Chemistry Lab Materials
Includes mass scale, red and blue litmus paper, Celsius thermometer, 6 test tubes, plastic funnel, alcohol burner with stand, 250 ml beaker, 100 ml beaker, watch glass, 2 dropper pipettes, stirring rod, 50 ml graduated cylinder, filter paper, test tube cleaning brush, 50 mL plastic graduated cylinder and safety goggles.
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Apologia Science courses are written from a Biblical worldview with the homeschool in mind. At the elementary level, courses follow a Charlotte Mason-inspired methodology, with lessons organized around narration, notebooking exercises and hands-on activities or projects. Children at different ages can use these together, learning at their own level. Each course is designed to be teacher-student interactive, so teacher involvement is fairly high at this level. At the junior high and high school levels, science courses are more traditional in nature, with the textbook written to the student. Teacher involvement time at this level is much less than at the elementary level. Textbooks contain student reading, lab instructions, "On Your Own" questions and Study Guide questions. A Solutions Manual provides the answers to these and the test questions. Lab kits are available separately for both the elementary and upper-level science courses which include most of the harder to find items you will need.
Written specifically for use in a homeschool environment, these biblically-centered courses take a lot of pressure off the parent teaching the course. Each course consists of a high-quality hardcover student text and a paperback solution manual. The student text includes all the student reading, instructions for labs, "On Your Own" exercises, and fifteen to twenty "Study Guide" questions at the end of each chapter. Unlike many upper-level science texts, we have found these to be extremely readable! The text has a conversational tone, and concepts are explained in an easy-to-understand way. Plenty of helpful diagrams and pictures are included which add interest and break up the text. Answers to the "On Your Own" exercises are also included with discussion at the end of each chapter. The labs are designed to be done easily, and most require only household items to complete; unlike high school courses, like Bob Jones which require investing in some lab equipment and chemicals to complete the labs. Where a microscope or dissecting materials are required, a reasonably-priced complete kit of materials is available, for ease in collecting the items.
The Solution Manual contains test questions for each chapter, answers to the test questions and solutions to the "Study Guide" questions. For some courses, a separate Perforated Tests booklet is available; please note that this is only necessary if you want an extra copy of the test questions.
The recently-published Student Notebooks are a user-friendly companion that provides space for answering the On Your Own and Study Guide questions as well as for developing Lab Reports. Study helps include graphic organizers and a Module Summary for each module (fill-in-the-blank). Digging Deeper sections provide opportunity for practical applications and writing activities. For the teacher there are grading rubrics for lab reports and suggested answers for some of the graphic organizers. The History of Science module includes a nicely done timeline. Grading rubrics for the lab reports are provided in the Appendix.
Most of the courses are available on Complete Course CD-ROMs. These 2-disc sets include all of the information found in the print version of the course along with additional multimedia animations, videos, narrations, and pronunciation guides. Tests can be viewed on-screen and printed out, but are not interactive. The teacher has access to password-protected answers which they can use for manual grading. Although the program does not require access to the internet, Internet Explorer is used as the interface.
Companion CD-ROMs are also available for each Apologia textbook. Not to be confused with the CD-ROM Complete Course, these CD-ROMs offer only the multimedia features that cannot be included in a print textbook. Features include videos of experiments, close-ups of a variety of organisms, identification of different components on 3-D models, and pronunciations of words with which students are probably unfamiliar. This one would be our preference, as our family finds it easier to read a book than to read for an extended period on the computer monitor. System requirements for all CD-ROMS: Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, and 10 (not supported for Mac operating systems).
MP3 Audio CDs are also available for most courses. The audio files are in MP3 format, and will require an MP3-compatible CD player to use (these can also be run on most computers). Tests, study guides, and answers are not included - this is simply an audio version of the text.
Apologia now offers updated Video Instruction DVDs for Biology, Chemistry, and Advanced Biology. These have been remade with Sherri Seligson as your host (switching from Rusty Hughes). Sherri is an author and scientist and she energetically takes you to interesting locations, incorporating animated diagrams (over 20 hours of instruction) to help students better understand the concepts being taught. The content is more of a summary of the textual information found in each section of the modules than a narration of the text. Students will either see Sherri Seligson on location or in a lab during the speaking portions or they will see animated illustrations and examples. Sherri takes students through each lab and talks about what needs to be done and the results of the experiments. There are no pdf files with this newer edition of the DVDs just video lessons and tutorials for the experiments in 4-disc sets.
General Science, Physical Science, and Physics are going out of print from the publisher. The stock we have remaining are the Rusty Hughes edition of the DVDs (while they last). The lecture instruction closely follows the text, with lectures broken down by text section. Presented in a slideshow fashion, students will see information or illustrations and hear Mr. Hughes as he explains that concept. At the appropriate time, Mr. Hughes will perform the experiments for each chapter, explain the procedure, work through the experiment, and offer a visual of the expected outcome so that students know how to do the experiment themselves. He also makes it very clear that the demonstrations are not to replace you doing the experiments. Module notes are available in PDF format at the beginning of each module and contain all math problems from the lectures. The student will print them and fill them out as they are discussed in the lecture. A suggestion for planning your lessons for a 10-day period is offered at the beginning of the first module.
To use these DVDs, you must have a DVD drive on your computer (PC or MAC) capable of playing mp4 files; these are not compatible with a DVD player.
Overall, homeschooled students tend to do at least as well in high school as their public school counterparts. However, high school chemistry is a subject that can be difficult in a homeschool environment. First, many parents feel less able to teach chemistry than other subjects. Special (and sometimes expensive) lab equipment is often needed, and experiments with strong acids or bases can be hazardous.
Enter Exploring Creation With Chemistry, written by Dr. Jay L. Wile. Dr. Wile is a former university professor who has written the Exploring Creation with ... series for the homeschool environment. His course addresses the main problems listed above. First, he assumes no prior knowledge of chemistry and explains concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. The entire set of recommended lab equipment (not included) sells for $55.00; he even tells you what substitutions of common household items you can make that will still work, which could bring equipment cost to less than $15.00! Finally, no special chemicals are required beyond what would normally be found around the house. And it's written from a Christian perspective.
So, it's easy to understand, written from a Christian perspective, requires little lab equipment and no special chemicals. But does it teach chemistry? At our house, we have used the Basic Chemistry for Christian Schools course from Bob Jones University Press. Linda and I claim no particular gift when it comes to science teaching, but we have been able to get through the book with Jessica and Megan, and both did fairly well on the "Science Reasoning" part of the ACT test. So let's see how the courses compare.
Coverage of Topics. Laying the books side by side, Exploring Creation With Chemistry covers the same topics in 16 chapters (two weeks per chapter) as the BJUP course, with the exception of the last three chapters in BCfCS (Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Nuclear Chemistry), which are often not covered anyway. Algebra 1 is a prerequisite for both. ECWC is designed to be used every day for about 45 to 60 minutes per day.
Visual Appeal. ECWC is not quite as visually appealing although it is full-color, with simple line drawings, diagrams and photos. BCfCS uses a combination of drawings, insets and photographs, both color and black-and-white, and has a more professional look.
Ease of Understanding. ECWC gets the nod here. When explaining stoichiometry, for instance, the book includes a simple experiment to explain what it is and how it works. Most of the text gives you the feeling that Dr. Wile is right there, telling you all about some interesting facet of chemistry.
Expense of Lab Equipment. ECWC is a clear winner here. As mentioned previously, special lab equipment is kept to a minimum. For instance, when heat is required for an experiment, the kitchen stove can be used; otherwise, you can purchase an alcohol burner with stand as part of the lab equipment. Lab equipment is offered below. The BJUP course assumes a school setting with a science lab, so you occasionally need to alter the labs for the equipment you have available. To purchase the equipment called for in the experiments can be pricey, and sometimes a particular piece of equipment can be hard to find.
Ease of Labs. Again, ECWC is the winner. Supplies needed for the labs are commonly found around the house anyway, so the expense is virtually nil. Items like cooking oil, baking soda, vinegar, window cleaner, cleanser, and drain opener are used. (An additional advantage to this approach is that the student more readily identifies the properties of commonly used items, and can more easily apply his knowledge to real world situations.) Labs are described in the student text. BCfCS requires the purchase of supplies like hydrochloric acid and various other specialty items. Labs are contained in the lab manuals (teacher and student).
Review and Testing. In ECWC, "On Your Own" practice problems are sprinkled throughout each chapter, with solutions and explanations at the end of the chapter. Approximately 10 review questions and 10 practice problems are listed at the end of each chapter. Answers for these are included in Solutions and Tests For Exploring Creation With Chemistry. Also included in this book are chapter tests (about 15 questions each) and answers to the tests. In the BCfCS course, 15 to 20 review questions are given at the end of each chapter, with answers in the Solution Manual. Chapter tests are much more extensive, with 50 to 100 questions per chapter. Please note that the Solutions Manual also includes the perforated tests listed below.
Cost. The two-book set for ECWC is $75. For BCfCS, all components, including the Testbank, would be approx. $120. Adding in the difference for lab equipment and supplies would mean an even larger difference.
All in all, Exploring Creation With Chemistry is a solid high school chemistry course that should be easy to implement in a homeschool setting.
Items listed in this section tend to be complete science programs with a teacher and student component, requiring few supplements besides science supplies.
over 3 years ago
over 3 years ago
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