High School Chem: Could somebody compare these 2 books?

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Sue G in PA
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High School Chem: Could somebody compare these 2 books?

Post by Sue G in PA » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:43 am

Hoping that somebody here might be able to compare 2 chemistry curriculums for me. This is a bit OT b/c I am not using the new American History Guide yet.

I have been following all the updates for Jay Wile's new Chem course and see that it will be available on Aug. 17. I own a copy of The Spectrum Chemistry put out by Beginnings Publishing (same publisher as The Rainbow). I seem to remember that Carrie used The Spectrum with one of her kids? Am I correct in that? I wonder if somebody might be able to compare the 2 based on the samples that Dr. Wile has posted of his book. I like what I see of the Spectrum but am not terribly thrilled with having to spend nearly $200 for supplies when I see that I can purchase Wile's new book AND supplies for less than that. :/ I also have Chem 101 DVD and thought of simply using that with my son. Honestly, I don't think he will be pursuing Chemistry in college but certainly don't want to rule anything out for him just yet. So, any thoughts on any of these curriculums would be appreciated. Thanks!

LynnH
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Re: High School Chem: Could somebody compare these 2 books?

Post by LynnH » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:47 pm

I can't really compare them, but I am pretty sure that Carrie ended up not using Spectrum. I think she said she sent it back due to maybe issues with the lab kit, but I don't recall exactly. I do know someone that has used it with an online Academy that uses it and they have not been pleased. They said there is not enough practice problems and not enough explanations. I have read that from others also.
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Sue G in PA
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Re: High School Chem: Could somebody compare these 2 books?

Post by Sue G in PA » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:04 pm

Thanks, Lynn. I have read many negative reviews and upon further reading of the text, I think I am going to sell it. It just doesn't look "solid" enough for my taste. Thanks!

Carrie
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Re: High School Chem: Could somebody compare these 2 books?

Post by Carrie » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:49 pm

Sue,

I didn't end up using Spectrum, as it just so happened that when I needed it the publisher was under a lengthy delay in receiving the print copies of his book from China. So, I received loose, run off sheets of the text (which usually is in full color). It was tough with these loose pages to determine how the Student Text and Teacher Text fit together. Yet, I could definitely have overlooked this, however in a further unfortunate twist... one of the chemical vials had also had the lid come off during shipment. The white powdered chemical was all throughout my kit when I opened it. After I finally discovered which vial had emptied itself, it was a chemical full of warnings not to inhale, not to get on your skin, etc.

Anyway, by this time we had the chemical all over us, all over the counter, and on the floor and my oldest son was pretty itchy. It was midnight, the night before we were beginning school, and at that time this was just more than I could handle. I could picture my little ones getting exposed to dangerous chemicals or it getting into our food (as we did not have a separate lab and would have to use our kitchen counter for experiments). So, for me this was the end of Spectrum. We boxed it back up, as I didn't even want it in the house by then! :wink:

As I spent time reviewing texts for chemistry for the upcoming American History guide, we did take another look at Spectrum. While it is a well written course, I did feel that it took some leaps in understanding where I would have preferred some further explanation. I do think the labs are very good, yet bearing in mind the home setting in which most us are conducting these experiments I wanted something a bit lower maintenance chemical-wise. :D

This thread about Dr. Wile's newest science text may be of help to you as you ponder: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=16078

Blessings,
Carrie

Sue G in PA
Posts: 246
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:09 pm

Re: High School Chem: Could somebody compare these 2 books?

Post by Sue G in PA » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:50 pm

Thank you, Carrie! I did read the post about Wile's curriculum which is what made me question my decision to use Spectrum. That, along with the cost of the materials to make the program work well had me leaning toward Dr. Wile's new book. After looking through the Spectrum text more thoroughly today, I am more convinced that we will go a different route next year. Thank you!

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