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.
In our last episode, we chatted about why we need to teach science. Today, we are going to take a closer look at what your week should look like.
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In our last episode, we covered the importance of teaching science in your home. Today, we are going to flesh out what this actually looks like.
There are three main keys you need to hit for science each week. You need to do science. You need to gather scientific information. And you need to tell others what you learned about science.
Let’s take a closer look at these core items.
First, you need to do some kind of hands-on science. You need to guide your students to see science face-to-face. To see science in action so that they get excited about learning more and don’t get bogged down in fact after fact after fact.
The initial thought for hands-on science is towards demonstrations or experiments, but you can use nature study, field trips, and more to help your students play with and observe the principles of science at work.
In the beginning, doing science will be more like playing with science. As your student's age, they will turn into detectives – testing the principles of science through experiments.
If you approach hands-on science in this way, doing becomes something fun we get to do instead of something we have to check off.
Second, you need to gather information. Science is both a context and a content subject, which is a fancy way of saying that we can see science in action, but we also need to study the principles and facts of science we know to be true.
Thankfully, as homeschoolers, we have access to so many resources beyond the standard textbook. Although we believe that textbooks do have value for sharing science, we know that for the younger years there are lots of options to share science.
We can use resources like adventure-filled living books, visually appealing children’s encyclopedias, and simple non-fiction books. And in this digital age, we can also use podcasts and videos to share science with our kiddos. The point is to find a resource that your students enjoy learning from, one that doesn’t cause their eyes to glaze over.
If you approach scientific facts in this way, gathering becomes something that our students dive into fully instead of something we have to force them into.
Third, you need to have your students tell you what they have learned. You want to discuss what you did and what you gathered with your students.
Ideally, you will chat about what you learned and then have the students write all or part of what you discussed in the form of a narration. You can write this down for them in the earlier years and start turning over this task as they mature in their writing abilities. Just make sure that you don’t push the students to write beyond their abilities – you want the telling they do in science to be easy for them.
If you approach writing in this way, telling becomes something that our students will treasure and look back at for years to come instead of a chore they have to do.
It’s that simple.
Of course, there are tons of Pinterest projects and other resources you can add in to enhance the core of your plans, but as long as you are doing, gathering, and telling each week – you are hitting all the high points of what you need for science.
You can use a plan that lays these three keys for you or fold learning into your life. Either way, you need to do, gather, and tell each week for science. How those three items are fleshed out in your homeschool will be as unique as you are.
I trust that by now you can see what a week of science should look like. Here are a few helpful episodes about doing, gathering, and telling:
Next week, we are going to chat about whether or not you should combine your crew together for science. Until then, I hope you have a great week playing with science!
Are living books the only way to teach science? The answer may surprise you. Come listen to the answer by clicking "Read More."
How can nature study help you with using living books to teach science? Click "Read More" to listen to the answer in this podcast episode.
What does it look like to use living books for middle school science? Come listen to what it looks like when you use a living book as your main source of information.