Friday, March 15, 2013

Teaching chemistry

Teaching chemistry is not an easy task for many homeschooling moms. It isn't easy for me either, but I do enjoy it. I was never good in chemistry in high school, I never liked it, never really understood it, so why do I enjoy teaching it and how do I do it?

While visiting Poland we bought some chemistry school textbooks with CD-Roms and workbooks . As always I let Zosia choose the textbooks herself as I think that the child has to like the book, the layout, the pictures and even the font used. If the book is not appealing to the child then he simply is not going to enjoy reading and learning from it (at least that's how it is with my kids).

Having clear (and nice) textbooks which I can follow helps a lot. This way I know what should be taught first and what next. The CD-Rom and YouTube are also helpful when it comes to understanding the experiments.
In addition to the Polish school textbooks we are also using a science curriculum by Sonlight, but there is not much chemistry in it. We are also reading the Physical Science that somebody gave us.

After reading a chapter from the textbook and watching the experiment explanations, it's time to answer the questions and do a few exercises. All this we do together. Next is time for  Zosia's independant work. Depending on the topic she is learning she will either write the definitions of new vocabulary in her notebook, make a mind map or draw a poster. This way she is reviewing and organizing all the new information she has learned.You can take a look at other postes with "chemistry" label to see what she has done before.



Poster about carbon dioxide

Chemistry notebook (in Polish)

A few weeks ago Zosia started going for science class with a group of other homeschoolers. They meet once a week for two hours and under teacher's supervision do some lab experiments. So far she has only attended the class twice so I don't know if it's very helpful in her understanding of science.


This week Zosia was reviewing what she has learned about atom. Here is the poster she created:



There are many homeschooling science curricula out there. Some require more parental involvement, some less. You and your child would need to decide yourselves.

Please share how your child is learning chemistry. Is chemistry a part of your homeschooling curriculum or do you just skip it?

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