by Ben Roy, an energetic science teacher from University of Tennessee. Ben Roy includes children from the audience in all of his experiments, and then uses these often startling experiments to draw parallels to God's love and other aspects of our Christian Faith.

Because we'd seen Ben Roy before, the big girls even got to see him in person a few years back at a church camp (and I snuck into the back of a couple of those meetings too!), we knew what to expect and were excited to get started. I was also interested to see what Little Bit thought of it all (technically she snuck into those meetings with me, but since she was little more than a baby, she wasn't so impressed, hee hee).

Playing in our own "Elephant Toothpaste" last fall!
Last fall, our science curriculum was chemistry, so it was interesting to find that some of the experiments that Ben Roy includes on Volume 6: Chemistry, are experiments that we actually got to do in our chemistry curriculum. Some that the girls could "explain" included "Milk and Food Coloring", "Elephant's Toothpaste", and "Mentos Fountain". But the Mentos Fountain worked a LOT better for Ben Roy then it did for us, we learned some great "tips" on how to do it if we ever want to try it again!

The experiments in Volume 7: Engineering, Design, Flight were mostly new to us. All 3 girls really thought we should try "Walking on Eggs" for ourselves, but mean mommy vetoed the idea, maybe if I find eggs REALLY cheap sometime . . . or need a LOT of eggs for something . . .

The one thing my girls were disappointed about, now that they're older, is that he doesn't describe the science behind the experiments enough for their liking. As they've learned more about science over the last couple of years, they now really want to know WHY an experiment does what it does, and that is missing from these videos. Little Bit would probably do better with these if we only watched one or two of the short (3-6 min) episode at a time. She enjoyed the experiments that her sisters did in Chemistry last year, as evidenced by the above picture, so perhaps she's more hands-on and wants to see it up close and personal instead of on a TV screen, or perhaps she needs another year or so to really enjoy them. 

After we'd finished watching the first one, I loaned it to my neighbor to see if her boys (ages 7 & 4) would enjoy them. Her 7 year old had loved joining us for science last school year (again, see the above picture), so I was interested to see what his reaction would be, since he's in the suggested age range. She said that both boys insisted on watching the entire video straight through, and while they found some experiments more interesting than others, the 7 year old wants to try some of the experiments for himself. So it sounds like it was a hit at their house.

Overall I think Library and Educational Services has the age range about right (6-10), I think Little Bit will enjoy them more in another year or so, and by age 11, Ashlyn and Lexie want more detailed science than these videos provide.

This review wouldn't be complete without also explaining a little more about the awesome company who made it possible, Library and Educational Services. This has been one of my go-to homeschool resource sites for several years. It is a small family business that offers wholesale discounts to  resellers, schools (including homeschools!), churches, missionaries, etc. Whenever I'm shopping for books, DVDs, or audiobooks, this is one of the sites that I check and often, if it's a product I can't purchase used, Library and Educational Services has the best price. I've even found their price on actual CD audiobooks to be lower than other sites prices for the downloadable mp3 in some cases! If you're a homeschooler, you're eligible to sign up for a wholesale account with Library and Educational Services and take advantage of their great prices.

For example, the Go Science DVDs that we reviewed have a list price of $14.95, but Library and Educational Services offers them for $8.97 each!

Visit Library and Educational Services on Facebook.

To see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about all of the videos in series 2, click this banner:

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All prices and information are accurate at time of posting.

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