I loved chemistry in high school. I may be weird, but I liked balancing equations and figuring out just how to mix things just right. However, as I got closer to high school I started worrying about teaching high school chemistry. I like the subject, but I don’t KNOW the subject, enter Apologia Chemistry. That’s what I’m using for my high school science lessons, and it has just the amount of support I need to teach high school chemistry.
(This post is sponsored, but total honesty, if you read my 10th-grade curriculum choices, you would know I was already planning Apologia Chemistry for this year, there are affiliate links in here)
Why Apologia Chemistry?
Have you ever heard the phrase gold standard?
The idea is your currency is backed by something that is tangible, and you can trust it. In many ways, Apologia science curriculum is the gold standard. I used it for all of elementary science (Anatomy, Flying Creatures, Land Animals, Swimming Creatures, and Astronomy).
I took a short break from Apologia science in middle school because I was a bit burned out, and it’s a break I sometimes regret because their homeschool science curriculum is some of the best stuff.
What do you want in a high school chemistry curriculum?
One thing I love about Apologia science curriculum, you can choose how much support you want.
I tend to be a minimalist. I buy the textbook and the tests. This is what I did last year for Biology. My kids did great with this once they settled into the groove of how to complete a science module (more on that in a moment when I talk about how we’ll be scheduling our high school chemistry).
The next step up is purchasing the textbook, tests book, and notebook. One of my best homeschool friends uses this method. She buys the notebooks for each of her kids and swears by this method because ALL OF THEIR MATERIALS ARE IN THE SAME PLACE. That right there is a huge benefit.
If your student needs a bit more support, like maybe they have dyslexia, but they’ll understand if they hear it read out loud, or maybe they’d like some video lectures, then you should look at the Apologia Chemistry Superset. Early on when the kids were working on Biology after their first disastrous science module, we really could have used the videos to explain the material better.
Finally, if you need a hands-off version of high school science, there is an online Apologia Chemistry version with grading you can get. One of the moms in my homeschool co-op works full time, and this is the option she takes and she says it is worth every penny.
How we are using Apologia Chemistry
I learned a lot from our Apologia Biology last year as a freshman. Here are our big takeaways:
- Three high schoolers all using the same textbook means they need to communicate and schedule well
- You cannot complete it all the day before the test (actually that is more something they learned)
- Completing the On Your Own as you read helps tremendously with doing well on tests.
- The study guides are necessary to get a good grade on the test.
- We complete labs on a quarterly basis because we do not do well at scheduling them into the weekly schedule.
Side note, I originally planned to have my kids do the High School Science Lab with College Prep Science.
I don’t know if that will be viable with COVID this year. They’ve got virtual labs now! I’ll have to think about that one.
Our High School Chemistry schedule for the month
I tend to go through the suggested schedule for their chemistry, and then decide how to make it work for us.
At the beginning of each month I give my kids a monthly notebook with their entire schedule for that month, it has days we won’t be home, and it also includes what they are expected to complete for that month.
We usually plan to complete two modules a month, and some months we will start on a module and then finish it the next month. Our schoolyear started in July (mainly because of Chemistry and our government class), and so I plan to take a week off at the end of September and catch up on all of the labs for the modules we’ve completed.
My kids talk through who is completing Chemistry at what time on the different days, so they don’t all try and schedule it for the same time (and yes that has happened, and that does mean they were fighting it out, with me as moderator).
They submit their completed work online in Google Classroom. Since Chemistry has balancing equations, they sometimes will submit their work as a paper copy.
If they want some extra support, they’ll grab the videos and watch the videos.
I’ll also add, after Module 1 I had to go in and how answers for chemistry are different from the answers for biology. You have to give much more precise answers in chemistry because if your measurements are off by a few milliliters then your mixture could go boom.
I got a lot of eye-rolling when I said that.
It didn’t stop me from being amused.
I encouraged them to go in and watch the videos, which they all agreed would be a good idea. I watched a few random videos, and she does a good job of explaining them and demonstrating just how the ideas work.