Books dealing with science as with history, say, should be of a literary character, and we should probably be more scientific as a people if we scrapped all the text-books which swell publishers’ lists and nearly all the chalk expended so freely on our blackboards.Charlotte Mason, Towards a Philosophy of Eduction (Vol. 6) p. 218
In our Charlotte Mason co-op, Truth, Beauty, Goodness, our 8th through 11th graders enjoyed a Chemistry course, taught by Heidi Jahnke. Here are the books we used, the experiments we did, and a few science narration journal examples. Perhaps this might help someone who is thinking of putting together their own Chemistry class. Of course, they kept nature notebooks, too!
This class was a delight for the students (and the moms). Some of them clearly fell in love with chemistry and will be pursuing it in higher education. Some of them have no intention of entering into STEM studies in college (like my daughter), yet took part of the ideas and banquet spread before them and were inspired to go beyond to understand things like Lewis dot notations and balancing chemical equations. The periodic table of elements became something that opened new doors of understanding and now all the students can comfortably work with it. The bulk of the class was reading the books, narrating (mostly oral, some written), and working on their science narration journals.
Our co-op meets for 2 semesters, every other week, 6 meetings with a 7th meeting for exams.
The Joy of Chemistry by Cobb and Fetterolf (two-thirds of the book)
Chemistry (Homework Helpers) by Curran (selections)
The Disappearing Spoon (student edition) by Kean (entire text)
The World of Chemistry by Tiner (entire text)
The Elements by Gray (selections)
BBC Chemistry – A Volatile History (3 episodes on YouTube) – these were optional
EXPERIMENTS (all from The Joy of Chemistry)
Water Witch pg. 43
Coppers And Robbers pg. 53
Stop-and-Go Chemistry pg. 73
Purple Cabbage Indicator pg. 83
Blue Blob pg. 95
Bond. Chemical Bond. pg. 107
Conservation Of Mass (from ideas online)
Layer Upon Layer pg. 131
Concentrating On Color, Salty Dog pg.143
Soda Bottle Crunch pg.151
It’s In The Air pg. 161
How Does Your Garden Grow pg. 175
Hot Packs And Cold Packs pg. 189
Zoned-Out Ice (Read only) pg.201
Boiling Syringe (from ideas online)
All Things Being Equal pg. 219
Antifreeze and Antiboil pg. 233
Kick It Up A Notch pg. 245
This was my 3rd time through Chemistry using Charlotte Mason’s principles. Our classes have been inspired by Kelli’s Science with Living Books.
This post at Charlotte Mason poetry reflects my experiences and rationale with CM science over the past 25 years.
Here is Heidi’s framework for the class.
More posts on our science narration journals can be found here.
I hope this might inspire you in your high school science classes using the Charlotte Mason philosophy!
This scientific attitude of mind should fit us to behave ourselves quietly, think justly, and walk humbly with our God. But we may not confound a glib knowledge of scientific text-books with the patient investigation carried on by ourselves of some one order of natural objects; and it is this sort of investigation, in one direction or another, that is due from each of us. We can only cover a mere inch of the field of Science, it is true; but the attitude of mind we get in our own little bit of work helps us to the understanding of what is being done elsewhere, and we no longer conduct ourselves in this world of wonders like a gaping rustic at a fair.-Charlotte Mason, Ourselves (Vol. 4) p. 101