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I'm about to make a decision on Chemistry...

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and I'm nervous. So I came here to think out loud and maybe get some helpful comments!! This is quite long and I appreciate your helping me out!


(Our other plans are - Pre-Calc with myhomeschoolmathclass. Senior Thesis with Memoria. Govt/Eco, Lit and comp, Music History/Theory, Business Math all with me. Possibly dropping Spanish with me - waiting till October to decide. Guitar lessons, yoga, soccer. Maybe Debate. Youth group. Destiny lol!)


My son will be a senior next year and just finished - and loved - Clover Creek Physics (and he did very well. It wasn't that difficult for him - he was probably a little old for it - but he was also learning how to take an online class so it was just the perfect level of challenging). He's already taken Earth Science and Biology and has little interest in Chemistry but we both agree that he ought to take it. He is interested in both Engineering and Business and he wants to be confident with college science. After a lot of research, I decided to have him use Zumdahl's World of Chemistry with some online videos/tests I found online/labs at home. We both like the text a lot and I know that he would have no problem working through it independently. I wouldn't be able to help him with the actual work, but I can schedule and keep him on track and my husband is great with any kind of labs.


Yesterday I brought out my plans for next year and I realized that I wasn't convinced about doing Chemistry on our own. I discussed our budget with my husband and he was all "Last kid, last year, spend whatever you want" (nice, right!). So I brought it up with my son and he told me that he really would like the accountability of a class for Chemistry. Last year he was horrified that he would have to  take Physics, Alg 2, and some Writing classes online and was sure it would be horrible. Now he sees the benefits of doing a few classes this way.


We looked at our schedule, and found 2 online classes that we could fit in: Dr. Wile's new Chemistry class and The Potter's School Pre-AP Chemistry. My son used Apologia in 7th-8th grades and found the texts interesting but too chatty. The Discovering Design text doesn't look like it would be a challenge but he thinks it would be a fun class, especially since Dr. Wile is teaching it. The TPS class uses the Novare Accelerated Chem text and he thinks it looks dry but more difficult/thorough. We both much prefer the Zumdahl text but he thinks accountability trumps textbook choice right now.


Also. We haven't seen any reviews for either of these classes. Dr. Wile's class is new but I was surprised to find very few reviews of any TPS classes here. So I do feel like it's just a shot in the dark here.


And another also. He took the TPS Placement test and has already been accepted to the class. So I need to decide fairly quickly!!


Then we made a pro/con list for the 2 classes and our only question mark is this: is challenging a pro - because he'll be better prepared for college and he is capable of putting in the work, or a con - because next year will be very busy and he doesn't care much for Chemistry.


Basically - should this be a get-it-done class or a learn-and-do-as-much-as-possible class???


Any thoughts?







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Because he is interested in STEM and will be a senior, I would have him take whichever you believe is the stronger class and will best prepare him for college science.


That said, I have no idea which one that would be, because I can't tell for sure from samples online and I don't know how difficult TPS courses are, whether they cover the whole book, etc. From comments by Dr. Wile, I would guess he will teach his book so it will be fairly straightforward as to what you will get, and if you have listened to talks by him and looked as his books, you know what he is like and whether you will enjoy him as a teacher.


Which one will have a stronger lab experience? I have read that the old Apologia used simple kitchen items for the labs, but I don't know how it is for the revamped course.

Edited by Penelope
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Well, just to throw something else out there. DD#1 took Chemistry at Excelsior with Mrs. Childress last year and loved the teacher. She's not using the same text in the fall as she did last year, so I can't speak to that, but from a teacher perspective, Mrs. Childress was awesome. The class is only once per week - 1 1/2 hours on Tuesdays (starting at either 10 am ET or 2 pm ET). She's using Modern Chemistry By Rinehart and Winston Holt in the fall.

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Thanks Rootann! It wouldn't work for us but I am always on the lookout for good ideas as many of the families in our homeschool group ask me to recommend classes.


We are trying hard to only have online classes 2 days per week and he has Pre-Calc on M/W am and the Thesis class on W pm so Monday afternoon is the best time to fit in Chemistry. If we had no other choices I would give him a class on a 3rd day but I'm trying hard not to. Live online classes are inflexible and we're unwilling to give up our flexibility more than 2 days per week!



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