Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Science for the Non-Science Mom

ABCs of Homeschooling

S: Science

I have another confession to make.  I'm not all that fond of science. Those nature shows on TV? Put me to sleep. I failed Earth Science in high school, mostly because I hated the teacher. The next year I passed with a B, mostly because the new teacher was cute. I took Wildlife Ecology my Junior year. We did crazy things that had nothing to do with ecology, like come up with all of the out of the box uses we could think of for the teacher's rotating stool. That was fun. We also designed a zoo. That was pretty cool too, and it actually fit with the whole wildlife ecology theme. Imagine that.

When it comes to homeschooling, science and I had to come to an understanding.  My kids think it's cool, and that's the way it should be, but only if they get to do lots of hands on stuff and learn at the same time. This tends to be a problem for me when it comes to science, as I'm all about the inspiration and not so much for the follow through. For instance, I purchased a backpack when my kids were small and filled it with all sorts of Charlotte Mason nature study goodies (sketch pads, colored pencils, bird and plant and flower books, etc.). I found it last year at the back of the closet, still nicely packed.

So I discovered something about myself, and I'm hoping maybe some of you can relate. I have to provide the resources for my children to learn science and then let them go at it. They will dig in and learn and teach me and have a blast, if I will just give them access to the goodies! If I'd filled the backpack and handed it off, we'd probably have great sketchbooks filled with nature drawings. Live and learn!

The best thing I can do is to purchase complete kits with everything necessary for the experiments. Then we can read through the lesson and be ready for the hands on learning. This year, the youngest three will be learning about Zoology I (Flying Creatures). We have the Nature's Workshop Plus set with each lesson's experiment pack nicely labeled in individual plastic bags.  They also have the pre-purchased notebooks that will guide them each day and allow them to demonstrate their learning. Yes, this is a more expensive way of learning science but I've learned to recognize my weaknesses and spend more of my budget on compensating for them. I can skimp on the subjects I am a natural at and spend a little more on those where I need the most help.


If you're like me, and you need a little more help when it comes to science, Home Science Adventures is also a great little company that offers complete science in a box.  We especially enjoyed their astronomy, birds and magnetism units when my olders were younger (Okay, okay, maybe I am exaggerating my science failures for the sake of this post. Honestly, I learned to compensate rather quickly for my lack of motivation!).

Is there a certain subject you dedicate more of your budget to, as you know you need a bit more help in that area? Do you have a favorite all inclusive science option? Was your Earth Science teacher as cute as mine? Inquiring minds want to know!






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