When I began homeschooling, I was intimidated by the idea of teaching homeschool science. I remembered memorizing scientific terms and reading textbooks when I was in school, and I wanted to find a way to make science exciting for my children.
The study of science should encourage curiosity and discovery, not just memorization of facts.
Studying science will help your child learn to:
- Observe structure, function, change and diversity,
- Organize and classify,
- Understand models and systems, and
- Evaluate cause and effect.
Here are some tips for choosing a homeschool science curriculum.
Here are some Homeschool Science Activities:
Provide your child with a bug jar, aquarium, field guides, a flashlight, binoculars, a compass, a prism, a magnifying glass, magnets, scales, a rain gauge, a thermometer, wires, bulbs, batteries, old machine parts, a microscope and a telescope.
Purchase science kits that include step by step instructions, along with all the materials needed for the project. Our entire family, from youngest to oldest, loves the inexpensive project kits for kids from Bright Products, Inc.
Follow your child's interests, and make time to listen to her thoughts and ideas. Give her a science notebook to record observations and new vocabulary. Encourage her to make sketches and label drawings.
Take advantage of technology by renting documentaries, watching science programs on television or using internet resources.
Teach your child to observe the moon, stars, clouds, and changes in seasons and weather. Keep track of special events like an eclipse or rocket launch.
Plant seeds and chart their growth in different conditions. Plant flowers and trees, or an herb, butterfly, pizza or vegetable garden.
Attract birds to your yard by setting up a bird feeder. Observe worms, bees and ants, or neighborhood animals like bunnies or squirrels. Buy an insect or frog kit like the ones sold by Insect Lore, or catch insects and other critters outdoors.
The book, Pets in a Jar, provides valuable information about capturing and taking care of small animals.
Let your child keep collections of rocks, flowers, leaves, shells and pinecones. Press leaves or flowers into a journal, or use them for art projects.
Study the people of science by reading books about scientists and inventors. Keep nature and science magazines available, and invest in a set of good science books.
My son surprised me one afternoon, by pulling out one of his science books, asking for an empty spool of thread and spending the rest of the evening working on an experiment.
Go on homeschooling field trips to nature preserves, orchards, arboretums, planetariums, space centers, farms, wildlife parks, and science museums.
Give your child time to observe, ask questions, and test his environment instead of just cramming his head with vocabulary.
Encourage him to ask questions, guess what will happen and why, and set up an experiment to see if he was correct. You've just taught the scientific process!
Follow these links to find ideas for:
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