What do you remember enjoying most in your school days? Whether you were homeschooled as a kid or grew up in a traditional school setting, and whether or not you considered yourself an “academic” type, you probably remember one thing the most vividly: the hands-on activities.
At Journey Homeschool Academy, we’re no different! We all enjoy having something to show for our work, and a lot of us learn best by doing.
Keep reading to learn how to download instructions for two free hands-on science learning activities below!
Why We Include Hands-On Activities in Our Homeschool Science Curriculum
There are a multitude of reasons we think you should include hands-on science activities in your school day! Here are just a few of those reasons.
1. Children Retain Information Better When They’re Engaged in It
You’ve probably observed that your children retain information much more effectively when they’re actively engaged in the learning process. Even children who struggle with traditional academics feel accomplished after partaking in a hands-on activity.
2. Hands-On Activities Can Be Simply Incorporated Into Any New Topic
Any activity that engages your child’s senses can be considered “hands-on.” Go outside and have your child draw what they see in the night sky. Include them in a cooking project you have going on in the kitchen. Anything that grabs their attention and gets them interested in the subjects they’re learning!
3. They’re Backed by Research!
At JHA, we love evidence-based learning! Research has repeatedly shown that information taught through multiple modes of learning is retained more easily by students. In other words, if students can see something demonstrated, hear it described, read about it for themselves, and then do it with their hands, they’re much more likely to remember the information later!
4. Some Things Can Only Be Learned by Doing Them
Both in school and in life, some lessons just have to be learned through experience! Reading about something in a textbook just won’t suffice for many scientific ideas, but they “click” instantly when the child performs the experiment for themselves.
5. Hands-On Learning Provides an “Anchor” in the Memory
When kids look back on an activity they did, whether it was drawing or cooking or gardening, this memory provides an “anchor” in their mind. They’re more likely to attach feelings to the learning process. And this means they’re more likely to remember the lesson attached to the activity!
That’s why we include hands-on science activities in our homeschool science curriculum: We believe children learn best when they enjoy the process!
Hands-On Homeschool Science Activities To Try
Today we’re peeling back the curtain and offering you a sample of some activities from our elementary science courses! We have a PDF download available to you with two hands-on activities. You can check the end of this post for details on how to get that free download!
Clay Model Solar System: An Astronomy Activity
Learning about the planets is one of the first (and most important!) foundations for the study of astronomy. So grab some clay, and get ready to roll it and paint with your kids as they learn about the solar system! This activity is just one of many engaging, hands-on activities found in our Experience Astronomy Elementary course.
The first activity we’ve included in this free PDF download is a clay model of the solar system. The planets fascinate most kids, but it can be really hard to visualize their locations in space and their sizes in relation to one another. After this activity, your kids will have a better understanding of the size of the planets in relation to one another, as well as how the planets appear when viewed from outer space!
Building Candy DNA: A Biology Activity
DNA: it can be confusing! Just try to say “deoxyribonucleic acid” 10 times fast! And have you ever tried to explain DNA to an elementary school student? We might be crazy, but we believe young minds can absorb advanced concepts like DNA. And hands-on activities are the perfect way to go about that! (And be honest. Really, who doesn’t want to do a biology activity that they can snack on afterward?!)
This activity, from our course Experience Biology Elementary, offers your kids a chance to explore what DNA is and how it’s constructed. After showing their DNA model off to friends and family, they have a sweet treat to share!
Download Hands-On Science Learning Activities
Sign up below to download instructions for creating your own candy DNA and clay model solar system!
Looking for a Homeschool Science Curriculum Option With Plenty of Hands-On Activities?
If you’re looking for a homeschool science program that offers plenty of hands-on experiences, look no further than Journey Homeschool Academy! Our courses consist of a unique blend of reading, videos, activity sheets, and hands-on activities and science experiments.
We offer curricula for all grade levels: elementary, middle school, and high school courses. Enter your email address below to request sample lessons and to be notified when registration opens for next school year!