I have always LOVED chemistry and could not wait to teach it. I have taken lots chemistry classes, including in college, and have tutored many high school and college students in chemistry. I have never had a chemistry book I did not like. I really dislike this one!!! I am so sad we wasted a year with it! I kept thinking it would get better. We have always used Apologia and expected it to be good. I bought additional dvd's entitled The Chemistry Tutor (not from apologia) which helped. The dvd's taught chemistry the way I am used to but I wish I would have started over with another book. Apologia teaches the concepts in a backwards order. In fact I had to start with volume 2 on the dvd's and work back to volume 1. The book often says how hard or confusing the concept they are trying to teach is, and then goes on to make it hard and confusing. If the book says it is confusing the student will be confused! Sometimes the author suggests you consult a different book if you are confused. When we watched the dvd on the same topic, the teacher would say, "this is very easy" and then make it easy to understand. It seemed to me that the author doesn't like chemistry. Some people are good at the life sciences and not the math based science. It seems like Apologia's strength is not the math based science. Chemistry can be so fun and easy when taught correctly. My son was able to get good scores on the tests but we never felt like we were getting a good understanding of what the book was trying to teach. They made it much harder than it should have been. Sadly he doesn't like chemistry now and even I did not enjoy this year of chemistry (so sad). Apologia can and should do better. Home school moms need to look for better chemistry courses and not just accept this one because Apologia's other courses are good.
If you want to learn chemistry from the foundations up, this course is ideal. It is exacting but after completing it, your student will no longer fear the calculations involved in chemistry. I completed chemistry to university entrance level but never understood it so well as after using this course to teach my son. It does not have the breadth required to sit an exam in the UK system, which is why I only give it four stars, but it certainly has depth.
I (Mom) am currently enrolled in an R.N. program at our community college. I had to take Chem 101 as a pre-req for admission into the nursing program. One year later my 10th grade daughter did this Apologia course. It was almost identical to the one I took in college. Had I taken this course at home I would have breezed through my college course (we can't test out of pre-reqs or I would have easily been able to-had I done this course.) I highly recommend it! Excellent college prep course!
I noticed one of the other reviewers said they skipped the math. I would not advise doing that. Math is a huge part of Chemistry and, if your student wants to go to college, you will be doing him/her a huge disservice if you skip this part of the curriculum!