We assume that Bible study is already an integral and essential part of the child's daily schedule. We believe that science, for Christians, is simply observing and describing God's creation. Our books are carefully selected to provide marvelous examples of all of the wonders of His creation. Our materials are written to provide a framework for an organized study of science, not as a tool to provide our own commentary. If science is viewed from a Christian perspective, then His invisible qualities will be clearly seen (Romans 1:20) without any need for comments from us.
We have also chosen not to include Scriptural references in our materials. Many science programs are being marketed as Christian homeschool science because they have sprinkled in a Bible verse here and there. Some of these programs use verses that are clearly taken out of context. In our opinion, it is unacceptable to teach children to mold Scripture to fit our needs rather than allowing it to teach us in context. We instead recommend that a complete, sound Bible study be used in conjunction with our curriculum (or any other).
Evolution and other secular ideas are occasionally presented in the books that we provide. However, we do not include books that are overly dogmatic in their presentation of these ideas. We think it is important for children to learn differing views and to have meaningful discussions about these topics with their parents. Covering up or hiding these ideas in the home school only creates confusion for the child who hears and sees this information presented elsewhere (e.g. television, radio, magazines, bumper stickers, college,...). We also think it is more important for children to hear what their own parents believe about these issues than what we believe. For this reason, we have not included commentary for these discussions.
Think about the last time that you were trying to learn something new. Did you run out looking for the best 500 page workbook that you could find on the subject? I doubt it. You more likely searched for the best books available on that topic with engaging text and practical examples (with pictures!). Maybe you took some notes or discussed what you learned with someone else that had knowledge of the subject. Now think about how much you still remember. Most of us are products of a classroom education. Our grades were typically based on successfully completing a series of worksheets, quizzes, and tests. The information was placed in short-term memory by cramming for the next exam. Upon successfully satisfying our need for the information, we then quickly forgot it and moved on to the next task. Unfortunately, these evaluation tools are sometimes necessary in an environment where large numbers of students need to be graded at the same time. However, we should not limit our teaching techniques to those methods that are most familiar to us. There are many more natural learning tools available to homeschoolers.
Charlotte Mason used the term "narration" to describe a student's summary of a recent reading assignment. The student was required to read, or listen to someone reading, a short section of a book. The student then submitted an oral or written recount of the text in their own words. The child was evaluated based on their recollection of the reading. It is not possible or desirable to have an "answer key" for such discussions. The narrations are very individualized and allow for creativity. Most of all, narrations are an effective teaching tool that require a student to respond to their learning and to "own" their newly discovered knowledge. Understandably, this technique has also been called the "teach back" method. As a teacher, you can probably relate to how much is learned by teaching someone else. It is a simple, yet remarkably effective technique. Many have said, "If you can teach it, then you have learned it for life."
For more information on using narrations to teach, you may want to visit the following websites:
Narration Beats Tests -- by Karen Andreola (author of A Charlotte Mason Companion)
Tips for Narration -- by Susan Wise Bauer (author of The Well-Trained Mind, A Guide to Classical Education at Home)
Illustrating Science Lessons is Another Form of Narration -- by Karen Andreola (author of A Charlotte Mason Companion)
We provide occasional commentary, but the books and experiment kits provide the substance of the program. Typically, our comments clarify an assignment, point out a minor error in a text, or note an upcoming topic that may prompt further discussion.
Our instructor's guides are designed to provide a logically organized structure to the reading assignments, experiments, and activities. However, they are much more than just schedules. They allow you to use multiple books and experiment kits concurrently, rather than simply "read this book, then this book." The experiments actually relate closely to the reading and multiple books add variety to the topic being studied. The guides also include reproducible student notebook pages and vocabulary word lists. Best of all, these time-savers are a bargain at a price of $19.95 ($15.96 if purchased with a set).
The recommended ages for our courses are directed more towards a child’s current reading level than their prior knowledge of science. The Level I courses are not required to be completed before the Level II courses. However, if you feel that your child will become frustrated by the more challenging reading in the Level II courses, then we would suggest using a Level I program with that child. Our age and grade levels are simply recommendations. You are the best judge of your children’s needs.
Yes. A single package can be shared with multiple students and with various ages of children. The notebook pages are reproducible for multiple students. The experiment kits can be shared with several students at the same time (Note: some consumable materials may need to be replaced if you plan to save the kits for younger children to use in subsequent years).
If you have children with widely varied ages, then you may want to consider using a Level I and a Level II program simultaneously. However, others have successfully used our curriculum by having the younger student(s) “listen in” on the Level II study. This is typically done with the understanding that the younger children will hear the information again at a later date.
Yes. The materials can be shared between small groups of students. Depending on your group’s schedule, you may want to have the parents cover some of the material at home (e.g. complete the reading assignments at home and the experiments at the co-op).
Small schools can also successfully use our curriculum. The books can be shared by 2 or 3
students, and the experiment kits can also be shared. Typically, only one Instructor’s Guide is needed. Please contact us for special pricing on classroom orders.
Although we understand that this would be a convenient option, it is simply not feasible with the variety of books that we use and the wide range of topics that need to be covered. There are times when the two levels might overlap, but not as a general rule. However, this does not prevent two different aged children from learning from each level of the curriculum. For example, an older child studying Biology II could assist a younger child with the reading and experiments in Biology I. The younger child could also listen to the reading assignments and observe the experiments of the older child. Both would benefit from the exposure to the different presentations of the material.
Each of our science courses is intended to take an entire school year (36 weeks) to complete. For example, you may decide to do Chemistry I in grade 1, followed by Physics I in grade 2, followed by Biology I in grade 3 (also see the related question below concerning order of study). This is assuming that you follow our scheduled outline. Some families may elect to speed up or slow down the pace.
No. A child may start at any point in our curriculum without prior knowledge of that subject. There is no particular order of study that needs to be followed or any material in one subject that requires an understanding from another. If you were to poll the “experts”, you would find wide disparity in their opinions of which science should be studied first, and a variety of reasons why. The opinions seem to be determined as much by area of expertise as anything else. We recommend that you select the course that is most interesting to your child. At this age, our goal is to promote an interest in science.
Yes! That is one of the main features of our program. We understand how frustrating it is to be asked to complete an experiment that is completely unrelated to the subject matter being studied. Our Instructor’s Guides are designed to provide a logical order to the reading assignments and experiments.
No. The student notebooks are created using our reproducible pages (now available online) or any other form of notebook that you and your children prefer to use. The notebook will include narrations (summarizations), sketches and drawings, definitions, experiment pages, and any other items that you would like to include (e.g. photographs, nature walk “treasures”, etc.).
Yes. Our books and experiment kits can be purchased separately or as a complete set. The Instructor’s Guides are also available individually. We provide our products separately in order to accommodate those that use their library or already own some of the titles. However, please keep in mind that our curriculum is intended to be used as a complete program. It will not be nearly as effective if only a few books are used or the experiments are excluded. However, if you have a great library nearby and can organize your checkout times to correspond to your schedule, then you can definitely use our program successfully.
Yes, Noeo items can be viewed in the Logos Press catalog.
Yes, we will be attending conferences in Ohio, California, and Washington. For more information, please send us an email or give us a call.
Our long-term plans will depend on the needs of our customers. We have had numerous inquiries about development of the curriculum for ages 13 and up. We are currently in the process of developing our level III courses and hope to have them completed soon. These courses will be intended for 12-15 year olds.