Christian Kids Explore Chemistry
Chemistry. There, I said it. Are you trembling in fear? Are you haunted by memories of over-sized safety goggles, Bunsen burners, and strange equations that made no sense? Christian Kids Explore Chemistry to the rescue, for your kids and for you! This curriculum, designed for fourth through eighth graders, presents basic concepts in chemistry (including – gasp! – organic chemistry) in a clear, straight-forward, easy-to-understand manner.
Christian Kids Explore Chemistry is divided into thirty lessons, each one designed to take two teaching sessions during your academic week. The first part of the lesson contains mostly a study of information related to chemistry, including concepts, vocabulary, and learning the elements from the periodic table. The second section of each lesson contains a “hands-on” activity. This activity is either an experiment or a discovery activity involving principles of chemistry. A resource CD provides easy access to reproducible student workbook pages, coloring pages, lesson plans, and a host of other resources to make implementing this course as easy as possible for the science-challenged homeschool mom.
Overall, I find Christian Kids Explore Chemistry to be a fairly adequate introductory chemistry course.
- The text is written clearly, with terms explained in language that is not intimidating.
- Experiments are simple, yet demonstrate the principle discussed in the chapter.
- Lesson plans are thorough and easy to teach.
- The section on organic chemistry is unique to find at this age-level in a homeschool science text, and is quite well-done.
- Like most homeschool science courses, the experiments use items you have in your home.
Some aspects in Christian Kids Explore Chemistry that prove to be negative for my family are as follows:
- “Review It” sections are simply fill-in-the-blank sentences, for which my daughter could easily find answers by skimming and copying the text.
- For our science-enjoying family, there were simply not enough experiments (eleven for the entire course).
- Most discouraging, the scientific method was not presented or discussed in the text.
If you are a mom who knows the ropes of science and is looking for a solid chemistry course, I believe you have better options available. The absence of instruction on the scientific method is particularly troubling for me, especially if seventh and eighth graders are using this as their main science text. As I teach science, I prefer to use a course that engages kids in DOING science and THINKING scientifically. Christian Kids Explore Chemistry would do well to add instruction in the scientific method, especially for students approaching high school.
If you are a panicked homeschool mom who struggles with including science in your school week, Christian Kids Explore Chemistry will be a welcome resource. The lessons are short and not overwhelming. Your kids will learn a fair amount of vocabulary, do some easy experiments (vinegar and baking soda, anyone?), and have a successful year. If you are the parent of a fourth through sixth grader, this may be a good course to consider.
If the thought of teaching science still fills you with fear, read this blog post to discover how one science-challenged mom learned to love science.
Last Updated: June 17, 2013
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resource CD $12.95
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