Science is my weakest point and unfortunately that reflects in my children’s passion towards this subject. At the beginning of our homeschool journey I defined what “science” was and why we needed to study it. Knowing the answer is important as it is all too easy to drop this subject all together if I didn’t have a purpose. My purpose has been to help my children understand the principles of God’s created world – this comes from an appreciation that God has asked them to be the caretakers of all creation and have dominion. (Genesis 1).
We have used a variety of resources to help us study God’s world – it may not be sequential like a pre-packaged curriculum but it has given my children an understanding of the basics.
- Magic School Bus DVD: Other than one or two titles which we deemed not appropriate for our family my children have soaked in the knowledge presented on these fun DVDs. Most times they didn’t even know they were learning! My only disappointment is that we didn’t notebook/lapbook as they were learning – but learning is far more than the recording that we get our children to do. So many times my kids say “yeah, I know that.” I ask where did you learn that and they reply “Miss Frizzle!”
- Creation Science material: magazines, curriculum and various DVD’s: Learning to see the issues of creation versus evolution has been the foundation of our science. It has also been the beginning of any worldview / apologetics study later on.
- Eagles Wings – I often use the worksheets/notebook pages from this resources, even if we are studying from something different.
- Books and DVDs (biographies, how-to experiements, how things work and documentaries)
- Noeo Science – though they say this is aimed at a younger audience, it has been my older kids who have really dug into this resource. The living books are definitely picture books, but my older children (yes, even highschool) have appreciated the simplicity of the information.
- Apologia – this curriculum suited only one of our children, for the rest it was too much – too much information, too many experiments. But for Joshua it gave him practical life skills that I wasn’t expecting to come out of studying science.
- Some of the John Hudson Tiner books- we have read these books as read alouds and other times the kids (as highschool students) have read them independently. We rarely do the comprehension quizzes, but rather prefer to notebook a key point each child wants to remember.
- Miscellaneous resources from Hands of a Child and Currclick have often helped us follow an interest for a short period of time.
- Time out doors. I haven’t been very good at nature studies, nature walks, or nature journals but we enjoy the outdoors, we observe and appreciate what we see. We’ve visited farms and listened to farmers talk about the science of growing things. We’ve talked to other industry and commercial ventures that use science such as road and bridge building, mining diamonds, wild life rescue. We go camping and learn about the stars, the rivers, the seasons, fire and so forth.
- Dad – yay for dad – he is a science minded person (He is a vet afterall!) Whenever he has the opportunity he talks about how God’s world works – how the stars work, the gravity, the oceans, the volcanoes, the heart and blood, the food chain, how things grow, how things fly, and so forth. He has been able to show the kids things under a microscope and various autopsies (guinea pig, chicken, cow). But most of all, he shows them the practical application of this field of study.
Science really has been one of those subjects where we have jumped around using what has worked at the time for each child. We have studied science together – it simply has never worked doing individual age levels in this subject. Science has been a subject that though we’ve studied a little in the formal way, the true learning, the valuable learning has happened as we live life and observe God’s world and principles working with us or against us!