We plan to homeschool our kids through high school (though I know that plans can change). One thing that intimidates me is teaching high school math and science, especially since some of our kids are like me, not particularly strong in math or science.
When the chance came to review Chemistry 101, I wasn’t sure because chemistry is not my strong suit. Turns out that is a perfect reason to use Chemistry 101. The 101 Series is a gentle, interesting introduction to high school sciences.
About Chemistry 101
Chemistry 101 is meant to be a full high school course and has 3 components:
There are four DVDs, which contain 10 hours, 55 minutes of material and cover the following topics:
- Introduction & The Last Alchemist
- Birth of Modern Chemistry
- The Bold Russian
- Lots of Mystery Rays
- The Likeable Rutherford
- The Periodic Table at Last!
- The Periodic Table – Main Group
- The Periodic Table – Quantum Mechanics
- Neutrons, Isotopes, and Ions
- Compounds and Molecules Part 1
- Compounds and Molecules Part 2
- Balancing Equations
- Essential Wrap-up
- The Four Main Columns
- Non-Metals and Poor Metals
- Transition Metals
- Rare Earth & Radioactive Metals
- The Future of Chemistry Part 1
- The Future of Chemistry Part 2
Each segment runs 20 to 45 minutes.
In addition to the DVD, the course contains an accreditation guide which includes a complete schedule for the course. There is also a list of the supplies needed for each experiment, which busy students and parents alike can appreciate.
Finally, there is a guidebook that is 128 pages long and contains quizzes, discussion questions and highlights from the videos. The quizzes are multiple choice and typically contain 10 questions. Answers are conveniently located at the back of the guidebook.
Links to both the Accreditation Guide and the Guidebook are conveniently located at the end of the last DVD.
This program can be used as a supplement for students taking chemistry (it is recommended for students 15 years and older), as a “lite” chemistry for non-science majors, or as a review for parents.
How I Used This Course
I don’t have kids in high school yet, so I used this course myself. Chemistry was a course I tackled just once when I attended a community college, and it was so difficult for me that I ended up dropping the course. I just didn’t have the math and science background that I needed to excel. The nice feature of this course is that it does not require a high level of math, so it’s a great way for someone like me to be exposed to chemistry without being bogged down by the math.
I enjoyed learning about chemistry, especially things I know but didn’t really think of how they were discovered like J.J. Thompson discovering the first subatomic particles–electrons. I also learned how x-rays were discovered! When I took chemistry in college, it was seriously boring, but this Chemistry 101 presented the information in such an interesting way, I found myself actually wanting to learn more.
There are approximately 20 experiments included in the course. One I thought looked particularly interesting was examining shear thickening fluids. (Cornstarch and water are used to illustrate the principle that some fluids can behave like solids when under stress.)
If your child wants to pursue a science career, this is probably not the course for him. However, if he wants to be, say a music major, this course would be perfect for his high school chemistry. This is also an excellent course to use as a supplement to your current chemistry curriculum or for parents to use as a refresher course for themselves.