Monday, May 21, 2012

Lab Sciences

Providing good lab science experience for our homeschooled children has been a bit of a challenge and is something that I don't feel like we do very well.   We've done experiments from time to time but nothing in a systematic method.

The curriculum that we use for science has not included enough hands on activities.  Or maybe, it is just that we haven't taken the time to do them.  What ever the reason, I want to do something to change this. During the school year, I'm just can't add another thing to our long list of activities.  So, a summer program seems like the way to go.

In our area, there are quite a few science based summer camps.  I found a few that had potential but the cost was quite high.  Also, 30 hours of lab crammed into a week, doesn't sound like such a good idea to me.

Next I started checking out chemistry science kits.  I found a few that had promise.  However, I didn't want to be the one directing this activity.  I don't want to juggle another ball in my over-the-top schedule.

All of this brought me to Plan B: create our own chemistry lab camp.

Step 1: Call my homeschool friends and find a two week period during the summer that we are all available.  (This was a very hard step).

Step 2: Find someone who would be interested in teaching a chemistry lab class. (This step was surprisingly easy).  I have a friend who teaches high school math. She has a degree is chemical engineering and would love to teach chemistry over the summer.

Step 3: Pick out a chemistry lab kit that is affordable and well designed.  Hopefully we've got that step right.  If anyone has used Standard/Honors Home School Chemistry Laboratory Kit by The Home Scientist, let us know how you liked it.

Step 4: Find a location (which turns out to be my screen room.)

Step 5: Decide how much to charge so that my friends with multiple students can afford the class while making it worthwhile for the teacher.

My high school age girls studied chemistry this academic year.  With our do-it-yourself  chemistry lab camp, I will feel justified in listing chemistry with lab class on their transcripts.


Jean said...

That's a great idea. If I lived in a larger city with more structured-type folks, I would try to do it! (I am surrounded by unschooling hippies and I love them, but they're not into organizing lab classes.)

We are about to enter upon a year of chemistry, but for 7th grade (and 3rd). I have a chemistry set and we will do weekly labs, but it's middle-school level. For HS we will probably enroll in the local CC for chem, but it would be great to get your friend up here...

Rose Godfrey said...

That is an excellent idea. We've done single days, haven't thought of doing a consistent class. And summer is perfect. Thanks for the push!

Anonymous said...

Awful Awful Awful..... never ever homeschool.

Janine Cate said...

That last comment made me laugh.