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Review: Advanced Chemistry in Creation, Second Edition

Advanced Chemistry in Creation 2nd Edition Student Text 

Do you want your children to learn Advanced Chemistry at home?  Are you interested in a textbook that is written for homeschooled students, does not require the parent to know chemistry, and has extensive support?  Do you want your children to learn science from a former professor who loves God?

If so, Apologia’s Advanced Chemistry in Creation, Second Edition by Dr. Jay L. Wile was written for you.  More user-friendly than the first edition, this is, to my knowledge, the best available Advanced Chemistry course for homeschooling families.  As a scientist, I am impressed by the breadth, depth, and clarity of the text.  Any student who successfully completes this course understands chemistry at a first year university level and is prepared to take the AP exam. 

In Charlotte Mason terms, this is a living book, written by a person passionate about sharing the subject.  Dr. Wile addresses students in a conversational style, with clear explanations and humor, just like a gifted teacher would in a tutoring session.

Summary

Advanced Chemistry in Creation, 2nd Edition by Dr. Jay L. Wile is a rigorous, advanced, and clear chemistry course, presented from a Christian view point.  It is designed and written to allow homeschooled students to learn chemistry even if their parents know nothing about it. Students with the proper prerequisites can study the material on their own, and if they have questions they can contact Apologia Curriculum Support for help.

Course materials include

  • hard-cover textbook (over 500 pages),
  • soft-cover teacher’s manual (almost 300 pages),
  • test booklet
  • course website (password protected, available only with the course)
  • curriculum support and service (question answering service)
  • experiment kit (bought separately)

 Detailed Description of Advanced Chemistry in Creation, 2nd Edition

1. The Textbook

This is a thorough advanced chemistry text covering the following topics in 16 modules:

  • Student Notes (since this is essentially a self-study course, students need to know how to use the book)
  • Review (one complete module, as well as introductory sections in other modules) 
  • The Atom
  • The Electronic Structure of Molecules
  • Intermolecular Forces and the Phases of Matter
  • Solutions and Colloids
  • Solutions and Equilibrium
  • Acid/Base Equilibria
  • More on Equilibrium
  • Electrochemistry (2 modules)
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Organic Chemistry (2 modules)
  • Nuclear Chemistry
  • Highschool Chemistry review (2 modules)

For more detail, see the entire table of contents.

The text includes a detailed glossary and index as well as three appendices.  Appendix A includes useful tables and formulae of all kinds.  Appendix B is full of extra practice problems for each module, and Appendix C contains a complete list of lab supplies for each module. Important information such as the periodic table and various constants is now printed on the inside covers of the book, making it easily accessible.

Students are meant to study the text on their own.  Information to be memorized is clearly marked. Clear advice is given to help students understand what they need to learn and what sort of things will be on the tests. Throughout each module, they must study the examples and do the “On your Own” problems, checking them with the detailed solutions at the end of each module.  After the module is completed, they should answer the conceptual review questions and do the practice problems. The Solutions and Tests Manual contains detailed answers and solutions. 

To examine a portion of the text, please see the sample module.

More than two dozen experiments are included in the course.   They form an integral part of each module’s subject matter and should be done while studying that module. You’ll need to buy an experiment kit since the required chemicals are not easily available, but most of the lab supplies are meant to be ‘home-friendly’. You can see the list of required experimental supplies for each module’s experiments on the main Apologia website.  The password protected course website includes demonstrations of many different experiments, but, of course, students benefit most from doing the work themselves. 

Students should allow themselves about 45-60 minutes a day, five days a week to complete this course. 

2. The Solutions and Tests Manual

This manual is indispensible. It features

  • helpful teacher notes, including hints about grading the course
  • solutions to the review questions and practice problems
  • sample calculations for selected experiments
  • solutions to the course review (modules 15 and 16)
  • solutions to the extra practice problems
  • module tests
  • solutions to the module tests, with detailed marking schemes
  • quarterly tests (I combine these to make a midterm and a final exam)
  • solutions to the quarterly tests, with detailed marking schemes
  • a separate test booklet

 3. The Course Website

This fascinating password-protected website provides everything from review, explanations and practice problems, to virtual labs, interesting extensions of the text, videos, and advanced materials. 

4.  Curriculum Support

If students have any questions while using this text, they can contact Apologia Curriculum Support by mail, email, fax, phone, or on the web.  Although we have not used the Curriculum Support service for this course, we have been very pleased with the quick and helpful answers we received for other Apologia science courses.

5. Prerequisites

To study this course successfully, a student needs to know Algebra II and one year of high school chemistry. For required chemistry topics see the table of contents of Apologia’s introductory chemistry course

6. Second Edition Improvements

Miss 17 started Advanced Chemistry using the first edition, but she finds the second edition much clearer and easier to use.  She says it has ‘less useless information and better explanations.’ (Note that these bits of ‘useless’ information presented in the first edition aren’t actually useless.  The ones I noticed are simply beyond students at this level.) The second edition also has color in the illustrations, text, and background which clarifies concepts and makes the book easier to study.  The higher quality paper is an added convenience.

A few experiments have been added in the second edition. 

Both the glossary and the index are more comprehensive than in the first edition.  Rather than one short appendix, there are now three extensive ones. 

The second edition of the Solutions and Tests Manual makes the course much easier for the parents.  New features include the solutions to the extra practice problems, some sample calculations for experiments, detailed marking schemes for the tests, and quarterly tests with answers and detailed marking schemes.  The test booklet makes test supervision much easier than when the tests were only available in the Solutions and Tests Manual.

Finally, the second edition has a course website full of helpful information.

How We are Using Advanced Chemistry In Creation

Ideally a student would spend about 2 weeks per chapter, systematically studying the course and doing the experiments as they come up.  However, Miss 17 spent the first two months of grade 12 far from home, pursuing her interest in dairy farming.  She completed the first 5 chapters entirely on her own but did not do the labs because she did not have the experiment kit with her.  She was able to take the tests, though, and has done very well.  Currently she’s very busy with language studies and other preparations for a month-long trip to Europe, although she does squeeze in a bit of chemistry occasionally.  When she comes back she will be doing the experiments and finishing the course.  If she wanted to take an AP exam, she would be largely prepared after completing this course.

Obviously, this is not the way most students would use the text, but I think it demonstrates the flexibility of using Advanced Chemistry in Creation, as opposed to enrolling in high school, AP, college, or online courses.  It allows my daughter all the advantages and flexibility of homeschooling while giving her a top quality chemistry education.   

Our Opinions

Advanced Chemistry in Creation, 2nd Edition allows parents to provide their homeschooled teens with a top-level chemistry course without enrolling them in traditional schools.  Because of the way the book is written and because of the help service, homeschooling teens can study it even if the parents know no science.   In fact, this course teaches students more chemistry than they would learn in most public and private schools without an AP program.  Advanced Chemistry in Creation is highly recommended for any homeschooled student interested in studying sciences.   

Although this book is written from a Biblical, creationist viewpoint, the quality and clarity of the text is such that I think even non-Christian homeschoolers would find it helpful.  Also conventionally-schooled students who have not taken AP chemistry would benefit from studying this text before starting college chemistry.

The only negative things I could mention about this course are a few insignificant typos and the fact that the quarterly tests/exams are not available in a separate booklet but only in the Solutions and Tests Manual

Purchasing Information

The Advanced Chemistry in Creation, 2nd Edition text, Solutions and Tests Manual, and test packet are available from the Apologia website for $85 US.  Many homeschool suppliers also sell it.  The Lab Equipment kit costs $55 US from Apologia. 

Disclosure:  I received the Advanced Chemistry in Creation, 2nd Edition text, Solutions and Tests Manual, and test booklet from Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. in order to prepare this review.  I am not compensated for my reviews and the opinions expressed are my own.

See also Is this Course Grade 11, Grade 12, or AP?

3 Comments

  1. Jenn4him says:

    We love Apologia, too!
    Jenn

  2. Kristen says:

    Great review Annie Kate! We’ve just started on the first Apologia book this year (General Science) and I’m encouraged to see such a positive review on the advanced levels.

  3. Annie Kate says:

    Thanks, Kristen. Yes, it’s a wonderful program.

    Annie Kate

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