Make Homeschool Chemistry Easy

Homeschool chemistry should be part of our curriculum. Chemistry is important because it is the study matter. Everything in the world is matter. If we understand chemistry we will more fully understand other science subjects.

I think of chemistry as being complicated because of the terminology. We should understand that because we live in the world we already know a lot about the subject.

So what is Chemistry?

Chemistry is a lot of new terminology. The basic definition is that chemistry is the building blocks of matter. Matter is what everything is made of. Then we need to understand about neutrons, protons, and electrons which make up atoms. Atoms make up the 100 or so elements. Elements are not usually found by themselves. Elements are either in compounds or mixtures. Compounds are not easily separated. Mixtures can be separated.

When I homeschool chemistry I try to start with something simple like water. I would explain that water is a compound made of the elements oxygen and hydrogen. I would then try to explain what an element was and what a compound was. Try to keep chemistry simple and have fun with it.

Have your child make solutions by mixing different solids into water. Salt dissolves because the ions of sodium and chloride mix with the water. If you let the water evaporate you will have salt crystals.

Matter can change its physical state. Water can be a solid, liquid, and a gas. You can show your children by changing the temperature of water. Boil water to make a gas. Freeze water to make a solid.

You can have your child show the compound of water with colored marshmallows and pretzel sticks. Have your child take two white marshmallows to represent the hydrogen molecules and one pink marshmallow to represent the oxygen molecule. Connect the marshmallows with pretzel sticks.

What Does Matter Do?

Matter can have a chemical reaction. This is where homeschool chemistry can be fun and interesting. Chemists make new compounds everyday with chemical reactions. Reactions happen when a substance changes into a new substance.

For a reaction to happen a compound must change into another compound. Some reactions happen slowly such as rust. Other chemical reactions happen quickly. Changing the temperature can make chemical reactions happen quicker.

How Does Matter Occupy Space?

Matter has mass, volume, density, and reactivity. Mass is how much matter is in an object. Volume is the space that matter takes up and density is how tightly the matter is packed.

You can show density by placing water, oil, and syrup in a jar. Because syrup is denser it will sink to the bottom. The water will be in the center and the oil will float to the top.

What are the Properties of Matter?

Matter is either alkali or acid. Mixing acids and alkali together can cause a chemical reaction. Any easy example is to mix vinegar and acid with baking soda and alkali. Then have your child try other liquids to see if the same reaction occurs.

Matter is also either a metal or non-metal. You can check to see if a substance is a metal by making an electric circuit out of a D cell battery, some plastic covered copper wire, a 1.5 volt light bulb, and two iron nails. Hook the light bulb to the battery and one nail to the light bulb and one nail to the battery. You can now check different solids to see if they are metal. If the substance is metal it will light up the light bulb.

Homeschool Chemistry Curriculum

Chemistry curriculum for elementary aged children is hard to find. You can buy chemistry kits. If you do buy a kit, try to find one that explains the chemistry reactions.

When my children were younger we used activities in the Weaver to explain chemistry. I also used World Book's Young Scientist Atoms, Molecules, and Gases. It does a good job of explaining different chemical concepts.

I have not used any of the next resource for elementary science but they look promising.

Elementary Chemistry: Matter: Its Properties and Its Changes is for children ages 9 to 12 years old. The book begins with an experiment then gives the explanation in a Christian context. You can buy the book in a set that includes a student manual and journal, and a teacher manual. You can also buy each book separate.

Elementary Kitchen Chemistry uses the kitchen to teach chemistry. The description did not give an age range.

The above elementary chemistry books are available at Christian Book Distributors.

For high school I like Apologia's Exploring Creation through Chemistry. It is also available at Christian Book Distributors. I have used Dr. Whiles Physical Science book and like the way he describes things. He is very clear. I have downloaded the first chapter of the Chemistry book it is also easy to understand. He does recommend that the child has completed Algebra 1.

Find some good textbooks to help you homeschool chemistry. You child will have fun understanding this important subject.

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