Sunday, December 18, 2016

Our (new!) Homeschool Chemistry Plan

When I revamped our homeschool plans, one of my major goals was to create a more interesting chemistry curriculum for my tenth grader, Grace. She started the year using Discovering Design with Chemistry, which, really, I think is a perfectly good option. I read the first few chapters of this book myself and really liked the conversational style. Obviously this is not a secular choice, but even so, the religious references are few and far between, and we did not find it to be an issue. The issue was the amount of time chemistry was taking Grace - even working for an hour a day, she was not able to keep pace to finish the program in a year, and she found the material a bit dry and hard to follow. So, I tweaked her program.

Now she is using:

Chemistry Spines




Shorter chapters and tests have been making this a far more do-able option for Grace, and I feel like the basics are still covered. I plan to start working through this myself after the holidays, so I will hopefully be able to post a detailed review in a few months.

  • The Elements - an absolutely gorgeous book with a 2-page spread for each element 1-100, plus space for the other elements too. I love this one!


Living Books

I had Grace choose several "real" chemistry books to supplement with. Her choices:






 Labs

 Since I had purchased the lab kit for Discovering Design with Chemistry, and since Grace had already done several of the labs,  I decided to just have her work through the rest of those labs in order. They won't necessarily match up with her LOF reading, but we're okay with that.

Chemistry Routine

Here's how we do this. Grace is studying chemistry four-five days per week, for about an hour each day.

Day 1: Read 1-2 chapters of Life of Fred Chemistry. Take the test at the end of each chapter and write answers in notebook, then check them. 

Day 2: Read two elements from Elements, and watch a video on each (these videos are so much fun!) . Choose one of the elements and write one paragraph in notebook.

Day 3: Complete 1-2 experiments from Discovering Design with Chemistry. Do a short write-up in notebook, including what was used, procedure followed, and how it turned out. 

Day 4: Read from your alternate chemistry book; she began with How the Cookie Crumbles. Then she just tells me about what she read. If she finishes early on any of the previous days, she also spends time reading this book. 

And that's our new chemistry plan for the rest of the year!

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