Noeo Science Biology I

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Sara Gallegos

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, July 24, 2013
  • Grades Used: K
  • Dates used: 2012-13
We absolutely loved the books and really enjoyed a few of the experiments. I thought the whole package was very affordable for the convenience it was buying me. However, I had hoped that majority of the experiments would work. We had VERY poor luck with the weather kit. None of the products in the kit worked and we double checked to make sure we fit them all together correctly (my friend mentioned below had same difficulties). We also had problems with the bacteria (petri dishes) and the yeast and another experiment (sorry, can't remember which one). A friend and I were doing the science experiments together (she actually used to be a science teacher) and she said it's probably because we had bought our stuff at the beginning of the summer (we were way excited) and left it out at room temperature and didn't get to some of the experiments until spring. Maybe if we had refrigerated, or not bought the "sensitive items" until later we would have been okay?
We tried to just use it as an opportunity to learn that experiments don't always go the way you want them to and to look for adaptations we could do. One good note, NOEO did give us a full refund on the materials we returned.
However, I still definitively do NOT recommend buying the weather kit.

tennmom

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, May 14, 2008
  • Grades Used: 1st
  • Dates used: 2007-2008
I have had a very positive experience, but want to list some pros and cons.

First of all, like pp have said, the books are just wonderful. There wasn't a single one that my daughter didn't love. They really captured her interest and provoked her imagination. Some of the experiments were nice ...for example; the diaphragm, the carrot top, the bacteria growing. But others were so poor, some I was at a loss as to why we were supposed to be doing them. Some didn't work at all. I didn't have a problem with the petri dish ones, but had problems with several others. I would like to suggest to anyone doing this that you do all of the weather experiments the same day as you do the first one so you can keep track of all the data at the same time while going throught the weather unit. I like the notebook idea, my daughter's notebook is just wonderful. But she's so verbose that science ended up taking...just forever. I can't make her sum things up. If your children have to give all the details, recitations are going to be tough! Some of the computer links were great. The very last unit is on plants. Science with plants is a wonderful book. But if you do all of the experiments that are suggested or that appeal to your kids, you could be spending a good chunk of money on that unit. This was unexpected since all of the other units had experiment supplies included. So, while I loved the books, the experiments left alot to be desired.

Nikki

  • Reviewed on Saturday, April 5, 2008
  • Grades Used: K
  • Dates used: Spring 2008
I'm afraid I've got to go against the flow here with my review of NOEO Biology I. As you read this review, keep in mind that I am a Charlotte Mason follower. Although this curriculum does use some of her techniques, it does not use the quality of books and experiments that I am looking for.

At first I thought this curriculum looked great. DS loved looking at the books and was excited about the experiments. However, as we got into the first unit, I quickly realized that I do not want to use Usborne books to educate my children. Ds likes to look at them, but the books are simply lists of facts written around cool pictures. DS does remember some of the things we've read about (like the 10 foot earthworm or the 7.5 inch beetle), but he will do so much better with a living book which really captures his attention. I do really like the two biography books, though.

Now for the experiments. I had never had any experience with the Young Scientists experiments before. I'm not impressed. Only two of the four weather experiments worked for us, and I also had trouble with the agar and petri dishes. We are only just finished with the creepy crawlies unit, and it's going to be quite a while until we do experiments again. There are a lot of books to read between now and then. DS loves the experiments, so we may have to skip ahead for a while.

Here are a few positives about NOEO. The TM is very nicely laid out and easy to use. I like that you can just go to the website and print off the notebook pages. Some of the internet links in the Usborne books are nice to look at.

DS likes to do science, so that is one plus with NOEO. However, I am not pleased with the results from this curriculum. We will finish it--it's not bad enough to just throw out. I will keep the books because DC do like to look at them, but we will not be using NOEO again.

agreenfw

  • Reviewed on Saturday, April 5, 2008
  • Grades Used: K and 2nd
  • Dates used: 2007-2008
This was our first year with Noeo, but it definitely won't be our last!

I love the selection of books that come with the Noeo curriculum. They are simple picture books packed with information. I have learned right alongside my children this year.

The Young Scientist Club Kits are nice, and mostly the experiments worked. I had trouble with the agar in the petri dishes, and I have heard many others say the same thing.

The notebooking is wonderful - my K5 dictates what she learned to me and I write it down, and then she draws a picture. My 2nd grader writes down what he learned and sometimes illustrates it as well.

One thing I have noticed is that the optional internet links from the Usborne books aren't always useful. For example, when we did our section on moths and butterflies, the Usborne links were boring and pointless. We found time-lapse videos on Youtube that showed the life cycles of Monarch butterflies, and it was fascinating!

My children have learned so much about the natural world around them using this curriculum. They love the books and read them over and over. I love that this is basically open-and-go (other than some beforehand assembling of items for experiments), and that this is something that I can teach multiple ages.

Really, there aren't many negatives to this curriculum. This is one we are extremely happy with, and I've already ordered from Noeo for next year's science.
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