Science was never my best or favorite subject in school, so I need to pick Bookworm’s science curriculum with care.  The science programs we use need to be open and go, and they need to be student friendly.  My husband is a scientist, so he’s also fussy about science books.  After spending much time together looking at our options, my husband and I had already decided to use Earth Science: God’s World, Our Home by Novare Science & Math.  Having it available for review was just an extra bonus.

About Novare Earth Science

Novare Earth Science: God’s World Our Home

Novare Earth Science ($75) is a mastery-oriented curriculum for middle school students written by Kevin Nelstead.  Nelstead has a B.A. in Earth Science and a M.S. in Geology.  He has taught science in three different Christian schools and has worked as a Senior Cartographer, Geospatial Analyst, and Natural Resources Specialist for the United States federal government.

The Novare science books have recently been implemented in one of our favorite curriculums, Memoria Press.  Memoria Press is offering online classes using some of the Novare science books for middle school and high school.  This is a terrific option for those of us who don’t have a strong science foundation.

There are 15 chapters in this book:

Chapter 1: Earth in Space

Chapter 2: Visualizing Earth

Chapter 3: Thinking about 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, and 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 Polution

One of the points that most drew us to this science book is that it is not from a Young Earth perspective.  the In fact, in the Preface for Teachers, the author states that science clearly supports the Big Bang theory and that he believes in the Old Earth perspective.

Additional Support

Besides the text itself, Novare also offers an Earth Science: God’s World, Our Home Resource CD ($50).  We also had the opportunity to review this, and I found it invaluable.  Included in the CD are:

  • Quizzes
  • Exams
  • Answer Keys
  • Instructions for 8 Experiments
  • Weekly Review Guides
  • Sample Course Schedule

How We Used Novare Earth Science

Bookworm used this text approximately 3x a week.  While he’s not a kid who really enjoys science, he did like the text and asked to continue using it for his science curriculum this year.  I’m impressed that he liked the text that much!  If we continue to homeschool through high school, I would definitely consider using Novare Science with the online option from Memoria Press.  (I don’t have a strong science foundation and would like to outsource the teaching of high school chemistry and physics.)

What We Liked about Novare Earth Science

Bookworm liked the length of the lessons.  He said that they weren’t too short, but they didn’t go on forever, either.  He thought the length was appropriate.  The lessons that we covered were about five to seven pages long and had three to five learning questions at the end of the reading.

Bookworm also thought that the content was at the perfect level–not too difficult, but not too easy.  He appreciated the colorful layout of each page, which helped hold his interest.

Finally, he liked that the author included his own personal opinion as it comes to Earth and God’s hand in its creation.  On page 12, the author states, “All Christians believe the entire universe testifies to its loving and providential creator, our wise God who designed the universe to be inhabited by a spectacular variety of complex life–including us.”

What We Disliked about Novare Earth Science

On the design front, while Bookworm loved the interior of the book, he thought the cover design was a bit lackluster.

In addition, he said that some of the learning questions could be challenging for those who aren’t strong in mathematics.  For example, this question stumped him: “Calculate the approximate speed at which Earth moves in its orbit around the sun.  You can simplify the problem by assuming that Earth’s orbit around the sun is circular.”

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I was one of 41 people to review either Earth Science: God’s World, Our Home, Introductory Physics, General Chemistry, and Science for Every Teacher.  To read more reviews, click on the icon below:

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