Novare Biology curriculum

Long-time homeschooler here looking for anyone else who is using/has used the Novare General Biology curriculum. Part way through and frustrated.

We used Novare for earth science and physical science and loved it, even if we occasionally muddled through some lessons. I love their worldview and approach, especially after years self editing Apologia material. I was raised in an old-earth tradition. I am probably pretty close to acceptance of evolutionary creationism, and even if they never get fully on board, I want them to have this background before college - it was my last homeschooling “hill to die on.”

This curriculum is just killing my daughter. It’s way overkill for her, as she is on a creative writing/marketing/content writing track. The others were overkill, but she enjoyed it. I don’t know if she just is not a biology kid and would not love any curriculum. Even considering switching back to Apologia with cute candy cells and lots of grains of salt. She is a good student and has all As in even her dual enrollment classes. I just don’t know if she is getting anything out of this, and I know my son won’t when it’s his turn.

Any guidance?

Hi! Can you describe what you mean by overkill?

tagging in another homeschool mom that might be able to help :slight_smile: @Christy

My son uses the Novare textbook in his online course at Wilson Hill Academy. The year before (when my daughter took the course at WHA) they used Miller Levine, which was even longer/more detailed. I think classroom teachers pick what from the textbook the students are responsible for and they don’t just read and master the thing from cover to cover. One critique I have heard of Apologia is that it focuses on vocabulary and labeling/categorizing but does not prepare students with appropriate knowledge of biochemistry and biological processes.

Absolutely! By overkill, I mean that it goes in depth to a level that may be overwhelming and discouraging to the student. Especially a student not pursuing a career in biological sciences - or sciences at all.

For example, as a student looking at a track for creative writing/marketing, my daughter needs to have a basic understanding of DNA. She does not, however, need to know the scientists who discovered it and the experiments they conducted to determine the double helix structure. This is the level of depth basically the entire textbook goes into, and I do not have the knowledge/experience to know what I should filter out.

Yes, I think I remember getting cautioned against Miller Levine, although right now it’s hard for me to imagine something more detailed that this Novare text. I just don’t have the knowledge to know what to filter.

All of our local classes here in the middle of Southern Baptist land use Apologia. I used it in elementary school and was hoping to never use it again, due to its aggressive Young Earth orientation and sometimes simplistic explanations. I very much wanted something that embraced old earth at the very least and introduced the concept of evolutionary creationism but that may not exist at a level that’s attainable to us.

Maybe you could ask a local high school biology teacher for a syllabus and make sure you cover the topics that are essential, but don’t test her on every detail. It doesn’t hurt to read about something, even if you don’t end up memorizing all the facts.

This website has videos that cover the basics of evolution and genetics and are pretty easy to follow:

Kahn Academy also has some good tutoring-type videos. Biology library | Science | Khan Academy


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