Friendly Chemistry! Perfect for Homeschoolers & their Moms

Friendly Chemistry
A Guide to Learning Basic Chemistry
3rd Edition
By Joey & Lisa Hajda

Friendly Chemistry really is very friendly and I have learned so much about the subject. Since I did not take it in high school, I was initially concerned I would not be able to teach it, but my 11th grader and 6th grader are sailing through practically on their own. The course comes with a Student Book and a Teacher Edition, both are needed since there are lesson plans and creative ideas in the Teacher Edition.

Both of my children have "naturally" memorized almost all of the elements chart, by playing the games, such as Element Bingo, and doing the worksheets. The Doo Wop Board is a great visual tool that Friendly Chemistry uses to teach the levels of the electrons. My kids used it so much that now they have the electron levels memorized.

There are 32 Lessons in the course and some topics covered are:
  • The Elements
  • Structure of an Atom
  • Intro to Quantum Mechanics
  • Orbital Notation
  • Ionization Energy
  • Introducing the Mole!
  • Writing Empirical Formulas
  • Balancing Chemical Reactions

I was heavily involved in the teaching from the beginning, but now I have my 11th grade daughter teach the lessons to her younger brother. This is working out great! I'll count it towards her high school chemistry class, and she'll know chemistry exceptionally well because she is actively teaching it. Here are some of her comments about the course:

  • Easy to understand.
  • Things are repeated to enforce.
  • Lots of involving games for large groups of younger students.
  • Lessons start simple and build upon each other.
  • Each lesson is easy to finish fast.
  • A 6th grader through upper years can finish one lesson in 1-2 days.
  • Not trudgingly difficult.
  • The concepts are still upper level, but the learning is free and smooth.

Here is a sample of a written narration by my 6th grader. I asked him to tell me what he's learned from the previous week and I use these narrations as a simple test. Remember, he thoroughly understands what he's learned and is able to articulate it in a written form:

In chemistry I learned about Ionization. It's when an atom becomes stable by losing or gaining valence electrons. There are 8 families, noble gas, halogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, boron, sodium, and calcium families. Halogen and oxygen gain, sodium and calcium lose, carbon, nitrogen and boron are unpredictable, and noble gas does neither.

Friendly Chemistry gets an A+ in our house.