Science in the Homeschool

Many families write to ask if they need to add science to our resources in the elementary years. The answer is no.

Each of our resources, from preschool through 6th grade include projects, nature study, scientific observation and notebooking, experiments, and information about scientists. They help your children develop the skills of asking questions, following a plan, and exploring cause and effect. 

In one article about how to teach science in elementary school the authors write, "The term “science” is one that encompasses a broad world of phenomena and events such as weather, the solar system, animal and plant life and more. And while students will surely explore these niche aspects of science as they mature in the K-12 school system, at the elementary level it’s the job of the teacher to essentially introduce science and some of its categories to the student. This is best done through visual, hands-on activities that allow students to observe and analyze a particular phenomenon, while at the same time getting some entertainment out of it." (emphasis mine)

 

So in the Peaceful Press resources you are doing the best practice of offering hands on learning experiences through observing nature, baking bread, watching a flame absorb oxygen, building a rocket or telescope, collecting leaves, and more.

Furthermore, education researchers such as Peter Gray believe that when we try to over educate young children, offering worksheets for every subject to prove we learned something, we actually negate learning.

He writes, "The mania for increased instruction, with consequent decreases in play, has even struck our kindergartens and preschools. Teachers in these settings are increasingly required to forego playful, creative, and enjoyable activities, so they can spend more time on worksheets and test preparation (Lynch, 2015 ). This is despite repeated studies showing that the immediate academic gains of such training wash out within 2 or 3 years (Carlsson-Paige, Almon, & McLaughlin, 2015 ; DarlingHammond & Snyder, 1992 ; Katz, 2015 ). Indeed, in some well-controlled studies, students from academic-based preschools and kindergartens performed worse , by fourth grade and beyond, on measures of reading, math, social maturity, and emotional control than otherwise comparable children from play-based preschools and kindergartens (Goldbeck, 2001 ; Marcon, 2002 ; Schweinhart & Weikart, 1997 )"(emphasis mine)

 

As well, when you look at scientists who have had notable achievements, they often had unconventional childhoods such as Francis Collins who was homeschooled on a farm in Virginia or they perhaps didn't stand out for being very bright such as Albert Einstein. 

"Albert Einstein was not the typical child. However, not in the way one might think. He was not a child prodigy who could read at the age of two and do high level math at four, but quite the opposite. Albert appeared to have great difficulty in learning to talk. An older Albert once recalled that his parents became so concerned about his speaking difficulties that they consulted a doctor. Even when he did start talking, Albert had the strange habit of repeating sentences several times to himself. At one point, he earned the nickname "der Depperte," which means "dopey one."

"Francis Collins grew up on a small farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. His father, in addition to raising cows and sheep, taught at a nearby women’s college. His mother, a playwright, educated him at home until the sixth grade."

All that to say, the Peaceful Press has you covered for science in K-6, but if you want to add more science learning, your best bet is to add a few kits that offer opportunities for experimenting.

Don't try to add a full year resource that will take away time from notebooking and other projects, instead add in a few fun projects like the ones below.

Build a robot-In this class, instructor Vinod will take children through the fundamentals of building and programming a robot. My son took the class and loved the results. Learn more here.

Tinker- We subscribed to these crates from Kiwi-co for several years. Each month we got a new project which provided my son with opportunities for developing basic engineering skills, and a lot of fun. They have several options for different age levels. Learn more here

Butterfly garden-We loved our experience hatching out butterflies with this simple kit. Get the kit here

Spring Guide-The Walk Through the Seasons Guides have engaging science experiments for young children with simple household items. Grab yours here.

Nature study opens up a world of science, and over the years we have hatched chicks, kept a hive of bees, grown gardens, fermented kombucha, and had all manner of fun with science through our nature explorations. Linked below are some more fun nature play activities for your young children.

More Nature Study Activities

Shop all our resources

 

sources

https://resilienteducator.com/classroom-resources/3-ideas-for-teaching-science-to-elementary-students/

https://cdn2.psychologytoday.com/assets/Children's%20Natural%20Ways,%20published.pdf

https://www.ducksters.com/biography/scientists/albert_einstein/early-life.php

https://achievement.org/achiever/francis-s-collins/

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