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Chemistry: The WHY Behind the WOW!

Chemistry – How and Why

What kid doesn’t love to do chemistry experiments? But doing and understanding are two different things!! One of my pet peeves is when people say “My kid mixed baking soda and vinegar together today and watched it fizz! We did science!”. Um, no. You watched a reaction. Unless you know WHY it fizzed, you are simply watching science- not understanding it. Yeah, yeah, I’m an admitted science snob! 🙂 In this class, we are going to have a lot of fun with the WOWS, but our goal is to understand the WHYS. We’re going to go beyond the reactions, down to the molecular level, and see what the heck is really going on!

Even though this class is for the younger crowd, that doesn’t mean we’re going to skimp on scientific concepts! We don’t do fluff or surface skimming science at Next Level Homeschool! That said, unlike my high school chemistry class, this is basically a conceptual chemistry class and a “no math” zone with a few easy exceptions. The goal is to challenge students and give them a strong foundation in chemistry that will carry them into future chemistry classes.

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 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). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.

Week 1
Chemistry is EVERYTHING. And everything is MATTER! We'll define matter and learn how to calculate mass, density, and volume of matter. Once we've defined it and learned to measure it, we'll talk about the different states of matter and what characteristics they have that make them different from each other. 

Week 2
Now that we know what matter is, it's time to figure out what it's made of at the molecular level! We'll learn all about elements and the atoms that make them up- and the parts that make up an atom! From there we can begin to learn how the periodic table works by finding elements based on their atomic number and how to figure out how many electron clouds are in an atom. We'll cover isotopes and how to find the mass of an atom. Spoiler alert- it's TIIIIIIIINY!! 

Week 3
This week we'll focus on the periodic table to figure out what all of those symbols and numbers really mean! We'll learn about the arrangement of the table into groups and periods, and what those tell us about the elements in those areas of the table. We'll learn about valence electrons, and how they help determine which elements are metals, nonmetals, and metalloids. 

Week 4
Now that we are knowledgeable about atoms and elements, it's time to use them to make different kinds of matter! We'll learn about bonding, molecules, and compounds. We'll finish up with mixtures- heterogenous vs homogenous, and separation techniques.

Week 5
We're going deeper into bonds this week, learning all about ionic and covalent bonding and how we can predict what kind of bonds an atoms will make based on where it is in the periodic table. We'll go over chemical formulas and what they mean, and then start learning about everyone's favorite chemistry topic- chemical reactions!

Week 6
This week we'll solve the mystery of solutions! We'll learn how they are formed, what soluble and non-soluble means, what factors affect solubility, and polarity of molecules.

Week 7
We're getting down to the "basics" of acids and bases this week! We'll learn what factors determine if a substance is an acid or a base, what pH is, how to measure pH with different indicators, and neutralization reactions.

Week 8
We'll finish up with oxidation and reduction reactions- redox! We'll learn what they are, what oxidation numbers of different elements are and what those numbers tell us.


All labs are OPTIONAL (but highly recommended!), and I  provide a video or explanation for each lab for students who are unable to do the lab on their own.  I try to use household items where possible, but there will be some experiments that require chemicals you will need to order. I’ll provide a link for those items.

For certain things, I provide a link to Home Science Tools so you can see what I’m talking about. You can purchase from there or any other source you prefer (Amazon, etc…).

If you purchase through Home Science Tools, you can use this promo code/coupon link to get $10 off your first $30 order:  http://rwrd.io/nby6v4w 

Wall Poster of the Periodic Table
Periodic Table: Book of the Elements

Gram Scale: Kitchen or Jewelry scale is fine.
Small object of your choice (can be something like a small toy, can of dog food, bar of soap, etc…)
100 ml Graduated Cylinder
Funnel (optional, but makes life easier!)
A solid object that will fit inside of your graduated cylinder easily. A rock is a good choice.
Large Balloon
Wide mouth container that will fit on your gram scale

Gram Scale
30 Small objects that don’t roll- for example m&ms, skittles, dried beans, beads, etc…
Table Salt

Week 3
Samples of the following elements (I order the 1g samples from this company):  Aluminum, Magnesium, Carbon, Selinium, Boron, Silicon, Gallium, Indium  
NOTE: Elements are NOT toys! Do not open until the lab and do NOT handle without gloves!!!
Safety Goggles
Electric Circuit with Bulb

4 different colors of clay
3 clear cups or beakers
Plastic Spoon
2 Coffee Filters
Iron Filings
Vegetable or Olive Oil
A few different brands/colors of markers

Hydrogen Peroxide
3 Test tubes or small clear containers
Graduated cylinder or pipette (or eyedropper)
Baking Soda
Tall plastic water bottle or other bottle with a small neck that you can put a balloon around
5 Plastic Cups- the flexible kind, not the rigid kind
10 Flat headed metal thumbtacks
1 9-volt battery
Baking Soda
Lemon Juice
Distilled Water
Rubbing Alcohol

11 clear Plastic Cups or Beakers- or if you want to wash in between labs, you will need a total of 4 cups/beakers.
Vegetable Oil
Food Coloring
Spoon or stirring rod
Sandwich bag
Bottle of club soda or sparkling water
Pot/stove to heat water
cocoa powder
pipe cleaner
corn syrup

Red & Blue Litmus Paper
Specific pH measuring device: You can use these strips, but I will be using and recommend a pH meter.  I’ll also be using a liquid indicator, phenolphthalein– it isn’t required and you can also make your own red cabbage indicator for this experiment if you prefer. Justput about a cup of red cabbage leaves into a blender with 200 ml of DISTILLED water. Blend well. Pour through a strainer. The purple water you get will be your pH indicator.

As many of these solutions as you can get:
Grape juice
Lemon juice
Toilet Bowl Cleaner (wear gloves and goggles!)
Kitchen Cleaner
Dish Soap
Nail Polish Remover
Baking Soda
Hydrogen Peroxide
Tomato Juice

2 paper plates
Lemon Juice
Corn Syrup
Steel Wool
2 pieces of Sterling Silver (spoons, rings, etc… if you can’t get this, don’t worry about it!). It can be tarnished or untarnished (dull or shiny).
Baking Soda
Baking Dish
20-30 dull pennies- not brand new shiny ones!
2 new steel screws or nails
Iron acetate solution (make this by soaking 1 cubic inch of steel wool in 1/2 cup of vinegar for 24-48 hours before you do the lab. Place your container outside and attach a paper towel to the top of the container with a rubber band so gasses can escape but debris can’t get in)
White bowl or container (we need to be able to see the color change)
Hydrogen Peroxide

Next Level Homeschool is a firm believer that not all learning should happen from behind a screen! That's why we give students the freedom to submit their assignments in the way THEY want to! We don't want regurgitation learning here. By allowing students to use their own talents, skills, and passions to complete assignments, they become even more engaged and retain the information. Why? Because now it's literally in their hands! We receive thousands of projects every year from our students: written reports, videos, models, posters, Scratch, Minecraft, Roblox, songs, poems, skits, drawings, sculptures, craftswe've seen it ALL! And WE LOVE IT!!

Click here to view just a few projects we've received from students who have taken this class and see what YOUR kid could be learning with Next Level Homeschool!

Course Features

  • Schedule Oct 3 - Dec 5
  • Activities Science
  • Lessons 8
  • Suggested Ages 9-14 One Level