NOEO Science Review – Elementary and Middle

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My family has used the Logos Press NOEO Science curriculum for the past 3 years. I originally wrote this post after using the curriculum for 2 years but wanted to write an updated NOEO science review.

We have used Biology 2, Physics 2, and Chemistry 3.

When my kids were younger I created my own homeschool curriculum, but as the kids grew older I worried that there would be gaps in their science educations.

I knew I wanted to purchase a science curriculum that met a few criteria:

  • Secular or at least neutral.  My family is religious, but I have found that not all religious science curriculums line up with our beliefs.  I prefer to teach religion and science separately.  I wanted my science curriculum to be science-based.
  • Appropriate for multiple grade levels.  One way I teach multiple children is to combine subjects whenever possible.  I wanted one curriculum that I could use with both Hannah and Ben.
  • Easy to plan.  I wanted a science curriculum that laid out our lesson plans in an easy-to-use format.  The less prep work I need to do, the better.

Related: 40+ Secular Curriculum Choices for Homeschool

The NOEO Science curriculum has always seemed fairly faith neutral, but the parent company, Logos Press, is religious. I think this is still a good curriculum for a family searching for a faith-neutral science curriculum, but there are other options if you prefer secular.

Many people have strong feelings about using a religious, neutral, or secular science curriculum, so I wanted to be sure to include that in this NOEO science review.

I am so glad I found the Logos Press NOEO Science Curriculum!

NOEO Science review - complete homeschool science kit with books and experiments

NOEO Science Review

This NOEO science review is in no way affiliated with NOEO or Logos Press. I purchased the curriculum to use with my own children and wanted to share my experience.

The NOEO Science curriculum kits includes:

  • A teachers guide
  • High-quality reference books
  • Most of the items needed for experiments

NOEO Science Review – Teacher’s Guide

A good teacher’s guide is crucial to being able to successfully implement a purchased curriculum.  All the fancy materials in the world won’t matter if you don’t know what to do with them.

The NOEO Science curriculum teacher’s guide contains two levels of notebooking pages and lab reports.

This is perfect for teaching my third and sixth grader at the same time!  

I teach the same information, we complete the same experiments, and watch the same videos, but the kids write notes and science reports according to their grade level.

The teacher’s guide also contains 36 weeks of lesson plans.  

Each week consists of 4 days worth of lesson plans.  The daily plans include the pages to be read from the included books, experiments, internet links, and vocabulary words. A four day per week schedule leaves the fifth day for co-op classes, park days, field trips, or catching up on other work.

A master supply list is included in the beginning of the teacher’s guide, but there is also a shorter weekly supply list included within each week’s lesson plans.  

This makes it easy to purchase any supplies not included. This is generally just common household items such as baking soda.

There is very little advance preparation required from parents. As long as you have all of the supplies on hand, NOEO Science is pretty much open and go.

NOEO Science Review – Books

Every NOEO Science curriculum comes with a few high quality resource books.  Our NOEO Biology 2 set included an Usborne Science Encyclopedia, Usborne Complete Book of the Microscope, Usborne Mysteries and Marvels of Nature, and The Body Book.

I already owned the Science Encyclopedia so I was able to buy the curriculum with a little bit of a discount.

These books are fantastic and have a permanent spot on my homeschool bookshelf.

The books that are included line up with the grade level for the chosen science curriculum.  The NOEO Science curriculum offers sets for grades 1-3, 4-6, and 7-8.

You know your child best though so don’t be afraid to purchase the grade level YOU feel is right.  In my opinion, this program is a little easier than I expected for the grade levels. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I just chose to supplement with extra videos that are suggested in the science encyclopedia.

Ben, my youngest, started participating in the NOEO Science 4-6th grade lessons when he was in 2nd grade.

NOEO Science Review – Experiments

Each NOEO Science curriculum includes a nice set of experiment kits. These experiments are great because they include the instructions and all materials.

The experiment kits are one of the reasons we used NOEO Science for a few years in a row.

I am much more likely to complete an experiment if all of the materials are already in my house!  

You will want to conduct experiments in addition to the experiment kits, but there are many simple experiments suggested in the teacher’s guide and the books.

I did still need to purchase other experiment supplies, but they were all common household materials such as dish soap or water.

How I Use the NOEO Science Curriculum

We typically do science 4 days a week, Monday – Thursday.  This leaves Friday for fun projects, like creating an animal cell replica out of cake.

The NOEO Science curriculum is designed to be used 4 days a week.

Each day I read the assigned pages to the kids and we discuss what we read. Next, the kids copy any vocabulary words and definitions into their science journals.  If there are no definitions, then I try to find a craft or activity on Pinterest that relates to the lesson.

Finally, we will hop online to check out the related internet links that are scattered throughout the Usborne books.  There are some amazing YouTube videos that I would never have found if it wasn’t for these internet links.

This usually takes us 30 minutes or so per day.

Our science journals were very easy to assemble.  I just made copies of the notebooking pages and experiment pages out of the teacher’s manual.  I put the pages in a three ring folder after I hole punched them.

Each child has their own journal.  Our very first science activity each year involves decorating their science journal.

This is the BEST science curriculum. It makes planning so EASY!

The only complaint I have, as part of this NOEO science review, is that the courses are not rigorous.

This is not necessarily a problem with the curriculum, but it is why I decided to not use NOEO beyond 6th grade for my son.

By 6th grade he was able to do the readings and experiments pretty much by himself with little support from me. This seems like a good thing on the surface, but he is naturally skilled in science. He was bored finishing his science lessons in 20-30 minutes a day.  He needed a challenge.

I am taking his boredom as a sign that NOEO isn’t hard enough for him at this point.

To sum up this NOEO Science review:

Positive – The kit makes it easy to open the box and start teaching. The resources included are great.

Negative – NOEO Science is not terribly rigorous, which can be boring for science minded children.

I hope this NOEO Science review helped you decide whether this curriculum is a good fit for your family.

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12 Comments

  1. I would love to follow your blog. However, my two email addresses have unrecognized characters in them so your blog sign up isn’t allowing them. If there is a way to bypass that, please sign me up. I prefer my work email as I see it more regularly. Thanks, Connie

    1. Hi Connie,

      I was able to get you added to the email list on my end 🙂 I used the email address attached to your comment. If you prefer a different email address, please let me know and I will update it. Take care!

  2. Hi! I’m interested in potentially using NOEO science, but I’m wanting a secular program. Did you find that NOEO is particularly religious in its outlook?

    1. Hi! We used NOEO for several years and never found religion to be mentioned at all. The company that publishes NOEO is religious, but since NOEO uses Usborne books as the spines it seems to be pretty neutral. I did look at the NOEO site pretty recently and was surprised how much religion was mentioned, so I can not guarantee that NOEO is still religiously neutral. I just posted a blog post with other secular options you might want to check out.

  3. What science curriculum do you use now, that you would consider more rigorous? I have two jr. high children that I was looking at doing the NOEO Science. But after readying your review, I think they need something more challenging possibly.

  4. What have you started using since using NOEO….have you found anything that is more challenging? I was looking to use NOEO for my middle school children. I appreciate your review.

  5. Hello, I’m looking at the site and may figure this out eventually, but are the Level 1 courses a prerequisite or could we just jump in with Chemistry 2? I notice there are a lot of Usborne books, so how would you compare this program to Sonlight/Bookshark which seems similar? And one more question, could you use this with multiple ages?

    1. Hi! You can start at any level. I used this with multiple levels. My two kids are 3 years apart and they were able to work at the same level. We did everything as a family. I have not used Sonlight or Bookshark, but I think they are fairly similar.

  6. Thanks for the review. I was seeking some pictures and a structure breakdown, and you gave me exactly that.

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