Novare Earth Science
We occasionally get a request for Christian materials in the area of science that doesn't include a young earth (literal interpretation) perspective. Novare Science offers a Kingdom perspective that allows students to see God in creation, but takes the stand that science supports a universe that is 13.77 billion years old and the Earth is 4.6 billion years old. However, the theory of evolution isn't mentioned or discussed. Novare (no-VAH-ray) is Latin meaning 'to renew' or 'begin again.' This reflects the attitude of the authors toward science education in our country - it needs to be renewed and refurbished, using research, scientific evidence and forward-thinking strategies while keeping God at the helm.
Like the other texts in this series, the Earth Science employs a mastery approach to learning science - students should learn, master, and retain, what they learn. A curriculum that uses this approach covers fewer topics but covers each more deeply. This text also integrates learning by combining skills in the areas of science, math, science history, and English language usage. Every chapter follows the same format - objectives are stated, vocabulary terms presented, textual information numbered and divided into digestible amounts, 'learning checks' at the end of each reading section, and an exercise at the end of each chapter. Chapters in this book cover Earth in Space, Visualizing Earth, Thinking About Earth, Matter & Minerals, Rocks & the Rock Cycle, Plate Tectonics & Mountain Building, Volcanoes & Earthquakes, Weathering/Erosion/Soils, Surface Water & Groundwater, Landforms, Earth History, Oceanography, Atmosphere, Weather, and Climate & Air Pollution. A glossary, mineral chart, and other resources are found at the back of the text. The author believes in questions that require complete sentences as a response, so you won't find any true/false, matching, or multiple choice questions. Colorful illustrations and photos are used to enhance the content of this small format text (6.5" x 9.5").
The text states three goals for which the student is to strive - be good stewards of God's gifts; learn, master, and retain what you learn; learn to keep a lab journal. The student section at the front of the book explains how to keep your lab journal or you can use Student Lab Report Handbook (#47300) for guidelines suggested by this author for keeping a lab journal. This handbook is recommended for use at the high school level. There are eight Experimental Investigations found right in the text and include an overview, basic materials list and step-by-step instructions.
The Resource CD includes 30 quizzes (one for each week), two semester exams, answer keys to calculation questions, sample answers for verbal questions, weekly review guides, lab experiments, lesson list, and sample course schedule.
In the sequence of Novare Science courses, this is one of the middle school courses (6th-8th), but is meaty enough to be used at the 9th grade level. Novare is good preparation for higher level science courses, because of the mastery approach and emphases on mastering the concepts.