There is no wrong way to teach homeschool science, unless you simply don't teach it. While some follow a classical model, others may favor the Charlotte Mason style Nature Study, and still others may want an all inclusive curriculum that lays it all out. There are numerous resources both for obtaining supplies and putting together a great homeschool science program.
How to Teach Homeschool Science
Many teacher/moms say that one of the hardest things about teaching science is finding the time to actually do it. However, science is all around and can be found in things as simple making dinner rolls or gardening.
Five Simple Science Ideas That You Can Teach
If scheduling in a big lab and reading assignments is your problem, look around the house for activities and ideas that are easy to do and take minimal effort and time:
- Hang a birdfeeder out the window and make a bird chart with your child. What types of birds come? What time of day do they like to eat? Do they seem to like one type of seed over another?
- Do a Charlotte Mason style nature study. Get a simple sketchbook, and make time to go outside or look out the window and draw what you see. Use a field guide or the Internet to label the items with their correct scientific names.
- Take a field trip! Natural history museums, the aquarium, your local botanical gardens or even the planetarium not only host hundreds of visitors daily, but they also offer a slew of information geared towards educators. If you ask, chances are good that you can take home a bunch of free lesson plans and other sundry resources.
- Make a loaf of bread! Bread is actually the result of a series of complex chemical reactions. Talk about how the yeast produces gas in the bread, causing it to rise.
- Grow a plant Plants need sunshine and water in order to grow. Grow a plant and take measurements of its growth. For extra fun, choose to grow something that will produce a fruit or a vegetable.
The Federal Government Wants to Help Homeschoolers?
Yes, you read that right. The federal government has a variety of resources that they give away to educators every year for free. Also, there are several government run websites for kids that have fantastic science information.
The United States Geological Survey also has a great page for kids, but in addition offers teachers downloadable lesson plans.
National Weather Service
The National Weather Service offers resources for teachers, and a kids' page.
The good folks at NASA also have a slew of information for both teachers and students.
Keep in mind that almost all government agencies have free resources for educators. Look for an agency that matches your child's interests and then send away for free posters, lesson plans and more.
Where To Get Science Supplies
There are a variety of places to get science supplies. For elementary level science, you shouldn't have to worry about getting things that are too complicated. Most of what you need you should be able to find in a grocery store. With that said, there are several great suppliers that work with homeschoolers:
If You Want a Complete Science Curriculum
If you're not comfortable putting together your own science curriculum, then you can always buy a whole curriculum. Make sure to find out whether or not your curriculum comes with its own supplies - some do and some do not. You'll always pay more for a curriculum that's sold together with the supplies but sometimes it's worth the hassle not to have to gather everything yourself.
If you want to know what's out there, check out Rainbow Resource. They offer several hundred different types of curriculum. While that might seem overwhelming, if you give yourself plenty of time, you can find something that is a good fit both for you and your child.
While it's not a complete curriculum, Usborne Books offer some of the best reference books available. Newer editions of Usborne books are internet linked, so that for almost every page of your book, there is a corresponding website.