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Generally, students with learning challenges who are still independent learners, engaged readers, and good with language arts will do very well with our curricula. Students with auditory processing challenges will especially benefit from the oral components and video lessons of our programs.     We highly recommend purchasing a copy of Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Every Child by Cheryl Swope, who pursued a classical education for her special-needs students. We also suggest looking at the Simply Classical curriculum available from Memoria Press, and mixing and matching between our series and theirs to ensure the best fit for your student.     Above all, we encourage parents and teachers to focus on covering the basics (reading, math, grammar learned through foreign language) and to dive deeper into these subject areas and foster interest in them rather than adding too much too soon. Connecting with other local homeschoolers in your area can also be of great benefit for determining how to balance your state’s education requirements with your student’s own unique needs and interests.

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By Subject

The Curious Historian FAQ

Please note that in the publishing industry, book projects can be ahead of schedule or behind schedule due to a variety of factors. We are working very hard to release all levels in this series on schedule while meeting educators’ expectations with superior pedagogy and student results. Below are the projected release dates for Levels 1–3; they are deemed reliable but not guaranteed:

The Curious Historian Level 1A: Available Now!

The Curious Historian Level 1B: Available Now!

The Curious Historian Level 2A: Available Now!

The Curious Historian Level 2B: Summer 2023

The Curious Historian Level 3A: Late Fall 2023

The Curious Historian Level 3B: Spring 2024

Level 1 is recommended for students in grades 5 and up, Level 2 for students in grades 6 and up, and Level 3 for students in grades 7 and up. Older students may also benefit from working through the series, and homeschooling families will find a wealth of resources in each book that can meet the needs of students at multiple levels.

Yes! Our scope and sequence for the full Curious Historian series can be found here.

The Curious Historian curriculum has been designed to be taught at the pace of one chapter per week, with each book to be completed over the course of a semester (e.g., Book 1A in the fall semester and Book 1B in the spring semester). Both the basic suggested weekly schedule for Level 1 and the suggested weekly schedule for Level 2 assume 4 classes per week for approximately 30–40 minutes each day, to be modified as necessary by the teacher.

For parents and teachers who would prefer to spend more time on each text, we have also supplied a suggested yearlong schedule for Level 1 and a suggested yearlong schedule for Level 2.

The student edition includes quizzes, compiled in an appendix (answers supplied in the teacher’s edition), for each of the weekly chapters. (The book introductions, unit introductions, and unit review chapters do not have quizzes.)

If you would like to have your students complete an assessment at the end of the semester, you may wish to use the final chapter, which presents an end-of-book review beginning with a summary of the high-level concepts from the text and ending with short chapter-by-chapter summaries and coinciding review exercises. We also recommend having students sing through the entire unit songs, as well as the “Top Things to Remember” song from each book.

The Curious Historian’s Archive: Extra Resources packet is available for purchase at for each TCH text and includes the following downloadable materials:

• Songs (MP3s): The TCH music consists of a song for each unit, summarizing the key events and cultural pieces of each chapter, and a “Top 12 Things to Remember” tune that is a great way for students to impress their friends and family with the most interesting tidbits about history! A PDF download of the song lyrics is also included for easy reference.

Biblical Connections PDF: For teachers and parents who would like to integrate religious history/biblical studies with their study of history, we have created a supplemental PDF that draws connections to biblical history and locations, scripture verses, and so forth. Icons in the teacher’s edition indicate when to reference this optional PDF resource.

Reading Guide (PDF): For those who would like to continue their exploration of history beyond the pages of each text, we have supplied a recommended reading list, featuring titles for both students and teachers. This PDF includes clickable links for easy browsing and purchasing.

• Profiles and Legends (PDF): Included in the Archive packets for Levels 2 and 3, this collection of optional readings complements the chapters in the texts by shedding further light on important figures, by introducing students to some of the more famous legends of history, and by retelling a few of the classic tales.

• Spotlight on Virtue (PDF): For Levels 2 and 3, the discussion questions about virtue, which are included on the last page of the teacher’s notes for each chapter, are compiled as a printable PDF that can be distributed to students.

• Printable, full-color master unit time lines and timetables (also found in the book appendices)

• A list of “Top 12 Things to Remember, beautifully designed as a convenient reference sheet

• Printable, beautifully designed PDFs of the reference archive charts (also found in the book appendices)

• Printable PDFs of the blank maps, as well as separate answer keys, for extra geography practice (also found in the book appendices)

We are passionate about history, and at times it can be difficult to limit ourselves to just the most important, large-scale information when there are so many interesting tangents to explore! For those teachers and students who find themselves inspired to dig deeper, we have created for each TCH book a free, supplemental Go Deeper PDF that includes additional information you may wish to share with your students or explore for your own interest. This includes, but is not limited to, fun tidbits (Did you know the oldest woven garment in the world was discovered in an Egyptian tomb? Or did you ever wonder what happened to the Great Sphinx’s nose?), links to museum collections of artifacts, additional information, and more.

By supplying this supplemental material in PDF format, we have the ability to update the documents should any fascinating new archaeological discoveries come to light following the publication of each book. Icons in the teacher’s editions indicate when to reference these optional PDF resources.

The beliefs and practices of a culture can teach us much about how the people lived, what they believed, and what kind of ruler they served. Therefore, it is important that our study of history explores the main concepts of religion, such as monotheism and polytheism, and the ways in which people of the world have traditionally worshipped. In Level 1, we trace the beginnings of several world religions that are still practiced today, such as Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Hinduism, and in Level 2 we will also discuss the main beliefs of major philosophies such as Confucianism, Epicureanism, and Stoicism. Throughout our discussion, we attempt to present a factual narrative that will be approachable for public and charter schools as well as faith-based schools.

Optional Religion in History sidebars point out places where ancient history directly intersects with historical events or figures mentioned in the Bible, such as the Exodus from Egypt, or with other religious texts. If you would like to further integrate biblical history into your study of history, The Curious Historian’s Archive: Extra Resources (available for purchase for each book) includes a Biblical Connections PDF with additional content. Icons in the teacher’s editions indicate when to reference the optional Biblical Connections PDFs.

We believe it is important to teach students to begin thinking like historians rather than just having them learn and memorize facts. Understanding that history is not only a record of events that happened in the past, but also the study of how human societies have changed over time, lays the foundation for seeing history as more than just a list of dates and names.

History can be studied for multiple purposes, and those purposes will evolve as students mature. In our view, following the classical tradition, the chief purpose for studying history is to cultivate virtue and wisdom in students. This means that they should learn to praise the true, good, and beautiful and blame that which is not. Various historical figures and events will often exhibit both praiseworthy and blameworthy elements. We should help students learn to be discerning and not to expect historical figures or events to be categorized easily as just “all good” or “all bad.”

Another important reason for young students to study history is to know their world and thus to better know themselves. The record of events and persons that have shaped our world is foundational to knowing who we have been, are now, and might possibly be in the future. In dozens of ways, students who have studied the past are well equipped to examine our current cultural moment and make wiser decisions about what is happening and what perhaps could or should happen. If our young students become curious about history—eager to know the causes of events and movements and hungry to understand the motives of various people and the consequences of their actions—then they will be on their way to becoming thoughtful human beings, family members, workers, and citizens.

The events of history—particularly the Bronze and Iron Ages—are both complicated and closely intertwined. Even historians who have devoted their professional lives to such study are still left with many questions and areas of debate! For example, during the two periods of ancient history we cover in Level 1, there were many kingdoms and peoples interacting with and conquering each other. We have tried to present a chronological narrative in all the texts that is as simple and understandable as possible; however, striving for clarity often means having longer chapters, as shortening the text would leave too many gaps and make the narrative confusing.

Throughout each chapter, we have noted the discussion questions, exercises, and cultural pieces that we feel can be considered optional. The sidebars are also optional, although it can be useful to review with students the summarized lists of rulers’ or civilizations’ accomplishments in preparation for completing the chapter exercises and quiz.

In TCH1B, we introduce a new cultural element: lengthier spotlight pieces that discuss important literature, technologies, monuments, languages, and religions of the age. These cultural “of the Age” pieces are considered optional but highly encouraged reading material. Depending on your schedule, you might choose to select just one or two to highlight for students, to assign them as homework, or to skip them if needed.

We recommend that you review each chapter in advance of teaching it and exercise discernment in determining what content you wish to cover with students and what pacing will work best for your class. For example, in some chapters you might decide to skip the sidebars and the culture sections, or instead choose to focus more on the culture pieces and less on the historical narrative. Many of the civilizations and kingdoms will continue to pop in and out of the historical narrative, so if you do choose to skip any chapter(s) entirely, be sure to reference the alphabetical glossary at the back of the book for concise definitions to review with students for general context as needed.

For further guidance on content and scheduling, please see the TCH suggested schedules and the Introduction to Teachers (available as part of the teacher’s edition free sample found on the product page).

No. We have included key historical dates throughout each lesson, and at times as part of the vocabulary definitions, but memorizing the dates is optional. However, a familiarity with the date spans will help students to better keep the historical events in sequence.

If you do choose to have your student(s) memorize the dates, it is important to keep in mind two key notes. First, dates for ancient history and for the Classical Age are often estimated dates at best since we do not always have surviving historical records. Second, due to this lack of concrete evidence, many events have multiple date ranges, all of which have been suggested and defended at some point or another by many other well-educated scholars. It is often hard to find a scholarly consensus. We present these early dates with “ca.” (circa) before them, indicating our inability to provide an accurate, exact date. Additionally, to help address this degree of uncertainty, we have chosen to present date ranges rounded to the nearest decade or half-century for the major periods and kingdoms we study.

We have chosen to present our study of history in a well-organized, chronological progression of important events and figures, while also devoting space in each chapter to delving into the fascinating culture of each civilization. The Curious Historian series features a variety of elements that we hope will help students to enjoy and become curious about their study of history. These key elements include:

• Full-color images of artifacts, artwork, illustrations, etc.

• Full-color time lines and timetables to help students understand the major events of history in context

• A study of the Far East (ancient India and China), a geographical region that is often omitted in many curricula

• A focus on particular aspects of culture, including literature, language evolution, and basic military history, which are not always covered in other standard curricula

• A wide variety of discussion questions, exercises, writing prompts, and hands-on projects

• Optional opportunities for a study of geography, in the form of map exercises

• Optional opportunities for integration of writing and literature, grammar, foreign languages, and biblical history

We recommend that you read the chapter narrative aloud, with the student(s) following along, or that you have your student(s) read the text aloud to you. Students who are confident readers may be able to read the chapter narrative independently. Either way, be sure to take opportunities throughout each weekly lesson to emphasize key points, check for comprehension, and engage in periodic discussions. (The Question Box sidebars, while optional, will be particularly helpful in prompting further dialogue.)

One way to regard history is as a record of the past. The various “records” of history include inscriptions, written documents, and stories and poems, some of which have been preserved over the centuries thanks to the study of foreign languages (including Latin and Greek) and literature. Where possible, we have noted opportunities in The Curious Historian for optional integration with the following CAP curricula:

• Writing & Rhetoric and Well-Ordered Language: In the chapter narrative and some of the exercises, such as the Be Creative writing prompts, we have supplied suggestions (where applicable) for ways to integrate the literature excerpts found in our writing and grammar series.

• God’s Great Covenant: If you are planning to use both The Curious Historian and God’s Great Covenant in the same school year, we have created a free PDF showing how the historical narrative presented in TCH Level 1 overlaps with the Old Testament narrative presented in God’s Great Covenant Old Testament 1 and Old Testament 2. We have also created a free PDF for Level 2 showing its overlap with the New Testament narrative in God’s Great Covenant New Testament 1 and New Testament 2.

• Latin for Children and Greek for Children: Many of our English words are derived from Latin or Greek. When a TCH vocabulary word has interesting or unusual roots, we have supplied this information in a To the Source sidebar. These word origins may be of particular interest to students also using our Latin for Children or Greek for Children series. While in our Latin for Children and Greek for Children primers we typically keep the definitions simple, listing only one or two of the most common translations, in TCH we have listed multiple translations or more nuanced meanings since the better translation may differ depending on the historical context or the English word being defined.

We think very highly of Susan Wise Bauer’s The Story of the World series and her engaging, narrative approach to history. While we have chosen to present our study of history in a more standard, chronological progression of important events and figures, we also want to encourage students to enjoy longer narratives that can help them more deeply imagine what it would have been like to live in these long-ago eras. Therefore, throughout TCH1A and TCH1B we have noted where you may choose to supplement by reading sections or chapters from The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, vol. 1, Ancient Times. We also encourage you to peruse Dr. Bauer’s corresponding activity book if you think your students would enjoy additional hands-on activities and projects.

Dates for ancient and classical history going as far back as 2000 or 3000 BC are usually estimated dates at best since we have few surviving historical records from those periods. Due to this lack of concrete evidence, many events have multiple proposed dates, all of which have been suggested and defended at some point or another by many other well-educated Near East and/or Scripture scholars. It is often hard to find a scholarly consensus. We have generally used the dates most often agreed upon by historians, though these dates may vary from those presented by Scripture scholars. If you are using both The Curious Historian and God's Great Covenant together in the same school year, you should feel free to choose which set of dates you have students memorize. (For more on the chronology presented in TCH, please see the above question on memorizing dates.)

Latin General FAQ

We offer three Latin series: Song School Latin (1st–3rd grade), Latin for Children (3rd–7th grade), and Latin Alive! (7th grade and up). The first book of each series is designed to serve as an entry point for students with no previous Latin experience, enabling students of all ages to begin their Latin studies with a curriculum written and designed for their age level.

Well, Latin isn’t dead after all. It lives on through those of us who speak English, as half of our English words are derived from Latin. For those who speak French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, or Portuguese (the five Romance languages), 90 percent of the vocabulary comes from Latin. These Romance languages are actually forms of Latin that have evolved over the centuries in various regions with some interaction from other local tongues. As you might guess, studying Latin is fantastic preparation for learning and becoming fluent in one or more Romance languages!

There are many other good reasons to study Latin:

1. Studying Latin prepares students to master English. Students of Latin typically score the highest on tests on English vocabulary!

2. Latin prepares students for several important professions that are steeped in Latin or English words derived from Latin. These include law, medicine, science, music, theology, philosophy, and literature.

3. Latin enables students to have improved access to English literature prior to 1950, which is replete with references and citations in Latin. In addition, the history of art and architecture is filled with Latin, and monuments and art all over the world are frequently graced with Latin.

4. Latin enables students to more fully understand and appreciate the Roman Empire, which has had profound and continuing effects on Western civilization.

5. Latin enables students to enjoy some of the most influential literature the world—in the original language. Learning Latin well enough to read original Latin works is an attainable skill and imparts great satisfaction and enjoyment.

6. The study of Latin is an ongoing practice in linguistic puzzle-solving that generally helps students to become close and careful readers and writers. Many believe it also generally hones the mental faculties. When one well-known cancer researcher, Dr. Charles Zubrod, was asked what had best prepared him for a life of medical research, he responded: “Studying Latin and Greek as a child.”

As you can see, studying Latin is a way of doing advance study in several subject areas simultaneously. This is why we regard it as a master subject—like a tool, it enables one to master other things, other subjects. It is no wonder that it has been a required subject in schools for centuries.

Many homeschool parents have asked themselves the same question and have found that with the user-friendly programs we’ve designed, it’s not so hard after all. Each of the books in our series (Song School Latin, Latin for Children, and Latin Alive!) includes teaching DVDs with lessons that correspond to the weekly chapter in the student book and feature clear grammatical explanations. We also offer an Ask the Magister (teacher) resource where parents and students can submit questions to our authors/teachers.

For more information on teaching Latin, we invite you to check out Ed Snapshot’s blog post, “How Can I Teach Latin When I Don’t Know It Myself?”

We have provided both pronunciation options in Song School Latin and Latin for Children, although we recommend using classical pronunciation. Classical pronunciation attempts to follow the way the Romans spoke Latin (an older dialect) and is the most widely used in academic settings. If your student goes on to study Latin in high school or college, he or she will only encounter classical pronunciation. Ecclesiastical pronunciation follows the way Latin pronunciation evolved within the Christian Church during the Middle Ages, particularly within the Roman Catholic Church, and is used in all choral Latin music.
There are a few differences in pronunciation. The letter “v” makes the sound of a “w” in classical pronunciation but retains a normal “v” sound in ecclesiastical. We recommend choosing one pronunciation to use daily, but exposure to the other can be very useful as well. Our DVDs and Chant CDs for Song School Latin and Latin for Children feature both pronunciations; Latin Alive! is taught exclusively in the classical pronunciation.

Chant CDs, included with our Song School Latin and Latin for Children DVD sets, are audio CDs that contain a Latin teacher and his/her students pronouncing and rhythmically repeating each grammar chart and vocabulary word in the student book, first saying the Latin word, and then the English equivalent. A chant CD is an incredible tool to use for fun memorization. Take it anywhere you go!

Song School Latin

Children are widely recognized as being able to learn language faster and better than adults. This undoubtedly has to do with the way the human brain develops—the brain acquires language best and most quickly during childhood. Children can memorize vocabulary quickly, especially with repetition and all the more so when it is set to songs and chants. Children can also readily master the rudiments of grammar when it is taught clearly, incrementally, and combined with generous reading. Our Song School Latin curriculum (1st–3rd grade) is designed as a light introduction to Latin for young learners, while our Latin for Children series (3rd/4th grade and up) teaches students 720 words and the rudiments of grammar that will launch them into the mastery of Latin, English, and other languages they choose to study.

Unfortunately, no. Because we print such large quantities of the student edition with the CD included, we would actually have to charge more for a version without a CD if we did a small print run.

We recommend spending 2 days a week per chapter, approximately 20–25 minutes each day. Younger students may need a third day to ensure mastery of skills. A detailed suggested schedule can be found here.

Latin for Children FAQ

Absolutely. Often older students find the incremental, logical, and memory-oriented approach of Latin for Children to be “right up their alley,” so to speak. This is true even more frequently when:

1. The teacher isn’t as familiar with the language (e.g., a homeschool parent without any previous training in Latin)

2. When the student either struggles with or is intimidated by learning a new language.

3. When the student simply doesn’t want to move at the faster pace of most high school Latin programs.

4. When the student prefers a memory-oriented approach to the more inductive, reading-oriented approach of most secondary-level curricula.

We have had a few instances of second graders using Latin for Children, but generally we do not recommend using it in full with younger students, as the grammar concepts can be very difficult to learn at their age. Song School Latin is a wonderful and fun resource for the K/1st–2nd grade range. However, for families who prefer to use just one curriculum program, there are many great ways of incorporating younger students and siblings into Latin studies. They are fantastic oral learners and can pick up the vocabulary chants with great ease. They will love watching the DVDs and listening to the Chant CDs with their older siblings. Moms tell us regularly about their three-year-olds joining in!

Academic credit is usually a concern for students in grades 9–12, as colleges only evaluate high school transcripts. However, transferring a student into a school (or from one school to another) in any grade can also raise concerns about credit. Latin for Children (LFC) will generally satisfy foreign language requirements for any student in grades 3–8. In some cases, LFC may even satisfy high school requirements. We consider each book (typically completed over the course of a year) to be one half of a high school language credit. Students who complete two LFC books in a year could count their work as one full high school credit.
For a complete high school level credit of Latin, we recommend teachers and parents consider using the Latin Alive! curriculum.

The short answer is yes, as the answers do not appear in the student book. If you are not confident enough to be able to correct exercises and papers quickly and accurately on your own, we highly recommend purchasing the Answer Key. If you are willing and able to spend time learning alongside your students and consulting the Primer, you may not need the Answer Key.

Our answer keys only include those pages from the student edition that have answers or teacher’s notes on them. All other pages from the student edition are excluded to reduce the page count of the answer key, which enables us to provide our customers with the answer keys at a lower cost.

It would certainly be overwhelming for teachers to fit all thirty-two stories in alongside weekly lessons, grammar practice, and quizzes.* It would be wise to look through the stories in advance and decide which ones you will incorporate in the classroom. Some grammar lessons might warrant more practice than others, and an added story to translate would be helpful. Review chapters are often a good time to vary lesson plans by adding a story that would review all the recent grammar topics. You might also speak with your history teacher to see which stories would best enhance the history lessons planned for the year.
If you choose not to use all thirty-two stories in class, it does not mean that the remaining ones are “wasted.” Consider offering them to the ambitious students who are always the first to finish. Extra stories also can provide a great opportunity for extra-credit assignments. Perhaps students can later share their translations with their fellow classmates. However you decide to incorporate the readers into your lesson plans, keep in mind that the more regularly you use them, the more beneficial they will be. Exercising your mind is in many ways like exercising your muscles. The more you exercise, the more you improve, and the easier the routine becomes.

*Note: We recommend that students studying their first year of Latin with LFC wait to begin the History Reader until about halfway through the year, in order to gain some initial exposure to Latin grammar.

he History Readers were initially designed as a supplement to the Latin for Children series.* As such, each reader incorporates the grammar and much of the vocabulary taught in the correlating chapters of the Primer with which it is paired. However, the readers were also designed to be flexible enough to be used by students of any Latin program. The table of contents lists the grammar assumed for each story, so parents and teachers will know which stories are most appropriate for their students. Each story has its own glossary and set of notes to guide readers through their translation. While these individual glossaries do assume some familiarity with the LFC lessons, there is a comprehensive glossary in the back of each reader that lists every word used, enabling students who have not used LFC to have immediate access to all the vocabulary they will need for the readers.
These stories were written by an experienced Latin teacher who uses LFC in her classroom, and many of the readings have been translated by her students to ensure that they are at an appropriate level. There is one caveat, however: These stories were not designed for easy reading, but rather to challenge the Latin skills acquired by the students. Students should not be expected to sit down with a History Reader and read it as though they were reading Charlotte’s Web or another English book. Students will need to take some time to analyze and translate each sentence. Latin is like a linguistic jigsaw puzzle. Each piece must be looked at carefully to see how it best fits within the puzzle. Sometimes it might take a couple of tries to see how the pieces fit. Once finished, however, you should end with a wonderful picture of history and a greater appreciation for the skills your Latin studies have developed.

*Note: We recommend that students studying their first year of Latin with LFC wait to begin the History Reader until about halfway through the year, in order to gain some initial exposure to Latin grammar.

Yes. The Activity Books follow chapter by chapter with the LFC Primers, reviewing each week’s vocabulary and grammar with crosswords, mazes, and classroom games.

Note: Unlike the History Readers, the Activity Books are not well suited to be used with another curriculum.

Generally, if you’ve completed at least one book from another curriculum you may be able to start with our Latin for Children Primer B. However, we recommend that you review that our LFC Primer A for 4 to 6 weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

Our Latin Alive! series is a three-year curriculum for middle school and high school students and a wonderful next step for Latin for Children graduates. If you choose to look into another program, we recommend a reading-based program such as the Oxford Latin series, Ecce Romani series, or the Cambridge Latin series.

Because of the different approach in Latin for Children, we suggest starting with Primer A. This will serve as a review for your student as well as an opportunity for them to adjust to the pedagogy of the Latin for Children series.
If your student has gone through Prima Latina, Latin for Children Primer A is still a great place to jump in. Prima Latina is a lighter introduction to Latin, which will benefit your student as they are introduced to more of the grammar and vocabulary in the Latin for Children series.

Latina Christiana is a competing product that we esteem greatly. The series has strong text, but offers a different aim and approach. Our comparison and contrast is described below.

1. Unlike LC, LFC has the grammar instructions right in the student book, taught at the student’s level, which we believe provides the following advantages:

a.) It encourages the student to read and re-read the explanations, which encourages them to better learn and take ownership over the grammar concepts for themselves. This is not as as likely when the grammar instructions are in the margins of the teacher’s manual.
b.) It makes extensive teacher’s guide–type materials unnecessary.
c.) It makes classical school parents (who wouldn’t normally have a teacher’s guide) better able to help their children with their homework in a conventional school environment.

2. LFC is creative, engaging, and beautifully designed.

3. LFC is the only published series that offers a complete Latin grammar progression from beginning to end and is authored by a qualified teacher.

4. LFC is better integrated with a Veritas–style, chronological history program. In fact, our corresponding History Readers help students to drill and review both their history facts and their Latin translation skills at the same time.

5. The vocabulary of LFC has been carefully researched using frequency lists. We believe that if students are going to invest this level of effort into memorizing Latin words, this vocabulary ought to all be, as much as possible, among the most important words in the language.

6. LFC better integrates with an English grammar class, especially if they are using Shurley Grammar.

Latin Alive! FAQ

Yes! We consider each book in the Latin Alive! series to be the equivalent of one full high school credit.

We typically recommend that younger students follow one of two tracks, depending on their academic level:

1. Complete all three Primers (Levels A–C), then jump straight to Latin Alive! Book 2.

2. Complete Latin for Children Primers A and B, then move into Latin Alive! Book 1.

We hold the Henle Latin curriculum in high regard. The series is a strong upper-school Latin curriculum, but differs in some ways from the aim and approach of our Latin Alive series. For an in-depth, chapter-by-chapter comparison, please see our PDF spreadsheet.

For a teacher’s perspective on switching from Henle to Latin Alive, you may find this blog post helpful.

Our Latin Alive! authors generally recommend that students who have completed Henle Year 1 begin with Latin Alive! Book 2, as long as they feel confident with 1st/2nd declensions and 1st/2nd conjugations. Book 2 will start with a brief review of Book 1. Before making a decision, we encourage you to review the samples we have online for Books 1 and 2, which include the full table of contents.

Latin Alive! generally prepares for the National Latin Exam (NLE) at each level (for instance, Latin Alive! Book 1 would help prepare students for the NLE Level 1). The NLE website provides a syllabus for material each exam will cover; we recommend working through the student book and also supplementing with additional resources to ensure solid preparation for all skills that will be on the exam.

Each of the Latin Alive! books contains a great deal of material, often more than most students need to master the skills being taught. You should not feel that you must strive to get through every exercise, every reading, and every supplemental lesson in the course of a typical academic year. These books are designed to provide more than enough content so that you can pick and choose which exercises, readings, and activities best fit your students’ style of learning as well as your style of instruction. The Latin Alive! series is also designed to provide generous amounts of review material. You, as the teacher, are free to determine your chosen pace for the year.

Latin Alive! Book 1 (LA1) reviews the material taught in the three-book Latin for Children (LFC) series. Grammar in LA1 is explained more thoroughly, and the readings are much more substantial. If a student has completed the LFC series, our authors recommend moving quickly through LA1 or even skipping chapters that cover content already familiar to the student(s).

 Latin Alive! Book 2 and Latin Alive! Book 3 also review material from the books that precede them. This allows you to decide where to spend more time on review, and where to progress more quickly. For example, you might choose to spend less time on a skill/concept in LA1, knowing it will be reviewed at the beginning of LA2, or you may choose to skip over a lesson in LA2 because it is a review of LA1 and your students have already mastered that skill/concept. As LA2 and LA3 progress, the readings grow fairly long and take a good deal of time. You may choose to focus only on part of a reading, or occasionally skip a chapter reading if you are in a time crunch. Our authors also suggest that on occasion you and your students read the chapter readings out loud in class and discuss them together without taking the time to write out translations, similar to discussing a story in a literature class. In most cases, these chapters take more than a week to complete. If you intend to fully complete a reading and its translation in writing, you may need to allow two weeks to complete that chapter.

The Latin Alive! Reader is designed to serve as Book 4 in this series, particularly for students who are seeking more in-depth translation work. We recommend that students use it after they have Books 1–3, though it can also be used alongside Book 3.

The Latin Alive! Reader contains a wealth of reading selections—more than can be completed in a single school year, or even in two years! We suggest perusing the table of contents and selecting the readings you would like to cover in your classroom, based on your students’ interests and level of study.

No matter how many sets of expert eyes we have on a project, editing a foreign language book is a complicated process. If you think you found an error, or are using an older edition, we have complete errata sheets for Latin Alive! Book 1 and Book 2 available on the respective product pages, under the Support tab. These PDFs list the edits we have made for recent reprints for both the Student and Teacher’s Editions.

Spanish FAQ

Students in upper elementary are considered to be in the grammar stage of the trivium, the model of a K–12 classical education. Students in the grammar stage are excellent at memorization and love to learn new things, and therefore are extremely gifted at learning a new language.

The Spanish for Children books are primarily grammar textbooks, with students learning to use the vocabulary they memorize mainly as a function of learning sentence structure. Most Spanish curricula have a vocabulary-first approach, in which students are asked to memorize vocabulary and then given examples of how it is used, with a minimum of explanation. Students then practice repeating sentences and phrases using formulas given by the book. This is a much more “conversational” or “immersion” approach, and students learn grammar little by little as they go along, mostly by deducing it from examples or brief explanations.
Our goal with the Spanish for Children series is to teach students “why.” We focus on the rules that govern the language and spend a large amount of time comparing Spanish and English grammar. In many ways, the series doesn’t teach just Spanish—it teaches how to go about learning a language in general. This is different from the “scenario-focused” approach of many other textbooks, where students learn vocabulary that relates to specific subjects and then learn to discuss those subjects. While students using Spanish for Children do memorize vocabulary each week, using groups of related words to talk about various subjects and scenarios is “the icing on the cake”— the “cake” being an understanding of the patterns of the Spanish language, and knowing which words belong where and why.

Because we offer several language courses for the same age range, we often have parents and teachers asking if it is wise to study two simultaneously. This is a very personal decision, and the answer is different for each family, depending on many factors. We do certainly have families that study both languages, and they have chosen to make that one of their most important priorities, especially in terms of the time they devote to it. We applaud and support this, and they are doing well! For some families and students though, just choosing one language is a better choice, and families can choose the language they study based on their priorities, interest, and even location.
Learning multiple languages at the same time can cause some confusion between them, but on the other hand, this is your child’s best time to learn! It is your decision, and we support both choices. Studying any language at the elementary level is a fantastic decision!

Song School Spanish teaches the Latin American pronunciation with a Puerto Rican speaker.

Spanish for Children teaches the Mexican/Central and South American pronunciation.

Our answer keys only include those pages from the student edition that have answers or teacher’s notes on them. All other pages from the student edition are excluded to reduce the page count of the answer key, which enables us to provide our customers with the answer keys at a lower cost.

Greek FAQ

Since learning Greek is much different from learning Spanish or Latin, we created video content for parents/teachers (available here). These videos feature the pronunciation and a breakdown of the root words to help you teach your student(s).

Song School Greek primarily teaches Koine pronunciation. However, the Song School Greek Teacher’s Edition includes notes on Modern Greek pronunciation, and the Song School Greek CD includes tracks for the modern pronunciation. Greek for Children (both Primer A and future books in this series) and the Greek Alphabet Code Cracker teach Koine pronunciation exclusively.

Our answer keys only include those pages from the student edition that have answers or teacher’s notes on them. All other pages from the student edition are excluded to reduce the page count of the answer key, which enables us to provide our customers with the answer keys at a lower cost.

Logic FAQ

Currently, Classical Academic Press has four logic texts available for students in 7th grade and up. Each is unique and focuses on a particular skill. Determining the sequence of logic texts can be tailored to your student.

We view logic as both an art form and a scientific method. If your student has not yet had any logic experience, we recommend first starting with the art form, which is covered in The Art of Argument. This text focuses on the inductive side of logic, helping students to identify both good and bad reasoning. (To read more about The Art of Argument, please click here.)

The natural question that follows this text is: “OK, now I know what not to write in an essay or say in a speech. How do I then construct a good argument without using a fallacy incorrectly?” This is where the sequence can be altered, based on the desired outcome of your student’s logic study.

The first option is to provide a formal study of logic by moving into The Discovery of Deduction, which focuses on the deductive portion of logic, or the scientific and formulaic side. (To read more about The Discovery of Deduction, please click here.) By completing both The Art of Argument and The Discovery of Deduction texts in this order, students are then ready to put logic “back together” in terms of both an art and a science as they begin their foray into rhetoric with The Argument Builder.      

The Argument Builder is considered a pre-rhetoric text and assumes the student has an understanding of and foundation in logic. It enables the student to build compelling, persuasive arguments on his or her own. (To read more about The Argument Builder, please click here.)

The second option is to move from The Art of Argument directly into The Argument Builder. This sequence provides a study of argumentation, with the students first studying poor or fragmented arguments in The Art of Argument, and then crafting their own persuasive essays in The Argument Builder. This is in contrast to The Discovery of Deduction, in which students learn formal forms of arguments, and instead focuses on studying the larger picture of good arguing. This second option is recommended for students who need to strengthen their writing skills and works well as a stepping stool into rhetoric.

Everyday Debate and Discussion is designed to serve either as a bridge for students in 8th grade and above who are moving from logic to rhetoric, or as an upper-level logic or rhetoric/companion text. While previous study of logic is not a prerequisite—the Teacher’s Edition includes a “crash course” in logic to reference as needed—students who have completed our logic textbooks, particularly The Art of Argument, will find they progress more quickly and smoothly through Everyday Debate.

For students who have already received an introduction to logic through one or both of these programs, we recommend starting with The Discovery of Deduction or The Argument Builder, depending on which sequence you choose to follow (see above question). However, it is beneficial to note that The Art of Argument, our introductory logic text, is considered a full logic course and may still be appropriate if your student needs a deeper review of the basics.

By “argument,” we do not mean an emotional quarrel or a petty squabble, which may be the first thing that comes to the mind of many when they hear the word. By “argument” we mean a reasoned case for or against a point of view that includes reasons for or against it… and we do think that there is a very important art to this particular practice of persuasion. The Art of Argument is an attempt to introduce students to this art. Note that The Art of Argument is only the first introduction to this art, and that its primary focus is on sharpening their critical thinking skills when evaluating the arguments of others.

Formal logic is the study of the types reasoning processes that depend primarily on the form or structure of the argument to determine its validity. Formal logic is like math in this regard; if you add two to two, you should always get the answer 4. Similarly, if you posit that, “All men are mortal,” and that, “Socrates is a man,” the conclusion, that “Socrates is a mortal,” should be something of a no-brainer. Formal logic is thus like math in that it is primarily about understanding these sorts of black-and-white, no shades of grey, binary system, and types of reasoning. Also like math, formal logic generally tends to deal with deductive reasoning.

Informal logic is the study of everyday types of reasoning. It’s the logic of the give-and-take, shades of grey that is the real-world marketplace of ideas. It also, by extension, tends to give more focus to inductive reasoning, the scientific method, and to the boundary areas where logic tends to segue into rhetoric.

We would recommend that people using Argument Builder do the exercises at the end of the chapter and also do the big debate at the end of the book. You could evaluate students on their completion of the exercises. These could also be homework grades.  You will also notice that every couple of chapters, there are cumulative review exercises. You could use these cumulative review exercises as tests and the debate on uniforms at the end as a test. If you would like some more assignments to grade along the way, consider having students write a persuasive essay at the end of every two chapters using all of the common topics discussed thus far. Some educators have also assigned students to write persuasive essays using the common topics on subjects such as friendship, the Loch Ness Monster, and gun control.

Rhetoric Alive FAQ

Yes! The genius of Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis is that it can be utilized by students using any rhetoric curriculum, and even by strong students who have not yet studied rhetoric.

Yes! Versatile and straightforward, Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis can be used by students who are only writing a thesis paper, only delivering a spoken address, or doing both. Students preparing both an academic paper and a separate speech should work through the entire text from start to finish. Students preparing only a speech should begin by reading the “Levels of Style” section of chapter 16 and then work through all of the chapters in order, beginning with chapter 1. Students writing only an academic paper should complete chapters 1–15. (For more details, see the introduction to the book, which is available in the free sample supplied on the Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis product page.)

There is great value in having a student work through an important issue and then publicly present it, so while we recommend that a full year be taken to complete Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis, a bright and motivated student can complete the book profitably in one semester. Here is our suggestion for how to accomplish this:

1. If you want your student to write a paper, aim for an 8–10 page paper. (If necessary, 6–8 pages would suffice.) If your student will be doing a speech only, then that would cut down on the time required to complete the thesis.

2. Work through chapters 1 and 3 in one or two days, and skip chapter 2 altogether. Skip the presentation practices.

3. We do recommend that your student chooses and meets with an expert (chapter 5), but if that’s not possible, it should not significantly hinder the student’s ability to complete a thesis.

4. The bulk of time will be spent in chapter 6 (research). You can help your student gather sources, which will save time. In terms of number of sources, a student should aim for one source for every page in the thesis (i.e., 8–10 sources for an 8–10 page paper).

5. Chapters 8–12 cover the writing of the speech/paper. Plan on spending a week per chapter, though the parts of the thesis covered in chapters 11 and 12 can be written in one sitting each.

6. Chapters 17–21 can all be combined and read through/practiced quickly.

Writing & Rhetoric Books 10 and 11 provide an introduction to the idea of a thesis and how it works, whereas Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis is designed as an in-depth senior thesis course that results in an actual, real-world application of the idea in the field of scholarship. Rhetoric Alive! Senior Thesis is a more developed study of thesis taken during the student’s final year of high school and is intended to follow at least a year of training in formal rhetoric.

Writing & Rhetoric FAQ

Currently books 1–11 are available for purchase. In the publishing industry, book projects can be ahead of schedule or behind schedule due to a variety of factors. We are working very hard to release the last book in this series while meeting educators’ expectations with superior pedagogy and student results. Below is the projected release date for book 12; it is deemed reliable but not guaranteed:

Writing & Rhetoric Book 12: Declamation: 2025

For additional suggested tracks of study while this final book is in production, please see our PDF guide.

Placement in Writing & Rhetoric is based on the student’s current experience in writing. We first suggest looking through the table of contents included in each of the free Writing & Rhetoric samples (found on the individual product pages). Reviewing both the table of contents and the sample lessons will help you determine a good starting level for your student.

If you have a student in 4th–7th grade and are considering Writing & Rhetoricthe initial identifier of placement is to evaluate whether your student can acknowledge the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why) in an essay or is comfortable writing 6-paragraph essays. If not, we recommend looking at Book 3: Narrative II. Starting here will provide review from the first 2 books in the series, as well as more age-appropriate material with longer stories and more thoughtful questions in the lessons.

If your student is confidently working through the 2 skills mentioned above, we would then suggest looking through Book 5: Refutation and Confirmation. In this book, students begin to support a cause or refute it. This is the beginning mark of persuasive writing (pre-thesis work) and helps them to begin research for an idea they will support in an essay.

When You’re Finished with Book 11 . . .

Writing & Rhetoric Book 12: Declamation is currently in production. For an updated description of Book 12 and an estimated release date, please see the question “When will the rest of the series be available?” in this FAQ section.

For additional suggested tracks of study while this final book is in production, please see our PDF guide. These recommendations are dependent on what your student has previously studied and mastered.

Currently we do not provide placement tests. We encourage parents to download and print the sample chapters of the textbooks to assist in determining placement.

Yes! Our updated scope and sequence for the full Writing & Rhetoric series can be found here.

Though the Writing & Rhetoric and Well-Ordered Language books are not specifically designed to be used together, the two series can work well in combination. Writing & Rhetoric contains a light treatment of various grammatical concepts that are covered in more depth in the Well-Ordered Language series. Additionally, most of the fables and tales found in Levels 1 and 2 of Well-Ordered Language are taken from Books 1–3 of Writing & Rhetoric; thus if you are using the series simultaneously, your students will be able to study both the writing method and the grammar concepts.

With the introduction of the 6-paragraph essay, Writing & Rhetoric Book 4: Chreia & Proverb takes students to a new writing milestone, and this can sometimes feel like a bit of a leap! Here are a few suggestions that we hope will help to facilitate a smooth transition for students working through Book 4.

—While the 6-paragraph essay is new, the earlier books in the series have helped students build a foundation for much of the required content. For example, paragraphs 4 and 5 of each chreia ask for a contrast and a comparison. Students have been gently introduced to these concepts through the “Talk About It” exercises in Books 1–3, and in Book 4 the “Talk About It” section addresses both concepts directly. Similarly, students have practiced restating/explaining the morals of fables in their own words, which is similar to what is asked of them in paragraph 2 of the chreia.
There are certainly some elements of the chreia that are new, such as writing an epilogue. Taking both kinds of paragraphs—ones that introduce new skills and ones that further develop skills taught previously—into consideration, we recommend walking through the essay slowly with students, perhaps even splitting the essay writing between two days. You might approach each paragraph like a “Talk About It” question first, discussing together the concept addressed in the paragraph, and then work with your students to translate their thoughts onto paper. As students grow more comfortable with the form of the chreia, they will grow more independent in their writing.

—Because the Writing & Rhetoric series emphasizes the imitation and practice method, the sample paragraphs are intended to be thought of as models that students should seek to imitate. However, these models represent the writing of a high-level student, so students should not necessarily be expected to produce writing of a similar level. Especially in the beginning of Book 4, we suggest reading these models aloud to students consistently before asking them to write the chreia. A struggling student may even rely heavily on the model at first; this is acceptable, as long as the student is progressing toward independence throughout the course.

—Another principle the W&R series embraces is repetition/practice. You’ll notice that students write a chreia in each lesson (after the introductory lessons) throughout the entire book. The subject is new each time, but the paragraph prompts are exactly the same. It is expected that students will need this repetition and practice to develop their writing skills within the form. With this in mind, it is appropriate to base your expectations for a chreia on how many of them students have already written during the course. Is it their second chreia or their eighth chreia?

—It is also helpful to know that students are not expected to write well-developed paragraphs at this stage. That is, they have not yet been taught about topic sentences, sentence variety, or sentence flow. (These skills will be taught in subsequent books.) They have also not yet been taught to go back and edit their own writing. This, too, will come in future books in this series. With this in mind, we suggest focusing on the content itself when evaluating students’ paragraphs. Students haven’t yet learned about paragraph construction, but they have been learning how to write a well-thought-out essay with the guidance of the paragraph prompts.

The progymnasmata are an ancient method for teaching composition that are effective, delightful, and have never grown old. Only four “progym” handbooks survived the ancient world. The most influential was by Aphthonius, a teacher of rhetoric from the Greek-speaking part of the Roman Empire. His handbook forms the backbone of the Writing & Rhetoric series. Progymnasmata means “preliminary exercises” or, in other words, the exercises that help prepare students for rhetoric—persuasive writing and speaking. The beauty of these exercises is that they gradually increase in difficulty from simple storytelling (Fable) to inspiring essays in argumentation (Thesis). They’re like stepping stones across the difficult waters of writing, and they cover all the modes of discourse along the way: narration, description, exposition, and argumentation.

The following are key features of our series.

1. Writing & Rhetoric emphasizes whole, interesting stories and excellent literature.

2. The series carries an underlying priority in experience for the student. Ultimately, students are being taught to enjoy and think about writing. Language and writing are delightful and should be talked about likewise.

3. Students are able to move smoothly from one book to the next—the progression is layered, graduated, and incremental.

4. Writing & Rhetoric emphasizes imitation but leaves plenty of room for student imagination. We want to provide a writing pathway while also encouraging the student to approach and explore writing using his or her own creativity.

5. Writing & Rhetoric is very simple to execute. It is an “open-and-go” text and gives teachers the option of how fast students will move through the program (by using one or two books per year).

6. Students are critically engaged through a complete story at the levels of word, sentence, and analogy, while simultaneously being engaged in creativity.

7. Writing & Rhetoric has a rhetorical component in which students use oral presentation and elocution as part of the process of learning to write well. They are taught to hear what they have written, to become their own editor, and to keep in mind that their writing is for an audience. They learn early to write with a target in mind.

Paul Kortepeter, author of the best-selling Writing & Rhetoric series, explains why this ancient system works for the contemporary student. Watch the video.

Author Paul Kortepeter explains why he felt compelled to write this series. Watch the video.

Author Paul Kortepeter explains why the study of rhetoric is essential for students. Watch the Video.

Author Paul Kortepeter explains why this series works so well for today’s students. Watch the video.

Author Paul Kortepeter explains which students will benefit from this series. Watch the video.

We currently have the following defined historical timeline.

- Fable and Narrative I: Greek and early Roman times

- Narrative II: Late Roman Empire

- Chreia & Proverb: Middle Ages

- Refutation & Confirmation: experience of Colonial America

- Commonplace: late colonial America, the American Revolution, and the Federalist period

- Encomium & Vituperation: Civil War era and the period of westward expansion that took place in nineteenth-century American history

- Comparison: the Gilded Age to the Great Depression of the 1930s

- Description & Impersonation: primarily the twentieth centuryThesis Part I: ancient to modern times

The purpose of this progression is to provide rich content that helps timeline-based schools or homeschoolers integrate history with the language arts. As one discipline reinforces the other, students will retain a powerful impression of the periods of history they study.

While we use the word “thesis” in the titles of Writing & Rhetoric Books 10 and 11, the topic will be covered as a general introduction to the idea of writing a thesis. Writing & Rhetoric: Thesis will offer an introduction to the idea; an in-depth senior thesis course taken during the student’s final year of high school would be a more sophisticated and developed study, intended to follow at least a year of training in formal rhetoric. W&R: Thesis is a seed; a senior thesis is a tree. W&R: Thesis introduces the idea of a thesis and how it works; a senior thesis would be an actual, real-world application of the idea in the field of scholarship.

*Note: This series is in progress. Please see our FAQ section for anticipated release dates for Books 10–12.

W&R: Thesis will introduce students to the basics of a thesis in 7th–9th grade and will be a culminating study of the series (although Book 12: Declamation will technically be the last book). W&R Thesis will incorporate the preceding skills learned throughout the series and will essentially show students how to put forth a proposition or thesis, which they will then argue for using the skills of the progym. These two books will generally introduce the concept of developing a thesis in any given situation and serve as an introduction to the idea of writing a thesis. The W&R thesis might involve a student writing a two-page argument involving a position or thesis (thesis in Greek means to “put forward”). W&R Thesis is therefore really a “thesis” with a very small “t,” while a senior thesis is a large project and paper.

Well-Ordered Language FAQ

The PDF is an optional companion piece, intended for students who would benefit from extra practice beyond the exercises already included in the student edition. In addition to printable versions of each lesson and the Lesson to Enjoy found in the student and teacher’s editions, the PDFs for Levels 1–3 include the following components for each chapter: sentences to analyze, a quiz, and an additional Lesson to Enjoy featuring a fable, tale, or poem (whichever the corresponding lesson in the student text did not feature). For Level 4, in addition to printable versions of each lesson and the Lesson to Enjoy found in the student and teacher’s editions, the PDFs include the following components for each chapter: sentences to analyze, a quiz, and an Extend the Practice exercise, which has students construct new sentences based on the sentences found in the Sentences for Practice section of the chapter.

This series is recommended for students in 3rd or 4th grade and will consist of 4 levels total, taking students up to 6th or 7th grade. Older students may also benefit from working through the series.

Though we do recommend starting this program from the beginning, if your student is very comfortable with the eight parts of speech and their functions, you should be able to move directly into Level 2A. We recommend reviewing the table of contents and having your student work through some of the exercises provided in the free online sample to determine if moving ahead will be the best fit. To ease transitions between curricula, we also suggest allowing extra time to help students grow comfortable with the choral analysis/marking system of WOL. The first few chapters of WOL 2A offer review in this area, or you could also consider using the WOL 1A and 1B student editions for an in-depth review of the grammar the student has already learned. Your student may breeze through the first books, or you may find that WOL covers some concepts more deeply and comprehensively and that your student benefits from working through these chapters at a slower pace.

Our Well-Ordered Language series features several unique elements that combine to help cultivate a child’s natural wonder and enjoyment of language.

- Marking: This precursor to diagramming involves learning and labeling the parts of the sentence in a way that will reinforce grammatical understanding and help students see how their analysis of the sentence connects to the grammatical definitions they learn. By first learning the marking process, students are better prepared to begin diagramming in Level 2. In addition, through the approach of WOL students can not only identify what the role of each word is but also explain why it functions as it does and how it relates to other words.

- Narrative: Each chapter of the student edition contains a running narrative that follows the adventures of the characters on the front cover. This narrative component enables students to engage with the story and see examples of grammar being used in “real text.”

- Literature: Similarly, samples taken from classic children’s literature and poetry show how grammar has been used effectively over the years in all types of writing. Because WOL students understand grammar as simple and clear, they are better prepared to apply that understanding to their own writing, the reading of complex texts—such as poetry, scripture, and novels—and the study of both ancient and modern foreign languages, such as Latin or Spanish.

Though the Well-Ordered Language and Writing & Rhetoric books are not specifically designed to be used together, the two series can work well in combination. Writing & Rhetoric contains a light treatment of various grammatical concepts that are covered in more depth in the Well-Ordered Language series. Additionally, most of the fables and tales found in Levels 1 and 2 of Well-Ordered Language are taken from Books 1–3 of Writing & Rhetoric; thus if you are using the series simultaneously, your students will be able to study both the writing method and the grammar concepts.

God’s Great Covenant FAQ

Yes! You can start with God’s Great Covenant: New Testament 1 without working through the Old Testament texts. We recommend starting the New Testament books in grades 4–6.

The books are written from a covenantal, reformed perspective, but with a non-dogmatic tone.

Novare Science FAQ

Novare (no-VAH-ray) is a Latin word meaning “to renew” or “to begin again.” We selected this name because of our sense that science education in America is in poor shape and in need of renewal. Some of our ideas are refurbishments of classical attitudes and methods, and some are new applications of proven, forward-thinking strategies.

Yes, we do! For a full explanation of the science sequence we recommend and why it makes so much sense, you can read more here.

Yes, it is, but it may not feel like what you are used to. Science education in our country is badly impaired by poorly calibrated expectations. Sadly, that includes much of the curriculum that is produced for homeschool use. As mentioned in our Textbook Philosophy, the United States falls farther behind other Western nations in science and math every time a ranking is published. College freshmen are increasingly unprepared for science classes, and they often require remedial coursework before they can begin taking such classes for credit. Remedying this problem requires more than bureaucracies and boards, and even more than most publishers are willing or able to accomplish.

First, we recommend that you do not use your weekly meeting time for lecturing; let the textbooks do that for you. They are thorough and clear enough that students who closely read the text will have all the information they need for the quizzes, tests, and exercises. Second, let the students do their exercises at home as well. Check their work for completion only, not accuracy. Then discuss their initial answers together as a group, letting students use this time to improve and correct their answers. Students will therefore encounter the material twice, and the exercises will be a group-sourced study tool. Use the rest of class time for 1) fielding additional or lingering questions, 2) conducting experiments, 3) administering the weekly quiz (although parents can administer this at home and submit it to the teacher for grading), 4) working on lab reports, or 5) performing other enhancement activities. We encourage you to incorporate plenty of group activities or collaborative work during class time.

Our mission is to provide premier science instruction methods and materials for Christian students in grades 7–12, to the glory of God. Excellence in Christian education cannot exist where passions and alarms have colored the study before it has even begun. A good education involves bringing students into the ongoing conversation of ideas, insisting on their mature engagement with them. For this reason, Novare’s planned biology texts—Life Science (middle school; forthcoming), General Biology (high school; available in summer 2020), and Microbiology (high school; forthcoming)—will include a complete presentation of evolutionary theory in a manner appropriate to the grade level of each text. Our texts will not cast aspersions or malign the intelligence or character of evolutionary theorists. Neither will they advocate in favor of the acceptance or rejection of evolution. They will present the current state of the scientific consensus as best it can be done at each level.

Novare Science does not take a position on evolution, and for good reason. To explain why, we need to first consider theories. Evolution is a theoretical model, or simply a theory. A theory is a mental model that attempts to explain experimental data and phenomena in the natural world. Evolution is therefore just like other theories such as the atomic model, photosynthesis, the kinetic-molecular theory of gases, and relativity.

Theories should never be spoken of as being “true” or “false.” It is more appropriate to say a theory is either “strong” or “weak,” depending on how well it can explain the data and predict future experimental outcomes. If enough experiments are conducted that cannot be explained by the theory, then that theory is weakened. Conversely, if experiments and data confirm the theory, then it is strengthened but not “proven.” Theories are never “proven.” As such, “true” and “false” are words that do not apply to theories. Therefore, all we can say about the theory of evolution is, “Is it a strong theory, or is it weak?” In other words, how well does it explain experimental data?

A theory can be strong and people can still reject it. (The opposite is also true. UFOs, which many people accept with little or no evidence, are an example of this.) While we acknowledge that evolution is the mother of all debates between evangelical Christianity and the scientific mainstream, our concern lies in advocating and facilitating the best educational practices in the Christian science classroom or homeschool. This means that students should, for starters, be presented with the concepts and mechanics of evolution for the sake of scientific literacy.

Because evolution reaches so far into Christian worldview concerns, there will of course need to be a discussion on the worldview level. One way in which we hope to address this in the future is by publishing a discussion guide in the form of a supplementary booklet (tentatively titled Teachers and Students Discussing Evolution). While the biology textbooks will contain some interaction about worldview concerns, this discussion resource would go much further. We envision it containing primary source readings, incisive discussion questions, and approaches to scientific, philosophical, and biblical angles that will help to foster productive interaction and learning.

As discussed in our book Teaching Science so That Students Learn Science, students should have a safe place to bring their questions. In any learning environment, there will be students who bring with them varying sides of the issue. In economics, government, and Bible courses, good educators strive to present ideas in a neutral way for students to wrestle with rather than simply teaching their own opinions. In the same way, when the day comes in biology class to talk about evolution, educators should create an inviting learning environment, teaching students to interact respectfully with each other and presenting all sides of the issue dispassionately. As in all subjects—and in life as adults—an idea should stand or fall based on its own merits.

Will our books insist upon acceptance of evolutionary theory? No. We will present it as we would any scientific topic: as the mainstream scientific model for explaining origins, with little interaction on worldview matters. Anyone is free to reject evolution, but our job is not to address worldview concerns or to harmonize science with the faith convictions of those who find an idea to be in conflict. There are many other books that speak to those things.

Christianity is a big tent and there are Christian believers to be found at every point along the spectrum of opinion. In fact, many sincere Christians (indeed, the majority of Christians worldwide) accept evolution as at least part of the way God brought about the variety of life on Earth. Just as there is room for a variety of views on many secondary doctrines such as baptism, predestination, and eschatology, there is even room for difference of opinion on evolution. It is part of our communion as the people of God, united in Christ, that we respect differences of opinion on secondary issues.

Yes! Novare Science has a subsidiary imprint called Centripetal Press whose texts feature the same quality science presentation and graphics, with all religious references removed, making them acceptable for public and charter schools. Please visit for more information. Additionally, several of our resources do not make religious references and are approved for use in public/charter schools. These include The Student Lab Report HandbookScience for Every TeacherFavorite Experiments in Physics and Physical Science, and our two chemistry experiment manuals: Chemistry Experiments for High School and Chemistry Experiments for High School at Home.

The biblical interpretation of this question is discussed at length at this link. The simple fact is, those who want to expose their students to both sides of the age-of-the-earth debate will have to supplement one side or the other. Teachers can use one of the many Young Earth texts and supplement with some Old Earth material. Or teachers can use Novare’s Old Earth text and supplement the Young Earth side of the debate.

In a Young Earth community or context, chances are students are already very much exposed to Young Earth arguments. For teachers in such a community or context, it would be better to use a well-crafted, Christian, Old Earth text and supplement (if necessary) the Young Earth side. Or the Old Earth material in the text could simply be disavowed and the text go right on being used.

We suggest that it is best for your students to enter college or the adult world scientifically literate about mainstream scientific views, whether they agree or disagree with them. In the name of education, give students access to the “other side’s” arguments, and let them hear it from an author who shares their commitment to the authority of Scripture and to Jesus Christ as the Lord and Author of all creation.

Our physics and chemistry texts are suitable for AP classes designed by the College Board. Chemistry for Accelerated Students can be used for AP Chemistry, and Physics: Modeling Nature can be used for AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2. In each case, the text covers the entire AP curriculum with a small number of exceptions. (For example, in the case of AP Chemistry, our text does not address the topics of sigma and pi bonding.)

Those considering AP courses should note two important points. First, AP courses require a great deal of planning and entail particular ways of organizing and emphasizing course material. Our texts do not address these particulars. Instructors are advised to undertake a training course administered by the College Board in order to be properly prepared for conducting an AP course. Second, the AP curriculum for both the chemistry and physics courses requires a significant laboratory component. The experiment manuals we supply for use with our chemistry and physics courses are not extensive enough to meet the demands of the AP curriculum. Instructors will need to implement a laboratory program using a suitable set of experiments; keep in mind that implementing such a program requires a substantial amount of time each week.

For more guidance on adapting these two texts for AP-level courses, please contact John Mays, director of science curriculum, at

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