Physics is a tough subject to explain, but it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of the concepts. My children are enthralled by science, but get bored quickly with textbooks alone. I’m thrilled that we’ve been provided with a copy of the Physics 101 DVD course by Westfield Studios from the The 101 Series.
There are over 11 hours of video content on the 4 discs of this Christian high school level course DVD. There are 7 different topics, including: The Physics of Light, The Physics of Sound, The Physics of Heath, The Physics of Electricity, The Physics of Motion, The Physics of the Weird, and The Future of Physics. In total, there are 20 segments to watch, each varying in length from 20-43 minutes each.
The last disc also includes a Guidebook and an Accreditation Booklet in the form of PDF files. By using these resources, the course can be expanded to either grant a student a credit for a year’s worth of science, or you can just use it to supplement their learning and check for understanding. There are 106 pages in the Guidebook, which includes a general outline and some extra information about the materials on the DVD lessons, discussion questions, quizzes, and answers.
The entire course is specifically designed for students ages 15 and up, but it is family friendly and will engage a wide age range of viewers. it is from a Christian perspective, but I appreciate that it goes in depth when answering questions rather than explaining the science behind things in our world with simply, “…because God…” Yes, I believe that a Creator has put these things in motion, but I want to be able to see the intricate design behind it, and these discs provide that information beautifully.
How We Used This
My kids are obviously not high school aged kids. However, the DVDs provide great explanations and graphics, as well as demonstrations and real-world examples. My children (1st, 4th, and 6th graders) were able to pick up a lot of the information.
I would simply turn on the DVD to whatever segment was next and hit Play. My kids would come tumbling in the room and sit quietly during the DVDs. Something that made us all laugh was how straight-faced the host, Wes Olson, would stay, even when making a funny joke or saying something unexpected or silly.
We all loved that the videos were not of Mr. Olson just sitting in front of a chalkboard and talking to us. His location changed from segment to segment. He demonstrated the information he was talking about. There were graphics to support the lessons. My kids never had a chance to be bored!
We’ve been using this as a supplement. We’re currently doing an astronomy course as our main curriculum, but they’ve been really pleased to see that they can apply this information they’re learning about physics to what they’re also learning about astronomy. Right off the bat, they loved the segment Light and Color, because it talked about rainbows, the Earth’s atmosphere, why the sky appears blue, and so on.
I can’t wait until we get to The Physics of Heat. I’ve looked ahead, and I know that my kids will love learning the difference between a hot pan and a hot pepper, or what the differences are between Fahrenheit and Celsius. I don’t think they’ve ever been introduced to Kelvin, so they’re in for a treat learning something totally new there!
I appreciate that students of many ages can do this together. While I did not officially give my kids the quizzes, and we did not do any labs or research papers, everyone was able to watch together and do some of the discussion questions.
As my kids get older, I do plan on revisiting this curriculum to actually do the accreditation process for high school credits. It’s nice to know that their younger siblings will be able to tag along and learn at their own pace!
High School Credits – Accreditation
I get nervous thinking about providing high school level coursework to my children. This series provides an awesome way to do it, and it even lays it all out for you neatly.
The booklet contained on the last disc contains a 26 page booklet to walk you through making this course an accredited, full year high school level science course. As mentioned in the booklet, for a course to count as a full high school credit, students would be expected to spend somewhere between 120-180 hours on a topic.
This disc set has 11 hours and 10 minutes of video. The booklet breaks down each segment into various activities to continue your student’s learning, exploration, experimentation, and research on the topics. Below is an example for Segment 2:
As you can see, they will guide your student through learning the information from the DVDs, completing discussion questions, participating in hands-on labs, doing in-depth research and reports, reviewing the information, and completing it with a quiz. This hits so many learning styles, and it makes sure that students are able to explore everything thoroughly to have a great understanding of the material.
I love that this curriculum encourages a student to really be hands on in their studies. No matter which learning style your student does best with, this curriculum will give them an opportunity to learn and retain the information.
In addition to Physics 101, the same company offers Chemistry 101, and Biology 101. You can even purchase all three as a bundle for under $170, which makes 3 FULL years of high school science VERY affordable. Not only that, but you can easily reuse the course discs and PDF files for all of your children. That’s an amazing value for people like me with several kids.
Other families reviewed this physics course, as well as chemistry and biology. Click the link below to see what they thought!