Grammar Stage Chemistry: UPDATED!!

I have to tell you, I really like Christian Kids Explore Chemistry. The next time we come to third grade Chemistry I would start out with Unit 1 of CKEC. It has 5 lessons covering:
  • Intro to Chemistry
  • Chemistry Tools
  • Matter
  • Elements (11 common)
  • Mixtures and Compounds
Then I would do Unit 4 of CKEC, which has 5 lessons covering:
  • Solids and Liquids
  • Gases
  • Gas Laws
  • State Change
  • Solutions
Then I would spend the rest of the year doing the experiments from Well-Trained Mind's suggested text, Adventures With Atoms and Molecules: Chemistry Experiments for Young People.

This is the main Chemistry text for third grade science. WTM encourages purchasing book 1 and 2 in this series for third grade. But in Bauer's own words, "Even if she only completes the 30 experiments in Book I, she'll know more chemistry than 98 percent of American third graders." (WTM, p 173) This is a VERY EASY book to use, parent and child-friendly and not intimidating for those who don't love or know Chemistry themselves.

It is used in conjunction with one of these science encyclopedias. The The Usborne Internet-Linked First Encyclopedia of Science
is a more elementary book suitable for this age group. The internet-linking information is really excellent for today's students. As a mom, I appreciate being able to let them continue their interest in a topic without leaving the house for the library. With the internet linking included in most of Usborne's encyclopedia, your student can research further while you continue school with a sibling. However, you are going to need the The Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia anyway as your student gets older, so my thinking is go ahead and get it now.

Adventures With Atoms and Molecules uses the most basic of supplies (no special chemicals) to perform the experiments. I found everything on the list in two stores. The item I had a little trouble with was Certs. In addition, the materials call for 4 kinds of balls, which I wished I had been on the lookout for beforehand (tennis, rubber, raquet, and golf). I ended up spending about $40. Part of that is because I:

-bought a bin to store it all in
-specifically bought household things (like salt, ziplock bags, chalk, vinegar, etc) that I didn't already have doubles of because I wanted to ensure that I didn't (Murphy's Law) run out of something on experiment day.
-I saved some money by using glass jam jars instead of buying something similar

See left sidebar for full list of materials needed.

In my left sidebar is a link call "Lesson Plans for Science." It will introduce you to a woman who has written an entire year's lesson plan for each year of WTM-based science! If you are overwhelmed by doing your own Chemistry this year, check it out! Here are the recommended texts that are used in conjunction with Chemistry in the Grammar Stage by Elemental Science:

The history of chemistry...
When our homeschool materials order arrived in the mail, I planned on looking through things to see if I wanted to return anything. Well, I ended up reading through "The Mystery of the Periodic Table" by Benjamin D. Wiker and going to bed at one am!

Chemistry was something I 'got through' in high school. But this book was so engaging and interesting, and so clearly laid out the development of modern Chemistry, that I was unwilling to put it down. It is written in a conversational tone, and speaks directly to the reader. It makes the early alchemists and the later chemists into real people with real investigative passions.

There were two things that I really appreciated from this book which sort of surprised me: First, it was made evident that an intelligence was behind the elements. The book points out many ways that Chemistry is orderly, exact and not accidental. He doesn't say, "God invented the elements and their properties" but he has at least three paragraphs full of exclamation points and sentences which express wonder at the perfection that the chemists were astounded to find.

Second, the author repeatedly describes how the chemist had the wrong idea but experimented the right way; or he had just the right idea, but made the wrong conclusion. I found these instances very encouraging, especially for the young scientist, because it explains that trial and error is a crucial part of finding out facts of science. I don't want my kids to research a question, make a hypothesis, do an experiment, get an unexpected result, and count it a total failure.

The author also goes into some effort to show how the chemists of days past stumbled in a group effort spanning centuries to come to what is presently known as the Periodic Table. Until I read The Mystery of the Periodic Table, I thought that it was just a reference guide, and now I know it is a historical, methodical, even beautiful and interesting diagram.

I plan on reading this book to my third grader at the beginning of her first study of Chemistry. Then, when we cycle back to Chemistry in seventh grade, she can read it on her own. I think it is an excellent value. I know of no other product like it that includes all the chemists and their experiments, sketches of their apparati, and how they worked off each other's contributions and change each others outlooks. It includes updates up to almost present day. It is an excellent explanation of many basic chemical elements; a few experiments; entirely comprised of biographies; easily God-glorifying; written in an exciting manner which carries the reader along.

I'm so pleased you are utilizing Classical Curriculum!
Teresa (Tracy) Dear

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