View Full Version : Chemistry frustration

10-19-2012, 11:22 PM
So, having bought Chemistry Matters from the singapore math website years ago, we are finally using it.

and its awful!!!

its totally designed for classroom use and . . . uggg. not working for us at all!

I was expecting a simple read-the-textbook and fill-in-the-worksheet sort of thing. they said not to use the lab book at home because of safety reasons.

but much of the material on the end-of-section quizzes is not covered anywhere in the textbook or the workbook! Idk if its covered in the labs? or if the teachers in singapore were just trained what to cover?

I'm tempted to just keep slogging through it, just to say we've done high school chemistry, but otoh i'm not convinced he'll learn much if the quiz material isnt covered in the textbook?

i'm not up for really buying much at this point .. . but wondering if anyone has any thoughts?

10-19-2012, 11:57 PM
I read that complaint about Singapore Science ages ago... For the younger programs like MPH, I think supposedly there are lessons in the teacher book that have more information that you're supposed to teach.

Blah. Right now science is fun for me to teach, but when I look ahead to high school, it's one of the things that start me with the hyperventilation.

Accidental Homeschooler
10-20-2012, 12:01 AM
We had the same experience with 7th/8th grade science from Singapore Science. I assumed what was missing was the teacher lectures and the labs. It is definitely a classroom curriculum. What we did was look up the answers that weren't in the book online. I found some science websites and that is how we did it. We started an online class for biology and dd said it was remedial and asked for Singapore Biology. We are still waiting for it to be delivered. It took a while to find copies because they are not printing it anymore. I think we will do it the same way. She is just going to have to do research outside the text. We also used the Usborne science dictionary with it when that came up. I also found that having the teacher's manual for the theory workbook was very helpful. I am NOT a math/science person.

10-20-2012, 05:18 AM
Maybe you can find a reasonably priced copy of Conceptual Chemistry (http://www.amazon.com/Conceptual-Chemistry-Edition-John-Suchocki/dp/0136054536/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350724486&sr=8-1&keywords=conceptual+chemistry) and/or The Joy of Chemistry (http://www.amazon.com/Joy-Chemistry-Amazing-Science-Familiar/dp/1591027713/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350724588&sr=1-1&keywords=joy+of+chemistry). They're both solid, straightforward and fun to read.

10-20-2012, 12:22 PM
I used REAL science odyssey last year with my elementary son . . .definitely way too low level for my 11th grader.

I found a book i want to check out from the library, and I plan to spend more time on the lesson planning. I'd planned out about a months' worth without realizing the problems. So i will be prepared in the future and do something like Julie suggested, i think.


10-20-2012, 08:38 PM
I checked the Joy of Chemistry out - not quite what I need. we read Story of Science 2 years ago, which I think covered some similar concepts . . idk. i might look further in to it, but I dont think its the right supplement for us for this year at least.

Accidental Homeschooler
10-21-2012, 12:14 AM
We used the chem4kids website Cara.

10-21-2012, 12:38 PM
thanks, i'll check that out.

10-21-2012, 03:01 PM
Have you looked at Conceptual Chemistry?

10-21-2012, 03:48 PM
Middle School Chemistry (http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com/) is a good site, I also like Chem4Kids. (http://www.chem4kids.com/index.html)

10-21-2012, 05:50 PM
I'm pretty sure middle school chemistry is also not rigorous enough for my 11th grader (science has always been his favorite subject). the things that were missing were things like ..apparently you were supposed to have memorized some of the element abbreviations, and things like what element melts at the lowest temp or something like that. We also are not interested in experiment-heavy course . . . he does not engage much in experiments and it does not seem to increase his retention, and i'm way over my head as far as time commitments.

It looks like Conceptual Chemistry is just another textbook - i didnt really see a teachers addition? but i already bought a textbook and dont really want to buy another. I see they have some videos on their website, and i'll keep that in mind for specific topics.

but again, when the things they dont teach are .. . well, there was one where they showed an experimental set-up and asked what the experiment was trying to show, multiple choice . .. but since we hadnt done the experiments . . how would we know? it wasnt covered.

but yes, i think the chem4kids looks like a good resource. I am not sure if i'll look up the resources to answer the questions for him, or make him find them . . . maybe start by doing it myself and transition it to him after xmas when hopefully the robotics team isnt taking 10 hours out of our week!

10-22-2012, 09:54 AM
I've also had good luck with Thinkwell Chemistry, but it is pretty rigorous (college or AP level) and I think it works best in conjunction with a textbook.

10-22-2012, 10:52 AM
I've also had good luck with Thinkwell Chemistry, but it is pretty rigorous (college or AP level) and I think it works best in conjunction with a textbook.
for $150 . . . not likely to happen. i LOVE chemistry, i dont need someone to teach it for me. i just wish the book i bought was better

fwiw, the current section we are on is the structure of the atom, which hes' studied before and is not lab-dependent! he got all the problems correct!

i think i'll stick with the idea of just looking up the missing information on line. Its not that we cant learn using this system, its just that its incomplete. and i'm not going to pay a lot of money or require a ton of reading to find the tiny bits of information (the element with the highest melting point) thats missing.

but thanks for all the ideas.

Accidental Homeschooler
10-22-2012, 12:00 PM
Singapore science was frustrating at times, but dd did learn how to find information. I was ready to be done with it and we went to an online high school biology course through the school district and it was all review. She requested Singapore biology because she recognized how much she learned from the 7th/8th grade science we used last year. So it was her request to use Singapore biology. I was not so enthused probably because, unlike you, I was never a science person. So I guess I think Singapore is a mixed bag. If they work through it they will come out with a good foundation, but it is not an easy curriculum to use at home.

10-22-2012, 05:07 PM
it is that same 7-10 level - in singapore, after 10th grade I believe you go to jr college. but i like the textbook. we'll see.

10-24-2012, 01:51 PM
There's always the ACS (http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content), and the AAAS (http://www.aaas.org/).

Drag to have to spend more time on it though.

10-24-2012, 06:39 PM
there's also google and youtube . . .