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Chemistry for joy and challenge, curriculum or DE?


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Son is very smart, so he does not need anything watered down for the sake of learning. HOWEVER, he is really enjoying what he is doing for chemistry as his summer prep. He is doing something online that I found here, a 4 week course. It is listed toward the end of the chemistry pinned thread. He is also reading "Disappearing Spoon."

 

My main goal for him is to really enjoy the chemistry so that he considered going in the direction of STEM. So far, we have been so focused on lit and history and the classics that he is only interested in that stuff. 

 

I was thinking of doing Spectrum Chemistry. BUT, now, after sitting back and considering costs, I wonder if I should just put him in DE. However, I do risk a bad teacher then as well as other students he does not like, affecting him liking the chemistry. Also, I wonder if he has had enough prep to be able to handle the DE. We already have the Spectrum book, so he could read from it in preparation of taking the chemistry at the CC. But I really want him to do well and enjoy it.

 

He has had math through algebra 2, and will do the trig portion this fall.

 

edited to add: I am also considering Guest Hollow Chemistry

Edited by Janeway
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How is his math preparation? For DE chem, I would want solid mastery of algebra 2.

He probably cannot get in to chemistry until spring, but he has completed the algebra 2 portion of Foerster's algebra two and will start with Trig in a couple weeks and then precalculus after that. So he will be a portion of the way through precal by spring. However, he could potentially get in for fall, in which case, he could still have the trig done.

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Oh, and one more thing, even if we do something at home first, he could still do DE later. I was just thinking about cost. It could cost a few hundred dollars to do chemistry at home. But, I also do not want to do anything that would hamper him from enjoying the subject.

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Oh, and one more thing, even if we do something at home first, he could still do DE later. I was just thinking about cost. It could cost a few hundred dollars to do chemistry at home. But, I also do not want to do anything that would hamper him from enjoying the subject.

 

You know his personality.

One of the greatest motivators for my DS was being taught by a professor who was knowledgable and enthusiastic about his subject. We even talked about this, and how differently he perceived this experience from our homeschool. I could not must the enthusiasm about chemistry, even though I can master the subject.

For DD, being in a live classroom with professor and class mates was the big motivator.

But neither would have appreciated doing chemistry at home and then again as DE - they'd have hated it.

 

If you were to do no labs since he will DE anyway, doing chem at home does not have to cost more than $10.

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One of the greatest motivators for my DS was being taught by a professor who was knowledgable and enthusiastic about his subject. We even talked about this, and how differently he perceived this experience from our homeschool. I could not must the enthusiasm about chemistry, even though I can master the subject.

 

I would not dismiss the challenge of learning the chemistry, either.  Depending on the level of the chemistry (HS or AP), it can be challenging to keep up with the student unless you are well-versed in the subject.  I did this with AP Chemistry with DS17 this past year.  Chemistry was never my strong suit, but I have become quite a fan of it in recent years.  There were certainly some benefits for DS17 in "learning together with Dad," but I think that is partly because he knows he will need chemistry in his chosen field, so he wanted to learn the material very well.  At least I enjoyed it! :tongue_smilie:

 

This year upcoming will be a bit different:  I will be doing AP Chemistry with the twins.  Even though I am much better prepared now, chemistry is not likely to be as important to THEM.  We'll see how the motivation works out.

 

Our AP course cost us about $80 for the textbook and the labs cost us $235.  The lab requirement for AP Chemistry is quite stringent, so I think it would be hard to get below that level of expense.

 

Finally, I will say that the textbook is very important.  We use Zumdahl, which I love!  (But I'm a bit different than regentrude here: I LOVE the sidebars, as they help with the applications of the chemistry being learned.)  I don't know about Spectrum, so I cannot comment on that.

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As someone who is tentatively planning on Guest Hollow Chem for a non-STEM kid, I don't think it is what you are looking for.

 

My dd#1 took an online Chem (not honors, but solid) class last year that used Spectrum's book (different labs). She loved the class. She loved it so much that we're tentatively planning one or two DE semesters of Chem her senior year. I talked to the professor(s) already & for their class, it doesn't matter if you already had a solid non-AP Chem class first or not as long as you can handle the math. They were very clear that having solid algebra skills and good study habits were the two most important factors in success for their class(es).

 

If you think he can handle a DE class, that's the way I'd go.

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Has he read the textbook yet? Spectrum's informal don't-get-bogged-down style drove my STEM kid insane. She couldn't wait to be done with it.

 

She did it because her big sister was doing it and I wasn't buying two chemistry programs that year, but she much preferred (and was well prepared for) the AP Chem class she took later.

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As someone who is tentatively planning on Guest Hollow Chem for a non-STEM kid, I don't think it is what you are looking for.

 

My dd#1 took an online Chem (not honors, but solid) class last year that used Spectrum's book (different labs). She loved the class. She loved it so much that we're tentatively planning one or two DE semesters of Chem her senior year. I talked to the professor(s) already & for their class, it doesn't matter if you already had a solid non-AP Chem class first or not as long as you can handle the math. They were very clear that having solid algebra skills and good study habits were the two most important factors in success for their class(es).

 

If you think he can handle a DE class, that's the way I'd go.

Where is the online class?

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Where is the online class?

 

The class DD took doesn't exist anymore because the teacher has chosen to switch textbooks. I don't know if any of the other former-Landry Chemistry teachers who spun off are still using Spectrum. (I think DD's love of Chemistry were from the teacher, Mrs. Childress, and from the math-heavy-subject,and not necessarily from the specific textbook.)

 

My next kid is not a math-lover and we'll go a different direction with Chemistry.

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