OCTOBER 16, 2019
Real Homeschool Stories: Our Favorite Ways to do Science!
In my family science has always been a favorite subject. We are a hands-on science family. If we can make something into an experiment I will. I learned early on that the more hands-on the better they remember. I have been homeschooling for over 18 years so that is a lot of science. I will admit that in the high school years we really didn’t do much in the way of experiments, just what was necessary for the curriculum. Instead, we became involved with First Robotics for three years and the whole family learned the ins and outs of being on a robotics team. Now that I have a 7-year-old we are back to being more hands-on. So here are some of my favorite experiences past and present.
Years ago when my kids were in elementary grades we did zoology and I really wanted them to be able to see what they were learning, so dissecting was a favorite. The kids would help me order the animals and they were even more thrilled when the company surprised us with a cow’s eye. We spent hours looking at this stuff. It also wasn’t uncommon to examine road kill or bones that they found while playing in the woods. We also had all sorts of reptiles, bugs, and other creatures for pets. We really enjoyed watching our pencil snake eating a huge goldfish.
Making things explode was fun too. We did the volcanoes, mixing of different chemicals, Mentos in soda, and rockets to name a few. Even now a current favorite is letting my son put hundreds of acorns in a fire pit and watching them explode! He knows the dry ones explode quicker and why. He and my husband also learned to be careful for it hurts if it touches you!
A current experiment we just did was on camouflage. Cayden and I spent 20 minutes ripping up colored construction paper in little crumpled strips and putting them into a laundry basket. Then he documented how many M & M’s he had of each color. I tossed them in and set the timer. Needless to say, he was shocked at how little he found. He had a blast.
I try to do science every opportunity we get. It can be simple as seeing what will float or sink in our lake. Going to a zoo or taking a hike and comparing and contrasting the flowers, rocks, animals, etc. I also look for great picture books, and videos that make science concepts fun. I love the little Dover sticker books and they have so many to chose from and they are inexpensive. Science museums are awesome! We spend hours trying everything out and the gift shops give great ideas.
Science is everywhere and can be incorporated into all facets of life from math to grocery shopping to jumping in puddles. It just takes some imagination. The world is a huge playground, so explore and have fun!
My name is Kimberly Smith and I have been homeschooling for over 16 years. I have been married for 25 years, have four children ages 6, 18, 20, 22, and currently live in Central Pennsylvania. I have a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and am certified with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. My three oldest have graduated from homeschooling and are currently in college or doing online learning. I am starting the journey of homeschooling again with my six years old.