Bridget Ardoin's High School Chemistry in Your Home is very different from the classes we've done before, but it is much more a picture of what I want learning to look like in my home. I was discouraged when I first realized that the large book that came with the set was a Teacher's Manual. I'm used to handing my student a book and them working through it independently. This teacher's manual requires me to participate and that was not what I was expecting. However, it is what I want and what our school day needs.
Students do work through the material independently, but they sit down with mom each week to go over what they've learned. Throughout each week, students take a list of questions and research and work to find the answers through study and research. At the end of the week, they sit down with their answers beside mom (with the teacher's manual) and go over the answers together. There is no textbook. Students are not "taught" the material, they learn the material through careful research using the library and the internet. This method allows the student to truly own what they are learning.
After the week of research and discussion, there is a lab assignment and a quiz for each lesson. The Teacher's Guide recommends assigning the lab the same day as discussions and the quiz a week later, before discussions, so that students can become accustomed to studying for a quiz while completing other assignments at the same time. Honestly, I found that part a bit confusing and prefer to quiz at the end of each chapter.
The material is broken into two semesters, with 13 weeks of lessons in the first semester and 14 weeks of lessons in the second semester. There are two semester finals included with the exams packet.
This is a challenging program that completely meets high school requirements for Chemistry and fully prepares high school students for chemistry in college. It does NOT require any parental knowledge of chemistry, but parents can't help but learn a bit along the way.
The labs are very thorough and certainly count for a lab course, as required by most colleges. It does require the purchase of some extra equipment that isn't usually found around the house. These include test tubes, graduated cylinders, chloride salts and various other ingredients, and a Bunsen burner. Science for High School has these available for purchase on their website.
High School Chemistry in Your Home is purchased as a book kit. For $79.99, you receive:
- A spiral-bound parent book which includes both answers and explanations! Beautiful!
- A Pre-hole punched Student manual
- Quizzes and exams
For more thoughts on this unique, natural science course, be sure to check out other reviews from the crew by clicking the image below: