Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Homeschool Review: Novare Science & Math -- Introductory Physics #hsreviews #Novare #NovareScience #physics

Way back in the day, when I was in high school, the sequence of science classes taught was Biology, Chemistry, Physics.  There has been a shift in thinking over the years and now there is a Physics first approach that better serves our students because they become familiar with the basic physical concepts of matter, energy, radiation, and heat transfer that they will need to understand biology and chemistry.  Following this new model, I was excited to offer my Sophomore the Introductory Physics course by Novare Science & Math.  New to the homeschooling family, Novare Science & Math offers a new approach to learning science through the Biblical account of creation.   Students combine study of science, math, and history as they closely examine the fingerprints of GOD in all creation.  The absolutely gorgeous text is a mastery-oriented curriculum perfect for grade-level students in 9th - 11th grades.  This simply means that students who are currently taking grade-level maths will be able to excel in their coursework.  It is perfectly fine for students to study Introductory Physics at the same time they are studying Algebra I.

Novare Introductory Physics, 2nd EditionThis 376-page hardcover text is divided into 13 Chapters and includes exercises, study questions, and experiments, as well as a reference section.  (You can read over the exact breakdown of the text in the Table of Contents and look at Sample Pages.)  For purposes of review, I also received a download of the Student Resource CD, but you will receive a physical CD when you order.  The Student Resource CD includes a Course Overview and sample Schedule, Quizzes (28) and complete Answer Keys for each Quiz, Chapter Exercises with sample answers to verbal questions (30 pages), sample answers for all quizzes, sample answers for the final exams, and weekly Review Guides.  It provides everything you need to be ready to go.  Other companion resources available include books to help you teach so that students can best learn, books to help you conduct and understand experiments, a lab report handbook for students, and a solutions manual that covers every computational problem included in the text.

That's the nitty-gritty.  Now, how did we best utilize the text in the review period and will we continue to use it into the coming school year?  My daughter has just completed her sophomore year of high school and when I handed over a book called Introductory Physics, she was apprehensive to say the least.  "Physics, mom?  Really?"  But here's the deal.  This Physics text is written directly to students by a man who has spent 10 years researching methods of instruction that will engage students and draw them into learning.  Beginning with the Preface, she was hooked.  The very first sentence states that "this course is designed to challenge you, while bringing you to a solid level of mastery," but the introduction goes on to explain that students must have a sincere desire to learn and challenges them to be disciplined enough to study.  Furthermore, students are given permission to question the world around them and are encouraged to be organized and diligent to apply themselves to the task at hand.  Can I just tell you how wonderful it is for someone else to tell my girl this?  Students are given a study strategy that is solid -- and gives them to courage to jump in and tackle a tough subject.  The study techniques taught will be used throughout college and life.  I like it.  I like it a LOT.

Bonus "Did You Know?" sections share history alongside science and mathematical concepts.

This is a high school level class.  It is appropriate for high school credit.  As such, it is a rigorous curriculum of reading, studying, answering questions (complete sentences with correct grammar and spelling required), and experimenting, but this is well within the scope of what our children can do.  In my opinion, Introductory Physics sets the bar higher than many other science textbooks do and it expects our children to rise to the standard.  It presented a bit of a learning curve at my house because of this.  The chapters are not incredibly long, but they are incredibly detailed.  My daughter often had to read and re-read before she was able to complete the study questions.  Where she has sometimes taken the easy way out (incomplete thoughts and ideas written down), Novare requires her to truly read to understand and focus on the assigned tasks which meant that mom required the same before marking work as complete.  The Chapters are broken into smaller, more readable chunks of information with learning Objectives clearly defined at the beginning of each.  My daughter explains that she likes knowing what she will/should learn before she begins reading and likes being able to check herself at the end to see if she succeeded.

Full-color illustrations draw the eye and Objectives are laid out for each Chapter.

As with the majority of our high school courses, I expect my girl to be able to follow-through with expectations on her own, BUT I also require her to show me her work once she is done.  Introductory Physics gives us the opportunity to discuss more together and that's a good thing.  I am not leaving her completely solo on this subject and I would suggest that you be available for your students as they work through it as well.  All of that said, we will MOST DEFINITELY be continuing our usage of Introductory Physics for the school year ahead.  It is a yes, Yes, YES in my book.

Novare Science & Math
You can find out more about all of the offerings of Novare Science & Math by visiting the following Social Media sites:
I'm looking forward to my girl finishing the Introductory Physics course and moving into the advanced Physics text called Physics:  Modeling Nature and I'd love to get my hands on the Teaching Science So That Students Can Learn teacher resource.  This resource outlines the philosophy and teaching methods developed by author John Mays.  It looks amazing as it combines the three principles of Mastery (truly learn, master, and retain information), Integration (including the scientific process, basic epistemology, math, scientific history, AND correct usage of the English language in learning), and Kingdom Perspective (MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE of the principles as it shows students GOD's presence in the world).

I also want to recommend that you spend a bit of time and check out the newsletters that are available.  Published several times a year, they contain implementation tips for the different Novare textbooks, explanations on the how and why of the curriculum, share excellent information about grading written answers of your students in higher level science courses, and SO MUCH MORE.  I found the discussions on the age of the Earth in relation to the teachings of GOD's Word to be both refreshing and fascinating and they offered a balming bridge to the Bible vs. Science argument that we so often hear.  I am also super impressed that all things Novare are unashamedly Kingdom focused.  This is exactly what I welcome into my home.

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review Introductory Physics from Novare Science & Math as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought of this curriculum and other resources we reviewed (or just click on the banner below.)

Biblical Based Science {Novare Science & Math Reviews}
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