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Hands-On Experience

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It’s not enough that the student learn the concepts of chemistry while sitting in before a computer screen or textbook. Most of the excitement of learning chemistry comes from the actual doing of chemistry. Molecules are very real and it’s amazing to see them in action! Therefore, in developing his college-level distance learning program, the author had to focus on creating meaningful hands-on activities that his distant students could safely do at home on their own using readily accessible materials. These very activities and many more that have since been developed, are now embedded within each chapter of the Conceptual Chemistry textbook. In short, the textbook itself is also part activity manual.

In addition to these textbook hands-on activities, homeschoolers are also urged to purchase the Conceptual Chemistry supplement: Explorations in Conceptual Chemistry: A Student Activity Manual by Jeffrey Paradis, which is available from Prentice-Hall.  You can learn more about this important supplement by reading the textbook frontmatter. Much of the equipment and supplies you will need to perform activities of this manual can be found within your home, such as a thermos bottle, measuring spoons, and dark-colored powdered drink mix. Your homeschool will be able to make greater use of this manual, however, by also purchasing a standard science kit of equipment and supplies, such as the Apologia MicroChem Kit. (Author’s note: “Micro” kits are preferable because they generate fewer wastes.)


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