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We used DIVE Chemistry along with both the Apologia Chemistry texts last year for Honors Chem. Ds enjoyed it so much that he is doing AP Chem through PA Homeschoolers this year. HE feels very well prepared for AP and still references the DIVE lectures when he needs to. We did many of the labs at home, but all the labs are on video on the cd, so you can "do" some of the labs along with him if you choose to.

Hope this helps!

Blessings,

April

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We're using DIVE Chem and Oak Meadow Chem and LOVE it. Thinkwell is in my sign line, but dd didn't like the lecture style and switched after one day (nothing negative about Thinkwell~she's just picky).

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REALLY enjoying Conceptual Chemistry with younger DS this year -- last year older DS did Apologia Chemistry. Oog. I have really tried, but just don't care for Apologia -- though the Chemistry was a bit better than the Biology (double oog!). We are using a c. 2005 version (2nd edition) of Conceptual Chemistry, and while the online support material matches up with the 3rd and 4th editions, we're not having any problems finding what we need online to make it work with our older (and much cheaper!) 2nd edition.

 

Below are my pros and cons for each. BEST of luck finding the Chemistry that works for YOUR family! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

Conceptual Chemistry Pros

- great choice for students NOT interested in science/math careers

- emphasis on concepts, processes, hands-on, with little math or chemical equations

- an easy, understandable, friendly read

- plenty of visual items on a page to help break text into a visually friendly layout

- lots of charts/graphs and illustrations

- new terms boldfaced makes them pretty easy to find

- 1-2 questions at the end of each section help access understanding and apply concepts learned

- free online short video lessons for every chapter

- all experiments in the book are short, easy, use items you really have, and WORK

- pretty easy to match up TOPS units and the Microchem Kit experiments to go with specific chapter sections

- meaty end of chapter section both "beefs up" this course; the review and matching sections can be used as quizzes/tests, while the problem-solving questions at end of chapter make a good "going deeper" option

 

 

Conceptual Chemistry Cons

- probably not enough math/chemical equations for a standard high school chemistry course

 

 

 

Apologia Chemistry Pros

- new terms in boldface or indented, so easy to find

- reviews at the ends of the chapters a helpful tool for studying for the test

- "on your own" questions at end of each section help access understanding and apply concepts learned

- optional additional computer CD of short videos and visuals available for added learning

 

Apologia Chemistry Cons

- layout (type goes from margin to margin across too wide of a page)

- not visually friendly (not enough photos, illustrations, graphs/charts sidebars and visual elements)

- writing style too chatty, repetitive, and abstract

- not enough experiments

- a number of experiments required special trips to special stores

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I agree, Lori. I do not care for Apologia high school materials. I like their elementary. I really like their General and Physical. But, I do not like their Biology at all and their chemistry is not grabbing me...... But, BJU just seems overwhelming

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We went with Spectrum Chemistry this yr for our 9th grader. We have used 3 other chemistry courses and when Spectrum first arrived, I thought I had made a mistake. The "textbook" is 1/3 of the size of Prentice Hall. This is a kid that is way ahead in math and science. I was concerned that Spectrum might not be comprehensive enough.

 

However, we just finished week 7 of school and my dh, a chemE, is more impressed with Spectrum than any of the other chemistry courses we have used. The heart of Spectrum is the lab manual and labs. The lab manual is actually thicker than the textbook. The experiments are fabulous. The results have been completely accurate (wish I could say the same about the micro chem lab set I bought for dd last yr from Home Science Tools).

 

So......Spectrum will live on to see future kidlets here using it. :)

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We took the plunge and had our 15 yr old take Chem at the local Community College. It is a TOUGH course. He's always been an easy A student at whatever I throw at him (lol...maybe not writing) but right now I think he has a B in the class. I guess that's not bad considering he's never had chem, it *is* a UC level course and he's only 15.

 

I asked him if he'd rather do Apologia (he did Bio last year) with a local co-op....nope. He likes the class and feels like he's up to the challenge.

 

Just another option. I didn't want to have to do the labs at home!

 

Janine

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We attend a once weekly 3 hour class (well my son does! :))...we use AMSCO for our text and Abeka for our lab manual....it's a very thorough program and I believe you can buy the teacher's manual if you want to teach it on your own...I was a Chemistry major and what he's learning in 6 months (condensed course) I probably did not learn in AP Chemistry/Honors Chem in college...not sure about other programs, this is all we've used.

 

Tara

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We're giving Thinkwell a try. My 15 yr old understands most of it. Now and then I do have to explain some things. I haven't yet found any practice problems (I've been busy), and the quizzes have some odd mistakes that might be really confusing, but the lectures have been ok. I'd suggest supplementing with some problems if you go with Thinkwell -- but when my daughter is working on the problems (out of another chemistry book) she really needs a lot of help. We've got a solutions manual which is helpful, although even then she doesn't completely understand the way they're doing things, even when she gets the same answer.

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However, we just finished week 7 of school and my dh, a chemE, is more impressed with Spectrum than any of the other chemistry courses we have used. The heart of Spectrum is the lab manual and labs. The lab manual is actually thicker than the textbook. The experiments are fabulous. The results have been completely accurate (wish I could say the same about the micro chem lab set I bought for dd last yr from Home Science Tools).

 

So......Spectrum will live on to see future kidlets here using it. :)

 

:iagree:

I bought Spectrum Chem for my 9th grader after having used Apologia Chem with an older child. We're 3 weeks into the course, and my son is loving it. The text gets right to the point, and the labs are fantastic and much more sophisticated than those in Apologia's Chem.

 

Hope you find something that works for you!

Brenda

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QUESTION for you 8FillTheHeart:

Is this the Spectrum Chemistry from the same people who do the Rainbow Science for middle school? If so, now I'm really kicking myself -- I only passed on Spectrum in favor of Conceptual Chemistry because all the reviews here at WTM kept saying Spectrum was not a high school level course!!

 

 

ASIDE:

Don't get me wrong -- we're enjoying Conceptual Chemistry, but it would have been nice to have everything all in one place for ME -- I've had to do a lot of work to get equipment and items for labs and then figure out how to match up all the Microchem experiments and the TOPS units with the Conceptual Chemistry text. And a Christian option would have been nice, too.

 

Like you, 8FillThe Heart, we've done 4 of the Microchem experiments so far. VERY underwhelmed with the kit. One experiment we just couldn't do (counting drops of water out of a pipette -- we each tried multiple times, but somewhere along about 50 drops, we would have one spastic moment and the water would gush out -- so we could never even complete the first step of the task!), and another was all about graphing results and was extremely unclear about what you're doing and WHY -- what was the point of doing a graph and then re-doing it by inverting it?? It was apparently supposed to show the validity of data, but the booklet never explains HOW that works!

 

The TOPS units are overall working better as additional labs to what is in the Conceptual Chemistry text. BEST of all are the little hands-on experiments in the textbook -- they ALL work, are VERY simple and clear, and really do use items around the house!

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Apologia with the Virtual Homeschool Group (we didn't get in the class, but are accessing all of the lectures and stuff). I LOVE it, and ds is doing very well with it.

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QUESTION for you 8FillTheHeart:

Is this the Spectrum Chemistry from the same people who do the Rainbow Science for middle school? If so, now I'm really kicking myself -- I only passed on Spectrum in favor of Conceptual Chemistry because all the reviews here at WTM kept saying Spectrum was not a high school level course!!

 

Lori, did you see Kathy in Richmond's posts about Spectrum? She's been the most enthusiastic supporter of Spectrum here on these boards :001_smile:

Like two PPs, we just started Spectrum and love love love it. My son is also reading along in the Holt book (long story), and *much* prefers the format (no fluff) and explanations in the (lean) Spectrum book. (Yes, it's slight, but very dense. And has humor. And a Christian worldview -- just a few passing comments, but it's nice. And I trusted Kathy's opinion and results.) If you look at this and this and here, you'll see Kathy talking about using Spectrum as a high-school program. (I too was worried I might get a different, weaker program also called Spectrum, so I made sure I was on the same page!)

 

HTH!

~Laura

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Lori, did you see Kathy in Richmond's posts about Spectrum? She's been the most enthusiastic supporter of Spectrum here on these boards :001_smile:

Like two PPs, we just started Spectrum and love love love it. My son is also reading along in the Holt book (long story), and *much* prefers the format (no fluff) and explanations in the (lean) Spectrum book. (Yes, it's slight, but very dense. And has humor. And a Christian worldview -- just a few passing comments, but it's nice. And I trusted Kathy's opinion and results.) If you look at this and this and here, you'll see Kathy talking about using Spectrum as a high-school program. (I too was worried I might get a different, weaker program also called Spectrum, so I made sure I was on the same page!)

 

HTH!

~Laura

 

Well, Kathy is the one that sold me on Spectrum as well. ;) I'm so glad. PH is fine, but it is a lot of reading and the ds taking chem this yr is a slow reader. B/c he is using Spectrum, it has enabled him to take astronomy in addition to chem.

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We, also, are using Spectrum Chemistry, after having purchased Apologia and re-selling it (just found it too cumbersome and kludgy).

 

Spectrum has a great textbook--to the point! and a fantastic lab to accompany it. It runs almost $300 new but you can re-sell it for a good price when you are done.

 

I highly recommend it.

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It's good to hear that other people are enjoying Spectrum...we will be starting it in a week or two, right after we finish with Bridge Math. I am so glad that we're spending the first 3 weeks of school doing that instead of just jumping in to the chemistry.

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