Level: Form III (7th–9th grades)
Subject(s): Science/Nature Study
From the publisher’s website:
Combining mastery-learning and a unique textbook philosophy, this physical science course helps students break the Cram-Pass-Forget cycle so that they truly learn and retain course material. Topics covered include types of matter, energy, order and design in creation, forces and fields, measurement, motion, sound and light, electricity and magnetism, and the nature of scientific knowledge.
This physical science text is designed for grades 6-8. Novare Physical Science is beautiful and durable, and organized around the principles guiding all Novare Science & Math texts: Mastery, Integration, and Kingdom perspective.
Good science instruction should draw students upward into the adult world of scientific inquiry. We start with a proven mastery-learning paradigm: through a carefully crafted program, students continually learn and build on their learning, reencountering key concepts and practicing scientific skills so that they become settled in the student’s mind.
Mastery learning requires ongoing review even as new material is presented. It also takes culling the material down to a manageable amount that an average student can actually master in the course of a year. This means that Novare texts are serendipitously smaller than the usual 8-10 pound tomes. Better, more enduring learning takes place when the student goes deeper with a moderate amount of material rather than trying to cover too many topics too rapidly or shallowly.
Each chapter begins with a list of quantifiable learning objectives and important vocabulary. Chapters also include periodic Learning Checks which provide a moment to stop and review. There are 12 “Experimental Investigations” included with the book, not in a separate manual, with instructions and materials listed.
As integration is the inclusion of material across subjects relevant to the topic in the text—the history behind the science, grade-level mathematics, written and verbal English language skills and measurement skills—Novare Physical Science even includes some discussion of epistemology (what kind of knowledge does science give us and how is that different from biblical revelation).
References from the humanities are used where appropriate to add greater dimension, to humanize and decompartmentalize science, references to art, music, architecture, technology, and literature.
Finally, this book is written with a Kingdom Perspective. This text devotes chapters 4 and 7 to discussion about the meaning of the presence of order in the universe, and how this points to a Creator behind it. Furthermore, it discusses the nature of truth, theories, facts, hypotheses, and the nature of scientific knowledge. A Christian worldview and love for Christ comes through in the narration as he leads the reader to wonder and care for God’s great world. This makes for a more elegant and vibrant Christian encounter with science than sprinkling Bible verses and devotional insets around.