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Science Soundtracks #6: I cannot teach science {Episode 107}

February 21, 2022 5 min read

 You CAN teach science at home when you have the right materials in your hands.

I can’t do it. I cannot teach science at home. 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.

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Episode 107 - I cannot teach science. {Science Soundtracks #6}

Episode Transcript

How about teaching science?

No. Nope. Nopity nope.

I cannot teach science at home. Over the past years, I have heard this soundtrack more than I care to admit. Usually, it’s accompanied with the phrase – I would homeschool my kids, but I cannot teach science.

This idea is not helping any of us educate our kiddos or share the wonders of science with them. But just to be fair, 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:

  • Is the idea that I cannot teach science true? (Not true. We have literally hundreds of episodes on the Tips for Homeschool Science Show sharing how you can. Plus, I have written over 20 programs to help you teach science at home. Zero points for this one.)
  • Is the idea that I cannot teach science helpful?(Sure, it’s about as helpful as a whole in a bucket when you want to water your plants. Zero points for this one, too.)
  • Is the idea that I cannot teach science kind? Negatory, it’s not kind to say you can’t do something. I know that you can do it – just keep listening. Nada for this question.)

Tally up the score and the idea that you cannot teach science scores a 0 out of 3 points. Another epic failure of the week’s soundtrack. 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 or thinking that we cannot teach science. Instead, let’s flip that soundtrack to:

With the right materials in hand, I can teach science.

 You CAN teach science at home when you have the right materials in your hands.

You don’t have to be an expert.

You didn’t have to love science in high school.

You don’t need fancy lab equipment.

You need the right materials – ones that will help you share the three keys in a way that works for your situation.

Here are a few scenarios to help you begin to imagine how science could work in your home.

  • Scenario #1 – You begin your week by reading about motion from the Usborne Science Encyclopedia pages that were scheduled in your guide. You talk about what you read with the students, using the questions from the guide, and you go over the key vocabulary from the guide. The kids record what they learned in their student workbook. Later in the week, you do a hands-on science activity showing the three laws of motion using the directions from your guide and the supplies from the coordinating kit. Your kids write down a bit about what they did in their student workbook. Then, you give them the option to do more by choosing one of the optional activities or books from your guide.
  • Scenario #2 – You begin the week gathered together on the couch as you read the next chapter in your science adventure book to your kiddos. In this chapter, the kids learn about wind and global wind patterns. When your done, everybody shares something they have learned and you all record this on your logbook pages. At another point in the week, your older kiddos read about wind and windstorms from the encyclopedias you have at home and they add to their logbook pages. Later in the week, you all work on making an anemometer for your home weather station. You wrap the week up with flying kites together on a windy day!
  • Scenario #3 – You start the week by reading about atoms from the assigned pages. You work on the mini-books to go in your student’s lapbook. Your child is excited to share the progress on their lapbook with their friends in co-op later that week. Co-op day arrives and your friend, who loves science, goes over what the kids learned about atoms and does a planned demonstration, plus another fun activity with them. At the end of the class, your kiddo can’t wait to show off their model atom to you and explain what each part is.
  • Scenario #4 – You begin your week with a walk. On your walk, you notice several acorns have fallen along the path. You pick up a few different ones to take home. Once you are home, you identify which trees they come from using a field guide. And then, you can create a page in your nature journal detailing what you found. Later in the week, you open up one of the acorns to see what is inside and you also plant one of the acorns so you can observe what happens. You take pictures to add to your journals. At the end of the week, you can pull one of the science encyclopedias you have off the shelf and read about trees. Then, your kids add what you have learned to their journals.

These are just a few snapshots of how science could look in your home. There are endless possibilities and options, but the basic idea is to find materials that will make it possible for you to DO science, READ about science, and WRITE down science each week.

So at the beginning of this episode, we put that old, tired cannot-teach-science soundtrack through the litmus test and it failed. Let’s try out our new soundtrack to see if it passes the test:

  • Is the idea that with the right materials, you can teach science true? (Yes! You can find materials that will give you the tools you need to do, read, and write about science at home. A full point for this one.)
  • Is the idea that with the right materials, you can teach science helpful? (Yes! It extremely helpful to know that you don’t have to do this on your own. There is support out there to help you share the wonders of science with your kids. Another point awarded.)
  • Is the idea that with the right materials, you can teach science kind? (Yes! It is kind to say that with a bit of support, you can do it! A final point given)

That’s a 3 out of 3 points for the idea that with the right materials in hand, you can teach science at home! Those materials could be a full science program, an eclectic mix of resources, or an outsourced class. Whatever you choose as your support materials, I want you to know that you can teach science to your kids.

So, let’s turn the dial down on the idea that you cannot teach science and turn the dial up on the belief that with the right materials in hand, you can teach science!

You CAN teach science at home when you have the right materials in your hands.

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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