In my house, science is a subject near and dear to our hearts. Both my husband and I hold degrees in the field, which means that our kids get a double dose of the subject!
Our experiences with science have been overwhelmingly positive. The sad reality is that for many people this is not true. Most of the population cringes when you mention words like chemistry or physics. Science is often looked at as a lofty subject that few understand.
So, as homeschoolers, why should we bother to teach science?
Why Teach Science?
High schools require students to take several science classes in order to receive their diploma. On top of that, every major university expects students to have several of these courses on their transcripts. Beyond the academic motivations, science education can be beneficial for so many reasons.
I believe that there are two main purposes for teaching science to our students.
The first purpose is that science will give the students a better awareness of themselves and the world around them.
Science is all around us. It explains:
- The metamorphosis of the butterfly;
- The changing colors of the leaves in fall;
- The apple falling off the tree;
- The fact that you can walk upright and still digest your food;
- And so much more!
When you teach science, your students learn the why’s behind the things that take place every day around them. A study of this subject will lead to a deeper appreciation of life.
The second purpose is that science helps to train your brain to think in a logical manner.
The scientific method is the formula that all scientists learn to use for approaching a problem. This method is a logical and thorough process that is used over and over again to answer questions.
Being familiar with the scientific method trains the brain to approach any question or problem in a logical manner.
The two ideological reasons above are perfect to keep in mind as we weigh the benefits of adding science to our homeschool. But today I want to leave you with more than just that.
I want to inspire you to teach science in your homeschool.
So, I’ve asked my friend and fellow homeschool scientist, Marci Goodwin, to share her thoughts with you all.
How to Teach Science?
Here is what Marci had to say about how she teaches science in her homeschool:
We live in the house where you can’t eat anything in the kitchen without asking first if it is a science experiment or not. At the moment, we have a couple of baggies with rotting bananas (decomposition study), a jar of water and activated charcoal (chemistry experiment), and another jar with water and a plant cutting (botany experiment) all on our counter. Only one of these experiments relates to the kids’ actual science curriculum.
I am a fan of studying the science all around us. We get inspired to experiment and research when we take time to observe the world around us and ask questions. This natural learning is the kind that stays with kids. It is theirs from start to finish – observation to experimental results. It is easier for them to understand from experiences than from a text book.
This is an important fact for me to remember when I am choosing science curriculum. Even though I love the natural approach to studying science, I recognize the need for structure in our children’s homeschool studies. My goal is to find curriculum that is very hands-on with lots of room for further exploration.
I look at my job as homeschool mama and teacher as a facilitator of science. I try to share science resources and my own love of science with them, whether it is on nature walks, by asking questions about how helicopters fly, or through a great science book.
My children, 7th and 3rd grade, love science. That love was not started by curriculum. Kids are all natural-born scientists that just need encouragement and opportunity. They just need fuel for their fire.
As homeschoolers we have the privilege of sharing this amazing subject with our students.
We have the chance to make science enjoyable and not intimidating.
We have the opportunity to ignite a passion in our students to learn more about the world around them.
We have the freedom to use this subject to exercise the logical side of their brains.
That is why we must teach science in our homeschools.