Overview: ChemExplained is an amazing choice for a homeschool chemistry curriculum for high school. Read all the reasons why — with a video! Note: This review was sponsored by ChemExplained, but all opinions are my own.
Sing with me now: “Don’t know much about his-tor-y; don’t know much bi-ology…”
And we’d like to add Chemistry into the song but it doesn’t work with the rhythm, am I right?!
Sigh. The truth is that “chemistry” is one of those words that strikes fear into the heart of homeschool moms everywhere. We don’t remember much of the content from when we took it eons ago, but we can recall with clarity how we felt about it: YUCK.
And the curriculum options we’ve heard about (OK, really only one option seems to be touted out there ALL. THE. TIME) don’t sound doable for us, because textbook-based chemistry sounds like less fun than eating dirt — for everyone involved, including you and me, baby.
ANY science can be difficult for many kids to learn when using a textbook; chemistry is worse that way because: MATH. Chemistry is more math-centric than any science that typically comes before it in the course schedule, and sometimes what shows on the page is NOT enough to make it clear to the student. But tough darts, that’s all you’ve got.
Well, pilgrim (in your best John Wayne voice), there’s a new curriculum in town. Actually, it’s not that new — but “new to you” is just as valid, hello.
ChemExplained is an amazing choice for a homeschool chemistry curriculum for high school. It checks all the boxes and then some. Allow me to tell you about all of its wondermous-ness!
NOTE: Right now you can get $60 off with code ANNIE21! Expires October 21, 2021.
Reasons to choose ChemExplained for your homeschool chemistry curriculum for high school:
1) ChemExplained is a VIDEO-based course.
This is HUGE for chemistry because now your teen can SEE what’s happening in all those silly math processes involving chemical equations and solutions and whatever else. They can hear explanations about all the nuances of acids and bases and the periodic table. They can feel the pen in their hand as they take notes on the video utilizing the handy-dandy notes pages provided for each video.
BTW: You can see these videos and notes pages for yourself by getting a free trial of the entirety of Chapter One. Go to the Free Trial tab on the website. Or just click here, which is much easier: ChemExplained Free Trial.
(You can also watch the video below, in which I show them to you. Just sayin’.)
Did you know that the more senses are used to learn something, the better it is retained? With a video-based course and note-taking, your teen is using three senses (sight, sound, touch), rather than merely one (sight), as with a textbook-based course. Hmmmm…
The videos themselves are NOT long and boring — they usually last only about 12-13 minutes. No time to get frustrated or zone out or tune in to the latest social media on the phone. But plenty of time to explain each concept so the student understands.
In fact, many of the videos contain a short “commercial” that will entertain and inform and allow kids to take a quick brain break — so then they can get back into the chemistry content with more vim and vigor. Students love these!
Also, if your internet is not the best (I hear ya on that one), there are also low-resolution videos that will stream in more difficult situations. Yay for that! Most curriculum companies don’t think about us rural types. (Note: Not all of the low-res videos are completed yet; they do have chapters 1-13 done and are working on the rest.)
2) ChemExplained is a TEACHER-based course.
Mr. Riz has been teaching chemistry for over 40 years and has won numerous awards doing so. Ya think he knows what he’s doing?
Mr. Riz is a real person, and his experience shines through as he narrates each engaging video. Plus he makes himself available for questions — you can contact him at any time with an easy contact button inside the course, and your teen can even text him!
I would go so far as to say that in many ways Mr. Riz is to chemistry what Mr. D is to math — and that’s saying something, y’all!
3) ChemExplained has no faith or secular bias.
It’s a neutral course without an agenda in either direction. This can be hard to find in a science course!
We interrupt our scheduled programming to present a video review of this amazing homeschool chemistry curriculum for high school. Take a look — and/or continue reading below.
4) ChemExplained has three options for level of rigor.
This is another aspect that other chemistry curriculum for high school options don’t consider, and it can be a huge frustration, especially if you have a teen that needs the science credit but isn’t that great at academics in general or science/math in particular.
ChemExplained offers and Honors level, and a Traditional level, and a Foundational level.
The Honors level is for the exceptional academic student. This is not everyone, in fact it isn’t even most. These students are expected to complete every little activity in the ChemExplained course. It’s a lot (see below), but some kids can handle it and thrive.
The Traditional level is for most students. This will cover all the chapters in the curriculum to a greater or lesser extent; there will be modifications made throughout the course so it is not overwhelming to your typical teen.
The Foundational level is something I have not seen provided elsewhere, and it’s one of the reasons I think ChemExplained is a cut above the rest. This level is for the student who needs more time to complete academic work, who might have a learning disability or who might struggle with math or science. This again is not most students; it is a small (underserved!) portion of the teen population — who nonetheless need to get through chemistry, hello. This level will cover about 60% (give or take) of the provided course materials in the same year as the other levels. This makes the course much more doable, much less intimidating, for these kids. If you have a teen like this, ChemExplained has thought of YOU, when other homeschool chemistry curriculum for high school options have not.
More explanations about the different levels here: ChemExplained Rigor Levels.
5) ChemExplained has two options for labs.
All labs can be done in person, in the comfort of your own home, with your own purchased supplies (which you can find in the Master Equipment and Supplies list that is thoughtfully provided), OR they can be done virtually by watching Mr. Riz perform them. In either case, your student fills out a lab report complete with calculations and conclusions.
This way you can choose which labs to do on the kitchen table, based on ease of getting supplies or performing the lab, and then watch the rest with Mr. Riz. It’s the best of both worlds!
Did you know that most colleges do not expect every science your teen takes in high school to be a lab science? And that most have no standard for how many labs to do during a given course that are enough to call it a lab course? Use your best judgment (and do your own research). There are no “shoulds” here!
6) ChemExplained is self-paced.
Yes, ChemExplained does include a checklist of tasks and daily lesson plans for each level (see #4), but these are not tied to actual dates. There is no live class to attend each week.
Your teen can do chemistry any time of the day they want, or they can cram all of the week’s lessons into one day if they want, or they can work ahead if they want, or take more time on something if they want… The possibilities are endless. The course can be started (and finished) at ANY time of the year. Whenever you purchase the course, you have a full twelve months to complete it.
Homeschoolers need this kind of flexibility, and ChemExplained has provided it.
7) ChemExplained provides video explanations for test problems.
Have you ever looked at the answer in the teacher’s guide and had no clue how it was arrived at? This can be so frustrating!
ChemExplained provides a video for each test which explains each and every answer on the test. This is SO helpful! And it’s just another way they’ve thought of YOU, homeschool mom.
What is included with ChemExplained?
The list is long, but it just shows that everything your teen needs to succeed is provided!
- 20 chapters
- Over 365 teaching videos (over 90 hours of instruction)
- Note-taking pages for each video
- Assignment worksheets for each chapter
- Review pages for most chapters (as needed)
- Test for each chapter, including video explanation of answers
- 18 lab experiments
- Lab report pages for each lab
- Teacher’s materials with answers to all of the above
- Checklist of activities
- Daily lesson plan
- Master Equipment and Supplies list
- Access to Mr. Riz
- 12 months’ access to the course — but if you need more, just ask!
- Guaranteed satisfaction
Have I convinced you to take a closer look at ChemExplained? You can do so here: ChemExplained.com. I think you’ll be glad you did!
Don’t forget you can get $60 off with code ANNIE21 until October 21, 2021!
Also find ChemExplained on Facebook.