General Chemistry ~ REVIEW

Science is my favorite subject....I could dance circles around the classroom at just the thought of a new Science program.  Well, grab your coffee friends, cause Mama has a New Science program to share with you today.  Mahala has been dabbling in Chemistry here and there, but we really needed to get her Math where it needed to be before we opened a new can of worms.  But, she is free and in the clear to start our Chemistry journey and we have been using the General Chemistry program from Novare Science & Math.  They are not a New company, but they are breaking into the Homeschool community finally.  We are thrilled that they are and I can't wait to share with you all that Mahala and I have to say about it.

First off I have to say I am thrilled that they emphasis on Mastery, Integration and Kingdom.  I have to say I agree with their ideas on the typical classroom approach may be to Cram-Pass-Forget cycle.  I remember that from back in the day when I sat 8 hours behind a boring desk regurgitating facts.  That's not the Novare Science & Math way.  They believe as do I that that's a waste of time for everyone involved.  So, their approach may seem a little demanding at first, but the learning experience and actual acquired knowledge and understanding makes it all worth it in the long run.

I would also like to say that this subject is not like 3rd grade Science, it does require some preparation on the Teachers part.  If your child has a mind already for Mathematics and Sciences then maybe they can work independently.  But, my Mahala has ADD and it took her 2 years to get through Algebra....I knew this was going to be a hands on teaching experience for me.  We received a beautiful hardcover Textbook along with a digital download of their Student Recourse CD.  You can also purchase  Chemistry Experiments for High School at Home for Homeschooler's that I would LOVE to get and the Student Lab Report Handbook.

We found that the material is pretty lengthy, but the visuals help break it up and make it easier to digest.  Speaking of digesting, in the beginning Mahala was learning about measurements and the visual aid they used sparked a trip to the store for ice cream.  They were demonstrating what 1gram of ice cream looked like compared to 2 bowls with 500 grams each.  Of course also showing that they equal 1,000 grams together or 1 kilogram of ice cream.  I know....that's a sweet visual!  And that's what sticks in your mind.  Mahala has always learned well this way.  I will say that it is recommended to have Algebra 2 under your belt.  We all know our Mathematical struggles over here in this house.  Mahala has only completed Algebra 1 and plans to start Algebra 2 in August.  So, she has had a few struggles.  But, it's not from the text or because it's not working for her.  She has sat and read the same section 3 times and then it clicks.  She's like me, she needs to read it, take notes, highlight, answer some questions and then explain it to someone to GET IT!  And that's fine to me, she is totally encouraged with this Chemistry text and wants to continue even though it may take her a little longer.  
Right now she is reading 3 days a ween and taking notes one week and then the following week reviewing and then answering the questions or discussion.  At the end of each chapter there is a list of exercises that are divided into sections.  We like this because these chapters are a little lengthy and it makes it easier to retrace your steps if you need help answering a question.  Mahala liked that the exercises are not all just fill in the blank questions.  A lot of them have you explaining a process, writing paragraphs describing structures, features or differences.  Also you will find on the Resource CD all of the Quizzes, Chapter and Term Exams.  And of course all the answers that you need along with a sample schedule.  So far the quizzes have not given her any problem, because we have done a lot of oral discussion together.

So, what did I think?  I would recommend this to you if you have a child that is Science happy and who meets the requirements.  Or I would recommend this to you if you are like us and have a curious Science child, but want to walk along with them through this little journey.  Or if you plan to provide a tutor of some sort.  When I was a child I could have totally done this independently and would have preferred it that way.  Either way you go about it, this Chemistry program is really great and we both look forward to continuing it into this next school year.  Novare Science & Math also offers Earth Science and Physics, both of them I would be interested at looking at and possibly using in the future.  I noticed recently that one of my favorite companies to purchase homeschool curriculum from, Memoria Press also recommends the use of some of Novare's products.  Make sure you head over and Connect with Novare Science & Math with Social Media today!!!

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