Out of all the subjects that I teach to my kids, science is the hardest. Why is that? I love science, I enjoyed it in high school and college, and I love nature. So why is it so hard?
I think it might have something to do with the fact that my kids are still quite little. Finally I went online to see what the kids were learning about at the public school this year. What I found was that they were learning about weather, the change in seasons, and the cycle of a year. Well, that made me feel a lot better!
I thought it might be nice to share some of the resources we are using this year for Science.
First and foremost we will be reading a lot of books. These are pulled from all of the cores that we have used so far from Sonlight. This is not an exhaustive collection of course, it is just the beginning. I fully support interest led learning, so when there is a subject that really catches the eye of my children, we will follow that, taking more books out of the library.
Every morning we have circle time. It is a time where we read our Bible story for the day; we do some morning stretches and sing some silly songs. But, the favorite part for my kids is doing their calendar. We have a magnetic calendar from Melissa & Doug that the kids do together. And the favorite part on the calendar is the weather. They talk about what is going on outside our window, decide on how warm (or cold) it is, what the weather might be like for the whole day, and how that will impact our time outside. It is something we have been doing since Emma was two. It has gotten more advanced as the years have gone on, but what is going on outside our window has always been a part of it.
Another resource that I absolutely love this year is the Wild Kratts games on PBSkids.org. Seriously, if you have not checked out this free resource, you should. It is amazing the information that Emma and Jack will report back to me after they have their screen-time on the computer.
I also love the Magic School Bus shows, which are on Netflix instant. There is an entire Magic School Bus curriculum for science, but we do not have that. Instead the kids will watch a show and then tell me about what they have learned and draw pictures in their Science notebooks. I love to be able to give them something to watch that has educational value, so they feel like they are getting to watch something fun, but also learning at the same time.
Being outside is another big resource, at least until the snow flies around here. Getting out into nature not only helps my kids concentrate better on their other school subjects, it allows them to get dirty and messy and explore God’s creation around them. Some days they spend a lot of time digging up worms and chasing butterflies, and others they go outside to sit in their tree fort for a bit then come back inside. I try and give them the freedom to explore, and then report back on what they are doing.
Finally, we do include some experiments. However, these seem to be few and far between. It is something that I struggle with doing, and will touch on it more next week in Part 2 of our Science resources for this year.
For a couple of years we mainly did science during the summer. I spend a lot of time out in the garden, and having the kids involved in that is such a huge learning experience for them. But, they are becoming pros at planting seeds in the dead of winter and nurturing them to grow into something edible in the summer, so we need to keep going.
Is there a subject you struggle with teaching? What do you do to make sure you cover everything?