Novare Life Science

With minimal mathematics, Life Science provides sixth grade students an in-depth look at life science from the structures and features of different types of organisms to cellular and molecular biology. Looking at the scope of content, this course would also meet the needs of 7th-8th grade students.

The Text begins with introductory information for teachers that explains the Novare’s core principles of Wonder, Integration, and Mastery, and the Kingdom Perspective. It also gives an overview of support resources and using the text. Following this is an introduction written to the student. I appreciate how this section explains the course goals of mastery and retention, and then provides the student the study tools and routines they will need to succeed in the course. Topically, students begin with an introduction to life science and learn the scientific method, scale and goals of life science and scientific measurement. The following chapters build on this foundational information and cover molecules and cells with an overview of biochemistry, the human body systems, genetics and plant and animal reproduction, photosynthesis, metabolism, and homeostasis, human and plant sensory systems, ecosystems, climate and the biosphere, major biomes of the world, biodiversity, and evolutionary theory and variations, natural selection, and adaption. The author makes a strong case for Christian students studying and understanding evolutionary theory with a clearly explained chart explaining how various positions (Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolutionary Creationism) interpret scripture, view the age of the earth/universe, and view the creation of living things. Families unfamiliar with Novare Science, should note the core philosophy of Novare Science is that science education in our country needs to be renewed using research, scientific evidence and forward-thinking strategies while keeping God at the helm. Students are taught to see God in creation, while learning current scientific theories that support an old-earth creation.

The Apprentice’s Companion for Life Science contains 26 activities. Part experiment book, and part field manual, lab journal and sketch book, students are prompted to form hypotheses, record data, and evaluate the hypotheses to determine if they are supported by the data. The book also includes illustrations, poems and quotes from respected scientists and naturalists. Time for activities varies from a few minutes or a class period to several days of observation and documentation. Not reproducible, each student will need their own copy. Parents, Teachers, and Co-op Leaders will appreciate the Digital Resources which includes printable, reproducible resources in PDF or Microsoft Word Format. Files include a lessons schedule and sample lesson plan, weekly reviews and quizzes beginning in week 2-3, semester exams, answer keys, and sample answers to verbal questions. While it may be tempting to skip the weekly assessments, it is vital to remember that the weekly, cumulative assessments are the central component of Novare’s mastery-learning strategy. An email address is required for the Digital Resources. You will receive an email in 1-2 business days with information to assess the digital downloads.

Novare Life Science is an academically rigorous course that focuses on content mastery, and not just the cram-pass—forget cycle that is common in middle and high school sciences. Students completing this course will be well prepared for college preparatory science courses in their high school course of study. ~Deanne

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