I get this question a lot. “Can you recommend a good Catholic science curriculum?” Here is my answer.
Use a good secular science textbook. Pearson/Prentice Hall and Holt textbooks are my favorite. Teach the scientific fundamentals well. Do not let your child become an adult who never experienced the awe and wonder of science, who never stretched his or her mind to learn the details of biology, chemistry, and physics, and who never saw the beauty in the mathematics of nature. That is a tragedy. It happens far too much in secular institutions because without any belief in God the Creator, kids do not see science as the study of God’s handiwork. Science does not come to life. They do not think it matters unless they want to become scientists, and then, sundered from faith, they ultimately have no explanation for why they even care about science.
Separately, teach kids about our faith. Do not include theology or religion in the science class, just as you would not include algebra in grammar class. It confuses the basics. Kids need a firm and distinct grounding in both science and religion.
Then, as they mature, teach kids how to sort through scientific conclusions (and everything else) “in the light of faith.” Doctrine is a guide, a light. “Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith.” (CCC 89)
No scientific evidence can possibly contradict defined dogmas. God created everything. Humans are body and soul. There is a beginning in time called Creation. Most of the challenging questions belong to areas where various theological opinions can be held and explored. How do we understand humanity? How do we interpret Genesis and evolution? What happens at the atomic realm, and how does it relate to our macroscopic experience? How big is the universe, and why should we care? What is the difference in animate and inanimate matter? How does the mind affect the body and vice versa? These questions are debated because they have no clear answers, at least at this moment in history.
People need a process for sorting through modern difficulties in faith, without losing themselves to popular culture’s sway. This is why I wrote Particles of Faith: A Catholic Guide to Navigating Science (Ave Maria Press, October 11, 2016). The book does not tell you what to think, but how to think systematically with an unwavering confidence in Christ and His Church. The book is for any Catholic who wants help understanding and sorting out scientific issues of our time. (Sorry for the book plug, but seriously, that is why I wrote the book—to explain the process.)
As it relates to science, however: Teach the science. A young adult cannot very well navigate science in the light of faith if he or she does not know the basics. If we believe that God created everything before we ever get to science, then we are free to roll up our sleeves and see what textbooks have to say. Natural science only studies the physical and biological realm, and we already know there is much more to reality beyond its grasp.