“Why do I have to study this? When will I ever use it?” I've heard these questions multiple times about subjects such as algebra, biology, geometry, and chemistry over the thirty years I have homeschooled our ten children. That's why I was so pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across the Chemistry Matters series on GPB when looking to update the videos from the GPB Chemistry: A Study of Matter series we have used before. It was evident from the first video in the Chemistry Matters series that this program was going to answer the question of “why study chemistry” in every segment. As of mid-September, my youngest son and I have completed the first three units and it has been a very rewarding experience. I personally have enjoyed the study of chemistry for the first time in the ten times I have taught it with our other children. My son and I have worked as lab partners to do the experiments (which have been very homeschool friendly) and I have been encouraged by the critical thinking and problem solving that has been incorporated into the program.

So far all of the labs have either used easily acquired materials or we have been able to watch the students on the videos perform the labs. It has also been easy to find videos on YouTube to supplement the labs or to further investigate or clarify different topics. Although I have developed a complete supply list for future labs, it appears most will be easy to implement at home. For those that are not, I have been looking into ways to substitute household chemicals for those in some of the labs, as well as look for alternative labs that will demonstrate the same concept. I'm very excited to continue working through the Chemistry Matters program this school year. I'm a little saddened by the fact that now that I've found such a great program that this will be my last time teaching chemistry. It has been great to be able to finally answer the question “Why do I need to study chemistry?” in such a tangible way.

Thanks, GPB Education!


A graduate of Emory University/Woodruff School of Nursing with a BSN and a former private school teacher (fourth grade, high school biology, advanced biology, middle school English and math), Karen has homeschooled her ten children for the past 30 years. Nine of her children have completed their homeschool education and have gone on to pursue various degrees. She is currently teaching her last son who is a junior this year.