So many parents are terrified to teach high school at home. Start talking about difficult subjects, like Chemistry, and faces turn white! As homeschool moms, we aren’t supposed to know everything, just know how to get the information our kids need! We are so blessed with so many resources today, there is no reason to not find what you need to successfully teach high school. Chemistry is no exception!
I have two high schoolers, and for the most part they have been able to do subjects together. They have always done their science together and this has been a blessing when experiments and equipment was involved. Two years ago they worked through Biology together and had the opportunity to attend a dissection class. I bought one dissection kit and had a teacher to do all the dirty work! This last year they covered Chemistry together.
I bought a big Chemistry textbook with a workbook for each student. We started early because I knew it was going to be a challenging subject and because I knew we were moving in the near future. It was a failed attempt … an expensive failed attempt. They dragged their feet through the first section, full of equations to memorize, only to be pushed aside as soon as packing began. In a desperate search for something more portable and interesting, I came across Theodore Gray. I was immediately drawn to the amazing photography in Molecules and Reactions and figured it would be a great read while traveling.
It was a great success! Even the dog paid attention. But seriously, it was quite entertaining and filled our thoughts with chemistry even in the midst of traveling. The application helps the retention of any subject and these books did not disappoint.
Once we were settled again and Chemistry needed to be completed, I was able to take advantage of my Schoolhouse Teachers membership and use Friendly Chemistry. The heavy textbook remained on the bookshelf, unused. I was grateful for this option as we could learn Chemistry in a fun environment, without the college level stress. Neither of my kiddos want to be science majors, so I didn’t see the heavy course necessary, yet wanted them to grasp basic Chemistry. I feel the combination of Theodore Gray’s books, Friendly Chemistry course and real life application was a well rounded year in science.
The Theodore Gray books help the reader find chemistry is every day life, making it relevant. My kids were also able to see science in the kitchen, as that is the most realistic application I could think of. I found What Einstein Told his Cook to be a fun read when talking food and science. Not only did we cook, but we made soap this year too!
Games are always a fun addition to any curriculum. Friendly Chemistry offered a Bingo and Doo-Wop game that helped cement the information in their minds. I also pulled up a Periodic Table of the Elements Battleship game that kept them occupied. And I found these totally awesome blocks and this cool periodic round table for playing with the elements! Chemistry really doesn’t have to be boring.