Let’s face it – science can be messy. It can take time. And, it can make the mundane subjects like math, memorization, and copywork seem agonizing in comparison…especially if you’re blowing things up. And, it’s not always easy to fit it in. With all the things you have going on as a homeschool mom, how do you find time to do experiments and add in other science experiences?

 

4 Simple Ways to Fit Science Into Your Day via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

 

Your kids need to appreciate science and nature. They need to see, explore, and wonder at the amazing beauty that is God’s creation.

But you just. don’t. have. time.

Here are 4 Simple ways to fit science into your already packed homeschool day:

Let the Kids Take the Lead

Science should be fun. The most important lesson an elementary and intermediate aged child should get from science lessons is that there is always something to learn and that they have the power to find out. They need to know that there is a method to proving and disproving things. They need to understand that their observations are important and that they can learn anything they want to.

It’s not a question of when to teach insects versus the solar system. Or whether or not to purchase a microscope, telescope, or other equipment when they’re young.

This is the time to get them excited about the world and allow them to take the lead. Let them choose what to study, and how to learn about it.

Are they interested in spiders? Do they love those creepy arachnids and want to know more? Check out Shining Dawn Books and their nature study Spectacular Spiders.

How about electricity and magnetism? Purchase a copy of my book Science for Smart Kids: Electricity and Magnetism and download it to the iPad for them to read and experiment with.

 

4 Simple Ways to Fit Science Into Your Day via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

Whatever the topic, they’ll be learning about the scientific method, how to observe and make inferences, how to draw conclusions, and most of all they’ll appreciate the incredibly cool stuff God put here on Earth for us to discover.

 

Big Book On Sale

 

Incorporate Science Naturally

One of the biggest mistakes homeschool parents make, especially when they first start out, is buying a curriculum for everything. I get it – I feel the same pressure you all do to make sure that my kids know everything they need to know. I don’t want them to be behind.

But you know what? When we separate all of our curriculum out into isolated subjects, we lose one of the biggest advantages that homeschooling gives us. We lose the chance to show our children that learning is everywhere and that it’s interconnected.

Do you have preschoolers or toddlers at home? Start your day with Circle Time. Use activities from any of the great resources online {our favorite is from Preschoolers and Peace} and use an animal theme to talk about letters – you can easily find printables online. Go beyond the printables, though. Talk about the animals, point them out the next time you’re at the zoo, and discuss the difference between mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds.

 

 

4 Simple Ways to Fit Science Into Your Day via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

Your big kids can take the animals the littles are learning about in their Circle Time and research them. Have them look up their worldwide distribution, eating and mating habits, determine whether they are predator or prey, and more.

 

 

Take it Outside

Go outside. Science is everywhere you look. Maureen Spell has a wonderful book, Nature Study Printables for Toddlers and Preschoolers available. Give your kids some of these, adapt the challenges for your bigger kids, and go for a walk. You never know what your kids will discover.

One of our greatest science units emerged from a chance find in my mom’s backyard. Molly found a piece of dolomite and Trevor found a broken geode. Where they originated from we don’t know, but the kids were excited by their finds and were curious enough to go further than add it to a rock collection.

4 Simple Ways to Fit Science Into Your Day via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

That simple discovery led to microscopes, rock kits, and tumblers. It made my kids excited to seek out learning – a perfect example of growing into lifelong learners like we hope. Personally, I’m not a fan of geology. I find it dull. If I’d been the one to direct all of the learning, the kids would have surely picked up on my lack of interest and would have studied it like I did in school – as a way to check one more thing off the “to learn” list.

 

 

Question Everything

Encourage your kids to ask lots of questions and then to seek out the answers themselves. Let them know that scientists are people who look for solutions to problems and answers to questions. Learning science is like being a kid forever… questioning, exploring, experimenting, playing.

Get dirty with your kids and when you find a skin shed from a cicada. Put it in a jar and bring it into the house for the kids to look at. When they come up with a question {what is that?} tell them you can look it up together. Encourage them to draw what they see {observations} and tell you about it. Ask where they think it came from and why. What is its purpose?

 

4 Simple Ways to Fit Science Into Your Day via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

Science doesn’t have to be difficult to teach to the under high school set. Really, you just need to watch for it and let it happen. Embrace your child’s interests, and encourage exploration and questioning. Grab a couple nature study resources, science books for kids, experiment resources, and some simple tools. You’ll be all set!

 

Colleen Kessler

Colleen is an explorer, tinkerer, educator, writer, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children. She has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, is a sought-after national speaker and educational consultant, and is the founder of the popular blog and podcast Raising Lifelong Learners, as well as Raising Poppies, a community of support for parents of gifted children. She lives in northeast Ohio with her four bright and quirky kiddos, patient husband, and ever-changing collection of small reptiles, mammals, and insects.