How to use SEAChem

Because the SEAChem2020 curriculum isn’t finished yet (est. completion Dec. 2020), it may not be entirely clear how to use it with your own child.  After all, how can you use something that’s not finished?

Fortunately, I’ve already thought of that.  It’s a two-part process, so stay with me:


Part 1:  Using the part of SEAChem2020 that’s finished

You’ll notice on the main page that there are a bunch of lessons already completed.  These lessons each contain some introductory notes, a text covering the material, a glossary, a practice sheet, a lab/activity, an assessment, and some suggestions for future study.  Long story short – just do everything in order and you’ll be in good shape.  This leaves us with…


Part 2:  Teaching the part of chemistry not yet covered by SEAChem2020

At some point, you’ll run out of SEAChem lessons and have to go it alone.  Not to worry – I’ve got you covered.  Here’s what you do:

  1. Buy a high school chemistry textbook.  It doesn’t matter which one – something within the past ten years or so is fine.  Don’t buy new – books are a ripoff.  If you want to use a free textbook, you can download one that I wrote here.
  2. Determine the order in which you’ll cover the material.  The textbook is written such that teachers can do one lesson after the other, front to back.  That’s what you’re going to do.  Figure out the point in the textbook where the SEAChem2020 curriculum left off and start from there.
  3. Break the material into lesson-sized pieces.  Again, these textbooks are broken into sections (i.e. “Section 3.5”), so just use those.  Feel free to combine or break up sections if it seems warranted.
  4. Have your child rewrite the material in their own words.  If you’ve got three pages of textbook in a lesson, have them rewrite these pages in a way that makes sense to them.  If it takes one page, that’s great.  If it takes ten, that’s fine, too.  If they want to come up with their own diagrams or analogies, let them do it.  If they want to be silly, let them be silly as long as they cover the material.  When your child is finished, have them teach you the lesson that they’ve written.  Bonus tip:  If your child is having trouble with the material, they can go here to look at some tutorials that I’ve written.
  5. Have your child do a practice sheet.  I have two websites that specialize in practice problems, so have them head over to either this one or this one.  There’s a link to worksheets on the right of each page.  When your child is done, they can get extra practice by writing their own practice sheet.
  6. Have your child do a lab.  I’ve got labs here, on the right side of the page.  They were designed for classroom use, but most of them can be done with modifications in your home.  Remember, safety first and never do anything unless you know it can be done safely.  When your child is done, they can get extra practice by writing their own lab.
  7. Have your child do an assessment.  Check the “resource collections” here.  When they’re done, have them write another one as practice.

And that’s it.  By doing these things, you’ll effectively be doing exactly the same thing that I’m doing while writing SEAChem.

You can do this.  I’m not the only person who can write a curriculum.  I’m just some guy with experience doing chemistry stuff.  The first time I taught chemistry, I did exactly the stuff I described above.  And you can, too.

If I can help, email me at misterguch@chemfiesta.com.

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