Saturday, July 1, 2017

How I Homeschool - Science

This week I will talk about Science, which happens to be one of my favorite subjects.  There are so many fun things you can do with Science.  And, God's creation is always fascinating to study.

As any other homeschooler, I have tried a few different science curriculums - A beka, Bob Jones, Bright Ideas Press, read alouds from the library based on our current interests - but, hands down, Apologia science is my favorite for my kids younger years.   They fall in nicely with the Charlotte Mason style that I like with reading, narration, and all.  Each book covers a year and follows one of the days of creation with the addition of Physics/Chemistry.  And, they are also full of activities and fun experiments as well.  They are great as a read aloud all by themselves, or you can embelish them further with good reading from the library, which is my favorite way to approach any subject.

You can also purchase a very nice notebooking journal to go along with your study if you choose.  I enjoy getting them and then picking and choosing what we want to do to go along with it.  Also, these days, the books are also recorded onto CD for further review if you want to.  These are very new and I haven't gotten any of them so I can't testify to how good they are, but I am sure that are top notch just like all their products.  

I am also a firm believer in nature study as well.  I feel science shouldn't be just read about but explored.  A great way to explore science is through nature study.  My favorite books to rely on to spring board nature study ideas, especially if you are not a spur of the moment type are these.....

Comstock's Handbook to Nature Study - this is an absolute must and gem.  So full of ideas you need a lifetime to do them all.

Natural Science through the Seasons - a vintage book but well worth your purchase.  As the title suggests, it goes through the year.  There are even sturdy little calendars you can follow to help you along each day with studying nature.  A definite gem.

If you like a slower approach to nature study, Blog, She Wrote, has a year's worth of printable ones that are free.  They also have less per month which makes nature study a breeze to add in to your science.  

If you would like to know more of how we do that, please read my previous post here.

Back to science itself.  

I also find having some great activity books on hand are very helpful as well. I love love love the Usborne collections of experiment books.  Most do not require anything more than what you have in your own home.  They are easy and fun.  Highly recommended.  My Body has got to be one of our most favorite things to do when they are young when it comes to anatomy study.  Apologia has a nice one for older kids in their notebooking journal, but I love this one for the younger kids.   By simply tracing your child's body, they can place all their internal organs on a life size model of themselves.  Yes, it requires some wall space, but so worth it in my mind.  The last one, Giant Science by Evan Moor, is a gem if you like reinforcement pages.  I have used it off and on over the years.

Science, for me, also requires some hands on equipment to make learning more exciting.  Here is a little list of musts for our homeschooling:

Telescope or binoculars
Safety goggles, one pair for each person, including you, mom
Magnifying glass or two
A good starter chemistry kit
Star charts
Sky charts, especially the different types of clouds
A good periodical table of elements - this book comes with a fun one and is just a fun book to read
Hands on human anatomy stuff - this company has a great selection
Magnetism kit
Model of the solar system
Toobs plastic animal sets - we started these years ago, even have them for various history studies, we love them (you can also find them on Amazon or at craft stores like Michaels and A.C. Moore)

These are all in my standard science kit for teaching.  You can obviously add or take away at your discretion.  Plus, the Apologia books includes a list at the start of their books, if you are choosing to use much of their experiments.  One other fun thing I have done over the years, especially to give my kids a taste of dissection is Owl Pellets.  Its a fun thing to do even if you are digging through Owl puke.  :)  By the way, it can be virtually.  You can be a certified barfologist.  Just visit this website.

As I have mentioned in my previous posts on various homeschooling topics, I love anthologies of literature.  Sadly, I don't have one for living science books.  However, I do have a link that I reference.

Simply Charlotte Mason has a delightful list of living books broken down by grade and subject

Plus, I love having Usborne and DK books on hand that they can study and look at.  DK especially has a books for every single subject in science.  They are colorful and packed with information.  We enjoy them immensely.  

And, that about wraps it up for how we do science.  What are your favorite ways to study about science?  Do you have a favorite curriculum you love?  Tell me about it in the comments.

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