Gas station without pumps

2013 August 26

I won’t teach chemistry

Filed under: home school — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 09:32
Tags: , , ,

As I mentioned in Homeschooling chemistry this year? “My son needs to take chemistry this year.  He doesn’t have much interest in the subject, …”

Since we couldn’t get him into the community college courses (the waitlist is still full), and the AP course at the local high school might let him in, if there was room, in the spring, it looked like I was going to have to learn it with him, like we did for physics.  While it would be good for me to learn general chemistry, I’m not sure I’m going to have time this year to give it the attention it would need.  I’m very afraid that we would slip on the schedule repeatedly, to my son’s detriment.

My son and I looked at online courses, and found one somewhat pricey one that seems to have gotten good reviews (not only in the customer testimonials, but also in one of the homeschool mailing lists, which tends to have less selection bias).  Although this is just AP chem (slightly less rigorous than the book I’d planned to use), we decided that the external schedule would probably be enough of a benefit to be worth the price to us.

The course is ChemAdvantage, taught by Peter Moskaluk.  It is costing me

$738.95 for tuition (with handling charges)

$239.45 for the chemistry kit (with shipping)

$16.98 for the textbook

for a total of $995.40.  If I decide to do the labs with him, I’ll need to get another pair of safety goggles, pushing the course over $1000.  That’s more than the community college would have been for 2 semesters, but a lot less than UCSC Concurrent Enrollment.  I would still have preferred the community college course, where he would have learned to use real chem lab equipment, but the California legislature has decided that education needs to be strictly rationed, so that they can continue to pay for imprisoning ever larger fractions of the population without charging corporations and wealthy individuals any taxes.

(Actually, I’ve already spent more than $1000 on the course, because I bought the new AP chem student lab manual, which we probably won’t have any occasion new to use, since the ChemAdvantage course comes with its own lab manual.)

I might still make a colorimeter, just for fun.



  1. I feel your pain. I’m not teaching it either. I’m still researching programs though. Not hoping to spend that much though. Wow, just for 1 class? No college credit either?

    Comment by Nita — 2013 August 26 @ 09:38 | Reply

    • Most people are not aware of what a bargain public schools are. $1000 per course is a lot, but it is only about 40% of what local private schools charge, and about 25–30% of what private colleges charge.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2013 August 26 @ 10:06 | Reply

  2. Out of curiosity: Why are you home schooling your son? (If you’ve posted about this before, I’d be grateful for a URL)

    Comment by David Klappholz — 2013 August 26 @ 09:47 | Reply

  3. I teach at a private high school, a cheap private school. Our full annual tuition is about $9000. Figuring an 8 period day a year long course is about $1000. Our APChem is year long. So the price makes sense from the purely arithmetic sense. Throw in the chance to do this with your kid and there price is irrelevant.

    Comment by Garth — 2013 August 26 @ 18:17 | Reply

    • I wish there was still a private high school around here that was only $9000 and offered AP chemistry. The private school my son attended for middle school is now around $21000 a year, which comes to about $3k a course for a 7-period day.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2013 August 26 @ 18:57 | Reply

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