Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How We Homeschool Science

As much as I love learning about God's Creation, I am not overly enthusiastic when it comes to learning about or teaching science.  I have to admit that I really don't care about the laws of gravity or  how the electricity in our house works.  It works, and that's really all I care about.  I would much rather sew, read books or watch for birds.

However, as a homeschooling mom I have to put my 'pet subjects' aside and make sure that my children receive a well rounded education...even science.  So we like to incorporate both nature study and textbooks.

For my lower elementary age children I try to keep it low key and very hands on.  I think it is important that they make discoveries for themselves at that age and really just enjoy the world around them.  I like what Charlotte Mason says about the importance of nature study...

I would like to do a bit more note booking and nature journaling than we do.  I have good intentions with it, but it doesn't get done.  My second grader is using a book from Rod and Staff that is very simple to use and teach.  We read the chapters together and then I ask her some of the questions and fill them in.  I think that some of the questions are a bit tedious and unnecessary, and since I'm the teacher, I get to make the book fit our purposes.  The book has a lot of black and white drawings for the children to color.  They can add a nice addition to the chapters, especially the wildflowers and birds chapters.  We used this book once a week though the school year.

The majority of out nature study comes from library books and playing outside.  I received a bird feeder for my birthday and that has added a wonderful dynamic to being outside, and even watching through the windows.  All day long I hear, "Mom! Come see this one!"

For the older children, High School and Junior High we are using Apologia.  I like it because it is thorough and straightforward.  It is a Christian publisher, so it teaches science from a christian perspective.  At this stage of the game most of their work is independent.  They are able to do their work, take their test and move on.

Parker loves to learn about Zoology.  Apologia has three books dealing with Zoology.  1) Animals that Swim 2) Animals that Fly and 3) Land Animals.  You can order a journal that goes along with the textbook, which are a must have.  He has been able to incorporate his love for animals with his love of drawing.  I never had to worry if he was learning the material because he would share with me all of the interesting facts that he learned about in that days lesson.

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