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High School Chemistry

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Science for High School

 

“What?  Me teach chemistry {shudder}!  Are you kidding me?”  That is what I would have said after taking chemistry for nursing.  Things have changed since then.  Here I am homeschooling a high school student and preparing for chemistry. Thankfully, The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew gave me the opportunity to review High School Chemistry in Your Home from Science for High School.  This has paved my way into the world of “teaching” chemistry.

 

High School Chemistry in Your HomeBridget Ardoin is the author of High School Chemistry in Your Home.  She has a degree in microbiology from Louisiana State University, and was a high school science teacher.  Bridget is also a homeschool mom of 5 children.  Bridget was asked to teach science to other homeschoolers.   At first she taught from a textbook.  She soon discovered that was not for her and developed her own curriculum.  Her first book was about biology.  Later she expanded her product line to include chemistry and physics.

We have used science textbooks for many years.  My children do not want to do the experiments anymore because the answers are shown in the books.  We have continued with the curriculum because it is college prep, and science labs are important to meet high school requirements.

High School Chemistry in Your Home is not a typical textbook course.  It is unique in that it is research based.  The answers are not in the book.  The student needs to find the answers for him or herself.  I like that.  Research skills are very important especially for college academics and in adult life.

The student’s chemistry book is actually a manual, which is 3-holed punched and tabbed.  This is quite nice since the student is able to place the manual into a binder and add notes as needed.  Also, the tab makes it easy for the student to locate the weekly assignments and lab section.

There is a parent manual!  It is user-friendly and contains all the answers to the assignments, labs, quizzes, and final exams.  The parent manual is combed-bound and tabbed for convenience.

The weekly coursework consists of answering questions, discussing the questions with the teacher, completing a lab experiment, and taking a quiz.

My son took Monday through Wednesday to answer the questions.  He likes there are fewer questions to answer as compared to the other curriculum we have used.  He also likes doing the research, which he did online.  There is the option of using textbooks and library-reference books as sources for locating the answers to the weekly questions.

Lab Kit

I purchased the lab kit and Bunsen burner right after I discovered I was going to do this review.  My intention is to use the rest of this curriculum for the next school year, and I will need the equipment anyway.  The kit contains all the chemicals, test tubes, a test tube holder, and a clamp.  I was disappointed to discover most of the experiments require the use of a Bunsen burner.  I have yet to receive the burner I purchased.  This limited us on how many experiments we could do during the review period.

The lab kit is convenient in that I do not need to find all the individual chemicals and have a lot of leftovers.  Another nice feature about the kit is that Bridget has the chemicals bagged and labeled for each experiment.

There are other supplies needed to complete the labs.  The parent manual has a master list of all the items.  Some of those needed items are marshmallows, dried beans, vinegar, baking soda, and wire gauze.

Experiment_SfHS

Thursday is a good day to discuss the questions and to complete the lab experiments.  My son really dislikes experiments no matter what curriculum we use.  He did complain about one experiment.  He felt the answers were too obvious.  I informed him it will not be the case later on in the course.

Friday is our day to take the quizzes.  Bridget suggests having the student take the quiz from the week prior.  This is to give the student a week to review the old material while completing the new material.

High School Chemistry in Your Home is a college-prep course.  It contains 2 final exams, one for each semester.  The first final contains 133 questions!  I have not informed my son of that yet.

I do have one concern about this chemistry course.  It contains 27 weeks of material.  I need 36 weeks-worth of lessons for my son to complete a year of chemistry.  I am unsure how to fill the gap.

Chemistry is meant for those students in the 11th or 12th grades.  The course requires a lot of math.  Depending on what math courses your child has taken will be a factor on when your child takes chemistry.  Bridget has written an article on the Order of the Sciences.  It may help you in deciding when you should teach chemistry.

You are welcome to look at the chemistry syllabus and sample pages on the Science for High School website before purchasing the product.  The current cost of the chemistry manuals and equipment is as follows:

  • Manual set (student and parent), lab assignments, quizzes, and final exams = $79.99
  • Chemical kit = $49.99
  • The total package (manual and chemical kit) = $120
  • Bunsen burner = $15.50 (on sale)
  • Glassware = $19.88
  • Molecular model kit = $19.99
  • 2 sets of flash cards = $5.99 each

This is not a cheap investment.  You can get by with using mason jars rather than the glassware set.  As well as, make your own set of flash cards.  I am unsure what you can do to replace the model kit unless you use Styrofoam balls.  We will probably go ahead and purchase some of the extras just for convenience and also because my daughter really likes chemistry and can use the equipment.

Teaching chemistry is intimidating.  Although, it does not seem as scary as it once did.

 

Blessings,

Angie McFarren, Homeschool Consultant

 

 

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This copyrighted article originated from Angie McFarren at H.O.P.E. Home School Consulting. © 2014 H.O.P.E. Home School Consulting Blog  All Rights Reserved.

Angie McFarren

Angie McFarren is a homeschool mom of 1 high school student and graduated another who is now attending college. She has homeschooled them since they were in K and Pre-K. Angie is passionate about homeschooling and enjoys Helping Other Parents Educate. She is a Homeschool Consultant and the author of Educate the Home Educator Crash Course. Angie is also on the See the Light Art Curriculum team.

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