Ugh, high school chemistry – am I right? As much as I love math these days, it seems that I still can’t stand chemistry. As I realized when dd15 sat down and asked me to explain her entire Grade 10 course in about 15 minutes last night.
Maybe I’d have done better if we were using this new program, created by a homeschooling family, called Friendly Chemistry – and now we might, because I’ve entered to win it, and so can YOU! Here’s the link to enter, it’s open to all countries, and there are 3 ways to win (as you might have guessed, blogging about it is one way to win)!
Reading John Mighton’s The Myth of Ability this week has actually got me thinking that maybe it’s NOT that I don’t have a good “science brain” – there’s a good chance that nobody ever taught me this stuff right. The more I think about it, the more I suspect it must be true… I took math all the way through university, I took university-level biology with no problem whatsoever. There’s NO reason in the world I shouldn’t be able to understand Grade 10 chemistry. Except – I just don’t.
In the end, when dd was totally confused about nomenclature and equations, flipping through dozens of blank review sheets (the kids are supposed to fill in the right answers and then study from them, but they’re useless when they’re blank), I admitted the shameful truth: the one test I had on nomenclature, I guessed. I passed the test because I guessed (hey, that rhymes!). It must make sense to somebody, but I wasn’t that somebody.
In Grade 11, when I signed up for a full-year chemistry course (Grade 10 is just a survey course of bio, physics and chemistry), I remember I had it first period and I was so blindingly tired for every single class, I learned not a thing and ended up dropping out of school entirely.
So I must admit – I haven’t seen Friendly Chemistry, and there’s no preview on the website, but if there is any chance that it is even marginally better than what high schools used in my day and are apparently still using, well – I’d say go win yourself a copy!
(I don’t have any high schoolers that I’d use this with right now, but I have a feeling it couldn’t hurt to learn some of this stuff myself…)