Homeschooling is hard work. You teach it all - subjects you love and subjects you don't. As homeschoolers, we do a lot of research and self-education to prepare ourselves to teach our kiddos.
Here at Elemental Science, we want to help you as you seek to teach science to your students. So today, we are sharing a roadmap to help you rock science from preschool to high school.
Imagine your preschooler sitting at his tiny table, blank slate in front of him, chunky crayon in his hand. As you share bits and pieces about science – looking at a mushroom, watching a bowl of magic milk swirl, melting an ice cube on a hot sunny day – he begins to put a line here and a circle there on his slate.
The image of a bucket comes into view. A bucket we will call, “Science.” And over the few early years, our baby gains an idea of what his bucket called “Science” can contain.
Our preschooler starts to grow up, as all babies do. Now our little dude is constantly asking what this is and what that is. Firmly in the elementary years, he takes the facts and experiences we share about science and turns them paper airplanes.
Those paper airplanes soar through the expanse of his mind and land all jumbled together in the bucket called “Science.” It’s okay if he didn’t draw his own bucket during the early years – at this point, we can still easily create the bucket for him without too much confusion.
But as the elementary years go by, the bucket begins to fill and overflows.
Our kiddo suddenly shoots up and has all these new ideas he wants to explore. He has also acquired a drive to know why. The middle school years are here and now we need to help our child turn all those jumbled paper airplanes, plus all those new tidbits, into an organized system.
We could feed them all the morsels he needs to know at this point, but it will be a bit of a challenge as he will want a bit of ownership in this new system of organized scientific information. It’s here that we begin to see the real benefits of having him fill his own bucket called “Science” as opposed to handing him one already filled. He is much more interested in unpacking his own paper airplanes because of the memories he has associated with those creations.
Either way, through the middle school years the jumbled mess becomes a cabinet full of arranged file folders packed with scientific experiences and knowledge.
And then, right before our eyes, our child turns into a young adult, ready to make connections between what he knows and what he is learning. During the high school years, having access to the filing cabinet he created during the middle school years is almost essential as he is assailed with complex ideas and scientific math.
The foundation that we have helped our student to create throughout the years shows its strength. He can grab a few file folders, open them up, compare them to his brand-new textbook, and begin to take notes on a subject. He can carry that knowledge into the lab as he experiments with the principles of science.
Maybe it will stop there – with a good understanding of how the world works to carry into his future as a writer, artist, or architect.
Maybe it won’t. Maybe, our student will take the notes he created during the high school years to build upon as he becomes an engineer, a doctor, or a scientist.
Whatever his or her path, we can be confident that if we follow this roadmap – journeying through the early years, elementary years, middle school years, and high school year using the three keys of hands-on science, gathering information, and keeping a record at the child’s level – he or she will learn about science.
To help you along the journey, we have created a roadmap of goals, tools, and methods for you to follow as part of season 4 of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show. Here are the links to the podcasts in this season for your convenience:
The Early Years
The Elementary Years
The Middle School Years
The High School Years
Bonus Episode: An Interview with a Homeschool Graduate
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