FREE Shipping on all our products! (Please expect 2.5 weeks for delivery due to  transit delays. We ship every day including Saturday

0

Your Cart is Empty

Science Soundtracks #1: Science is too Hard {Episode 102}

January 17, 2022 5 min read

 Let's change the idea that science is too hard to science is simply providing opportunities for the mind to work.

Science is too hard. How often have you heard that soundtrack?

For season 8, we are taking these negative soundtracks, or beliefs, and turning the volume dial down. Then, we are turning the dial up on a new soundtrack – one that will help us share science with our kiddos.

Listen to this episode

 

You can also listen to this podcast oiTunes, Podcast Addict, Castbox, Stitcher, or Spotify.

Share the Tips

If you found these homeschool science tips to be helpful, would you please take a moment to rate it in the podcasting app you use to listen to the show? This would help me tremendously in getting the word out so that more earbuds are filled with science-teaching encouragement.

Episode 102 - Science is too hard {Science Soundtracks #1}

Episode Transcript

How many times have you heard, or said, that science is too hard to teach at home? It’s one of the most common complaints I hear about homeschool science.

So let’s put this belief, or soundtrack, through the 3-question litmus test. If you remember, I shared Jon Acuff’s soundtrack litmus test back in the introduction to this season. If you haven’t listened to that yet, hit pause to go back and listen to episode 101. It explains a bit about soundtracks and how season 8 came to life, plus it will help this episode make a lot more sense.

That said, let’s put this soundtrack through the litmus test:

  1. Is the idea that science is too hard true? While I would like to say no, I understand that there are parts of science that are hard to understand. On the flipside, there is plenty to share about science that is not difficult, especially in the early years. So, let’s call this partially true and give it a 0.5.
  2. Is the idea that science is too hard helpful? Let’s be honest, when something is too hard, we don’t want to do it. It takes a lot of chutzpah to pick up our bootstraps and teach something that is too hard, not to mention the time. So no, the idea that science is too hard is not helping anyone teach science at home – 0 points.
  3. Is the idea that science is too hard kind? In other words, are we being kind to ourselves by saying that science is too hard to teach? I would argue that it is not kind. You are an amazing homeschooler and with the right tools in your hand, I know you can teach science! I’m going to give this one is 0 points, too.

It turns out that the idea that science is too hard scores a 0.5 out of 3 points. That, my friends, is a failure of our litmus test. So as Mr. Acuff says in his book, Soundtracks, “That’s enough of doing it that way, let’s try something else.”

What if we stop saying science is too hard and we instead flip that soundtrack to:

Science is simply a matter of providing opportunities for the mind to work.

Let's change the idea that science is too hard to science is simply providing opportunities for the mind to work.

We talked about this back in episode 81 – I shared that if we were to boil science education down to one concept or one idea, it would be to provide opportunities for a mind to work.

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.

How does this play out?

Let’s says we want to teach our kids about chemical reactions. In the traditional approach, we would

  • Read paragraph after paragraph of facts about chemical reactions.
  • Share definitions like reactants, products, limiting reagents, and so on.
  • Write out chemical equations that may or may not mean something to the student, or to us.

If time allowed, we might show a reaction. But honestly, learning about chemical reactions for the first time like this is hard.

We need to flip this script. To teach our kids about chemical reactions in a way that provides an opportunity for their mind to work.

We do that through hands-on activities. For example:

  • We can mix baking soda and vinegar, observing what happens.
  • We can dig deeper by adding less baking soda (or less vinegar), seeing how it changes the results.
  • We can question further by testing if baking soda reacts like this with other liquids.

After we show science, we can learn about the chemical reaction by reading about it from an age-appropriate book. And then, the students can write down what they have learned through notebooking, rather than regurgitating meaningless facts.

When we approach science this way – read, do, write – we provide opportunities for the mind to work. We teach science one basic concept at a time, building upon the foundation to create a solid understanding of science.

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.

The key is to remember not to approach science with the idea that the concepts are too hard to understand. Instead, find materials that help you teach science by doing, testing, and playing with real-life examples in a way that bring the principles to life and provides the opportunity for our student’s minds to work.

At the beginning, we put that old, tired science-is-too-hard soundtrack through the litmus test and it failed. Let’s try out new soundtrack to see if it passes the test:

  1. Is the idea that science is simply providing opportunities for the mind to work true? Yes, the heart of science education is providing opportunities for our students’ minds to work, which means 1 point for the new soundtrack.
  2. Is the idea that science is simply providing opportunities for the mind to work helpful? Yes, this idea makes teaching science seem easy. Add another point.
  3. Is the idea that science is simply providing opportunities for the mind to work kind? Yes, this soundtrack relieves the pressure from us, which is definitely being kind to ourselves, 1 more point.

That’s a 3 out of 3 points for the idea that science is simply providing opportunities for the mind to work.

So, let’s turn the dial down on the idea that science is too hard and turn the dial up on the belief that science is simply a matter of providing opportunities for the mind to work.

Let's change the idea that science is too hard to science is simply providing opportunities for the mind to work.

Because when we change the soundtrack we have been listening to about teaching science it changes the way we approach teaching science, which changes the outcome of the success of science education in our home.

Thanks for listening and I hope you have a great week sharing science!



Also in {Podcast} The Tips for Homeschool Science Show

Which is better traditional science or classical science? {Season 9, Episode 116}

June 06, 2022 6 min read

Which one is better - the traditional way of teaching science or classical science? This episode will answer just that.

Which one is better - the traditional way of teaching science or classical science? Click "Read More" to listen to this episode for the answer.

What should rhetoric stage science look like? {Season 9, Episode 115}

May 30, 2022 10 min read

What should rhetoric stage science look like? Click "Read More" to listen to (or watch) this episode from the Tips for Homeschool Science Show to hear the answers.

What should logic stage science look like? {Season 9, Episode 114}

May 23, 2022 12 min read

What should logic stage science look like? Come listen to (or watch) this episode from the Tips for Homeschool Science Show to hear the answers.

What should logic stage science look like? Click "Read More" to listen (or watch) this episode from the Tips for Homeschool Science Show to hear the answers.

Join Us