Saturday, January 9, 2016

Teaching Homeschool Chemistry

We are tackling the intimidating subject of chemistry with lots of success.

As I see it, there are two main issues when it comes to teaching chemistry. One is finding the necessary resources, and the second is tackling the material.As we are a secular homeschool family, finding resources for teaching science throughout the years has been a bit of a challenge. For the most part, we have used a variety of science based story books available at libraries, on-line and through Amazon. It has worked well.

Following the living book approach for chemistry, we are reading the Mystery of the Periodic Table, but that book alone is just not enough. After all, we are covering material at a high level. In addition to understanding the history of chemistry, it is necessary to do lab work and problems associated with chemistry to really understand the subject.

When it comes to highschool level science classes, many homeschool parents begin to doubt their teaching abilities. Fortunately, there are kits and resources available. For lab work we purchased the CK01A Chemistry Laboratory Kit from The Home Scientist, LLC. The kit is wonderful. It comes with just about everything required: tons of small bottles of chemicals, beakers, testubes and goggles. Also included is a lab manual of highschool level experiments.



The trick for us was finding a text book. After looking at popular homeschool chemistry curriculum, I began to wonder what Michigan Technological University, uses for chemistry.... It turns out they use a text called Chemistry by Raymond Chang, the tenth edition. Well the book sells for over $200 on Amazon. After thinking a little more, I decided to check out earlier additions of the same book. After all, how much do you think chemistry has changed in the past few years? Well the eighth edition only cost about $1 plus shipping. Perfect!



Chemistry by Raymond Chang is an extensive college-level chemistry textbook. It covers at least two full semesters of chemistry and begins covering organic chemistry at the end of the book. We are covering one chapter every week or two and doing lab experiments each week. It is intense, but now that my daughter is older, she can work quite independently. I'm currently trying to keep up with her weekly chemistry reading in order to help answer questions. So far it's working well.

At the end of the year, or when we are through the book and labs, she will take the chemistry CLEP exam. I'll do an update post then to let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

  1. That kit looks fantastic, Julie. Thank you so much for sharing your finds.

    ReplyDelete

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