Frequently Asked Questions

    Q1: What is ChemExplained.com?

    Q2: What electronic devices do I need to access the ChemExplained.com website?

    Q3: Why is learning high school chemistry important?

    Q4: Can students of all academic ability succeed in taking this course?

    Q5: How are Honor, Traditional and Foundational Students defined?

    Q6: How do I know that ChemExplained.com will work for me?

    Q7: What’s the main differences between ChemExplained.com and other online chemistry courses?

    Q8: Who teaches in the ChemExplained.com podcasts?

    Q9: What is the cost of a membership to ChemExplained.com?

    Q10: How do I contact ChemExplained.com if I have questions or encounter any difficulties?

    Q11: How does ChemExplained.com teach students chemistry?

    Q12: How many worksheets are given in ChemExplained.com over the course?

    Q13: Once I begin the ChemExplained.com course, how will I know the order in which to do things?

    Q14: What information can I access at ChemExplained.com without logging in?

    Q15: What information can I access at ChemExplained.com with a 1 year purchase?

    Q16: How do I purchase full access to ChemExplained.com online?

    Q17: How do I use the Student Notes and Worksheets for each Chapter?

    Q18: Why should I purchase ChemExplained.com?

    Q19: Is there a math pre-requisite for ChemExplained.com?

    Q20: What is a LowRes Podcast?

    Q21: When can a student begin the course?

    Q22: After a student watches the podcasts and fills in the notes, can the notes be used to complete the worksheets?

    Q23: Our Co-op (or student) needs to complete the ChemExplained course in a shorter time frame; approximately 8 months. What changes can be made to do that?

    Q24: Does ChemExplained have a textbook we need to purchase?

    Q25: How much time should a high school student spend on chemistry each day?

    Q26: In many places on your Foundational, Traditional and Honor student Calendars, it says to “Podcast Ahead.” What does that mean?

    Q27: Does ChemExplained have labs?

    Q28: What happens after a student performs or watches Mr. Riz do an experiment?

    Q29: Does ChemExplained have a Laboratory Safety Agreement?

    Q30: I plan my child’s science courses months in advance. What . . . Where . . . and How do I find the equipment and supplies needed for each of the lab experiments/activities?

    Q31: Is it necessary for students taking ChemExplained to cover all 20 chapters and do all 18 Lab experiments/activities?


      Q1: What is ChemExplained.com?

      ChemExplained is a complete high school chemistry course for students entering the 10th, 11th and 12th grade levels. The course covers 20 chapters of chemistry; has note sheets, worksheets, review sheets, tests, quizzes and labs as well as over 365 teaching videos (averaging 12-13 minutes in length) where chemistry is taught, explained AND understood by the student.

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        Q2: What electronic devices do I need to access the ChemExplained.com website?

        ChemExplained is available online from any computer, iPad or smart phone with internet access. With the ease and flexibility of this online program, students can learn chemistry at home on the computer, on their phone, in a classroom, in a car, on a bus, in the hospital, on vacation, in the airport or in any other place where Wi-Fi is available.

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          Q3: Why is learning high school chemistry important?

          Learning and understanding chemistry is important because more and more post-college careers are requiring students to take college chemistry. Colleges record (but don’t always report) that many of the students that register for their first year inorganic chemistry classes and second year organic chemistry classes drop out after the first few weeks. These students drop out because they were not properly prepared to take chemistry at the college level. Plus, in some states (i.e. Minnesota) all public school students must now take one full year of chemistry or physics in order to graduate from high school. Although homeschool students are not always bound by public school graduation requirements, taking a solid, math-based chemistry course is a good idea if a homeschool student has college chemistry aspirations.

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            Q4: Can students of all academic ability succeed in taking this course?

            Absolutely. ChemExplained.com is designed with three types of student in mind; the Honor student, the Traditional student and the Foundational student.

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              Q5: How are Honor, Traditional and Foundational Students defined?

              1. The Honor student typically receives A or A- grades, does well in math, enjoys an academic challenge and is college bound. They have no problem with a fast-paced curriculum. They don’t need any modifications to the curriculum to succeed. Approximately 20% of students are in this category. The Honor student should cover all 20 chapters in ChemExplained.com.
              2. Most students are considered Traditional students. For the most part, this type of student has average or above average grades. Some are college-bound, some are not, but their desire is to be “college prepared” from the courses they take. Modifications may or may not be made, depending on the needs of the student. Approximately 60% of all students are in this category. The Traditional student will cover 15-16 chapters in ChemExplained.com.
              3. The Foundational student may or may not have grades that are C- or lower and they may or may not desire education beyond high school. School is usually challenging and modifications (i.e. using their notes on the tests) are usually made in taking the course. Approximately 20% of the students, or 1 in 5 students are in this category. The Foundational student will cover 12-13 chapters in ChemExplained.com.

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                Q6: How do I know that ChemExplained.com will work for me?

                Right now, if you go to Shop on the ChemExplained.com home page and select “Free Chapter 1 Access” for $0, you will have access to Chapter 1 “An Introduction to Chemistry” and all Student and Teacher Resource materials for free! This includes access to the student note sheets and worksheets, as well as access to all 8 podcasts that teach, explain and help the student understand Ch. 1.  This also includes the teacher keys for the student note sheets, worksheets and tests. As a bonus, even the Chapter 1 test is explained by Mr. Riz on a video podcast.

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                  Q7: What are the main differences between ChemExplained.com and other online chemistry courses?

                  ChemExplained.com comes with a TEACHER!  This means that the #1 difference is the 365+ teaching video podcasts!  The students do not have to read a textbook and try to figure out chemistry on their own.  Ask the students that have done this.  It’s frustrating!  As the student listens to Mr. Riz, a licensed professional chemistry instructor, the student will be engaged in learning even difficult chemistry concepts in a way they can understand. Difference #2 is the rigor and success of the course which will help the student take their understanding of chemistry to the next level.  Students that successfully complete the ChemExplained.com course do NOT drop out of chemistry at the next academic level; in fact, most students earn A’s and B’s.

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                    Q8: Who teaches in the ChemExplained.com podcasts?

                    Richard Risbrudt has been a high school chemistry teacher for 44 years, teaching at a private Christian high school for 29 years and now at a community high school for the last 15 years. Over the years he has learned to teach and explain chemistry in language, examples and problems that thousands of students could understand. He has mastered chemistry concepts and the math associated with those concepts. Students that have completed his chemistry courses have been very successful in chemistry courses at a higher academic level. Richard’s teaching honors include the Ashland Oil Excellence in Education Award, Fergus Falls (MN) Teacher of the Year Award, the Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Award, and certificates of recognition for his outstanding teaching from three Minnesota Governors; Rudy Perpich, Arne Carlson, and Jesse Ventura. He has been recognized as the high school’s, “Most Influential Teacher” five times.  Richard was encouraged by homeschool parents, many of them former students, to create a chemistry curriculum where chemistry could be taught, explained, AND understood by their children as well.

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                      Q9: What is the cost of a membership to ChemExplained.com?

                      Navigate to our SHOP page where you can purchase the entire ChemExplained.com course online, including student and teacher resources for 12 months or one calendar year for $295 US Dollars.  Additional time of up to 6 months may be granted at parent request.  Promotions are frequently offered to those that attend homeschool and charter school conferences.  For example, right now by entering the coupon code CHEM2020 during checkout you will see a $50 discount when making a purchase of the entire course.  Navigate to our DISCOUNTS page where group rates are also available as well as discounts for siblings of students or additional family members taking the course at the same time. We will do everything we can to help your student succeed in high school chemistry! Email any questions you might have to learn@chemexplained.com.

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                        Q10: How do I contact ChemExplained.com if I have questions or encounter any difficulties?

                        For questions or concerns for Mr. Riz regarding the curriculum, send an email to: learn@chemexplained.com or mr.riz.4931@gmail.com
                        For technical problems or requests for website support, send an email to: support@chemexplained.com

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                          Q11: How does ChemExplained.com teach students chemistry?

                          Studies show that students learn when they can #1, listen and watch teaching that is vibrant, interesting, explained and understood; then #2, visualize the concept or see it in their minds; and then #3, practice the concepts until they can do them proficiently on their own.  ChemExplained.com does this by students listening, focusing and engaging into the 365+ chemistry teaching video podcasts.  To watch sample video podcasts, go to Free Trial on the menu bar and click Sample Podcasts.

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                            Q12: How many worksheets are given in ChemExplained.com over the course?

                            There are 120 worksheets plus 5-6 additional review sheets for students to practice and understand the key chemistry concepts. These worksheets can also be used as formative assessments to check for student understanding. All the worksheets relate to and are pertinent to the material learned in the podcasts and written in the student notes. The students aren’t taught one thing and then given a worksheet to do on something else.

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                              Q13: Once I begin the ChemExplained.com course, how will I know the order in which to do things?

                              On the Menu bar select Checklist. Once you download the PDF file Checklist document you will have a list in chronological order of all the podcasts, worksheets, tests, quizzes and labs starting with Chapter 1 and ending with Chapter 20.

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                                Q14: What information can I access at ChemExplained.com without logging in?

                                  1. Right now without a Login to ChemExplained.com you can:
                                  1. Select LEARN MORE in the menu bar to watch short introductory podcasts about the website.
                                  2. Select FREE TRIAL in the menu bar to learn how to access Chapter 1 Student and Teacher resources for free.

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                                  Q15: What information can I access at ChemExplained.com with a 1 year purchase?

                                    1. With a 1 year purchase you can:
                                  1. Select LOGIN in the menu bar and enter your Username and Password for private access.
                                  2. Select STUDENT in the menu bar and choose any Chapter from 1 to 20.
                                    – Select the RESOURCE button to download the Student Notes and Worksheets to your computer, tablet or mobile device.
                                    – Print paper copies of the downloaded PDF file documents.
                                    – Select the PODCASTS button to see all the Podcasts for the Chapter.
                                    – Select each video Podcast to watch in sequence.
                                    – Watch, listen, follow along and fill in the Student Notes sheets as the teacher explains the lesson during each video Podcast.
                                  3. Select TEACHER in the menu bar and choose any Chapter from 1 to 20.
                                    – Select the RESOURCE button to download the Answer Keys to your computer, tablet or mobile device.
                                    – Print paper copies of the downloaded PDF file documents.
                                    – Select the PODCAST button for the Chapter Test Explanation video.
                                    – Watch, listen, follow along as the teacher explains the Chapter Test answers in a video Podcast.

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                                    Q16: How do I purchase full access to ChemExplained.com online?

                                    1. Write down your valid email address, a unique user name and password as you will need this in the following steps:
                                    2. Select Shop in the menu bar, Click On your choice of Memberships, select Proceed to Checkout and fill in our online Registration Form.
                                      – Add your First Name and Last Name
                                      – Add your mailing address including zip code
                                      – Add your email address, unique username and password
                                      – Select Place Order
                                      – Select your Payment Option
                                      – Agree to Terms and Conditions
                                      – Your online order will be placed at ChemExplained.com
                                    3. Look for a welcome Email from ChemExplained.com showing our processing of your order.
                                      – Look for another Email from Chemexplained.com indicating your order is complete, then your Membership is available whenever you are.
                                    4. Select Login in the menu bar
                                    5. Enter your Email address or Username
                                      – Enter your personal Password
                                      – Click the Login Button
                                    6. Once you have successfully logged in you will see a Welcome Screen and find additional Student and Teacher Resources among your menu options

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                                      Q17: How do I use the Student Notes and Worksheets for each Chapter?

                                        1. Once the Student Notes are downloaded from ChemExplained.com and printed out, they are used as a self study guide in the following manner:
                                        1. A STAR symbol followed by a Title in the notes indicates it is now time to watch a Lesson Podcast on line.
                                          – Login to ChemExplained.com and watch the Podcast covering the same Title as identified in the notes.
                                          – The Student will actively fill in the notes along with the Instructor.
                                          – The student can pause or replay the Podcast as needed
                                          – Each Podcast will last from 8 to 15 minutes and there are 2 to 4 Podcasts per Unit
                                        2. A BOXED area identifies a Chemistry Worksheet and the Chapter number and subject are shown.
                                          – When the student has listened and filled in their notes to this point, the student’s assignment is to complete the worksheet.
                                        3. When notes and worksheets are complete use the Answer Keys to correct them
                                          – Prepare for the Chapter Test by reviewing Notes, Worksheets and even portions of the Chapter Podcasts.
                                          – Download and print out the Chapter Test and use the Answer Key to correct it
                                          – Login to ChemExplained.com to watch the Test Explanation Podcast for the Chapter

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                                        Q18: Why should I purchase ChemExplained.com?

                                        ChemExplained.com was developed by Mr. Riz from student feedback and 1000’s of hours of teaching chemistry over 40+ years. This course has the structure, the rigor and teaching that is needed for students to successfully learn and understand the “right” kind of high school chemistry. ChemExplained teaches the chemistry concepts and calculations that other chemistry courses don’t cover! In addition, ChemExplained has the flexibility of being accessible from many electronic devices including computers, iPads and smartphones. It is a great way for chemistry to be taught, explained and understood by all students in home schools, private schools, charter schools and online schools. Finally, ChemExplained is a proven, time-tested chemistry curriculum that has guaranteed student success at the next academic level in literally hundreds of cases.

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                                          Q19: Is there a math pre-requisite for ChemExplained.com?

                                          Students that have successfully completed Algebra 1 are all set to go. From there, Mr. Riz teaches and explains ALL the math they need to know on a daily basis.

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                                            Q20: What is a LowRes Podcast?

                                            Our newest ChemExplained.com teaching podcasts are made with 1080p resolution providing a crisp, clear picture on large desktop computer screens. No matter what the quality of your internet service is, transfer speed can slow down at times. To address this concern we are now beginning to offer alternative LowRes 540p versions of our Podcasts for improved play under slow internet conditions. 540p video still provides a clear picture at reduced or minimized screen size.

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                                              Q21: When can a student begin the course?

                                              Students can begin the ChemExplained course at anytime of the year and continue for the duration of their one year paid membership. While most students start in the Fall many others are ready to begin at other times of the year. A generic week by week Calendar is available for download, which will guide the Honor, Traditional or Foundational student through the complete course at an effective pace.

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                                                Q22: After a student watches the podcasts and fills in the notes, can the notes be used to complete the worksheets?

                                                Absolutely. Students are encouraged to do as much on each worksheet as possible without looking back at their notes, however they may consult the notes as needed in order to complete their worksheet.

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                                                  Q23: Our Co-op (or student) needs to complete the ChemExplained course in a shorter time frame; approximately 8 months. What changes can be made to do that?

                                                  Although it’s best to cover every chapter in ChemExplained, if a shorter course is needed, cover the following chapters in this order and get as far as you can: Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 18. For chapters not covered, (1, 6, 16, 17, 19, 20) print off the teacher note sheets for those chapters and include them in the student’s three-ring binder.

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                                                    Q24: Does ChemExplained have a textbook we need to purchase?

                                                    Other high school chemistry textbooks may be used as references in the ChemExplained curriculum, but a textbook is not needed to succeed in the course. Mr. Riz has spent over 40 years teaching, researching and creating a high school chemistry curriculum that prepares students for what is ahead at the next academic level. He has taken the most important concepts, calculations and materials that students need to know and put them into the 285+ page Student Resource manual. These student note pages may be printed off directly from the website, or ordered online and shipped to your home.

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                                                      Q25: How much time should a student spend on high school chemistry each day?

                                                      When we travel across the country to various homeschool conferences, this is a common question. Here is a fact: In you really want your child to be prepared for the next academic level, learning real high school chemistry, from the right company, doing it the right way, being taught by a real teacher, does not include many short cuts. Some science companies advertise their course as “high school level” when in reality, it is not. 7th, 8th and 9th grade level chemistry classes are not high school chemistry. Here is another fact: If we didn’t homeschool our kids, they would be attending a ~50 minute chemistry class each day in a school somewhere. They would receive on average, between 0 to 30 minutes of homework each day doing worksheets, lab reports, reading, etc. (0 minutes of homework means students are able to get their homework done during class time.) Add those two numbers together and students spend anywhere from 50 to 80 minutes doing chemistry each day.  Also, by asking this question, this leads us to ask you this question: “How much high school chemistry do you want your child to learn?” The entire 20 chapter ChemExplained course has ~90 hours of video instruction. For a 180-day school year, that’s an average of 30 minutes of watching podcasts per day. The rest of the time can be spent on doing labs, worksheets and tests.

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                                                        Q26: In many places on your Foundational, Traditional and Honor student Calendars, it says to “Podcast Ahead.” What does that mean?

                                                        ChemExplained is not a chemistry course that starts out easy in the first chapter and then gets progressively harder with each subsequent chapter. Yes, the course “builds” on what was previously learned, but depending on the topic, the material may be very easy, difficult or somewhere in between. On our ChemExplained calendars, students are encouraged to “Podcast Ahead,” or work ahead on what’s coming next whenever they have extra time. Students that “quit for the day,” because they’ve completed the day’s assignment in a few minutes, will wish they had more time when they come upon a chemistry topic that is more demanding. If a student “podcasts ahead” whenever they are able, and uses their time wisely and efficiently, they will never run out of time when it comes to understanding a more challenging topic.

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                                                          Q27: Does ChemExplained have labs?

                                                          Absolutely! ChemExplained has 18 lab experiments and activities in all. High school chemistry is a course that needs to be taught by a real teacher, that does real experiments, with real lab equipment and real chemicals. At ChemExplained, the student has the best of both worlds when it comes to doing labs. For all 18 labs, students can watch Mr. Riz explain and perform the experiment/activity on video . . . or they can do the experiment/activity themselves . . . or BOTH! Most students choose to watch Mr. Riz do the experiment first, and then try it themselves. While others do the experiment at the same time as Mr. Riz, following along step-by-step.

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                                                            Q28: What happens after a student performs or watches Mr. Riz do an experiment?

                                                            All 18 ChemExplained lab experiments/activities come with easy-to-follow lab report sheets, also called lab write-ups. These lab sheets include: TITLE (name and number of the experiment); SAFETY PRECAUTIONS (safety rules for all students to follow because this is our #1 concern); OBJECTIVES (what we can expect to learn); EQUIPMENT and MATERIALS (what is needed to do the experiment); PROCEDURE (how to do the experiment step-by-step); OBSERVATIONS (what we notice and know happened); DATA TABLE (values obtained that are used to do our calculations); EQUATIONS (what is going on chemically in the experiment); CALCULATIONS (used to help us understand the math behind the experiment); TABLE of PHYSICAL PROPERTIES (a chart that tells us important properties about the substances involved); QUESTIONS and CONCLUSIONS (help us to think critically about the experiment performed); and RESULTS (how well we did the experiment). All lab sheets are found in the Student Resources Manual or can be printed off the website. When completed by the student, these lab sheets are corrected and recorded as part of the student’s grade. The answer keys for all 18 labs are found in the Teacher Resources Manual and the Teacher tab on the website menu bar.

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                                                              Q29: Does ChemExplained have a Laboratory Safety Agreement?

                                                              Yes. Prior to a student or parent having access to any ChemExplained laboratory experiment/activity resources, they must agree to a one-time acceptance of the ChemExplained.com Lab Safety Agreement and Contract. To do this, click Student on the menu bar, then click Lab Resources (purple button), then click Enter the Laboratory (door), then follow the instructions. Download and print off the Lab Safety Agreement and Contract and keep it in the student’s three-ring binder.

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                                                                Q30: I plan my child’s science courses months in advance. What . . . Where . . . and How do I find the equipment and supplies needed for each of the lab experiments/activities?

                                                                All this information is found in the Master Lab Equipment and Supplies list found in the Teacher tab on the menu bar (red button). This 9-page PDF document can be downloaded and printed off so the parent knows exactly what lab equipment and supplies are needed for each experiment/activity. In addition, there are easy to follow instructions of where and how to order what is specifically needed in each lab. With many of the supplies found in most homes, the lab equipment and chemicals can be ordered from our recommended supplier; Home Science Tools in Billings, MT or Amazon.com

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                                                                  Q31: Is it necessary for students taking ChemExplained to cover all 20 chapters and do all 18 Lab experiments/activities?

                                                                  In a perfect world, the answer is yes! But our world is not perfect. Is it best to cover everything in ChemExplained? Yes! Is it realistic? Probably not, but it would be a great goal to set! Consider this: If a teacher hands out a thick 26-chapter history textbook at the beginning of the school year, will the class be able to get through every chapter and do every assignment and answer every question from cover to cover in that textbook? Probably not, unless each student wants to and is given more time! In reality, the teacher will get as far as they can, with the time that have to work with. That’s the beauty of ChemExplained – FLEXIBILITY! Each parent has the discretion to do what’s best for their child and cover as many chapters, and do as many labs as they can, with the time they have available.

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