Monday, June 26, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review~ Earth Science: God's World, Our Home from Novare Science & Math

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Earth Science

As the kids have gotten older, curriculum choices have gotten more confusing. Trying to find resources we like and agree with has been a little tricky. We were thrilled when we were chosen to review Earth Science: God's World, Our Home from Novare Science & Math. For this review, we received a physical copy of the Earth Science: God's World, Our Home textbook and a link to download the resource CD that Novare Science & Math sells to go along with the book.


 
Novare Science & Math
Novare Science & Math is a relatively new company in the homeschooling world. They set out to revolutionize the science and math world by "promoting a a teaching philosophy bases on the core principles of mastery, interrogation, and  Kingdom perspective." I love how they wanted to break away from the schooling standards of "cram-pass-forget." I remember too often studying for a test and then completely forgetting the information I had learned. I wanted my children to learn and master the topics being covered.
Over the past year, I've been searching for a strong science curriculum for the kids. There seems to be a huge selection for elementary and high school students, but the resources for middle school are limited. I am thankful that Novare Science & Math decided to create Earth Science: God's World, Our Home. The textbook is geared for middle school students, but could easily be used for 9th grade. I was especially thrilled to see Catholic Heritage Curricula and Memoria Press both recommend this new textbook!
Novare Earth Science: God’s World Our Home
So What is Earth Science: God's World, Our Home?
First off the basics...the textbook is beautiful. It's a hardback book filled with bright, colorful graphics and pictures. The book retails for $75.00.  The book is a little smaller than an average textbook. This took me a little bit of time to get used to. The kids didn't even notice, since it was the same size as their English textbooks. 
The book contains 15 chapters...
Chapter 1: Earth in Space
Chapter 2: Visualizing the Earth
Chapter 3: Thinking About the Earth
Chapter 4: Matter and Minerals
Chapter 5: Rocks and the Rock Cycle
Chapter 6: Plate Tectonics and Mountain Building
Chapter 7: Volcanoes and Earthquakes
Chapter 8: Weathering, Erosion, Soils
Chapter 9: Surface Water and Groundwater
Chapter 10: Landforms
Chapter 11: Unraveling Earth History
Chapter 12: Oceanography
Chapter 13: The Atmosphere
Chapter 14: Weather
Chapter 15: Climate and Air Pollution
Novare Science & Math
Each chapter is broken up into 4 -6 lessons. Some of the lessons are broken up into even smaller lessons. Each chapter has an Objective list for students, a vocabulary section, sections called Learning Check and an Exercises section at the end of the chapter. The learning check section contains activities and questions for the students to use to strengthen and test their knowledge. The end of the chapter exercise sections are similar to review questions and activities. They are a great way to tie up the chapter. In addition to the chapters, the book contains a preface section for teachers and students, an appendix, a glossary, biblical citations, references, and an index. 
Earth Science
To go along with the textbook, the company offers a CD. The resource CD sells for $50. It includes quizzes, tests, answer key, instructions for 8 experiments, weekly review guides, lesson schedule, and additional resources.
There is no teacher's manual to this textbook.
So What Did We Think of Earth Science: God's World, Our Home?

Novare Science & Math

It was a big hit for us. While searching for a science textbook for the kids, I wanted a book that taught all the theories of how the earth was created. I didn't want a book that only taught creationism. With a young man interested in going into the science field, I wanted him to be aware of the different theories out there. I felt is was important for him to know about them, understand them, and be able to make up his own mind in what he believed. As Catholics, we have 3 Dogmas we must believe.
1. God created everything out of nothing ("ex nihlo")
2. God created an orderly universe (the universe is not a product of chance)
3. God sustained everything in being (everything depends on God for existence) 
So having the different theories presented in this book was an important aspect for us. Families that believe in only creationism may have a problem with this book. If you don't want your child exposed to the other theories this book may not be the right fit for you. However, for us I do feel it is important for students to be exposed to the different theories. Being well read and have all the information is important for forming our young students minds. 
Novare Science & Math
The additional resource CD was a nice added bonus. It provides students and parents with additional resources. Of course, the students may not want the quizzes, tests, and exams, The schedule was laid out in a simple manner. The lesson outline was very basic. I actually liked that. I love to add other activities to our lessons, The simple lesson guidelines allowed me to do just that. I wasn't added more projects and then overwhelming my kids.The lessons are not written out like some other homeschool curriculum. It didn't tell you what pages to read on what day or what activities to do. It did suggest a lesson guide and when to take the quizzes, but the actually lesson plans were pretty laid back. If you're not a planner, this might not be enough for you. I happen to love a simple, easy guide. It's easier for me to change and adjust to meet our needs. Plus I love planning! I can never just grab a books and follow it religiously. I always have to tweak it....take something out, add something new, rearrange the schedule,etc. 
Another added bonus from Novare Science are the free resources from the Tips and Tools link on their site! 
Science Curriculum
These are FREE resources for parents and students. They offers additional resources like website links and YouTube videos for the different chapters in the textbook! This makes planning a easier and quicker.
So far we have enjoyed the book. We have found the lessons challenging but not too difficult. It's written so students can learn and understand what they are reading. We got into the first few chapters before taking a break for the summer. We will definitely pick this book up again. I strongly believe my kids will have a fantastic understanding of the world around them. I may even learn a few things. My 9th grade Earth Science teacher may finally be proud of me. I'll be looking into their General Chemistry and Introductory Physics for the kids. Science wasn't my strongest subject in high school, but with these books we will excel!
The crew reviewed a few other books from Novare Science!
Introductory Physics
General Chemistry
and
Science for Every Teacher 
Biblical Based Science {Novare Science & Math Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer
Till Next Time,
Monique

3 comments:

  1. So in your opinion, Novare's texts will work for homeschool? As opposed to being used best in a classroom setting?

    ReplyDelete
  2. So, in your opinion, Novare's texts will work in a homeschool setting? As opposed to being used best in a classroom setting?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think Novare textbooks can easily be broken up into lessons to meet a homeschoolers needs.

      Delete

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