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The Ultimate How-to Guide for Hands-on Science in your Homeschool

July 20, 2020 4 min read

Are you frustrated with hands-on science in your homeschool? This how-to guide will help you get off the struggle bus!

Hands-on science - what can you use? Why do you have to do it? And how do you actually do experiments at home?

We have shared a lot about hands-on science over the years. It's the very first key to teaching science, so it's definitely important to understand!

That's why we wanted to gather a whole lot of those tips into one easy-to-find place!

In this how-to guide, we'll explore the concepts of demonstrations, experiments, and nature studies, which can all be used for hands-on science in your homeschool. We trust that these tips and tools will help you master this aspect of homeschool science!

Let's dig in...

The Ultimate How-to Guide for Hands-on Science in Your Homeschool

Are you frustrated with hands-on science in your homeschool? This how-to guide will help you get off the struggle bus!

Where to begin

The very first thing to do is to understand why hands-on science is key to your plan for teaching science. These podcasts explain why:

Once you understand why the best place to start with hands-on science is simply by making room for observation and exploration. These six tips will help you do just that:

You can get together with friends or have a science club if you don't want to do hands-on science on your own.

But whatever you choose to do, know that it's okay to have a failed experiment! This doesn't mean that you have a failed learning experience, you can rescue the moment with the tips in this podcast:

Now that you understand a bit more about the importance of hands-on science and how to get started, it's time to move onto the nitty-gritty details.

Hands-on Science in the "Lab"

In the lab - or should I say, in your kitchen - you have two main tools for hands-on science and it's important to understand the difference.

And don't worry, you don't have to have a fully stocked lab to do experiments at home. Even so, here are 100 Useful items for a science supply cabinet.

When you are done with your demonstration or experiment, you can keep a record of what you did using the ideas in this article:

And finally, if you want to trick out your home lab with some equipment, don't miss these tips on selecting a home microscope or these tips on doing a dissection at home.

Hands-on Science in the "Outdoors"

As I said before, observation is a key skill for our budding scientist to have - hands-on science in the outdoors is a fantastic way to practice those skills. 

We call this type of outdoor scientific study nature study. And we have a whole conference session on how to naturally learn about science:

But if you don't have 40 minutes and a cup of coffee, you can read these tips for adding nature study to your current science curriculum.

Personally, we do nature study on the fly as part of our Friday Fun Day plans.

The Science Fair Project

And then we come to the dreaded science fair project, which happens to be one of my favorite things to do! That's because it's one of the best ways to see the scientific method from start to finish.

You don't agree? Here are a set of steps to help you get through a science fair project from start to finish:

And don't worry, you only have to squeeze a science fair project into your schedule once during the middle school years. Unless you love it, then you can do as many as you want! 

Tips to Help you Actually Do Hands-on Science

And now that you understand the nitty-gritty details, we are going to leave you with a bit of encouragement.

The first key is to make time in your homeschool for hands-on science!

Once you do, these sanity-saving experiment tips will help you actually get to the hands-on part of science in your homeschool. And don't miss the answers to these common experiment questions we have gotten over the years.

With all these tips and tools in your homeschool-teacher belt, you'll be ready for hands-on science.

Wrapping it up

Hands-on science is a key part of our overall plan for teaching science and we trust that this ultimate how-to guide will help you succeed with this key for teaching science!

Need a few ideas to help you get started with hands-on science? 

Check out the following post:

And of course, all our programs include hands-on science activities, but these two resources will become your go-to hands-on science references!

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