“ To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity...” —Proverbs 1:2-3

How do I open the files for the Guidebook and Accreditation Booklet?
When is Physics 101 being released?
How much math is required to do your Chemistry 101 film?
Can we get high school credit for these films?
Will these films and curriculum prepare us for academic testing?
Is there any dissection in the Biology 101 labs?
What kinds of labs are included with Chemistry 101?
Can we use this with Apologia or other text book curricula?
Can you give us a list of the stuff needed to do the Chemistry 101 labs?
What books do you recommend to supplement the films?
Are there a couple of errors in the Chemistry 101 Guidebook Tests?

If you have a question that is not answered on this page feel free to contact us!


Q: How do I open the files for the Guidebook and Accreditation Booklet?

The files are on disc #4 and you have to go directly there via the computer (not the onscreen DVD) to see them. Generally, the way you open a file like this is to put the DVD #4 into your computer and ignore any pop ups and ignore the movie that will start playing. Then go to the "Start" button on your computer and choose "my Computer." When it opens you will be able to directly access the DVD. Right click the chem101 icon (or bio101 if you had the biology film). Choose "open" and then you will see all the files. Then you can view the file and print if you wish. Some people will simply take disc #4 to Kinko’s or Staples and for about $25 they will print it, spiral bind it and put a clear cover on it. They can also print the accreditation booklet and have them center staple it and print the Periodic Table. If you still have trouble and if you have high speed internet, I can send the files via email. Top


Q: When is Physics 101 being released?

I’ve managed to miss every single deadline I ever set for myself in this series! SO in light of that we are really hoping that we will start shooting in summer but much depends on the writing. A 2014 release date is more probable. I wish I could give you a better time frame... really! Thanks for staying in touch and if you’d like, you can write an email and I’ll add your name to the mailing list if it isn’t already there. Top


Q: How much math is required to do your Chemistry 101 film?

Here’s the short answer regarding math:
I intentionally wrote the films to be nearly math free. I wanted to nearly guarantee that the students and parents would thoroughly actually enjoy their first encounter with chemistry and biology. So I took nearly all the fascinating parts, and left the harder studious parts for their later studies if they were so inclined.

Here’s the long answer regarding the series:
When we made our first film, Biology 101, it was our intention to make a biology curriculum that would really interest our viewers and make the science of biology fun and easy to understand. Plus, we were most interested in making sure it corresponded to what God revealed in the first few chapters of Genesis. After the film was produced, many parents wanted us to make the Guidebook so they could follow along with a written book. Then some families wanted us to make an Accreditation booklet so they could easily fulfill a biology credit as many states required this. One credit means the course takes about 130 hours of study time. We came up with a family-friendly, fun and easy way to do this that was in keeping with the vision of Biology 101. The same guiding principles applied to our second film, Chemistry 101.

We wrote the films to be accurate, visually fascinating and content rich. While we cover the same content as textbooks, I think you’ll find the experience with the film to be a great way to introduce and to study biology and chemistry. When used in conjunction with the accreditation booklet, a student will have over 130 hours of a fascinating and memorable course experience. This will certainly help prepare anyone for any academic achievement testing. That being said, my experience with ACT, SAT, CLEP and other academic exams is that they are way more detailed and far more math intensive than our series is intended. To thoroughly prepare any of these academic examinations will require that a person almost certainly adds a textbook to your studies in order to cover the intensive detail and math they require.

We introduce the student to very elementary balancing equations which is about as math intensive as it gets. We also talk about the concept of the mole, how it developed and what it is good for. The Guidebook has answers to the quizzes and the accreditation booklet is not so didactic or teaching as it is hands-on, experimental and discussion driven.

The vast majority of people who use our films find them completely satisfying in the amount of content and the memorable way the content is taught. Those who go through the 130 hours of study find the content more than enough to fill a single credit requirement. Top


Q: Can we get high school credit for these films?

When we made our first film, Biology 101, it was our intention to make a biology curriculum that would really interest our viewers and make the science of biology fun and easy to understand. Plus, we were most interested in making sure it corresponded to what God revealed in the first few chapters of Genesis. After the film was produced, many parents wanted us to make the Guidebook so they could follow along with a written book. Then some families wanted us to make an Accreditation booklet so they could easily fulfill a biology credit as many states required this. One credit means the course takes about 130 hours of study time. We came up with a family-friendly, fun and easy way to do this that was in keeping with the vision of Biology 101. The same guiding principles applied to our second film, Chemistry 101.

Credit

Since this is for homeschooling families primarily, there is no "official" institution that accredits home schools unless you have joined an organization like a public or private school. Still, their criteria would be very similar; credit is based on successfully completing a set number of hours of study and showing that you understand the material usually through taking tests. If you do not have a copy of the accreditation booklet let us know and we can email you a copy so you can look at it.

The Important Thing

Chemistry 101 was written for your whole family to enjoy an introduction to chemistry. The accreditation booklet actually has more inside than you may wish to accomplish every two weeks or so. Fill in where you wish, remove what is too much or doesn’t fit for your family at the time. Keep track of your time from the moment you start or if you go to the store to buy stuff or sit down and work and you’ll do great. Many of the labs will go quicker and some will take longer. The important thing is to enjoy this process. Top


Q: Will these films and curriculum prepare us for academic testing? (ACT, SAT, etc.)

We wrote the films to be accurate, visually fascinating and content rich. While we cover the same content as textbooks, I think you’ll find the experience with the film to be a great way to introduce and to study biology and chemistry. When used in conjunction with the accreditation booklet, a student will have over 130 hours of a great fascinating and memorable course experience. This will certainly help prepare anyone any academic achievement testing. That being said, my experience with ACT, SAT, CLEP and other academic exams is that they are way more detailed and far more math intensive than our series is intended. To thoroughly prepare any of these academic examinations will require that a person almost certainly adds a textbook to your studies in order to cover the intensive detail and math they require.

You’ll notice in the Accreditation Booklet that we only have "dry labs" for biology. We decided to leave "wet labs" (animal dissection) for those who really wanted to pursue it or were interested in being biologists down the road. So if that is an aspect of biology you and your children really want to pursue, then it can easily fit inside the accreditation course. There are sample copies of both Accreditation Booklets for you to look at on the content page of our website.

The vast majority of people who use our films find them completely satisfying in the amount of content and the memorable was the content is taught. Those who go through the 130 hours of study find the content more than enough to fill a single credit requirement. Top


Q: Is there any dissection in the Biology 101 labs?

You’ll notice in the Accreditation Booklet that we only have "dry labs" in the booklet. We decided to leave "wet labs" (animal dissection) for those who really wanted to pursue it or were interested in being biologists down the road. So if that is an aspect of biology you and your children really want to pursue, then it can easily fit inside the accreditation course. Top


Q: What kinds of labs are included with Chemistry 101?

There are a number of labs in the film that mostly require items you can find in your store and around the house. We intentionally did not film any of the scenes in a laboratory or with people in white lab coats as we felt this unnecessarily put distance between chemistry and first year students. As a result, nearly every lab and experiment simply requires things you find in your home. Top


Q: Can we use this with Apologia or other text book curricula?

Yes we’ve had many individuals and co-ops use our films in conjunction with other textbooks including Apologia. Generally they pick either the textbook or the film to be the primary focus then the other is used as a supplement. For example, if they use the textbook, they take the film sections and show them when the textbook gets to that section. Or, If they use the film as the pace setter, they will supplement the film with a chapter or a section from the textbook to fill in any parts they want to emphasize. Top


Q: Can you give us a list of the stuff needed to do the Chemistry 101 labs?

I was trying to avoid making an "official list of things you need" as I wanted Chem101 to be sort of "grab what you have in the junk drawer" science. Like in segment 1, you need a pot and water and a quarter and an empty bottle. If you don’t have the empty bottle right then for that experiment...field trip! Off to the store go you and your son/daughter to pick out your favorite soda! You take it back, drink it while talking about life and ta-da! You have your bottle! Yet, I am finding that several people would like to have a list as it would make life a little easier.

So here is an abbreviated list of the stuff that you’ll come across: (minus really easy things like water or drinking glass)

The easy stuff

Empty soda bottle
Baking soda
Glass jar
Play-doh
Mason jar
9 volt battery
A couple of pieces of copper wire for hydrogen experiment. (You don’t even need the alligator clips, just hold the wire to the battery.)
Something phosphorescent...field trip to the store may be in order here!
Crayons
Comb
Alka-Seltzer tablet
Can of diet cola and regular can of cola
Sugar and aspartame packets (get them at a restaurant...the horrid tasting pink packets of chemical sweetener)
Glow stick (virtually every store has these)
Couple of balloons

The harder stuff

Chunk of dry ice (this is a hard one if you aren’t in the city and hard even if you are...but it’s really worth it!)
LED light
lemons
2 galvanized nails
Wires with alligator clips from hardware store
Magnesium fire started (hardware store)

Although on page 20 I have you purchase a couple of neodymium magnets online for segment 19, I actually have you do a sheer thickening experiment using corn starch instead of the experiment using the neodymium magnets. Still, the magnets are a blast to have around. Top


Q: What books do you recommend to supplement the films?

I had a mom write me recently about the books I used for some of the chemistry 101 research. Here is a summary of what I wrote to her regarding the books I would (and have) purchased for my chemistry research. I wouldn’t run right out and get a ton of books (except maybe the Theodore Grey books) but would exhaust my local library first. Here’s the list:

First the fun books

I put these first because I would get these LONG before I ever purchased a text book. These books continue to make chemistry exciting, fun and engaging. Nothing worse that hating the subject you are studying. If you are going to go deeper into chemistry and start balancing equations and following reactions then you need to go deeper and study harder. But initially, these continue the excitement started in Chemistry 101.

My first and favorite book on chemistry and the periodic table is by Theodore Gray called The Elements. He just came out with another book called Elements Vault which I may like even better than the first book. Elements Vault actually has samples of archival documents that you can remove and even has a sample of real gold leaf in it! It sells for about $25 on Amazon. As a treat every morning, after I finish my devotions and read the scriptures, I read a bit out of this book to challenge my thinking and just have a good time looking and thinking about the beautiful pictures and information in the book.

Another visually fun book I own and read through is from DK Publishing called It’s Elementary! This is almost a book version of Chemistry 101 and reinforces many of the ideas in the films. In fact, that’s one of the advantages of reading materials like this...getting a second and third voice telling you similar information. It sells for about $10.

There are two chemistry books that are always at my bed bookshelf. I read from them at night for entertainment so that gives you an idea of how much I like them. They are great reads and you can jump around and read the various stories and get a lot of insight into chemistry and the lives of scientists. They are The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean and Nature’s Building Blocks by John Emsley which you can get used at Amazon for about $12 or new for about $20.

Another book I would get is by Benjamin Wilker called The Mystery of the Periodic Table. Again, it retells the history and gives insight to chemistry and is a fun read. It sells for about $10.

Then a little harder books...but still fun!

Okay these are books that get more into the nitty gritty of chemistry, but are still, for me, the more readable of this kind of reading.
First is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chemistry by Ian Guch. This is the easiest test book type read I came across. The author is on the third reprint so he’s got to be doing something right here. There’s a lot of information and it takes some digging but it’s a good resource for more in-depth chemistry. I own the second edition and it sells for about $13 new and maybe $6 used.

I have been a student with an online resource called Kahn Academy now for over a year and am working through their free online course in chemistry. It’s a great deal of fun (I already have aver 130,000 energy points, 33 Asteroid awards, 3 Moon awards, 2 Earth awards and just got my first Sun award!) It’s free to sign up and I think you will get a lot out of it for free and for fun.

Of course the standard text for Christian home educators is Jay Wile’s Exploring Creation with Chemistry. This is from Apologia Educational Ministries and I borrowed it to be sure I was hitting major topics covered in this book. I personally do not own the book as it is not my kind of read; very academic but thorough. It sells for about $40 but used copies are about $20.

In my bibliography are a number of books I used. Here’s a few more from there which I would consider:
Chemistry by Discovery Channel School Science is another visually interesting and fun chemistry book.
Chemistry Made Simple by Fred Hess is another text book like The Complete Idiot’s Guide and if you are seriously studying particulars of chemistry I would purchase this textbook. It is another voice to help clarify ideas. It sells for about $10 but used copies are available for a penny!!

This is an abbreviated list of books I used. Go for the library! It’s inexpensive, there’s a lot there and you can eventually determine if in fact you really want to purchase any of the books. Top

Q: Are there a couple of errors in the Chemistry 101 Guidebook Tests?

Yes and here they are!

Error #1

The answer for question #3 on Quiz seven is incorrect! Hydrogen is generally NOT listed as an Alkaline Earth Metal so the answer should be "False."

Error #2

There are about 90 stable elements and about 250 stable isotopes including the original 90. Technically the ’elements’ listed on the periodic table are themselves ‘isotopes’ so (technically) there are indeed about 90 stable isotopes listed on a periodic table. (For example, the carbon listed in the Periodic Table is Carbon-12 which is simply a variety, an isotope, of carbon just like Carbon-13 and Carbon-14.)
But a trick question was not what I had in mind...question #1 in Quiz nine was supposed to say there are about 90 stable elements listed on the Periodic Table. Top


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