June 26, 2017

Novare Science & Math: Science For Every Teacher Review

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There's no shortage of love for the study of science in this house. It was always one of my favorite subjects while growing up, and now I have the pleasure in showing my son the very wonders of it all. While I typically enjoy all aspects of the subject, I do tend to favor studies such as botany, biology, or zoology. Then there are others that are more so at the bottom of my list of favorites. Take physics for example. While I typically enjoy all aspects of science, I can't say that I've ever been a true fan of this particular discipline. It's not that I don't like it, but the complexity of it all can be a bit intimidating at times. Perhaps it's all those equations, because let's face it, advanced mathematics like calculus and linear algebra are not on my list of top things that I can't wait to teach. With that being said, when you are a science lover like me, topics like energy, force, and motion are, without a doubt, truly intriguing.

When it comes time for my son to learn about physics, I want him to walk away with a solid knowledge of the subject, but if I'm going to be the one to teach him, then I also have to prepare myself. Recently, I had the opportunity to read the first book in the Science for Every Teacher series by Novare Science & Math. Lucky for me, Volume 1 is all about the study of physics.

 
 


Science for Every Teacher is not a textbook or curriculum, instead it's a resource book for homeschooling parents, teachers, or basically anyone else who is seeking to equip themselves with a better understanding of physics and it's major principles and components. Now don't let the cartoon illustrations on the front cover fool you. This book is serious about teaching readers the very ins and outs of physics. With that being said, the writing isn't dry and hard to follow along to–in fact, it's very easy to read and kept my attention the entire time. Author and founder of Novare Science & Math, John D. Mays, wrote the book as a way to offer a clear and concise explanation of the subject, even for readers who don't have a background or prior history in science. So even if you are just beginning to get a grasp on what the study is about, reading this book is a great way to get started.





The first two chapters are extremely important, because they offer a basic understanding of scientific knowledge and methods. Chapter 1 discusses the differences between truth and fact by digging deeper into how claims and theories work, and why they're important for developing proper scientific research or experiments. Chapter 2 talks about steps in the Scientific Method and how each one applies to conducting an experiment. The steps are discussed in further detail and with emphasis on why they are so important. What's interesting is that these first two chapters apply to many different branches of science. I found them to be fundamentally eye-opening and a great way to start the book. To no surprise, this is exactly what the author had in mind. Although this is the only book in the series at the moment, the author does make a note that both chapters will be included in each subsequent volume in the Science for Every Teacher collection. 




One of the other things that I really enjoy about this book is that it's extremely organized. Every chapter starts out with two sections, one that offers a brief synopsis of what you're about to read, while the other outlines the main goals of the chapter in a numbered format. Throughout the chapters, you'll also find various callouts to highlight main points, statements, and theories that were discussed throughout the text. In addition to the concise layout, the book offers tons of graphics and illustrations to accompany each topic of discussion (maps, figures, diagrams, etc.). At the end of every chapter, there's also an area called Ideas for Your Classroom. This section offers helpful suggestions of activities that teachers and students take part in.






Certain branches of science, such as physics, can be a touchy subject when it comes to one's own personal belief system. There are those who believe in the "big bang" theory and of course there are folks like myself who like to take a more theological standpoint with the Biblical story of God's creation. I appreciate Novare Science & Math's take on this, as they sought to create learning material that eliminates the conflict between faith and science. Their use of scientific epistemology in their books offers students and readers "a grounding in the distinction between biblical truth and scientific theories and facts."






 


Why is the sky blue?

How does heat transfer work?

What are the six types of simple machines, and why are they so important?

Can a light saber really be made?

How does aluminum keep things hot or cold?

What makes a road look as though it's wet from a distance?


You'll find answers and explanations to these questions and so much more!




Novare Science & Math also offers plenty of other teaching resources, as well as actual textbooks for students, including this Introductory Physics, 2nd Edition, which is perfect for high school level studies.




I've personally taken an interest in also picking up their Earth Science: God’s World Our Home textbook, which actually combines historic Christian faith with up-to-date geological science.






When my son begins asking physics related questions, I want to not only know the answers, but also have the knowledge to better explain everything in more detail. John D. Mays offers thorough explanations that surpass what I had originally expected for this book. Science for Every Teacher, Volume 1 has definitely eased some of my anxieties of teaching physics. While this particular branch of science will always be quite complex to me, it isn't necessarily so intimidating as it once appeared. This is the kind of book that I intend to keep on hand for a very long time. Its overall design and set up will make it especially helpful for quick references.  I'm definitely looking forward to further volume releases in the Science for Every Teacher series...perhaps chemistry?




To learn more about Novare Science & Math, be sure to also connect with them on social media:





Read what the rest of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say (including additional reviews on the Introductory Physics and Earth Science: God’s World Our Home textbooks mentioned, above):

Biblical Based Science {Novare Science & Math Reviews}

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2 comments:

Brenda Loves Sharing said...

My oldest son's major is computational physics, so it would be good for me to know some physics too. I like that this book gives you ideas of what to do in the classroom. This book is a wonderful idea to teach parents/teachers more about science, or even just as a refresher course, so they're prepared to teach their kids/students.

Kelly (Our Everyday Harvest) said...

Wow...computational physics...what a great major!! You should definitely give this book a read. Then when he talks "physics," you can share what you know, too. ;-)

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