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High School Science
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- Why does my science book say Greenleaf High School?
Greenleaf High School is a division of The Good and the Beautiful.
- Which science courses are being offered by Greenleaf High School?
Currently, we are working on our first science course—Earth & Space Science. We are planning to release Physical Science (this will cover the basics of chemistry and physics) and Biology as core science courses in the years to follow. After, we hope to offer electives, possibly in-depth chemistry and/or physics courses. We are also looking into the option of accredited AP chemistry and/or biology.
- Some colleges have different transcript guidelines for those interested in STEM majors, and they recommend a 4th year of science or a transcript heavy with science classes. Will you eventually have some more classes offered as electives?
Yes, it is suggested students complete our three core science courses: Earth & Space Science, Biology, and Physical Science (which includes basic chemistry and physics). We also hope to offer other courses as electives, possibly in-depth chemistry and/or physics courses.
- Are your high school science courses accredited?
No. Greenleaf High School is for those who are not seeking accredited classes, and accreditation is not necessary for admittance to most colleges and universities.
- Do your High School Science courses have to be completed in a certain order?
Students can take Earth & Space Science, Biology, and Physical Science in any order. However, before taking Chemistry or Physics, it is recommended that students complete Physical Science, Algebra 1, and Geometry.
- What ages are recommended? Can a junior high student complete the course?
Greenleaf High School science is recommended for students in 9th grade and above. However, junior high school students that show a great aptitude for science may find it possible to complete the high school courses.
- What if my student is starting in 11th or 12th grade, can I still use your curriculum?
Students can take any of the sciences courses at any grade level.
- What should my student know before starting high school science?
We recommend that students have at least middle school math through pre-algebra and have taken some related science courses such as The Good and the Beautiful K-8 science units. However, all fundamental information for understanding scientific concepts and equation formulas will be provided.
- Are these courses considered advanced?
Yes, the Greenleaf High School science courses are thorough and academically challenging, but all high-school students that are focused, committed, and do not need remedial learning help should have no trouble completing the courses. It may take some students longer to complete each lesson than others.
- Who is writing the high school science curriculum?
The science curriculum is written by a team of expert scientists, high school teachers, and college professors. Some have children that they homeschool and some do not. Our writers have varying levels of higher education including undergraduate and graduate degrees. All of our writers are from Christian faiths (with multiple denominations represented) and provide invaluable insight into faith-based science. The curriculum is being managed by a high school science director under the direction of Jenny Phillips. The course also goes through a series of extensive reviews by scientists, homeschoolers, and editors of varying backgrounds and faiths.
- What format will the course be in?
With the release of our first high school science course, Earth & Space Science, the students’ lessons will be completed in a Course Book. A required Reference Guide will be used in conjunction with the Course Book. The students will use the Reference Guide when prompted in the Course Book. As of now, the Course Book and Reference Guide will be available only as a downloadable PDF. The Course Book is black and white for ease and cost of printing. It is suggested that the Course Book be printed and that students access the full-color Reference Guide on a computer or tablet. Students will also need to frequently access the internet for video and articles links listed on the high school science website and to perform research.
- How long does each course take to complete?
A lesson can be completed in approximately 50 minutes, though some lessons may be longer or shorter. There are 125 lessons (which includes “standard” lessons and “enrichment” lessons, reviews, exams, and projects), so if lessons are done about 4-5 times per week, the student should be able to complete the course in one school year.
- How many days a week should the student work on the course?
For Earth & Space Science there are 125 lessons, which can be completed in one school year if lessons are done 4-5 times per week.
- What will I need to purchase to complete the course?
The downloadable Course Book and Reference Guide and a small number of supplies listed at the beginning of the course (and also listed in the sample pages for the course).
- How are the lessons structured?
Currently, we are working on the Earth & Space Science course. In this course, each “standard” lesson will begin with the Course Book where the students will open and read their instructions. During the course of the lesson, they may be prompted to read their Reference Guide which contains text and full-colored images, charts, and diagrams. They will then return back to the course book to complete reading check questions, answer exploratory questions, perform a small lab, and/or be directed to watch a video or to a website for further study.
Some of our lessons do not follow this “standard” lesson sequence, but include “enrichment” lessons, exams, and projects as described below:
Investigative Studies: These lessons focus on an example of a specific subject. For example, after the lessons on volcanoes, there is a volcano study of a specific volcano.
Scientist Studies: These lessons bring to light the work and life of select scientists.
Videos: Some lessons include enriching and educational videos that are used to teach key concepts and are often followed by a video check.
Labs: Some labs are the full length of a lesson and others are smaller labs that can be done after a “standard” lesson.
Mid-Unit Review & Case Studies: Every tenth lesson in a unit is spent reviewing key concepts from the first nine lessons of the unit, analyzing how scientists think, and performing a case study of a particular topic that was covered in earlier lessons.
Unit Review: This review will provide a summary of the lessons in the latter half of the unit, and time is given for the students to select their unit project(s). (See below).
Unit Projects: Three lesson time slots are devoted to the student working on one or more unit projects of their choice.
Unit Exams: Exams can be done either open or closed book. Exams are helpful for the parent and student to see how well the student has mastered key concepts and can apply what they’ve learned. This also allows them to practice test-taking skills to prepare them for higher education.
- Do your science courses include answer keys or tests?
Yes, an answer key will be provided for questions that are to be completed for each lesson and for unit exams.
- Will labs be included? How will labs work?
Yes, labs will be included for all courses and can be done at home in individual or group settings. We know labs require more work than that of simply reading and interpreting text, but hands-on activities are crucial to experiencing science. We echo the sentiments of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The lessons of science should be experimental also. The sight of a planet through a telescope is worth all the course on astronomy; the shock of the electric spark in the elbow out values all theories; the taste of the nitrous oxide, the firing of an artificial volcano, are better than volumes of chemistry.”
Some labs will be smaller labs implemented directly into a lesson. Other labs will be the entire lesson. For lessons that have labs (whether a small-lab or a full-lesson lab), lab supplies will be listed at the beginning of the lesson, and a complete list of lab supplies will be given in the beginning of the course book. Our labs are designed to include experimentation, analyses of data provided, mastery and critical thinking questions. Most of the supplies for the labs can be easily found around the home. In the case of a lab or exploratory assignment that may require extensive preparation, forewarning will be given and an alternative option.
- How many lessons are in each unit?
For Earth & Space Science there are five units, with 25 lessons per unit, totaling to 125 lessons.
- What supplies will need to be purchased?
A list of supplies will be provided at the beginning of the course. The Earth & Space Science course requires minimal supplies.
- Will there be papers, essays, and writing involved?
Yes, there will be some lessons and projects that require writing. This is an essential skill in pursuing a study in science.
- Will both imperial and metric measurements be used?
In science, SI Units are generally used, though both units are sometimes listed (e.g. the earth is approximately 93 million miles (150 million km) from the sun).
- What is the religious foundation of the curriculum?
The curriculum is written by people of different Christian faiths and reviewed by those of even more Christian faiths. The courses are not intended to promote doctrine particular to a specific faith or scientific theory, and can work for Christians who hold to an “old earth” or “new earth” theory. Issues related to dates of the earth are only in a sliver of the lessons, and when they are, old earth and new earth theories are explained briefly. Students are encouraged to talk with their parents and study what their religious groups have said about the issues. The curriculum is designed for those who hold the following beliefs:
- Science rightly understood is never in conflict with the Bible. We just don’t understand all things correctly yet. We do not have to have answers to all things at this time.
- The Bible is accurate and reliable, while man’s knowledge and findings can be fallible.
- It is good to study and investigate different and even conflicting scientific findings if done through the lens of faith in God, but we should never try to reason without faith in God being the foundation of our reasoning.
- What is Greenleaf High School's stance on scientific theories that may be controversial to certain religious groups?
The great majority of the lessons in our science courses do not contain controversial topics, and the students are able to dive deep into the wonders and divine patterns of our amazing universe. When controversial topics need to be explored, the curriculum does not spend a lot of time on them and does not take a stance on any side, other than maintaining that God is the creator of the universe. Because children are going to eventually (and likely soon) hear the different ideologies that exist in our world, we don’t want to provide a shallow and brittle science base that can shatter upon facing its first challenge that students come across. We want students’ first exposure to these topics to be through the lens of faith, in a safe but direct and honest way that shows children that science and faith go hand-in-hand.
Topics will be presented in such a way that follows a non-denominational Christian perspective with God as the master creator. Lessons that contain topics sensitive in nature will be marked on the table of contents with an icon of a home, prompting parents to discuss the content of the lesson with their child if so desired.
The topics listed in separate FAQs below explain our approach to some of the most common controversial topics that users of The Good and the Beautiful may have questions regarding our stance.
- What do you teach about the age of the earth?
Only a tiny sliver of our science lessons address the age of the earth. In the few lessons that do, we maintain that God is the creator of the earth, and explain both the Christian old earth and young earth theories, prompting students to talk with their parents about their family’s specific beliefs.
- How do the science courses approach origin theories, big bang theory and evolution?
Greenleaf High School will always maintain that God is the organizer and creator of life. Despite scientific research and evidences, it is impossible to precisely determine how the earth and life on it have changed over time and how much God has allowed the natural order of things to flow or all accounts of where He has divinely intervened. The courses do teach microevolution (as opposed to macroevolution), in which groups of organisms can pass on advantageous mutations that allow future offspring to adapt and better survive their environments. The course teaches that God created all forms of life in the beginning, but how species have changed over time within their own realms can be difficult to determine. Greenleaf High School science courses do not teach that complex life is the result of random evolution.
To ensure that students are well informed and would not be at a disadvantage in further scientific study, the course explains what the Big Bang theory is. Again, we stress that however the universe was created, it wasn’t devoid of God and that students can come to appreciate Him by studying the world around us.
- How do the science courses approach climate change?
In our science courses, students are taught the importance of caring for and protecting the environment, being responsible stewards over our earth, and living in a sustainable way. We do not desire to promote the sense that humans are hopelessly destroying the earth, but that we need to do our part to care for our world to provide a sustainable future.
- How do the science courses approach stem cell research and cloning?
Students learn briefly what stem cell research is and what the controversies are so students can be aware and informed, but the course does not claim that stem cell research is right or wrong. Students are encouraged to discuss the issue with their parents and research their religious group’s stance.
The Greenleaf High School courses do not cover cloning.