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OhElizabeth, questions about GA PBS chemistry

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I'm becoming more and more interested in this curriculum. If you don't mind, could you answer a few questions?


What does a typical weekly schedule look like? Are there any textbooks or other books required? Are the lab supplies pretty easy to come by and not too expensive? Do you add anything to the program? What comes with the teacher materials? Is it all on disc?


How teacher intensive is it? It looks like you need to sit and watch with your student to pause and do labs and such. Is that necessary?


Thanks for sharing this curriculum with us. It looks like a great fit for us.

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Rats, I just lost my whole response!  We do exactly what is in the videos.  I downloaded and printed the text files.  I have extra labs and supplemental reading (living books and some collections of essays).  No text.  They include some labs in the videos I think, but I have my own set I plan to get to later, when we finish the videos.  


The videos are deceptively short, so by the time she pauses to fill in stuff or follow their instructions, rewind for comprehension, etc. they take a while.  We shoot for 2 video lessons a week and reading the other two days.  In our dream world labs would have been done on Fridays, but they'll have to wait till May when some other stuff is done and eliminated to make room in our schedule.


We like it enough we're continuing on with their physics.  I'm not saying it's something stellar or whatever, but the price was great and it's ENGAGING.  My dd learns diddly if it's not engaging, and she engages with this.  She wants work she can sit down and DO, and this is.  


I made log forms for the supplemental reading and a chart/checklist for the classes.  Do some administrative tidy work for yourself like that obviously.

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I was very happy to find this here. My own science education was lousy and I was absolutely lost with chemistry. I sat at the table with my boys and learned along with them. We did pause quite a bit to discuss, work problems together/ check them against each other/ work on the whiteboard/ etc. We also searched out youtube videos together to further explain some concepts - Bozeman Science and Tyler deWitt (I'm pretty sure that name is correct) were particularly helpful. I had Apologia Chemistry from an older child (his science was outsourced, I had nothing to do with it), so we used labs from that book. We've now started the Physics, I also have that Apologia book to use for labs. I was ridiculously pleased with myself when I was able to work the stoichiometry problems.

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Here is my list of living books for Chemistry and Physics. I have not personally read any of these yet, but am going by reviews. We won't read all of them. I'll probably make many available throughout the year and let my son pick which he prefers. I don't have authors listed, but they should all be easy to find on Amazon.



The Chemical History of a Candle

The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Uncle Tungsten

Periodic Tales

The Joy of Chemistry

The Disappearing Spoon

Napoleon's Buttons

The Periodic Kingdom

The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry

The Prisoner's Handbook

The Elements of Murder

Molecules of Murder

Exploring the World of Chemistry (Tiner)

Elements of Faith

The Photographic Card Deck of the Elements



The Time and Space of Uncle Albert and the entire Uncle Albert Series

Thirty Years that Shook Physics

How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

Football Physics

The Physics of Superheroes

The Wizard of Quarks

Alice in Quantumland

Physics of the Impossible

The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics

For the Love of Physics

Six Easy Pieces

Six Not So Easy Pieces

The Magna Guide to Physics

The Cartoon Guide to Physics

Exploring the World of Physics (Tiner)

Backyard Ballistics

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Yup, your book list is pretty similar to mine, though my physics list isn't filled out yet.  I'll definitely be looking up the books on yours!   :)


I think she sometimes needs two days to complete a lecture.  I try never to assign more than 2 lectures a week, because they are a challenge for her.  Once the work for the week is on the list, I don't get picky about what day she does it.  It just has to be done.  


Well good, I'm glad it's coming together for you, and I like the idea of pulling labs from the Apologia text, good suggestion!  We like the GA PBS chem enough, we're planning to continue right on into the physics this coming year.  It has made science a success and do-able for us this year.  

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Elizabeth, do you remember how much the teacher materials were and did you have any problems getting it?

I didn't get them.  I'm a total hack.   :lol:   No, I just remember enough from chemistry that it doesn't bug me to wing it. What we're doing is enough to me, maybe not to somebody else. :)  When I emailed them, I think the deal was buy one of the dvds and they'd send you the tm file.  So for $30 you get all that, which seems like a good deal.  Some states block you from using their pbs stuff, so just the fact that we can access it at all is generous.

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You can contact GPB directly to ask ... when I was using these materials I had to purchase one DVD from Amazon, send in my receipt, and they sent me the teacher DVD for free. Totally worth every penny, IMO.


Exactly.  I did this just before Christmas when I realized that the chemistry I had planned for this year was bombing badly.  The woman I talked to at GPB was very nice and extremely efficient.  I actually received the teacher's DVD fairly quickly, if I remember correctly.


I like having the teacher's DVD.  Everything is all right there and it makes it easy to just print off what I need or to be able to look up an answer (especially to the math problems).


I supplement with the CK-12 free online textbook quite a bit.  I also like some of the Crash Course videos and the Kahn Academy videos if we have a bit of trouble with anything.


I have a used teacher's edition of "World of Chemistry" that helps me with the math.


(My all time favorite "cheat help" is Barron's Painless Chemistry.  Love this book for explaining concepts on a level that makes it more manageable.  Sometimes, videos just are not enough and textbooks have to make it so formal and academic that the "easy" definition or explanation is lost in the translation.)


We are doing a few fun labs here and there from a Thames and Kosmos Chem C3000 set we have.  The bulk of the labs will be done in an intensive couple of weeks after we end school toward the end of May with a kit from The Home Scientist.  We will be focusing on writing lab reports at that time.

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  • 3 months later...

For those of you who have used Apologia in the past, why did you change to this program?


Did it do as good a job as Apologia?

I was sold on Apologia since we've used them for years, but was then introduced to Conceptual Chemistry, which looks amazing since the video tutorials are free and easy to watch.  But then I found GA PBS and I like, no I LOVE, the note taking guides for this!


So, now I'm in a conundrum and only have a few weeks to decide.  lol


Apologia vs. conceptual chemistry vs. GA PBS Chemistry  

Apologia comes with awesome labs

Conceptual Chemistry comes with labs and free videos (and some labs that we have already completed in previous Apologia courses - hmm)

GA PBS comes with free videos and great note guides (and some labs, but no textbook)


I'm afraid that if I went with GA PBS I would be adding more work for myself by looking for and finding extra reading and videos and then lining them up with what we are studying in chemistry.


Help?   :coolgleamA: :crying:

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