Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: Getting to know the elements of the periodic table

Friday, September 22, 2017

Getting to know the elements of the periodic table

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Elements of the periodic table, homeschooling chemistry

Are you raising a child who tends to personify everything? I was one of those kids. I remember with almost embarrassing clarity one boring afternoon in my preteen years when I determined the gender of the numbers 0 - 9. For whatever reason, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 0 were boys, and 1, 4, 6, and 9 were girls.

I'd like to say with authority that there is strong scientific evidence that associates this sort of behavior with creative genius, but that would require scouring psychological journals. Speaking simply from experience though, I can say that my own tendency to personify things helped me to learn, especially when it came to science.

I assigned personalities to everything from different species of animals to various types of bacteria and even the elements of the periodic table in my mind. I think that's why I was so excited to find a complete set of the Basher Science books at a secondhand store a few years ago.



One of the Basher books is called The Periodic Table: Elements with Style, and it allows readers to meet and get to know the personified elements, complete with characteristics you would expect based on how they appear and react in nature. Sodium, for instance, gets along with everyone but is really high strung, sulfur is a prankster dressed sweetly in yellow, and iron is "at the center of everything."

Imagine my excitement when I realized, after recommending the book to our local co-op class, that there is a newer version, with more elements, each with its own descriptive page! It's titled, The Complete Periodic Table: More Elements with Style.


If you have a child who is interested in learning more about chemistry, you need to check out this book, currently on sale for 45 percent off the list price, but I don't know how long that will last.

Associating human characteristics with inanimate objects really has been a good way for me to learn and retain information over time. I believe the Basher Science books about the periodic table can help cement this information in your child's long term memory, too!