Jump to content

Menu

Could someone compare Mr. Q Chem and Spectrum Chem?


Recommended Posts

I have been trying to decide between 2 chemistry programs for my high school boys (12th and 10th). I have eliminated Apologia at their request. I am now looking at Mr. Q and The Spectrum (Beginnings Publishing). Other than cost (Spectrum is significantly more expensive), how do the 2 compare? The Spectrum says that it is the equivalent of an Honors Chemistry course. I have heard that Mr. Q, while a good and suitable chemistry program, is certainly not Honors material. It might come down to a matter of finances for us. Mr. Q is cheap. And I already own Chemistry 101 DVD to use as a supplement. Any thoughts? Has anyone used either that can comment? My 12th grader is not STEM oriented while my 10th grader is much stronger in math/science. He doesn't know what he wants to do yet, but I would like to give him a strong math/science foundation should he decide on a STEM career. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know nothing about Mr. Q, but the price of Spectrum is based on having all of the lab materials and equipment, all measured and organized, and basically all the labs get done.  They are in fact a major part of the teaching of chemistry in Spectrum.  The other piece for me is the teacher book, which tells me lab answers and the main points of things being taught. 

 

Not saying that stressing labs is the only way to teach chemistry, but it's an important point of cost comparison. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used Mr. Q with my 7th grader and liked it quite a lot, but to be honest I'm not sure I'd be comfy using it for a high school student as their only chemistry ever (especially as the  labs are all kitchen labs).  I think it's fantastic for middle school or as an intro class.

 

I know nothing about Spectrum...

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you use the Intro Chem from Mr. Q with the 7th grader? Yes, I did see that all the labs were kitchen labs. I do like having all the materials on hand b/c as Julie said, the labs get done. ;). The price seems fair to me...just not sure we can swing it. My rising 12th grader used Year 1 of the Rainbow and he enjoyed it so I thought perhaps he would enjoy the Spectrum as well. What is the math like in Spectrum, Julie? I know that Mr. Q does cover scientific notation and other math necessary for Chemistry. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you use the Intro Chem from Mr. Q with the 7th grader? Yes, I did see that all the labs were kitchen labs. I do like having all the materials on hand b/c as Julie said, the labs get done. ;). The price seems fair to me...just not sure we can swing it. My rising 12th grader used Year 1 of the Rainbow and he enjoyed it so I thought perhaps he would enjoy the Spectrum as well. What is the math like in Spectrum, Julie? I know that Mr. Q does cover scientific notation and other math necessary for Chemistry. 

 

No, I used the Advanced Chem with the 7th grader.   

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 What is the math like in Spectrum, Julie?

 

There is serious math in Spectrum.  I don't feel knowledgeable enough to compare the math to traditional Chemistry textbooks, but math became a serious part of understanding Chemistry for my son during Spectrum.  His lab partner sometimes had a hard time with the math, so we used a few extras like Kahn and some helpful versions of the periodic table.  The company is great about answering questions, as well.  My son is mathy so it wasn't challenging until we got to the different +/- possibilities in balancing equations, but likes a math challenge.  He had more trouble with some of the vocabulary when different elements were combined.  He's not a word person, but that was a learning curve for me, as well. 

 

Julie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used Mr. Q with my 7th grader and liked it quite a lot, but to be honest I'm not sure I'd be comfy using it for a high school student as their only chemistry ever (especially as the  labs are all kitchen labs).  I think it's fantastic for middle school or as an intro class.

 

I know nothing about Spectrum...

 

Same here with Mr. Q.  Used it with a 7th grader.  We enjoyed it, but I would not be comfortable using it with a 10th/12th grader.  I don't even think that is the author's intent. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Mr. Q Advanced Chemistry says that it is for high school. Carrie Austin has even scheduled it in her new American History Guide (for 11th graders). I understand that the experiments are more kitchen type experiments. I'm understanding that Spectrum would be a bit more "rigorous"? I'm about ready to plop down the $300 since it will be for 2 kids (one who is not mathy at all and one who is) and one of them has potential to go into a STEM field. I'm not afraid of the math and feel confident that I can help them with it should it be necessary. I think having all the necessary equipment on hand will be a huge help in making sure the experiments get done. Thanks everyone. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. Q Advanced Chem could be used for a general ed high school student. I wouldn't use it for college prep except perhaps if the student were going to be dual-enrolled at CC later on in high school. I could see doing biology in 9th, Mr. Q Advanced Chem in 10th, and then CC general chemistry as a dual-enrolled 11th or 12th grader.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This the the comment that I gave for Spectrum Chemistry in the pinned chem thread:

 

"Comments: (From Dicentra) I'm not exactly sure where to put this curriculum - under Reg Chem or Honours Chem. It seems to cover some topics that a normal Reg Chem course usually doesn't (colligative properties is the one topic that jumped out at me), but I can't tell if these additional topics are covered from a mathematical standpoint or not. It also doesn't seem to cover rates but has chemical equilibrium as a "Special Topic in Chemistry" at the end (I would think that, without covering reaction rates in mathematical detail, then the equilibrium topic probably doesn't go into much detail either). All this to say - since I don't have the course in front of me, it's hard to say. smile.gif Please read down thread for some very valuable discussion and advice from some folks who have used this program with their students."

 

I don't know if that helps or makes it harder to decide. :)  I would definitely not call Mr. Q Adv Chem anything above Reg Chem, though.  If one of your dc might potentially go on into a STEM field, you could use Mr. Q as a first chem and then ramp up the difficulty with a second chem later in high school.  Even using Spectrum, you may want a second chem course (rigorous honours, AP Chem, etc.) for a student who wanted to go into STEM field.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even using Spectrum, you may want a second chem course (rigorous honours, AP Chem, etc.) for a student who wanted to go into STEM field.

 

I'm sure more chemistry will make college easier, more of everything is always better, but I always like to say that math is the place to put extra time in for future STEM students.  At least with engineering, more science doesn't seem to be needed to get into schools or to get good ACT scores.  It's the math that helps get into colleges, and it's the math causes dropping out, from what we have seen.

 

Julie

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...