If you are looking for an easy to use, visually rich science program, I encourage you to check into The 101 Series. We were given the opportunity to review Physics 101 and knowing my boys are visual learners I was excited to give it a try. First I will introduce you to the company and all of their products, provide information on Physics 101 and then share how we used it in our homeschool and our thoughts.
The 101 Series
Westfield Studios was founded in 2004 when Wes and Tammy Olson were looking for a homeschool biology currriculum for their high school age sons. Not able to find what they were looking for they set out to develope their own. With Wes’s expertise in film production and a natural love of science they started production on The 101 Series.
The 101 Series includes:
Each one of the courses above includes a 4 DVD set conaining 20 – 45 minute lesson segments. Also included in each one in the series is a printable guidebook with quizzes covering the material presented in each segment and a one-year highschool course booklet.
The next slated film is General Science 101 with an expected release date of 2016-2017.
The 4 DVD set included in Physics 101 contains 20 individual segments examining the world of Physics and the inner workings of the world around us. The DVD course is designed for ages 15 years and up but is appropriate for the whole family to watch.
Physics 101 covers these topics using visually interesting movies, pictures, graphs and is hosted by Wes Olson:
- The Physics of Light
- The Physics of Sound
- The Physics of Heat
- The Physics of Electricity
- The Physics of Motion
- The Physics of the Weird
- The Future of Physics
Also included is a printable guidebook with quizzes covering the material presented in each segment and a one year high school course booklet.
If you are looking to fulfill a required one-year high school credit, the course booklet will guide you with:
- Making a Physics 101 Notebook to record all your work
- Research and lab reports
- interesting discussion questions
- Conducting “mini labs” using items mostly found around your home
- Taking field trips
- using resources on the web and at your local library
I found this to be a very easy and fun way to teach Science. Easy in the sense that the lesson plans in the guidebook made it easy for me to implement what I chose to include. The videos we all found to be very engaging, interesting and easy to follow along. The videos held my boys attention and I even heard them discussing things they had learned later. Wes Olson is very good at explaining hard to understand topics with very well done illustrations and high quality video.
We didn’t follow the lesson plans in the guidebook to the letter, since we didn’t have time during this review period, but I think it provides a very well planned approach to learning physics. We watched the movies each day and went through the discussion questions and used the quizzes. The lesson plans for each segment have you watch the video, talk about the discussion questions, experiment in the lab, research and report about the things you have learned, watch the movie segment again and take the quiz. Implementing all or most of these ideas would definately ensure your students ability to remember what they learned and provide you the teacher with everything you need to provide an enjoyable, educational experience.
I highly recomend Physics 101 to anyone looking for a good solid Physics course or if they are looking for something to supplement their current curriculum. I am looking forward to looking into their other courses as well for my high school students.