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Science Soundtracks #4: You MUST teach science {Episode 105}

February 07, 2022 5 min read

Flip you MUST teach science to you GET to teach science with this podcast episode of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show.

I MUST teach science. How often have you thought or 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.

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Episode 105 - You MUST teach science. {Science Soundtracks #4}

Episode Transcript

It’s one of the core subjects and so I must teach it, no matter how much I dislike it or feel unqualified to teach it. I hate the so many homeschoolers approach my favorite subject with the “I must” soundtrack playing in the background.

But is this belief helping us share the wonders of science with our kiddos? Let’s put this 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:

  • Is the idea that we must teach science true? (Yes, it’s true. Thought, I would say we need to teach science rather than we must. But either way, I have to give one full point for this one.)
  • Is the idea that we must teach science helpful?(No, telling yourself that you must do something is not usually a helpful motivator. I must teach grammar, but that thought doesn’t give me the warm and helpful fuzzies. Zero points for this one.
  • Is the idea that we must teach science kind? (Neutral – it’s not unkind, but it’s not kind either. So I am not going to award any points for this question.)

Tally up the score and the idea that we must teach science scores a 1 out of 3 points, putting it in the number one spot for all our negative soundtracks. So does that make it semi-okay and equally-throwoutable? And did I just make up a word?

Anywhoo, even at the bottom of the chip bag, this week’s soundtrack fails 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.”

Let’s stop saying that we must teach science or that we have to teach science. Instead, let’s flip that soundtrack to:

I get to teach science in a way that works for us!

Flip you MUST teach science to you GET to teach science with this podcast episode of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show.

See? Doesn’t that feel better already?

Just the switch from “must” to “get to” takes a load of pressure off our shoulders, but then when you add in the idea that you can teach science in a way that works for you and your unique family, well that just opens a world of possibilities. And it should – that’s why most of us homeschool. We homeschool so that we can meet our kiddos where they are at with an education that is tailored to their unique needs.

Don’t worry though, you are not free-floating out into uncharted forests. There are a few guidelines to help you stay on the right path and lots of different vehicles to keep you moving forward – don’t you just love a metaphor that has been beaten to death.

Seriously, though, there are three keys that you need to have in your plan each week:

  1. A bit of hands-on science
  2. Some sort of scientific information
  3. A record of what you learned

But what each of these keys look like can be as unique as your homeschool.

  1. Hands-on science in your homeschool can look like nature study, field trips, YouTube demonstrations, a pre-made kit, or experiments at home or with friends. You can even use all of the above, plus more.
  2. Scientific information can come from textbooks, living books, children’s non-fiction books, biographies, videos, magazines, experts, and more.
  3. The record of what your students have learned can be a notebooking page, a lapbook, a worksheet, a poster, or even a discussion at the dinner table.

The good news is that you get to pick what works best for you all. The even better news is that there is plenty of materials out there that can help you make this a reality. You can use a traditional textbook format, you can choose from one of the put-together science programs on the market, you can cobble something completely unique, or you can use an outside class.

The point is to have the three keys present in your science plans each week in a way that works for you. In other words, you get to be the master of the curriculum, not the other way around.

So at the beginning of this episode, we put that old, tired we-must-teach-science soundtrack through the litmus test and it failed to make a passing grade. Let’s try out our new soundtrack to see if it passes the test:

  • Is the idea that we get to teach science in a way that works for us true? (Yes, we are homeschoolers. We get to choose what we will use to educate our kiddos – some of us may have a few parameters we need to follow, but for the most part, we have control of the materials we use to teach science. So that’s a full point.)
  • Is the idea that we get to teach science in a way that works for us helpful? (Yes, it’s very helpful to look at the situation, knowing that we get a say in how science will be taught in our homeschools. Another point for the new soundtrack.)
  • Is the idea that we get to teach science in a way that works for us kind? (Yes, although the idea that we must teach science was neutral, it’s definitely kind to say that we get to set ourselves up for success when it comes to sharing science with our kiddos. One more point.)

That’s a 3 out of 3 points for the idea that we get to teach science in a way that works for us. And that’s a big part of what homeschooling is all about, turning “must’s” and “have-to’s” into “get-to’s” by using an approach that works for us.

So, let’s turn the dial down on the idea that we must teach science and turn the dial up on the belief that we get to teach science in a way that works for us.

Flip you MUST teach science to you GET to teach science with this podcast episode of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show.

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!



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