Introduction to Chemistry and Physics

From: $79.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 8th–9th (Advanced 7th graders will be considered.)

Live class: Wednesdays 2:30—3:30 p.m. EST

Course dates:

Price: $549 (Fee does not include text or lab supplies.)

Instructor: Susan Habacivch

Instructor email:

Note: Prerequisite is 8th grade math (some pre-algebra is helpful but not required).


Course Description

Course Goal: Following this course, students will be well prepared to succeed in future high school or pre-AP science courses, specifically biology, chemistry and physics.

Live Lectures/Discussions: Recorded video lectures covering weekly concepts covered will be available on the course website for students to view at their convenience. Live discussion classes will be held on Zoom approximately 2-4 times per month as review and homework help opportunities at the time listed above. All live discussions classes will be recorded and available for students to playback at their convenience.  Outside regular classes, Zoom sessions are available by appointment. Course design and most prerecorded lectures have been provided by Vicki Dincher, author and teacher.

Course Description:  Science is a way of knowing, a process for gaining knowledge and understanding of the natural world.  This class places emphasis on concept understanding and analysis, discovering the natural world around us and how things work.  The course is designed to continue the investigation of the physical sciences begun in earlier grades. The course will build a rich knowledge base to provide a foundation for the continued study of science. The investigations will be approached in a qualitative and quantitative manner in keeping with the developing mathematical skills of the students. The curriculum will integrate the following topics from both chemistry and physics:

  • Structure of atoms
  • Structure and properties of matter
  • Motions and forces
  • Conservation of energy, matter and charge

No application required for students in 8th or 9th grade. If younger students wish to register, please email me first.

Lab Activities:  Inquiry is the central theme in physical science. It is an integral part of the learning experience and will be used in both traditional class problems and laboratory work. The essence of the inquiry process is to ask questions that stimulate students to think critically and to formulate their own questions. Observing, classifying, using numbers, plotting graphs, measuring, inferring, predicting, formulating models, interpreting data, hypothesizing, and experimenting all help students to build knowledge and communicate what they have learned. Inquiry is the application of creative thinking to new and unfamiliar situations. Students should learn to design solutions to problems that interest them. This will be accomplished in a variety of ways, but approximately six hands-on experiments and six virtual experiments will complement the core concepts studied.  These experiments can be completed at home (adult supervision is advised) and most use simple household materials.

Student Evaluation and Feedback: Students will be graded on homework, labs, discussions, and exams. The homework will be a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions done on the course website and handouts to be completed, scanned, and uploaded. All student work will be graded and returned within one week of submission.

Communications: Course communication occurs through the message system on the course website on Canvas. I am also available to students through Zoom by appointment.

Technical needs: To access course materials students will need broadband, high speed Internet and their own e-mail account. This course will be run on the learning platform called Canvas. Canvas is a user-friendly, powerful platform where parents can be linked to their students and access student material, see grades, and contact the instructor at any time. Weekly assignments are downloaded as PDF files from the website. A scanner is required so that students can scan their completed work and upload it to the website for grading.

Time Commitment: The qualified student will spend about 5 hours per week on this class. This accounts for reading the assigned texts, answering multiple-choice questions, writing short essays and discussing class work and reading assignments with others in the forums.  Optional enrichment readings and videos are available and would add to this time commitment.

Instructor Qualifications: Susan Habacivch earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Washington University and a BA in French from Regis College. After working for several years in the fibers industry, she began homeschooling her four children in 2003. She has been tutoring and teaching science and mathematics in local coops since 2003 and has been teaching online since 2010.

Course Priorities: The number one priority of this course is to prepare the student to successfully complete future high school science courses.  The number two priority is to expand the student’s appreciation for the amazing complexity and wonder of our physical world

Major Projects: One model (chemistry semester) and one egg drop project (physics semester) will be completed for this course, one each semester.

Who should apply: Students should be in 7th, 8th or 9th grade.

Course Length: 32 weeks

Course Begins:  Aug 29, 2018

Course Ends: May 2, 2019

To ask a question regarding this class, email Susan Habacivch at


Required Texts

Required Text:  Physical Science: Concepts in Action by Wysession, Frank & Yancopoulos; published by Pearson Prentice Hall (2004). ISBN: 0-13-069988-8 (available at


  1. Lisa Janenda (verified owner)

    My daughter has loved her Intro to Chemistry and Physics class with Mrs. Habacivch this year! The class is extremely well organized and challenging, going into more depth than I would have expected from a regular Physical Science class. Mrs. Habacivch is responsive, helpful and very knowledgeable. She does a great job getting the students to contribute during the live meetings – which can be difficult in an online format – but makes for a much more interesting and engaging class. The labs are informative, fun and very manageable, adding to the overall value of the class. In addition to communicating regularly with my daughter when she has questions, Mrs. Habacivch also checks in with parents and has taken time to answer all my questions thoroughly. I feel like my daughter has gotten excellent preparation for future Chemistry and Physics classes.

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Instructor Bio

Susan Habacivch

Susan Habacivch earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Washington University and a BA in French from Regis College. After working for several years in the fibers industry, she began homeschooling her four children in 2003. She has been tutoring and teaching science and mathematics in local coops since 2003 and has been teaching online since 2010.

Pre-Calculus with Statistics

Algebra II

Geometry Intensive


Intro to Chemistry and Physics


All classes taught by Susan Habacivch