Welcome to season 5 of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show where we are breaking down the lofty ideals of teaching science into building blocks you can use in your homeschool.
This season we are answering common science questions and we are going to kick things off with a whopper. We are going to chat about why you should bother with homeschool science in the first place.
If you found these homeschool science tips to be helpful, would you please take a moment to rate it on iTunes or Google Play? This would help me tremendously in getting the word out so that more earbuds are filled with science-teaching encouragement.
Hey guys, welcome back! What do you think about the new look of our podcast art? We figured that after more than three years of sharing episodes, it was about time to spruce up the space. I hope you guys love it as much as I do!
It’s nice to be back in your earbuds for season 5. This season I am answering a few of the frequently asked questions we get about teaching science at home and we thought we would start with the question that started it all.
Way back at the beginning of this podcast, back when it was called the Elemental Science Show, on the very first episode we shared was about why you should teach science. It was recorded in our guest bathroom because everybody knows that’s where the best acoustics are. And I used a headset microphone for webinars – I know that your ears are thanking me that we have upgraded from that one!
We figured that it was time to revisit and re-record that episode because there were nuggets of wisdom in there that we don’t want you to miss. Let’s dig in…
Okay, it’s time to admit it out loud – there has been a time in your life when you thought, “Do I really have to teach science at home? Can I just skip over that subject?
Well, I'm here to tell you, as you can probably guess, that the answer is no. We need to teach science in our homes, and today we're going to go over three reasons for why you need homeschool science.
Some of these are practical and some of them are a little more ideological, but by the end of this episode, I hope you understand the teaching science is super important in your home! Let's start with the practical reasons for teaching science in our homeschools.
Sometimes the required courses need to be lab sciences. Sometimes these courses can just be survey science classes. But either way, your students are going to need at least one or two courses in the sciences before they graduate.
Every major university expects students to have at least several of these courses on their transcripts. If your student intends on going to college at all they're going to need to have taken a few courses in science before they get there and they may even have to take a few ones once they arrive so it's a good idea to go ahead and give them a strong foundation heading into college if that's the path that they've chosen to do.
And we know from experience that it is much better to start introducing those concepts early and often so that by the time they get to high school it's not so scary.
Science is around us every single day. It’s in the mixing of the Kool-Aid we pour into a glass. It's in the way the butterfly flies. It’s in the bloom of the flower. It’s in the pollination we see the bee doing. We can feel gravity holding us down each day so that we don't float off into space.
All these concepts and the things we see can all be described or explained with science. When we teach science to our children it gives them a better awareness and deeper appreciation of what's going on around them. They learn the why’s behind the things that they see taking place every day.
We have all heard of the scientific method, you know that formula that scientists use to approach a problem. They ask a question, do a little research, formulate a hypothesis, perform an experiment, gather some results and make some observations, analyze that data and come up with a conclusion that they can share with other scientists.
This process helps to train the brain to think in a logical manner. In other words, it helps our students to approach a question with a step by step process, to break it down concept by concept until we figure out what's really going on behind the scenes.
As homeschoolers, we have the privilege of sharing the amazing subject called science with our students! We should teach science because we have the chance to make science enjoyable, and not intimidating.
We get to explode volcanoes. We get to go out in nature and observe what's going on. We get to share interesting books about science with our students. We get to follow literal rabbit trails.
We can ditch the boring way we learned about science and instead make science the best part of our student’s week.
We should teach science because we have the opportunity to ignite a passion in our students to learn more about the world around them. We can show them the bee, who seems to fat to fly, can actually flit from flower to flower. How this super-power makes the bee critical to our food. And how, we need to protect, not fear the honeybee.
We can explore nature, observing the things that are going on around us and we can ignite this passion in our students to learn more about it, which is really what we want to do as homeschoolers anyways!
And we should teach science because we have the freedom to use this subject to exercise the logical side of our students’ brains.
We can teach logic is a separate subject, but we can also incorporate logic into our science studies. We can share with our students how to actually look at and observe something, to think, process, and learn about what's going on behind the scenes, and then to draw conclusions.
The ability to logically reason through issues is a process that takes a lot of practice to develop and science can be a part of really training our children to think logically.
So I trust that by now I've made the case for the importance of teaching science in your homeschool. Here are a few helpful articles as you plan homeschool science:
For the rest of season 5, we’ll be tackling other frequently asked questions we get about teaching science at home. Next week, we are going to answer what a week with science should look like! But until then, I hope you have a great week playing with science!
We have done a few Zoom sessions over the past month and we thought you all might have the same questions the attendees did. Click "Read More" to listen to the Q & A sections from those calls.
This past month I shared a Zoom session with a charter school that I thought you all would enjoy listening in on. It's all about how to teach science at home - click "Read More" to start listening.
Is there a way to skip an experiment, but still have your students learn something? Yes! Click "Read More" to find out how to do it.