Are you planning to teach geology this year? Northwest Treasures offers Christian resources for teaching all aspects of earth science. Geology camps, full high school geology curriculum, and short video units are just a few of the many options they offer.
For this review, I could choose one of their online courses. Would my kids benefit more from Geology and Apologetics or Dinosaurs and the Bible? We watched the previews for both classes. Which one sounded best to my twelve-year-old twins? They were intrigued by the dinosaurs class. Along with the six-session course, we received an introductory geology course — Taking the Mystery Out of Geology.
The short preview below gives an overview of Dinosaurs and the Bible.
The class includes six video sessions.
After watching each episode, students complete one of the provided worksheets to review the material. At the end of the course, a comprehensive multiple-choice exam is provided as well.
When we sat down to watch the first class, I was not sure what to expect. Initially, I thought it was a little boring, but the girls really enjoyed it. While I struggled to keep my eyes open, they were enthralled with learning how we got our modern view of dinosaurs.
After watching the video, the twins filled in the worksheet. Since it is summer break, I allowed them to collaborate on the answers. I also gave them the freedom to search online for answers they could not remember. I was impressed at how much they recalled after watching the video once through.
Subsequent videos seemed more interesting to me. I started getting excited about what my daughters were learning.
I appreciate the way the instructor, Patrick Nurre, addresses evolution. First, he explains what secular scientists believe. Then he outlines what the Bible says and how evidence supports the biblical worldview. It is important for our kids to know what evolution is and understand the problems with that point of view.
As we continued watching the series, we enjoyed the informative illustrations.
We often hit the pause button to discuss an important point. My mother-in-law, who teaches middle school science, couldn’t resist interjecting as well. She had a particular interest in lesson five, which addressed “Dinosaurs and the Ice Age.”
At the end of the course, we checked all the worksheet answers together. Then the girls took some time to study for the test. The next day they breezed through the exam.
The dinosaurs course is hosted by Vimeo. Since I am new to the platform, I found the service confusing at first. After signing up for the class, I had trouble viewing the videos. I contacted Vimeo directly to inquire. The next day I could watch the class. However, it took two days before I heard back with specific instructions for accessing the videos.
Every time I returned to Vimeo to watch the next video, I forgot how to locate the class. I could never seem to remember the simple instructions:
- Hover over the profile picture at the top right to bring up the menu.
- Scroll down to Purchases to see my videos on demand.
Now that we have completed the class, I have no problem!
While the videos are quite informative, some of the content is not completely clear. My mother-in-law and I both had trouble understanding the ice age chronology. Watching the single-session video, Taking the Mystery Out of Geology, helped clarify the topic.
The girls thought some of the worksheets were challenging. One of them complained, “Sometimes the video doesn’t make clear what the answers are.” Honestly, that is not a big deal. Since the videos are brief, it is easy to watch each one a second time if necessary.
My mother-in-law offered a helpful strategy. She often presents videos in her middle school science classes. Her students complete the worksheets during the video. After each answer is given in the video, she pauses it and asks her students to think about the information. Once they have written down an answer, she rewinds and plays that segment again before moving forward. I plan to use this strategy when presenting other videos to my children.
The twins love watching videos to learn new material. However, additional print resources to accompany the videos would have been helpful. We would have appreciated a transcript of the video or a PDF of the slides. These additional resources would make this an incredibly powerful course appealing to multiple learning styles.
I had almost forgotten about the introductory class, Taking the Mystery Out of Geology. After completing the dinosaurs course, the girls and I began watching it together. At the beginning of the video, Patrick addresses the parents. I mistakenly assumed the remainder of the video was for parents and dismissed the girls.
The class emphasizes the importance of understanding geology from a creation perspective. Secular scientists try to tell us that’s impossible. Is it? The Bible actually helps make sense of the rocks and fossils we find. The Genesis flood was the biggest geological event in history. It offers the best explanation for the geological evidence we see.
Approaching geology from a young earth, biblical perspective instills a love for creation. It establishes an unshakable Christian worldview in our children.
Patrick outlines two simple but vital steps for studying earth science:
- Start from the foundation of God’s Word
- Study a different aspect of the discipline each year
He clearly defines thirteen terms important in studying creation geology:
- rock cycle
- rock types
- tectonics and orogeny (mountain building)
- geologic time scale (deep time)
As Patrick explains these terms, He clarifies biblical earth history. I appreciated his illustrations of the chronologies. He shows the evolutionary timeline which secular geologist endorse. I recalled these ideas from my childhood in public school and mainstream books about dinosaurs. Patrick then outlines the geological timeline according to biblical history.
The short course answers questions my mother-in-law had during the Dinosaurs & the Bible class. If I were to use this material again, I would begin with this short introductory video and then progress to the Dinosaurs & the Bible class. My daughters have not yet seen the full video, but they would certainly benefit from seeing it.
The videos from Northwest Treasures are thought-provoking. Thy outline evolutionary ideas and present the problems with the theory. Then Patrick offers a biblical framework that makes sense, given the geological evidence.
Homeschooled students need to understand the evolutionary thought behind secular science. Students already acquainted with evolution need to understand how the Bible fits into earth science.
These short online courses are inexpensive and informative. They offer a great starting point for studying geology from a biblical perspective.
Completing these classes has inspired me to include more earth science in our homeschool. Does Northwest Treasures offer more earth science courses? They do! They have a series of complete earth science curriculum for high school - the Northwest Treasures Curriculum Project.
Patrick also has two semester-long courses on SchoolhouseTeachers.com. I am considering using them in the coming year. The twins would love to learn more about Rocks and Minerals and The Geology of Our National Parks.