Introduction to Organic Chemistry & Biochemistry


Online for the 2024-2025 School Year

Teacher: Connie Schwartz

Email: clovervalleychemistry@gmail.com

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Registration for the 2024-2025 academic year is now open!


You are also welcome to contact me at clovervalleychemistry@gmail.com to discuss other options for chemistry including self-paced, parent-graded options.

Prerequisites for this course:

*Completion of either a rigorous Honors Chemistry course or an AP Chemistry course

*Very solid study skills and a good work ethic – this course is very demanding and moves very quickly. :) Students should have exceptional time management skills, be highly organized, and be capable of/be willing to take notes while watching video lectures and while doing textbook readings.  All the executive function types of skills are vital for success in this course.

Sample teaching videos and examples of content:

If you’re interested in checking out my teaching style and would like to see the video lectures for the first chapter covered, “Introduction to Organic Chemistry: Alkanes”, click here to view the chapter playlist.  If you would like to see examples from Chapter 11 of the chapter checklist, the homework assignments, and the chapter test, please click here.  If you would like to see further examples of the video lectures, here is a link to the lectures for the Organic Chemistry Supplemental Unit.

Who Should Apply:

If your student is considering pre-med in college, this is would be a great elective in high school!  Organic chemistry and biochemistry in college are the courses that pre-med students struggle with the most so gaining a solid introduction to organic chemistry and biochemistry in high school will give a definite leg-up to students when taking those subjects again later in college.  This course would be an EXCELLENT course for students who may be considering a career in medicine or another professional health field.

This course will cover the basics of introductory organic chemistry and biochemistry and will be delivered as an advanced chemistry course for high school. The ability to memorize large quantities of material is essential for this course.  Time commitment is roughly 8-10 hours per week but that will vary greatly depending upon a student’s abilities and working speed. The topics covered will include:

*Introduction to Organic Chemistry: Alkanes

*Alkenes, Alkynes, and Aromatic Compounds

*Alcohols, Phenols, Thiols, and Ethers

*Aldehydes, Ketones, and Chiral Molecules

*Carboxylic Acids and Esters

*Amines and Amides

*Conformer Analysis, R/S Configuration, Mechanisms, Reaction Catalog, & Synthesis



*Amino Acids and Proteins

*Enzymes and Vitamins

*Nucleic Acids and Protein Synthesis

*Metabolic Pathways for Carbohydrates

*Metabolism and Energy Production

*Metabolic Pathways for Lipids and Amino Acids

How To Apply:

Registration for the 2024-2025 academic year is now open!

You are also welcome to contact me at clovervalleychemistry@gmail.com to discuss other options for chemistry including self-paced, parent-graded options.


The Introduction to Organic Chemistry & Biochemistry course is a 36 week course and the tuition fee for 2024-2025 is $749.

Textbook Required:

*Karen Timberlake’s “General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry: Structures of Life” 4th edition (the study guide to accompany the textbook is a nice resource but may be difficult to find at a reasonable price – don’t worry about purchasing it if you can only find it listed for an exorbitant amount of money :)).

We won’t be using any of the online materials so you do not need to purchase a book with an internet code.

Required organic model kit: Molecular model kit

Currently, this course is offered without a lab component.  The types of materials needed to do organic or biochemical labs are difficult to come by for a homeschooled family.  There are a few virtual lab assignments, however, that will give students a bit of background knowledge of some of the analysis techniques for organic functional groups and for biochemical macromolecules.

Technical Requirements:

*Internet connection with the ability to stream video lectures

*Ability to scan documents into PDF or JPEG format and to email the uploaded documents

*Access to a webcam is NOT required – the live “office hour” sessions will be audio and/or text-based

Course Schedule:

The schedule for 2024-2025 is for courses to begin on August 19, 2024 and end on May 18, 2025 with a day off for Canadian Thanksgiving (Oct. 14, 2024), two days off for US Thanksgiving (Nov. 28-29, 2024), two weeks off from Dec. 23/24-Jan. 5/25, and one week off from Mar. 10-14, 2025. We will also take off most other holidays. Because of the asynchronous nature of the teaching lectures, families who don’t wish to take time off at these times of the year can work through and work ahead in order to take alternate holidays.

Course Structure and Delivery:

The course will be broken down into units based on topics in chemistry and/or chapters in the textbook.  The concepts in the individual units will be taught through a combination of textbook readings and prerecorded teaching lectures with accompanying handouts based on the Power Point slides from the lecture so that the students may follow along and take notes.  Because the videos are prerecorded, the students can pause them, go back and re-watch sections, and even re-watch the entire video as many times as they need to.  This allows students to move at their own pace through the lectures within each unit.  There will also be optional live “office hours” twice per week where I will be available to answer student questions so that students are able to get help in real time.  These “office hour” sessions will be recorded so that they can be viewed afterwards.  I’m also always just an email away should a student require help at any time.

The live “office hour” time for Introduction to Organic Chemistry & Biochemistry is Monday from 2:30pm-3:30pm Eastern Time.  Attendance at these office hours is not mandatory for students.  The teaching of the material is done exclusively through the pre-recorded video lectures and textbook readings.  The “office hour” times are simply to give students a chance to get help in real time.

Each unit will be assessed through a combination of homework assignments, unit/chapter tests, and/or virtual labs.  There will be a midterm exam and a final exam for the course.

Synchronous aspects of the courses:

*set start and end dates

*due dates for each chapter block

*live "office hour" times

Asynchronous aspects of the courses:

*scheduling of textbook readings is flexible

*prerecorded lectures can be watched at any time with as many breaks or pauses as needed

*assignments/labs/tests can be submitted on a flexible basis anytime during the time allotted for the chapter block

About Me:

Hi there!  I’m a teacher with over 25 years of teaching, tutoring, and homeschooling experience.  I obtained both my Bachelor of Science (Chemistry with a major in Organic Chemistry) degree and my Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.  I’m registered with the Ontario College of Teachers (where all certified teachers must complete a S. A. Prevention Program) and have a Secondary Honors Specialist designation in Chemistry as well as training in providing an Advanced Placement Chemistry program.  In past, I have taught for both the Rainy River District School Board and Confederation College – Rainy River Campus.  My daughter was homeschooled from Grade 2 through to Grade 12 and we loved the flexibility and freedom it allowed.  Teaching chemistry is my passion – I love to help students understand the wonderful world of chemistry!

Mrs. S

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