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Novare Science & Math: Introductory Physics ~ Review

We are currently reviewing Introductory Physics in our homeschool from Novare Science & Math.

The author and teacher, John D Mays, cares that students retain what they have learned.  He has revolutionized helping students master learning the sciences and mathematics that will benefit them the rest of their life, no matter what they choose to do in their future.

My son is so impressed with this Introductory Physics course, that he has told me he would love to review several more courses written by John D. Mays at Novare Science & Math.

Introductory Physics

General Chemistry

Earth Science: God’s World, Our Home

Science for Every Teacher

Memoria Press and Potter’s School have recently began carrying Novare Science & Math curriculum products for homeschoolers.  The Homeschool Review Crew is currently reviewing Novare Science & Math courses for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  Be sure to see the links at the end of this post to find out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using these products with their families.

Introductory Physics

Hardback Student Text Book

376 Pages

Illustrated

   Grades 9-12

Retails $75

This course contains 13 Chapters broken down into numerous lessons, 28 quizzes, 23 reviews, 2 semester exams (1 mid and 1 final), experiments, etc. and is meant to be used over the course of an entire school year.  A sample schedule is given for how the course can be started in the fall semester and run the entire school year over the course of approximately 53 weeks.

Introductory Physics can be used with high school students who have had Algebra 1.  The Author, John D Mays, mentions in the text book that he has taught a modified version of the course to 9th graders who have taken pre-Algebra.   He recommends that if teaching this course to 9th graders, then you should modify the course by leaving out chapters 8 and 13 because these two chapters contain more challenging Algebraic math meant for older high school students who have taken Algebra 1 or higher level math.

John D Mays teaches this Introductory Physics course from the perspective of the Christian faith. He not only cares that students master and retain the material, but he cares about their soul and cares that they know the truth.   He shares his faith with the students, and teaches that the foundation of science and mastery of every subject in life cannot be separated from the truth of the bible.

Introductory Physics text book includes:

  • Preface for Teachers
  • Preface for Students
  • 13 Chapters:
  1. The Nature of Scientific Knowledge
  2. Motion
  3. Newton’s Laws of Motion
  4. Energy
  5. Momentum
  6. Atoms, Matter and Substances
  7. Heat and Temperature
  8. Pressure and Buoyancy
  9. Waves, Sound and Light
  10. Introduction of Electricity
  11. DC Circuits
  12. Fields and Magnetism
  13. Geometric Optics
  • Glossary (Large list of words and definitions)
  • Appendix A (Reference Data)
  • Appendix B (Chapter Equations and Objectives)
  • Appendix C (Lab Experiments)
  • Appendix D (Main Scientists and their contributions)
  • Appendix E (Making Accurate Measurments)
  • Appendix F (References)
  • Appendix G (Image Credits) there are a lot of images!
  • Index

Prerequisites:

  • Algebra 1
  • Pre-Algebra (for 9th graders if leaving out chapters 8 and 13)
  • Scientific Notations
  • Perform Unit Conversions
  • Use Metric Prefixes
  • Determine Significant Digits
  • Able to solve equations for unknown variables
  • Able to use a calculator, compute (add and subtract) to the power of 10 or use the EE or EXP buttons on their scientific calculator.

Lab Experiments & Journal:

There are five lab experiments in this course.  Students must maintain a Lab Journal for their experiments / written work during the duration of the course.  Lab experiments must be written on graph paper (quadrille ruled), written in pencil, and it will also include everything they did in all five laboratory experiments.

Instructions for the Lab Journal and Lab Experiments are included in “Appendix C” located at the back of the text book. Each experiment requires a written report and it is recommended that you purchase a copy of “The Student Lab Report Handbook” from the website for detailed instructions on how to write these reports for all of your Science courses.  Each experiment in Introductory Physics will require supplies.  Some supplies may be items you already have on hand and others may be items you will need to purchase.  Be sure to look through the items needed and have them on hand a head of time for each experiment.

Companion Products:

The textbook is excellent and can stand alone.  However, in addition to the text book, it is recommended to pick up a few of the companion products, especially the Resource CD, to maximize the learning experience for the student.

Resource CD $50

(contains teacher resources, weekly reviews, quizzes, tests, ect.)

The Student Lab Report Handbook $22.50

Solutions Manual to Accompanying Introductory Physics $15

Favorite Experiments for Physics and Physical Science $30

Teaching Science so that Students Learn Science $17

Experiments for Introductory Physics and ASPC $20

(contains teacher instructions and experiments)

Our Experience with Introductory Physics

We received the Introductory Physics hardback student text book, and were also given access to download the material from the Resources CD for the purpose of writing this review (the download option is not available for sale, the Resource CD is only available for purchase on CD).  My son has read through the Preface for Teachers and Students, Chapter 1 “The Nature of Scientific Knowledge”, looked over the Appendixes for vocabulary and to familiarize himself with some of the learning objectives, and is currently working through Chapter 2 “Motion”.  He is taking it slow and loving it so far.

After using this course for the past several weeks, we are very pleased with the materials.  The book is wonderful and a great read!  The author expresses himself very well and my son likes the personal touches the author has added about his beliefs and experiences.   The Resource CD is very important to use with this course .  It contains the course overview, sample course schedule, 28 quizzes, 23 weekly reviews, verbal prompt questions, both the semester mid-term exam and year final exam, and teaching tips and sample answers to verbal prompt questions. Beginning with week 3, the students are given a weekly review guide to follow and their are 23 of these guides.  You could just use the textbook only for this course, and keep meticulous study notes, but I think you would miss out on a lot of the learning comprehension without also using the Resource CD.

In each chapter of the text book, key Physics concepts are reviewed, and then rehearsed over and over throughout the year while new material is being added lesson by lesson, and chapter by chapter.  Verbal prompts and written technical communication is also emphasized.

 

It is a good idea with this course to have a quiet place to study and make a “study kit” so your student has everything they need on hand.  The concepts are challenging and the more your student can focus without distractions (a quiet space away from younger siblings, etc) the better.  Plan to spend an hour a day (at least three or more days a week) to stay on top of the learning and reviews.  Homeschooling is flexible, so go at a pace that feels comfortable to your student.

We are taking it slow.  My son likes to go outside to study if the weather is nice.  He says it connects him to God’s creation and it is more enjoyable.  So I made a portable study kit for him specific for this course and it contains a highlighter (to mark his book), a pencil, an eraser, a notebook, a Lab Experiment Notebook made of graph paper, a ruler for measuring and drawing lines, and a scientific calculator, and I stored all of these items in a three ring binder.  I will add in additional things as the need arises.  He will need several items for the lab experiments.  In the 3 ring binder, I put a zippered case to hold the loose items, and the notebook, subject dividers, and it is wide enough that his text book fits easily in it too.   I also printed and hole punched PDF copies of the weekly schedule, weekly review guides, and chapter quizzes and put them into the binder too.  So he is able to study outside or wherever he finds a quiet comfortable spot to focus on learning the material.

The notebook is needed for taking chapter notes such as summarizing the main ideas and understanding chapter objectives and writing down vocabulary words, etc.  In addition, the weekly reviews have projects for students to complete to build on their mastery of the information.  The weekly reviews are handed out at the start of each week starting with week three.  A handy way to store these is organized in your binder for review. Students are also instructed to make their own flash cards for each chapter and review these regularly.  You can store flash cards in a rubber band and put them in a zippered case in the binder, or an index card filer, or for ease of use to start out, or into a plastic sleeve page designed for the three ring binder.   I hope these steps will help my son be organized, successfully master this course.

I really like the concepts John D Mays has built into his Novare Science & Math curriculum.  He emphasizes starting with Introductory Physics as the basic foundation for learning science and math, then building on this with the upper level science courses from there.  His strategy is to focus on three areas that he says has proven again and again to boost student academic achievement: Mastery, Integration, and Kingdom Perspective.  Please take a few minutes to check out the videos below where the author explains his strategy in helping students strengthen their faith while they master the information they are studying.

Mastery:

The goal is to master the subject without getting overwhelmed or distracted with information that won’t be remembered.  The way to master a subject is to reduce the amount of information that is manageable.   A reduced-scope curriculum enables students to learn a reasonable amount of material deeply, instead of giving shallow attention to topics that they will not understand or be able to remember.  Students who master material they learn when they are younger, will most likely outperform their peers when they reach upper level classes.

The Mastery strategy uses:

  • continuous review,
  • ongoing accountability for retention of material,
  • building with basic skills
  • adding in new material

Integration:

Integration involves developing and integrating critical points that are effective. These integration points should include:

  • integrate math skills in science classes
  • integrate science skills in math classes
  • develop good written expression on exams, lab reports, etc.
  • allow the truth of God and his goodness and beauty to point the nature of science and math knowledge
  • develop specific learning objectives to be understood and evaluated in assessments.

Kingdom:

Instead of conflict between faith and science, Novare Science & Math has set it’s sights on improving how teachers can share with students the relationship between science/mathematics and the loving Creator, our Heavenly Father, who made the universe and everything in it, and then lovingly gave it to us.

We were thrilled with the opportunity to use this curriculum in our home and share our experience with you.  Be sure to check it out and see if it will be a good fit for your family too.

About the Author:

John D Mays is the author and founder of Novare Science & Math.  He has been teaching in various positions (highschool, college, state and Christian schools and various workshops, etc) since 1985.  He is a well known speaker and educator.  He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, a Master of Education degree in Secondary Education from the University of Houston, a Master of Liberal Arts degree from St. Edwards University, and graduate studies in the field of Physics. John has also worked in various fields including teaching, engineering, engineering management, Math and Science Department Chair, Optics Lab Director, etc.  He has put together a team of people, including some of his family members, to help him accomplish great curriculum and programs through Novare Science & Math and point students and teachers to a greater appreciation of Father God, the true Creator of everything.

Social Media

Stay in touch with Novare Science & Math through their social media links:

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Newsletter/BLOGhttps://www.novarescienceandmath.com/category/newsletter/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Novare Science & Math products with their families.

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Prima Latina Review

The longer we homeschool the more we learn about wonderful products available for learning a variety of languages and subjects at home at any age.  We recently reviewed a wonderful product for learning beginning Latin from Memoria Press called Prima Latina Complete Set.

Prima Latina Complete Set

Student Book (workbook)

Teacher Manual

Lesson DVDs

Pronunciation Audio CD

Flash Cards

Grades 1-4

Retails $90.90

This is a terrific easy-to-use, beginning Latin resource for Elementary age students in grades 1-4.  It was designed to make it easy to transition into the next level of learning Latin.  But honestly older students and adults who have not previously studied Latin would also benefit using this beginning level program prior to moving on.

The Prima Latina Complete Set includes a spiral bound Student Book (workbook), Teacher Manual, Lesson DVD’s, Audio Pronunciation CD, and Flashcards.

All of the resources in this set coordinate together to cover 25 easy to use student friendly lessons.  You can complete this course in 25 weeks or go faster or slower at a pace that suits your needs.  The lessons include:

  • grammar appropriate for primary grades
  • 5 vocabulary words with corresponding English derivatives per lesson
  • A practical Latin phrase per lesson
  • One line of a prayer per lesson that is learned in 5 lessons
  • Easy-to-read, 2-color format
  • Reviews: The exercises in each lesson provide constant review of materials learned throughout the course.
  • Tests: Every 5 lessons, students review the material and take a test (complete with key) to ensure mastery.

Our experience using Prima Latina:

Our daughter is using the Prima Latina Complete Set we were sent for this review.  We like it so much we plan to order additional Student Books (workbooks) for the rest of our kids too.  You need a Student Book for each student because they write in it what they have learned.  However, each family would only need one complete set of the other resources that can be shared. So you could easily use this course with multiple kids in the same house if you get each one their own student book which only costs an additional $15 per student.  That is one fee for the complete set for the first student and only $15 for each additional student to learn the beginning Latin course.  For a large family like ours, with 6 kids, this is a win win!!!

Student Book (workbook):

We love this workbook!  It is so easy to read and write in.  It is spiral bound and printed on both sides of the page.  Everything is broken down into easy to understand steps.

Each lesson contains about 10 sections:

Practical Latin

Lesson

Vocabulary

Latin Prayers

Derivatives

Review Questions (and sometimes additional Questions 2)

Translation

Speaking Latin

Write and Learn

Fun Practice

At the back of the book is a vocabulary appendix that contains an alphabetized list of all the words and phrases learned, what lesson they are found in, and what part of speech.

The student goals in the Student Book are to

  1. Learn basic Latin alphabet and pronunciation
  2. Pronounce, spell, and translate approximately 125 Latin words.
  3. Learn numbers 1-10 in Latin.
  4. Learn the names of the constellations in the sky.
  5. Understand derivatives and the English words that are derived from Latin.
  6. Grammar

Teacher Manual:

The Teacher Manual is also a very easy to use resource.  It mirrors the Student Book and contains the answers to each of the questions. It also contains the vocabulary appendix, reproducible drills and tests and the answer keys, as well as a sample lesson plan, and teaching guidelines in the back.

I like the ease of use of this program.  Even though I have no previous background in learning Latin myself, following the steps in this program is easy for me to teach and learn myself as I go.  This course is great for both the student and the parent/teacher.  Older students above the suggested grade level could teach this program to themselves independently too using the Teacher Manual.

DVD’s:

The DVD’s include 3 discs, with a total of 9 hours (15-20 min./lesson) taught by instructor Leigh Lowe.  She includes a lot of vocabulary practice, explanations, recitation of words and phrases learned, and review.
She uses diagrams and on-screen notes, and examples to convey her meaning to help students understand.

Check out this example of a video lesson with the teacher Leigh Lowe:

Audio Pronunciation CD:

The Audio Pronunciation CD includes pronunciation explanation and direction for each lesson.  We found the CD to be helpful for practicing drills and learning the correct pronunciation of the songs.

Flashcards:

We like using flashcards and the flashcards in the Prima Latina Complete Set are a fun way to practice and memorize the lessons being taught.  They cover vocabulary with derivatives, Latin sayings, conjugations and declensions. The Flashcards can also be used the following year with the next level of Latin training called Latina Christiana.

Memoria Press has done a wonderful job creating this Latin course.  Prima Latina is a student friendly way to teach Latin to young students. It teaches important English and Latin grammar concepts, as well as vocabulary, sayings, prayers, hymns, and many well known constellations in the sky.

Prima Latina Complete Set is a wonderful choice for homeschool families with young children.  It may also be helpful for families with children who are still becoming familiar with English grammar as a second language too. Perhaps it would make a nice intro to Latin for bible study classes or groups. This program will also work great for families who need flexibility and for families who have students of various ages who want to learn Latin at a much slower pace than other programs.  The program is flexible and you can go as fast or as slow as you need too.  Finally it can also be used by families who have students that would like to work toward a rigorous language arts program using Latin as the foundation.  This is a great beginning Latin language resource.  Be sure to check out the next level course called Latina Christiana and the other Latin courses Memoria Press has to offer.

Social Media

Be sure to follow Memoria Press on their social media links for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/memoriapress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MemoriaPress
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/memoriapress/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/memoriapress/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104379865092561103366
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/memoriapress/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/memoriapresstrk=nav_account_sub_nav_company_admin

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Memoria Press.

 

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First Form Greek Review

My oldest son is fascinated by ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Roman history, their cultures, weapons, and their languages.  He is in high school and working towards his graduation transcript requirements. Thankfully, Memoria Press has many wonderful curriculum options that meet his variety of interests as well as requirements. 

He was thrilled to receive First Form Greek Complete Set by Memoria Press to review in our homeschool.  This course includes everything he needs to learn the ancient Greek language and it will meet his high school transcript language requirements.  This course fit perfectly in reaching his interests and goals. 

First Form Greek Complete Set

First Form Greek Complete Set

Grades 7-12

Retail $125

The First Form Greek Complete Set includes resources for both the student and the parent teacher.  It includes everything you need for learning ancient Greek.  Even though this is a beginner / intermediate level course for older students, it is recommended for the student to have some prior knowledge of Latin Language and to have learned the Greek Alphabet. Spending extra time learning Lesson 1 in the book will also help a new student learn this program if they have no prior experience.  See the course recommendations on the website for more details.

The First Form Greek Complete Set contains the following:

For the Student:

Lessons DVD

Pronunciations CD

Student Text

Student Workbook

Flash Cards

For the Parent / Teacher

Teacher Manual

Teacher Keys

Quizes & Tests Booklet

First Form Greek covers general vocabulary and grammar in a logical organized method.  The goal after finishing First Form Greek, is for the student to have mastered:

130 vocabulary words
Six indicative active tenses of the “omega” verb
Present tense of the “to be” verb
Two noun declensions
First & second declension adjectives
Personal & demonstrative pronouns

If your student desires to go further in their Greek studies, after completing First Form Greek, they will be better prepared for further studies in Greek New Testament and Septuagint or Classical Greek and understanding of Greek authors.

Items in the Complete Set:

Teacher Manual:

The First Form Greek Teacher Manual has everything the parent teacher needs to teach this class.  You don’t need prior experience, all the answers and explanations are provided for you and you can learn as you go.

The Teacher Manual contains:

a full copy of the Student Text with answers in color,

lesson plans for each day,

recitation schedule for each week,

oral drills,

parsing and analysis of Greek sayings,

references to similar linguistic features in Latin.

additional notes.

Quizzes & Tests booklet:

The Quizzes & Tests booklet contains:

reproducible weekly quizzes

unit tests that ensure material is being mastered,

and a grading rubric for the teacher.

Teacher Key:

The Teacher Key booklet contains:

answers to the workbook

answers to quizzes

answers to tests.

DVD Set:

The set of 5 DVD’s contains:

8 hours of instructions covering

10-20 minutes step by step lessons used at the beginning of each week.

Teacher: Elizabeth Pierce

Oral Drills

On Screen Examples

Onscreen Charts

CD:

The CD contains:

Pronunciation,

vocabulary,

sayings,

grammar forms for each lesson.

Student Text:

The Student Text contains:

26 Lessons + 5 Unit Reviews,

Lessons are on two facing pages.

 The student text provides a presentation of grammar in five units that cover 26 step by step lessons.  It includes appendices with English grammar, prayers, conversational Greek, a vocabulary index, etc.

Student Workbook:

The Student Workbook is focussed on logical practice and mastery of concepts and contains:

6 pages of exercises per lesson,

Lesson exercises to be completed in 4 days

Blank drill forms

Weekly reviews of vocabulary and grammar on day 5.

Unit reviews.

Flashcards:

Flashcards contain:

vocabulary,

Greek sayings,

grammar forms.

Our Thoughts Using First Form Greek

All of the resources in this set are wonderful high quality products.   So much is included to help you be successful and master Greek language skills.   Even though they have provided everything you need, this course is not easy!  It is very challenging and learning this language is harder than it looks!

This course is very well made.  I would personally expect to find such an indepth course in college, so high school students interested in this are really blessed to have such a high quality resource to work with.  I took French 1 and 2, German 1, and some intro in Latin for singers, in college and struggled learning languages because their were few resources.  I personally would have been thrilled with all the resources that are included in this set if I had this class in college!  It is very well put together.

My son and I found the DVD lessons to be an invaluable resource for this course.  I don’t think we could get through the class without them.  I know nothing about the Greek language, and it is very helpful to have a teacher on the DVD teach the lesson and demonstrate the correct pronunciation.  I am also thankful for the Teacher Manual and Test Key, because I would be lost without them when grading and trying to search for answers to my son’s questions.

Another thing I like about the text book is that it includes scriptures and talks about Jesus and encourages our faith.  I also like that it includes several pages of culture and ancient history with photos.

My son is very intelligent and focused in his personal learning objectives.  He devours every piece of information he seeks out.  He amazes me at his desire to learn knowledge.  There isn’t a day that goes by that he hasn’t done some extensive research into a subject.

He has taken an introductory class for Latin, and has learned a few Greek phonemes.  We moved in the middle of his Greek phonemes class, but expected he knew enough about Greek to take this course and do well in it.   We both thought he was better prepared to start this class than he actually was.

He went at it full force in the beginning and gave it his best effort for a few stressful weeks.  But he soon got discouraged because learning Greek was more challenging than he planned.

I would have probably given up by now trying to learn this language in my teenage or young adult years. When something was over my head, and I felt like I was failing, I would cut ties with it unless I could find a tutor or another solution to help me learn it.  I was blessed in college to find wonderful tutors and later able to become a tutor myself because I had such good caring examples.  My perspective about learning difficult things has changed as I am much older now, and the mother of six kids.   My attitude now is “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “don’t take everything life hands you so seriously” and pray and ask for guidance and keep going until you reach your goal.

After thinking through it, he decided to let go of the pressure of trying to do a lesson a week and continue his studies at a more relaxed and slower pace.

What we found that is currently working better for him is to spend more time watching and re-watching the video lesson of the week as he begins his Greek study each day to get it into his memory before reciting the words and phrases and trying to work in his workbook.  He has everything he needs so he can work independently at his own pace.  Next to him he set up his laptop to watch the DVD lesson as much as needed, and he has his text book and workbook right there too.   After watching the DVD lesson he reads the text lesson.  Then he can work on recitation, flash cards, and write in his workbook.  I only ask him to work 1 page a day in his workbook instead of the recommended two pages.   At this slower pace, each lesson will take him two weeks to complete instead of 1 week.  That is fine with me.

He is learning at a slower pace, and most importantly, at his own pace.   That is the beauty of homeschooling, you can adjust where you study and adjust the curriculum to fit each kid’s skills and interests as needed.  He is trying to absorb as much as he can in these high school years without getting overwhelmed as he tries to complete everything on the recommended highschool transcript for college.   He is wise in his young years to not give up, to try to think outside the box, and to keep pursuing his goals.  He is learning that you can adjust, life is flexible, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

I would highly recommend this course for folks who have taken introductory courses in Greek and those who are planning to study Greek on a college level.  Memoria Press has several lower level Greek courses to get started with if you have never had Greek before.   We plan to use the Elementary Greek courses and the Greek Alphabet course for our younger kids before letting them jump into this class that our older son is doing.   Learning Greek will be a bit easier if they tackle those courses first.  Be sure to check out the website recommendations and all of the various Greek language products they have to offer for different skill levels and ages.

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Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Memoria Press with their kids.

 

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