When teaching homeschool chemistry, the first thing parents and students need to realize is that Chemistry isn’t relegated to a laboratory filled with test tubes and smoking beakers. Chemistry is everywhere.
Mention chemistry and most people think of a complicated science far too advanced for the non-PhD to grasp. On advanced levels, it is. However, if the basics of Chemistry are presented in a way that allows students to apply it to the their world, Chemistry becomes a much simpler, less scary study. Remember this when choosing a homeschool Chemistry curriculum. Be sure the curriculum starts with the basics in a way that the student understands and can apply. Look for a hands-on curriculum with simple terms and explanations.
In the elementary years, Chemistry shouldn’t be about complicated terms or labs. Chemistry should be about the building blocks of matter and how those building blocks react with one another – or don’t. You can enhance your study by looking for fun ways to explain everyday chemistry by checking out a good experiment book from the library.
Christian Kids Explore Chemistry is a good example of curriculum that brings chemistry to the student’s level. It begins its study of Chemistry by getting kids to realize how many chemicals are in the world around us and how these chemicals relate to daily life. Building on this foundation, the study of Chemistry becomes more personal.
Lesson 1 of Christian Kids Explore Chemistry has a great activity you can try at home. Find these common household products: a soft drink, cereal, a cleaning agent, and shampoo. Find the list of ingredients on each product. Write the ingredient list for each in a column chart. Do you know what each of the ingredients are? Can you pronounce all of them? Are they all natural or are they man-made? Which product has the longest list?
This simple activity illustrates how common products we use everyday are made by mixing sometimes complicated chemicals. It shows how we use the results of chemistry. Chemistry suddenly becomes real. It’s a great way to get kids thinking about chemistry all around them. Christian Kids Explore Chemistry goes on from there to build a good Chemistry foundation. Hands-on activities present atoms, elements, mixtures and compounds in a kid-friendly way.
Try Christian Kids Explore Science books from Bright Ideas Press. Choose from Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics and Biology. All are great curriculum that lay good science foundations.
Have your kids studied Chemistry yet? How did it go? What curriculum did you use?