If you're like me, even with a science degree, teaching high school Chemistry can still be a task that makes your knees shake. That's why I was excited to review General Chemistry from Novare Science & Math.
General Chemistry from Novare Review
First thing I noticed about this hardbound book is its sleek design. It is far from the huge clunky chemistry book I am accustomed to seeing. Looking through the table of contents, it looks similar to other high school level texts:
Introduction to Chemistry
Atoms and Substances
Molecular Theory and Metallic Bonding
Chemical Reactions and Stoichiometry
Kinetic Theory and State of Matter
Acids and Bases
Upon reading further I see that it's taught not only with a Kingdom perspective, but from a Mastery viewpoint. This curriculum seeks to have students retain the information and not simply regurgitate it. The teacher is encouraged and instructed to review topics and past problems. Furthermore, the student is instructed and encouraged to begin reviewing chapters and topics once they are about a month from the initial exposure. Now that's something new to me!
I also found it interesting their progression through high school sciences starts with Physics in the 9th grade, then Biology in 10th followed by Chemistry in 11th grade. The reason noted by the author is to ensure that unit conversions, mass, potential energy, kinetic energy and electric charge are well understood by this point. It is also suggested that the student is at least taking Algebra II simultaneously while studying Chemistry.
Our Experience General Chemistry from Novare Review
For myself, I have found most Chemistry texts are either an overload of words in a huge book or something that ends up being an overview of the subject with not enough depth to count for high school credit.
With this curriculum pertinent information is introduced with a good mix of eye catching photos an illustrations. Step by step well laid out how to's are presented through out the chapter helping the student (and the parent!). And then plenty of exercises are given to put that new knowledge to good use! The only draw back is that there are only answers to select problems given at the back of the book. A resource cd is available that includes teaching resources, quizzes, tests and full answers too.
Regarding labs, the author recognizes the importance of doing labs and AND writing formal labs reports. While the labs are not included in this book, Novare does sell a lab book for both public/private and one for homeschoolers. I like this approach better because it keeps the "surprise" of lab still to be uncovered and does not spoil the wonder, investigation and exploration. I wish more science text would incorporate this!
I worked this book with my high schooler. Since he's already had Chemistry, it was some what a review for him. He commented that he liked having the more condensed version of Chemistry at his finger tips that did not skimp on the meat of the subject. He also said that he would have liked to use this curriculum from Novare better than the one he had already completed.
So, if you're looking for a High School Chemistry curriculum that teaches scientific process of modeling, basic epistemology of science, math, scientific history and English language in order to give a well-rounded coherent and effective learning experience, you need to check out General Chemistry from Novare Science & Math!
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Check out what other crew members had to say about General Chemistry, Earth Science: God’s World, Our Home, Introductory Physics and Science for Every Teacher.