The new year is the perfect time to hit reset on our homeschool science plans.
If things are going great, don't change a thing. In fact, you can stop reading this now.
But if science in your homeschool is not going the way you thought it would, there are three negative thoughts we want to encourage you to ditch before you make any changes.
We all struggle with negative thoughts and doubts around homeschooling. The following thoughts are common ones we hear at Elemental Science. But we don't want to just share them, we want to help you reframe these thoughts for this next year.
Science is often seen as too hard. But in reality, teaching science is less about book-smarts and degree-pursuits. It’s about setting up an environment or providing opportunities to do, see, observe, reason, touch, sense, think, connect, dream, build, question, organize, and learn from books.
At its heart, science education is about providing opportunities for the mind to work. When we approach science this way – read, do, write – we provide opportunities for the mind to work.
This doesn’t mean that you have to manufacture every single learning opportunity. You can use a program to help you provide pockets of opportunities for the students’ scientific minds to work each week.
When you find yourself thinking that science is too hard, just remember that at it's heart science is simply providing an opportunity for the mind to work.
You don't have to be an expert or a lover of science to share it with your kids. The basic idea is to find materials that will make it possible for you to DO science, READ about science, and WRITE down science each week.
Those materials could be a full science program, an eclectic mix of resources, or an outsourced class. Whatever you choose as your support materials, I want you to know that you can teach science to your kids.
When you find yourself thinking that you cannot possibly teach science to your kids, just remember that with the right materials in hand you can share science at home.
I love a sheet full of checked boxes! So, when we first started homeschooling if there was something on the schedule or in the guide, I would work so hard to make it happen. And this worked okayish in the early years, but as our daughter got older . . . not so much.
Over time, I learned that you don't have to do it all. You don't have to be a slave to box-checking. You can customize your science program to fit the needs of a specific child. You can cherry-pick what you know will benefit your students the most, fitting in the keys to teaching science - do, read, and write - in a way that is meaningful to them. (See how we did this in our homeschool.)
When you find yourself thinking that you have to teach it ALL, remember that you get to customize your chosen science program to fit your needs.
Stop saying science is too hard. Or that you can't teach it at home. Or that you have to fit it all in.
In reality, homeschool science at its heart is about providing opportunities for your kids to observe, explore, and think. It's easier to share when you have the right materials backing you up. And you don't have to do everything, just focus on getting in the three keys each week.
And when you have reframed the negative thoughts, check out our questions to evaluate your current science plans so you know what changes you need to make going forward. As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let us know!
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