I want to go over what happened in my Chemistry class during this past co-op year.

Here is what I learned.

  • I have no business teaching Chemistry.  :/
  • Using the Carbon Lab Notebook was not a great idea.  It was just ok.   There were two times when I was able to prove the student did not do her lab work, so that was good.
  • The math… Oh the math!!  AKA Stoichiometry.
  • You cannot teach Chemistry with a lab in 1.5 hours a week.
  • I wish I had a lot more time to go over the Periodic Table.
  • I am so done with Chemistry.


Since I was working as Admin at my co-op, Testing Coordinator for H.E.R.I., teaching my own kids, etc….   I had no time to prepare for anything extra for the Chemistry class.  That really bummed me out since I do like to embellish my classes.  But we still had some fun…


Powdered drain clear. Lye.  Seemed like that was the main ingredient in every experiment. LOL  We did not have a window to open, so we did the best we could inside or we went outside.


The last co-op day before our Christmas break is usually just one big party.  Chemistry class was no exception.  We played with Helium balloons.  Helium molecules are lighter than air, which makes the balloons float and make your voice sound funny.

046 - Copy

We also played with dry ice.  That stuff is cool.  When left alone in the bucket, the vapors “fog” will flow down the outside of the bucket real creepy like.  Solid Carbon Dioxide is heavier than air, so it will drift downwards.   Must still have some kind of lesson on party day!


Module 9: Molecular Geometry   I do not have a molecule learning kit, so I improvised and used tooth picks and playdough.  It was easy.  It was cheap. It was fun.  VESPR theory.  Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion. 🙂  I gave the students different molecules to use, which they had to figure the Lewis Structure and then build the 3D model.  It turned out great!



It wasn’t too often we got to play with the test tubes.  Acids and Bases.  Yes, there is Lye in there somewhere.



This experiment was in place of another one and I just can’t remember which one it was. LOL   All I can remember was the experiment in the textbook required Lye…again.  So, I chucked that one out the window and made Elephant Toothpaste.  This is what I really wanted to do.  But ended up using the “safe” recipe.   The students loved it.




Those are just the few fun things we did.  We drudged through the book and made it to the end.  I am happy to say that all the girls did very well.


Now that I am no longer the Testing Coordinator, I have been helping updating the H.E.R.I. Website and just took over their advertising.  This is all done at home, which is what I really wanted.   If anyone needs a place to advertise their homeschool friendly product, on the H.E.R.I. website, just let me know. I’ll send you some info.  We have 600+ families!


On a very brighter side, I am returning to facilitating Biology.  So excited about that.  Yes, this will be my VERY last year in Biology.  My two youngest girls will be in the class and once they are done, so am I.

Blessings Y’all!

3 responses to “Chemistry

  1. I’m sorry you had such a difficult time teaching Chemistry this year! I’ve been teaching it for several years now under many different circumstances. I’ve had an hour per week to teach half a module per week for the past two years. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve had to rely on the students to learn much of it on their own as I can only touch on the most complicated topics as we perform our experiment.

    This summer, I decided to teach an accelerated Summer Chemistry course that meets twice a week for 3-4 hours per day, covering two modules per week. The main purpose of this course is to video tape detailed lectures and experiments for my students in the fall to watch so we can focus on experiments and cool demonstrations in class. I want to find more “embellishments” and share some interesting facts about the most common elements at the beginning of each class.

    We’re having so much fun putting together videos! Here’s one of the early experiments (module 2) that we put together. I have to go back and edit the mass since I put the wrong mass in on one caption.

    I should have my Chemistry website put together by the fall. Hopefully it will assist many families with Chemistry as they go through the Apologia text!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s