General Biology

  • General Biology is a brilliant new high school biology text that combines up-to-date science with a Christian worldview and the mastery-based educational philosophy for which Novare is known.

    The book starts at the atomic level and progresses to ever-larger scales: cells, genes, microorganisms, plants, animals, and human organ systems. Each chapter includes straightforward learning objectives, exercises that call for both clear articulation of thoughts and full-sentence answers, and an organization of topics that steadily builds chapter by chapter. The final chapters of the book survey ecology and the theory of evolution. Read our FAQ to learn more about how we approach the subject of evolution.

    Like all Novare texts, mastery-based learning methods are an essential part of General Biology, propelling students not only to learn but also to substantially retain the content for years after completing the course. The book succinctly and logically covers a wide array of information in a modest number of pages, making it a pleasure to read. Brilliant and beautiful graphics, which appear on almost every page, draw students into mature engagement with the content.

Textbook Specs

ISBN: 9781732638433
Edition: 1st
Grade Level: 10-12
Course Length: 1 year
Content Credit: 1 full high school science credit
Trim Size: 6.5” x 9.5"
Binding: Hardcover
Color or BW: Color
Pages: 536

Digital Resources

  • Digital Resources for General Biology is a downloadable resource that includes all documentation and electronic resources necessary for the administration of this course, whether in a homeschool setting or a coop or classroom. All items are printable and distributable to your student or classroom; only one copy of digital resources are needed per classroom or home.

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  • Included in the Digital Resources:

    • Course Overview (PDF) - “Recommendations for teaching the course” by John D. Mays
    • 24 Quizzes
    • 12 Chapter tests
    • Fall and spring semester exams
    • All Keys and Sample Answers
    • Lesson list
    • Example lesson calendar for the year

The Apprentice's Companion to General Biology

Designed to accompany General Biology, The Apprentice’s Companion to General Biology is an exciting and valuable new combination of experiment book, field manual, and commonplace book. Throughout the book, students are prompted to form hypotheses, take data, and revisit those hypotheses to assess, wherever possible, if they are supported by the data. Enhanced with images of art, poems, and quotes by respected scientists and naturalists, each chapter contains:

  • multiple experiments and lab activities, some taking approximately 15 minutes and others occupying a class period or more
  • experiment procedures
  • space for sketches, draft and final graphs, and data and data tables
  • room for writing down thoughts and interacting with questions

The use of everyday materials is maximized so that overall costs associated with the experiments are manageable. For example, in an experiment on osmosis, eggs (instead of the customary dialysis tubing) are used.

An accompanying downloadable PDF of teacher’s notes contains information about time requirements, supply substitutions, and preparing solutions. It also contains photos obtained during pilot runs of the experiments so that instructors unfamiliar with these experiments will know what to expect.

About the Authors

  • Heather Ayala 

    Heather earned a bachelor of science degree in biology at Azusa Pacific University. She then attained her PhD in biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame. Her research focused on the genetics of the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Since then, Heather has spent 12 years teaching college-level biology at small Christian colleges throughout the country, including George Fox University, Bethel College in Indiana, Elmhurst College, Wyoming Catholic College, and currently Belmont Abbey College, where she is the department chair of biology. She has taught courses in human anatomy and physiology, organismal diversity, parasitology, genetics, general biology, molecular biology, invertebrate zoology, and environmental science. Heather met her husband, Adolfo, in graduate school at the University of Notre Dame. They both have a passion and gift for teaching and help with a local high school homeschool co-op teaching math and science. Adolfo and Heather have four children who keep them very busy with piano, tennis, and ballet. Heather enjoys spending time with her family, playing the piano, and sewing. She and her family attend a traditional Latin Catholic mass chapel outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Katie Rogstad 

    Katie is a teacher, wife, mom, homeschooler, science nerd, and follower of Jesus. She earned her bachelor of science in biology from the California Institute of Technology and her master of science in biochemistry from Loma Linda University. During both programs, Katie did research in labs that study the chemistry of DNA and its role in cancer, resulting in her co-authorship of 7 peer-reviewed publications. While serving as a teaching assistant and mentoring younger students, she experienced great joy in communicating the wonder of biochemistry, which led her to pursue teaching as a career. Katie homeschooled her 5 children for a number of years, during which time she also taught secondary homeschool co-op science classes, including physical science, biology, chemistry, and science enrichment. She has also taught chemistry, physics, physical science, and health in a Christian school setting. Katie is currently a Novare educator at Redlands Christian Middle School, implementing the principles of mastery, kingdom, and integration on a daily basis. Katie’s love of molecular biology, her passion for integrating faith and science, and her experience in teaching for mastery intertwine in her contributions to General Biology. Katie and her husband, Dan, have been married for more than 15 years. They and their 5 school-aged children live in Southern California, where they are actively involved in their local Evangelical Free church. In her spare time, Katie enjoys singing, playing guitar, and leading worship with her family.


Novare Science Recommended Sequence


Learn More About Physical Science

What is Physical Science?

Physical science is a middle school course that includes basics concepts in physics and chemistry, drawing only on pre-algebra math knowledge. It is an excellent course for younger students to prepare them for greater depth in their high school science courses, but it is not a requirement or prerequisite for high school science. Physical science typically covers basic concepts in motion, energy, substances, the electromagnetic spectrum, waves, sound and light, as well as units of measurement and scientific procedure. In chemistry, students will learn about the periodic table, compounds and chemical reactions.


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