It should be stated early on that science can be difficult for some students. Dr. Wise is an amazing teacher, but he brings up some challenging topics that could be difficult for some students. Please encourage your student if he or she gets frustrated that this is not necessarily easy material. Your student is actually learning more than he or she realizes. Dr. Wise is a brilliant scientist who has contributed an enormous amount to creation science. He is an incredible teacher, but he can sometimes talk about difficult-to-understand concepts.
In light of that, we recommend that your student re-watch or re-read certain sections if needed. At some point, a student may just have to recognize that he or she will only understand part of a concept. Again, that is okay—learning is about stretching the minds God gave us, and some are designed to stretch more easily in scientific directions. Learning is taking place, regardless of how much is completely understood.
The Textbook, the Lab Manual, and the Video Lessons were all designed by Dr. Wise. The textbook, however, has had a life of its own by being taught in Christian high schools and colleges around the nation. As a result, Dr. Wise included Advanced Discussion Topics (sample) at the end of most chapters, and Test Questions (sample) at the end of every chapter. Both of these sections were originally written for teachers using the textbook in a classroom environment. If, however, you would like to work from these lists, they could be incorporated in part or in whole as a discussion between parent and child, or as student projects. Those questions which may pose more of a challenge for the student have been marked in the Test Answer Key as Advanced. Each chapter also includes a handy Summary (sample) for preview and review.
This class has 14 labs incorporated into the class. Some are fairly easy to do, others are more complex. We have partnered with Cornerstone Educational Supply to bundle the less common supplies into the Lab Materials Kit, which can be purchased at CompassClassroom.com. See “Materials Needed” in the Lab Manual for a list of all supplies required by the lab exercises, both those commonly available and those more difficult to acquire.
We have put together a Scope & Sequence (view here) that will take you through the entire course in one school year.
Since most families follow their own schedules for when school begins, when breaks occur, and when school ends, we have just divided everything into 35 weeks. If you follow this schedule, you can finish the class in a normal school year. Although some students may have no problem following this schedule, others might find it difficult to keep up this pace. You are therefore welcome to ignore the week markers and move through the material at a pace suitable for your son or daughter.
It’s possible that some material will make more sense and so can be mastered more quickly, while other material will be harder to understand and will require a slower pace. The Scope & Sequence is designed to be used however you want to use it.
Dr. Wise has scheduled the labs to fit alongside various chapters. In light of that, we have placed them in the Scope & Sequence (view here) in their general positions to match his recommendations. Some of the labs could take 6-10 hours to complete, however, so you are welcome to move them around to better fit your schedule. In other words, if it would work better for you to push a lab to a different week or to bring it forward a week, that is fine. In the Lab Manual, Dr. Wise explains his reasoning for how the labs fit with the classes, and you can then see what works best for you.
We have included Review weeks in the Scope & Sequence that may or may not be useful to you. These happen after three lessons earlier in the course, and after two lessons later in the course. The idea is for students to go back and review key concepts that were hard to understand, look through sections of the book, and watch videos to help retention. Use these as you see fit.
INTRODUCTION & PREFACE
0.1 Contrasting Worldviews
0.2 About Dr. Wise
CHAPTER 1. BIOLOGY FOR THE BELIEVER
1.1 God Desires to be Known
1.2 The Christian Foundation of Science
1.3 Defining Science & Biology
1.4 Why Study Biology?
1.5 Our Kingly & Priestly Responsibilities
1.6 Our Image & Ministry Responsibilities
CHAPTER 2. THE LIVING GOD: BIOLOGICAL LIFE
2.1 Different Types of Life
2.2 Are Plants Alive?
2.3 The Nature of Life
2.4 The Origin of Life
2.5 The Spectrum of Perfection of Life
2.6 Our Responsibility to Life
CHAPTER 3. GOD’S GLORY: BIOLOGICAL BEAUTY
3.1 The Beauty of God
3.2 Biological Beauty
CHAPTER 4. GOD IS DISTINCT: BIOLOGICAL DISCONTINUITY
4.1 The Biblical Kind
4.3 The Spectrum of Discontinuity
4.4 The Origin of Discontinuity
CHAPTER 5. GOD IS GOOD: MUTUALISM & BIOLOGICAL EVIL
5.2 The Curse
5.3 Biological Evil
5.4 Our Responsibility to Biological Good and Evil
CHAPTER 6. GOD IS PERSON: ANIMAL BEHAVIOR & PERSONALITY
6.1 God is Person
6.2 Biological Uniqueness & Activity
6.3 Instinctive & Learned Behavior
6.4 Animal Intelligence
6.5 Animal Will
6.6 Animal Personality & Relationships
6.7 The Origin of & Responsibility to Personhood
CHAPTER 7. THE PROVIDER GOD: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE
7.1 The Anthropic Principle & the Earth
7.2 The Anthropic Principle & the Solar System, Galaxy, and Universe
7.3 The Anthropic Principle & Atoms
7.4 The Anthropic Principle & Molecules
7.5 The Origin of Anthropic Principle Features & Our Responsibility
CHAPTER 8. THE SUSTAINING GOD: THE BIOMATRIX
8.1 The Biomatrix
8.2 Biogeochemical Cycles & Our Priestly Responsibility
8.3 Our Kingly Responsibility to the Biomatrix
CHAPTER 9. GOD IS ONE: MONOMERS, BIOSIMILARITY, AND BIOSYSTEMS
9.1 Common Monomers
9.2 Similarities & Systems
9.3 Our Responsibility to Biological Unity
CHAPTER 10. GOD IS THREE: BIODIVERSITY
10.1 Climatic Variety
10.2 Land Biome Variety
10.3 Water Biome Variety
10.5 Our Responsibility to Biodiversity
CHAPTER 11. GOD OF HIERARCHY: BIOLOGICAL HIERARCHY
11.1 Unified Hierarchy of God
11.2 Organizational Hierarchy & Cell Theory
11.3 Universal Cell Parts
11.4 Higher Organizational Hierarchy
11.5 Netted Hierarchy of Similarity & Our Responsibility to Hierarchy
CHAPTER 12. THE ALMIGHTY GOD: METABOLISM
12.1 Types of Metabolism
12.2 Photosynthesis I
12.3 Photosynthesis II, Respiration, & Our Responsibility to Metabolism
CHAPTER 13. GOD THE WORD: ANIMAL COMMUNICATION & LANGUAGE OF LIFE
13.1 Animal Communication
13.2 Myth of DNA & DNA for Storage & Copying
13.3 Language of Life & Our Responsibility to Biological Communication
CHAPTER 14. GOD’S FULLNESS: REPRODUCTION, DIVERSIFICATION, AND BIOGEOGRAPHY
14.2 Meiosis & Non-Physical Reproduction
14.4 Biogeography & Our Responsibility to Biological Abundance
CHAPTER 15: THE HISTORY OF LIFE
15.1 Biblical Chronology
15.2 The Creation Week
15.3 The Edenian & Antediluvian Worlds
15.4 The Flood & The Arphaxadian Epoch
A number of additional resources—including articles and videos—are available at Dr. Wise’s Is Genesis History? page and the Is Genesis History? YouTube page for free. These can provide additional clarification or challenge deeper thinking on topics being studied.
The lab videos and lab manual are already included with the class and you can purchase all the lab materials together on our website.
This is a good question, and we don’t have a good answer. This is primarily because everyone has a different learning style. We recommend that you try out each method: watching, then reading; and reading, then watching. Dr. Wise recommends reading/watching/re-reading; but some people may prefer to hear him explain a concept before they read about it.
All to say, there is no “right” way of doing this. Just figure out what works best for your son or daughter.