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|Understanding the Noeo Science Curriculum
You will find that the Noeo Homeschool Science curriculum is different from
any other that is available. Each year of science fills children with wonder
and excitement as they build a strong foundational knowledge of science.
They'll be having so much fun that the learning will come naturally for them...
and painlessly for you.
Noeo Homeschool Science is variety-filled, with a structure that is best
described as a balance between the classical method and the Charlotte
Mason approach. We emphasize narration and summarization, vocabulary
development, observation, and the scientific method. We do not promote
rote memorization or the worksheet and test methodology, as we think that
this approach is less valuable for long-term retention. The following table
illustrates these characteristics:
We feel it is important to learn science from a variety of sources, using a
variety of teaching techniques. Our curriculum does not use the traditional
single textbook approach to science education. We think variety will
encourage more interest in science, particularly with younger students. All
of the books are carefully selected to allow children to discover the beauty,
complexity, orderliness, and wonder of God's design. While some written
work is expected, many hands-on activities are included within the bright,
colorful, and well-written books. Living book biographies of many important
scientists are included to provide a practical perspective. Optional Internet
references are also provided throughout the curriculum.
Occasionally, a book may introduce a particularly secular viewpoint. We
view these times as an opportunity for discussions and encourage you not
to skip over or 'cover up' this information. We do not provide 'canned'
answers for these discussions, but encourage instructors to study the
issues for themselves and to pray for guidance and understanding in
providing answers to each student's unique questions.
Just as creation is orderly and well organized, we think a good science
curriculum should follow an orderly design. Each year of the Noeo Science
curriculum will focus on biology, chemistry, or physics. Each of these 3
foundational sciences is studied independently for an entire year rather than
jumping randomly from one subject to another without reason. The study of
biology, chemistry, and physics is then repeated at a higher level and in more
detail upon the completion of each three-year course of study (e.g. Biology in
1st and 4th grade, chemistry in 2nd and 5th grade, etc.). Subjects that
overlap multiple science disciplines (such as geology, weather, and
astronomy) are included at logical points within the 3 major science studies.
For example, astronomy is studied in parallel with the study of gravity within
the physics curriculum.
Our curriculum is designed on a 4-day per week schedule. If you would
prefer to do science twice weekly, then simply complete the first two days of
scheduled readings and assignments on your first day, and the last two days
of reading and assignments on your second day. Alternatively, you may
wish to do all of the reading on the first day and the assignments and
experiments on the second day. The key is to understand what works best
for you and your children and to adjust the schedule as necessary.
The daily time necessary to complete the assignments will vary with
individual student ability and based on the content being studied. We
provide the following table as a guideline of the approximate time that you
can expect to spend on daily assignments:
Our Instructor’s Guides provide a logical, focused progression through the
books and experiments (see sample page). Multiple sources of information
are used to teach each science topic. However, you won't need to spend
your time searching for books or cross-checking indexes to make the
curriculum flow. That work has been done for you!
PLEASE NOTE: If you are looking for a curriculum that provides review
questions and answers, worksheets, or tests, then our program will not work
well for you. Our curriculum is simply not designed that way. The books
themselves provide the substance of the program. The Instructor’s Guides
serve as the road map for an organized sequence of study. The short
reading assignments are meant to be read with the parent and
student(s) together as a family. This time is followed by a summarization or
“narration” by the student (either oral or written). This time-proven method
has been recommended by Charlotte Mason and countless others. It is a
simple, yet remarkably effective, learning tool...and a much more natural way
to learn and retain information.
“The child should speak beautiful thoughts so beautifully, with
such delicate rendering of each nuance of meaning, that he
becomes to the listener the interpreter of the author's thought.”
– Charlotte Mason
For more on narration techniques and examples, 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)
We also recommend drawings or sketches to reinforce what has been
learned. For more on this technique, you may want to read the following
Illustrating Science Lessons is Another Form of Narration
– by Karen Andreola
(author of A Charlotte Mason Companion)
The Science and Lab Notebooks
We provide reproducible sheets for creating science and lab notebooks for
use with the Noeo Science curriculum (see sample pages). The notebooks
are an integral part of the curriculum. Feel free to modify these sheets and to
tailor your expectations for each child.
Your student will be asked to describe, sketch or summarize what they learn
from the reading assignments, or to complete a lab sheet for their
experiments. This method will encourage concentration and attention to
detail. In addition, the lab sheets are designed to help your student to apply
the scientific method in all of their experiments.
Click the links below to see examples of a summarization ("narration") page
and an experiment page completed by a nine-year-old student using our
Chemistry Level II curriculum:
Example notebook pages (Adobe Reader version)
Example notebook pages (Microsoft Word format)
Younger students may need to orally "narrate" their descriptions and
observations to you or an older sibling. You will need to determine the
length and amount of detail that your student is capable of. We encourage
you to increase this expectation over the course of time.
Science is not a spectator sport. The best way for your child to learn and
truly comprehend science is by doing hands-on experiments and activities.
We understand that this is probably the most difficult part of science for
many homeschool families. That is why we were determined to find sources
of high quality, yet simple, experiments.
We are pleased to say that the experiments in our curriculum will provide a
strong science foundation without wreaking havoc on your daily schedule.
For example, many of our experiments are provided through a unique
arrangement with The Young Scientists Club. These experiment kits come
complete with all of the items that are normally difficult to find. They have
won multiple awards for their high quality and have become increasingly
popular among homeschoolers in recent years. We think you will be
pleasantly surprised as your child progresses through these well-organized,
fully-explained experiment kits while actually having fun learning science.
Our other experiments and activities are also carefully selected to provide
relevant and interesting examples of the topics being studied. We provide a
supply list for each week of the year, along with a ‘Master Supply List’ at the
beginning of the Instructor’s Guide. You’ll notice that most, if not all, of the
items on this list can already be found in your home (honest!).
Click here to view our curriculum catalog
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