Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Me? Like Science? Since when....? I failed Chemistry......

One of my major I-am-homeschooling- panic attacks came when I recognized my daughters unbridled enthusiasm about starting Chemistry in 5th grade. She was so excited.  And I was like, whoaaaa there Nellie, hold on a moment, I can't do that.....
You see, several circumstances in my life happened and so, when I switched schools (among other things) in  8th grade, I went from a 'artsy' school to a 'science and math are crucial' school. The kids who were my new classmates had two years of science already under their belts. Me? I was screwed. I picked up in math, eventually figured out physics, did brilliantly in biology, and failed, I mean abjectly failed chemistry. It was pathetic. So, the prospect of victimizing my daughter and screwing up her future because I can't understand chemistry left me worried all summer long.
Well, we've been studying chemistry for a few days now and have to say we are having a blast. It's all simple right now of course, elements, substances, compounds, molecules, atoms, ions,  electrons, protons, neutrons, and so on. We are studying the differences between physical properties and chemical properties and it's amazing..... I understand it all. Oh, yeah, my little smartypants daughter is breezing through it.
The moral of this story...enjoy homeschooling for what it really can be. A journey through the world WITH your children.

We, thank you very much, are having a grand time!


Eva said...

What are you using for chemistry?

Did you get my other comment about the vocab list?

Marlis said...

I use a book from a series called 'Interactive Science' by Pearson Publishers. Thats about the only one I like quite well. So far I am very frustrated by the science books out there. One book (the one used by the school she used to go to) is hopelessly basic and actually even provides some incorrect information. As for example it states that 'electrons orbit the atom's nucleus much like planets around the son.' It failed however, to mention that electrons do not have a fixed orbit unlike the planets. I am not the only parent who isn't happy with that book so I know I am not just imagining it. It's the Scott Foresman Science book published by Pearson.

I was lucky to get 'Interactive Science' (free no less) at our Area Education Agency during their annual give-a-way. I don't think non-teachers can even buy this series which is really sad. It's pretty good though. I also supplement with other media including books such as by Smithsonian/DK/Usborne. I piece together information and dictate it to her and she copies it down. Then she makes a neat notebooking page and illustrates. For some reason it's hard to find a good science book. It is frustrating to have to pick through 3-4 different books to provide good cohesive information on something as basic as begining science. This isn't a phd we are trying to achieve here but a solid base of understanding of the principles of chemistry and physics and I am relegated to dig through a science books that's designed for much older kids and an assortment of other tomes. Thankfully she is way ahead of the curve and thoroughly enjoys the work.

I had emailed you earlier today from my work e-mail. If it's not in your inbox look in your junk or spam folder. there is a PDF file called MLK Speech Vocabulary.pdf Let me know and I'll send it to you again.

super tired now and going to bed. See ya.

Marlis said...

Wow, reading through my reply to you from last night.... yep, I REALLY was tired LOL. Hope you understood what I tried to say.

Eva said...

Marlis, your file got through. Thank you so much. We've been very busy here too, I need to sleep more. Easier said than done. Thanks for your info on science. I haven't used any real textbooks so far, but we'll try our hand at chemistry later in the year. . . We'll see how much I remember from my school days.