Foundations of Chemistry 1 of 2

Foundations of Chemistry 1 of 2


About this course

This is the first session in a series of two that will cover a full year of upper middle school/lower high school chemistry and is only offered in September each year. This course is a pre-requisite for the second session.


Recommended Ages: 13-17.

Prerequisite: All students need to have successfully completed an Algebra 1 course.

Levels: This course is only offered in one level.

Start Date: October 4. Class consists of 12 lesson plans.  Students have 4 weeks after the last class is posted to complete the course. No live classes — do the lesson plans on YOUR schedule.

Price: $240

Space Available: 

This course will be an in depth study of the foundations of Chemistry. My goal is to create a course that is accessible, engaging, and enjoyable for all students. I am NOT going to get crazy with the chemistry math and make a course that requires students to have taken Algeocalcutrig before they take it! That said, there will be quite a bit of math. Students who have completed Algebra I will be able to handle the math in this class. At that stage, they will understand how variables, scientific notation, exponents, percentages, decimals, and units work, and that’s all they really need to know. When there is math involved, I will be detailing out the steps so it is easily understood.  Just know that I am not going to include convoluted word problems as part of this course. There will be word problems, but they will be straightforward and easy to understand. Again, my goal is for students to grasp the foundations of chemistry (including the math) without getting bogged down in the tedium of it.

Here is the general outline of the course:

Week 1
Defining and Measuring Chemistry: We’ll discuss the ancient roots of chemistry, alchemy. From there we’ll define modern chemistry, discuss the scientific method, and learn about the different ways measurements are taken. 

Week 2
Properties of Matter: We’ll discuss what matter is, the different phases, and how matter can change. We’ll then discuss different forms of matter such as mixtures, elements, and compounds.

Week 3
Unraveling the Mystery of the Atom: We’ll discuss the history that led to the discovery of the atom and the subatomic particles, the functions of each of those particles, isotopes, how to read a periodic table, and the different types of radioactive elements.

Week 4
Electrons: We are going to focus on the smallest part of the atom, but the most important- the electrons. We’re going to learn how they work, where they’re located, and touch on some quantum mechanics!

Week 5
Periodic Table and Trends: There’s more to the periodic table than a bunch of symbols and numbers! We’re going to learn why the periodic table is arranged like it is and how to identify properties of elements based on their location in the table.

Week 6
Elements of the s and p blocks: We will go through the entire list of s and p block elements, focusing on their properties and uses. This is the week we start memorizing the element names and symbols!

Week 7
Elements of the d and f blocks: Same as week 6, but now we’ll focus on the elements of the d and f blocks. Another week of memorizing the element names and symbols!

Week 8
Ionic Bonds and Ionic Compounds: Now that we know all of the elements, we’re going to start discussing how atoms bond together. This week we’ll focus on ionic bonds- how they work and how to name the compounds they create. We’ll also cover metallic bonds.

Week 9
Covalent Bonds: Moving on to the last type of bond- covalent bonds. We’ll discuss how these bonds form, the different types, how to create molecular formulas and structures for them, how to name those molecules, and discuss polarity.

Week 10
Chemical Reactions: We can now easily predict how elements will bond and what type of bond they will form. Now, we need to combine different molecules and compounds to create chemical reactions! We’ll learn how to write a reaction equation, learn the different types of reactions, and how to properly balance chemical equations.

Week 11
The Mathy Mole: We’re going to dig deep (pun!) into the world of moles- what they are, why they are important, and how to use them! LOTS of math in this lesson.

Week 12
Stoichiometry: We’ll discuss the ins and outs of stoichiometry, using the math concepts we learned in Week 11. How can we use those calculations to predict the amount of reactants or products in a chemical reaction? LOTS of math in this lesson. Plus, we’ll finish up the class with a fun lab that will let students get hands on with the process of determining limiting reactants and percent yields!

This is class is not recommended for most children under 13 (but we trust that you know your child’s abilities better than we do!). Remember, they MUST have already completed pre-algebra, though. There will be only one level for this course.

LESSON PLANS: This is a 12 week class. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete all work. Weekly lesson plans are posted on Tuesdays by 5pm Pacific Time. There is no “live” component to this class, which allows students to work at their own pace. This is a great option for busy students who need to work on their own schedule, and students who live all over the world and can’t easily coordinate time zones.

Lesson plans are a combination of power point, graphics, video, and audio. Each slide is fully narrated for students who prefer to hear material read to them. There is no textbook for this course. I provide all of the curriculum needed for this course in the lesson plans.

DISCUSSION:We offer an “open talk” forum where students can have fun getting to know their classmates!

ASSIGNMENTS: This is not our typical project based class. There will be a LOT of labs, so it’s definitely hands on! But assignments will generally include a math section and then practice of the concepts we have learned. Where possible, I will include a choice of hands on projects.  All students receive instructor feedback on submitted work.

QUIZZES: Online quizzes are available each week as a tool for students to see how well they understand the material. Format is generally multiple choice, matching, true/false, and fill in the blank.

GRADES: All quizzes, labs, and online assessments automatically receive a grade in the system. You have the option of having your student’s individual projects graded or not (all assignments receive instructor feedback). Report cards are issued at the end of the course- one for ungraded students and one for graded students. These mean nothing other than for your own records or reporting purposes. We do not maintain copies.

TIME: In general, expect 2.5-5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time).

Doing labs at home is OPTIONAL! However, I feel like chemistry is an extremely hands on science, and doing the experiments rather than just watching them adds an entirely new layer and deeper understanding to the material. I try to use household items for labs whenever I can, but that’s not always possible. And I do realize that some of these chemicals and equipment can get a little pricey. You don’t have to do every lab or not do every lab! You can absolutely do some of them and skip others (ones that are more hazardous or require expensive equipment). Remember- any lab you don’t do yourself, I’ll be doing on video so you won’t miss anything. I film every lab for the students so they can see the procedure and the result if they are unable to do the lab at home.

The materials list file is not working as a clickable link, and I can’t figure it out! But if you copy and paste this address into your browser, the excel file will download automatically.

The spreadsheet is sortable by the Week Number, the Lab Number (so you know exactly what is needed for each lab within a single week), and the material (sort by this to see how often we use a certain item). You can even create a column to check off what you’ve ordered to keep track. Many things you can buy at your local store. Things that may need to be ordered I have listed one or two sources for. Amazon, and Homesciencetools. There are multiple sources for most items- these are just the ones I use.

If you order from Homesciencetools, use the link to create your account and you’ll get $10 off! 


Our course begins with the first step for generating great user experiences: understanding what people do, think, say, and feel. In this module, you’ll learn how to keep an open mind while learning.

Total numbers of students in course