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Science Soundtracks #9: Teach it ALL {Episode 110}

March 21, 2022 5 min read

Feel like you have to teach it all? Good news - you don't. Listen to what you need to do instead in this episode of the Tips for Homeschool Science podcast.

I am so overwhelmed! I have to teach it all. You may have not actually said these words, but we have all had that moment of overwhelm and this have-to-teach-it-all soundtrack is usually at the heart of this feeling.

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 110 - Teach it ALL. {Science Soundtracks #9}

I love a sheet full of checked boxes! So, when we first started homeschooling the “I have to teach it all” soundtrack filled my mind.

If there was something on the schedule or in the guide, I would work so hard to make it happen. And this worked okayish in the early years, but as our daughter got older . . . not so much. Between homeschooling, keeping up with the house, starting a new business, and adding a little one to the mix, my teach-it-all soundtrack crashed and burned.

But to be fair, we need to find out if this idea is helping us share the wonders of science with our kiddos. 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 have to teach it all true? (No. I am going to let you in on an industry secret. We curricula writers put more in a program than one person should do. We do this so that there are a variety of activities to meet different needs. It’s definitely not true that you have to teach it all. Zero points.)
  • Is the idea that have to teach it all helpful?(No. It’s not helpful to believe that we have to check every box just for the sake of having a box checked. Zero points.)
  • Is the idea that have to teach it all kind? (No, this idea puts a lot of pressure on our shoulders. And that pressure leads to overwhelm, which leads to burnout, which is not kind to anyone. Zero points.)

Tally up the score and the idea that you have to teach it all scores 0 out of 3 points. Hallelujah – our last soundtrack of the season utterly failed the 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 have to teach it ALL. Instead, let’s flip that soundtrack to:

I get to customize my chosen science program to fit our needs.

Feel like you have to teach it all? Good news - you don't. Listen to what you need to do instead in this episode of the Tips for Homeschool Science podcast.

I do this.

You see, I am not just the Creative Director at Elemental Science, I’m also a client. (Shout out to all my listeners who grew up in the 90’s and get that Hair Club reference!)

Seriously, though, I literally wrote the books we use to teach science and I get way too much joy from a checked box. You would think that I, of all people, would feel the need to. DO. IT. ALL.

But I don’t.

In fact, I used the some of the same programs with my kids but did different things. Because they were different kids and had different needs. So, I customized the program for them.

  • One child did all the notebooking, while one child did lapbooks because they hated to write.
  • One child made every model and did every science-related art project, while the other did not.
  • One child read only the minimum, while another child loved to read extra non-fiction books.
  • One child did every building project, while the other turned their nose up at the thought of these.

We did the basics of science – do, read, and write – each week, but the way we did those things and how much extra we did or did not do was different. We weren’t slaves to box-checking, we customized our science to fit our needs.

So at the beginning of this episode, we put that old, tired have-to-do-it-all soundtrack through the litmus test and it shockingly failed. Let’s try out our new soundtrack to see if it passes the test:

  • Is the idea that I get to customize science to fit us true? (Yes! Again, I write science curricula for a living, and I will tell you to customize the program you are using to fit your needs. One point.)
  • Is the idea that I get to customize science to fit us helpful? (Yes, isn’t it super helpful to know that you don’t have to check. Every. Single. Box. Another point added.)
  • Is the idea that I get to customize science to fit us kind? (Yes, this idea relieves some of the pressure and takes us off the path to burnout, which is definitely kind! A final point is awarded.)

That’s a 3 out of 3 points for the idea that we can take the science program we have and customize it to fit our needs. We don’t have to check every box or do everything found in the guide. We can cherry-pick what we know will benefit our students the most, fitting in the keys to teaching science in a way that is meaningful to them.

So, let’s turn the dial down on the idea that you have to do it all and turn the dial up on the belief that you get to customize the science curricula you are using to fit your unique needs.

Feel like you have to teach it all? Good news - you don't. Listen to what you need to do instead in this episode of the Tips for Homeschool Science podcast.

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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