Teaching Biology at Home
Over the last few months, I have been sharing tips and ideas for teaching the various disciplines of science at home.
So far, we have covered:
This month, we are going to tackle biology!
Biology includes subjects like zoology, genetics, anatomy, and botany.
Biology is typically taught first in a homeschool science program because topics relating to animals, plants, and the human body are a wonderful first introduction to science.
This month, I wanted to share a brief picture of how you can teach the principles of biology to the students in your homeschool, co-op, or school. You can use these ideas to help you create or choose a homeschool science curriculum.
Teaching Biology at Home
Biology with Preschoolers
Biology is a great subject to tackle in preschool! Kids love learning about animals and plants, especially if it involves heading outside or to the zoo!
You can introduce basic principles through hands-on demonstrations. You can teach a simple biology unit that covers topics like:
- Your community
You can use simple activities, such as making a seed collection, collecting for a fall leaf journal, or digging for worms, to show these concepts in action. You can also have the students memorize a simple sentence that explains the concept in a language they can relate to.
Biology with a preschooler will be short, sweet, and loads of science fun!
Biology with Elementary Students
Biology during the elementary years will be very hands-on and slightly project-driven.
You can explore the principles of biology through hands-on demonstrations and projects that display the concepts in action. You can also read more about these principles in age-appropriate encyclopedias or living books.
You can spend three to four weeks cover the basics for topics like:
- Animal Diets
- The Human Body
As part of biology, you and your student can enjoy seeing how fat keeps the polar bear warm, making a jello cell, and dissecting a seed. They will learn a ton as the see the characteristics of animals, the human body, and plants on display in front of them.
Biology with an elementary student will explore the principles in a practical hands-on way.
Biology with middle school students
Middle school students can dig deeper into the principles of biology they saw during the elementary years and add on a few more.
In your students, you can cover concepts like:
- Cells and DNA
- Food Chains/Webs
- Nutrient Cycles
- Simple Plants
- Deciduous and Coniferous Trees
- Types of Invertebrates
- Types of Vertebrates
- Systems of the Human Body
The students can learn how to extract DNA, to tell the different types of invertebrates apart, and to make spore prints. They can also discuss how the different systems of the human body work together.
Biology with a middle school student will reinforce the principles through inquiry-based methods.
Biology with high school students
If you have taught biology at home throughout the elementary and middle school years, your students will have a good grasp of the animals, plants, and the human body.
Now, they can pick up that textbook and tackle the more abstract principles of genetics and biochemistry without getting bogged down by the basics.
Wrapping it Up
If you teach biology from the beginning, your student will be prepared and maybe even a little bit excited to learn about this subject when they reach high school!
Need some help teaching biology at home?
Check out our Biology Pinterest Board for ideas for activities:
Or check out the following Elemental Science homeschool science programs with easy-to-use plans for teaching biology:
- For Preschool – Exploring Science and Intro to Science
- For Elementary Students – Biology for the Grammar Stage, Biology Lapbooks, The Sassafras Science Adventures (Zoology, Anatomy, and Botany)
- For Middle School Students – Biology for the Logic Stage
- High School Students – Honors Biology On-line Course
Don't miss the other posts in this series:
Over the last year, we have been sharing tips and ideas for teaching the various disciplines of science at home. Here's a look at the complete series:
- Teaching Physics at Home
- Teaching Chemistry at Home
- Teaching Earth Science at Home
- Teaching Astronomy at Home
- Teaching Biology at Home
- Paige Hudson