Lots of homeschooling parents eagerly begin teaching their young children at home, confident in their ability to pass along their knowledge of reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. And while you may know the elementary science basics, some of it has changed since we were kids. (After all, Pluto was still a planet back when we were learning astronomy!) A few years later, though, when their kids become middle school or high school students, you might find your confidence wavering. “Everything was fine when our homeschool day consisted of reading out loud and doing basic math problems! I haven’t had biology classes since my own high school years, and I certainly don’t use any of that in real life. I don’t know how to teach science at home!” homeschool moms everywhere moan.
There’s good news though! You don’t have to let your fear of teaching science at home get in the way of your desire to educate your children at home. Here are just a few tips for homeschool families to help make science fun (without having to enroll in school yourself!)
1. Get Your Hands Dirty With Science Experiments and Field Trips
Textbooks provide plenty of value on a wide variety of science topics. But whether your kids love science or not, it’s likely that their favorite portion is the hands-on activities. If you’re doing a nature study, for instance, go out for a hike and examine the flora and fauna local to your area. Take field trips to science museums, aquariums, or zoos. Watch videos of science experiments, and try to replicate them at home. You can learn a lot about astronomy by reading books. But nothing compares to going outside and actually examining the nightly changes in the night sky for yourself!
2. Keep a Variety of Lab Supplies on Hand when Teaching Science at Home
Even complex chemistry experiments can be performed with everyday items that you probably have scattered around your home. Others can be easily purchased at the grocery store. For more specialized items, you may need to order from a specialty science shop. But thanks to the internet, it’s easier now than ever to obtain the items you need for any science project. You can have test tubes, graduated cylinders, and dissection kits delivered straight to your door! We’ve all been there, running around like crazy, trying to gather all the supplies we need for a science project, only to find that we forgot to pick up that one ingredient at the store. But having a variety of science supplies available whenever you want to conduct a science experiment can take a lot of the stress out of needing to gather all your materials at the last minute.
3. Include Everyone in the Fun!
One of the major advantages to homeschooling is getting to see your children of many ages learn together! And this can make your life easier as a teacher as well: instead of teaching three or four separate grade levels of science, you can combine everyone into one learning opportunity! Combine ages and grade levels. Let everyone work at their own pace and learn from each other. You might be surprised at just how much information your little ones will absorb simply by being in the same room while you teach your older kids. Kids can perform and discuss science experiments together and learn from one another’s questions. More advanced students can be assigned to write detailed lab reports, but even the youngest learner can appreciate a fun chemical reaction or dissection!
4. Read Plenty of Living Science Books
While science textbooks can provide a great overview of a wide variety of subjects, there’s nothing quite like a book that reaches out and draws its reader into its pages. Become a regular patron of your local library. Hit up your local used bookstores to look for engaging books on a variety of science topics. Leaving these books scattered around your home for children to pick up in their free time can help them learn science too! (And they might even think it was their idea!)
5. Join a Homeschool Coop
Maybe there’s another local family with a science-minded parent who wouldn’t mind including your kids in their lessons. You could also start or join a homeschool co-op with several other families and include everyone else
6. Choose the Right Science Curriculum for Teaching Science at Home
If you’re not confident in your ability to teach middle school or high school science classes, you don’t have to create everything from scratch. You could also choose a curriculum where everything is already laid out for you, where very little of the actual teaching is done by you. You can also choose a curriculum that allows you to be a little more hands-off with the teaching. Video-based courses can allow you the freedom to learn alongside your child without having to be the one who answers all the questions!
Science at Home Can Be Fun!
Homeschooling your kids doesn’t mean you have to be the only teacher they have! Being a homeschool parent just means that you are the one taking charge of guiding your children’s education. There are tons of ways to make sure your kids get the science education they need without having to learn it all yourself. While each family will have to find out what works for them, many families have found that partnering with others, teaching multiple grade levels at once, and conducting hands-on experiments and activities are great ways to make homeschool science fun… without you needing to pretend you know it all! With Journey Homeschool Academy science courses, you don’t have to be the primary teacher for your kids’ science education. You just need to pick the topics you want your kids to learn about. From there, sit back and enjoy the learning opportunities. You can feel free to engage and have fun with them as they learn from videos, workbooks, engaging science experiments, and living books.
How Do You Make Teaching Science at Home Fun?
Let us know what has worked for you and your crew in the comments!