We have been reviewing a great middle school science publication from Novare Science & Math, Earth Science: God's World, Our Home, written by Kevin Nelstead.
Novare Science & Math has successfully brought a Christian view into a science textbook. They have done this, not just by throwing in a few scriptures, but including God in the text since they realize he is the creator of the world. Every aspect of this curriculum is fully backed scientific resources, present Earth Science topics to your student in the most logical way possible. In fact the author, Kevin Nelstead has a B.A. in Earth Science and a M.S. in Geology. He has worked as a Senior Cartographer, Geospatial Analyst, and a Natural Resources Specialist for the United States government. I'd say he's pretty qualified, to write this textbook. Yet his book was still analyzed by other specialists in the science field to verify accuracy.
Novare Science & Math strives for your student to develop the mastery level of science. They do not want the student to do the typical, study for a few days so you can pass the test and then forget it as soon as you are done with the test. They also incorporate math into their science, since they feel that these two subjects do go hand-in-hand.
The Earth Science: God's World, Our Home has been written for late middle school level, suggested around eighth grade. It is packed full of information, and way more than I learned in science in eighth grade.
Each chapter starts out with an explanation of what information is being presented. There is also a list of Objectives that your student should have learned during their reading and completing the exercises at the end of each sub-section. There is also a list of vocabulary terms that will be presented throughout the reading.
I really liked that each chapter is broken down into smaller sections. This actually made it easier for Joey to work independently with this book. He did not feel overwhelmed with each smaller section as he is reading. At the end of each section there is also a Learning Check of around 3 to 5 questions to review what he just read.
The illustrations in this book are amazing. I was wondering, because the size of this textbook is not as large as most of our science textbooks. I figured something probably had to go to achieve this smaller size. But the illustrations are great, and are strategically placed throughout each chapter to provide excellent learning experiences for those visual learners using Earth Science: God's World, Our Home program.
We also had the opportunity to review the Earth Science: God's World, Our Home Resource CD ($50.00). It includes quizzes, experiments and even a lesson plan schedule to make your planning easier. To make your life even easier, there are answer keys so that you do not need to read every chapter your child is studying if they are using this program more independently. Also included on the Resource CD are extra images and Weekly Review Guides to print out for your students. It's basically their weekly to-do list for what they need to be completing each week. Gives them reminders as to what they need to finish in order to get the most from this Earth Science curriculum.
Novare Science & Math is really striving to build a love of science in children, who may have in the past had poor experiences with just getting answers wrong. Students forget the majority of what they are learning, and it really just causes a completely frustrating experience. By removing the pressures of forcing to them learn a bunch of facts in a short amount of time, students can feel less pressure to master the material they are reading. That was the goal of this series, and I think they did a great job on this text.
Joey has been enjoying the text so far, and when I asked if he was struggling in any way, he said no. He told me that he wants to complete the book, and that he is enjoying it. There have been a few questions he has struggled with, those mainly being the math questions that are incorporated in certain sections. But that is only because Joey is struggling in math, and is not at grade level in this area. He has been successful with this material, and I am looking at starting him on the Introductory Physics textbook when he finishes Earth Science: God's World, Our Home.
So depending on the reason for the question, I either sit down and do those questions with him or just have him skip over them. He's still learning the material. For a child who is delayed several grades, he has been able to handle using Novare Science & Math - Earth Science: God's World, Our Home very well. The printable quizzes are also very easy for him to use. I use them different than most, and allow him to use his textbook the first time he completes them. Then we review the material together.
I highly recommend you take some time to check out this middle school science resource. I think you will be pleased. Novare Science & Math offer many other science books, including Introductory Physics, General Chemistry, and Science for Every Teacher. They have also just been added to the Memoria Press catalog. So if you are a fan there, some of their materials are there now also. To read the other Homeschool Review Crew reviews click on the link below:
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