As we travel down the homeschool road we will eventually come upon the science stop sign. Some parents believe that they do not need to teach science because it is not one of the three R's and just ignore the sign. In addition some youth have an aversion to science because they see it as just a time of sit down and don't speak while they are being taught and will execute a U-turn. However,we should observe that science stop sign and yield to the right of way of oncoming fun and curiosity that science brings.
John Dewey said, "Apart from experience theory is meaningless."
Science was meant to be experienced and teaching science can be as easy as paying attention to the world around you. Making observations drawing conclusions and presenting your results can be fun and exciting if presented properly and below we have some tools that can give you a great start in peaking the interest of your homeschooler down the road of Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science.
1) Balloons! This will be the best investment of your science career to teach those little ones in their early years of development and for the advanced years as well. Take a balloon and blow it up or teach your young ones how to blow it up, then let it go. Can you predict the direction a balloon will travel? How high can you make it go? How far? Will the size of the balloon influence the distance it will travel?Talk about it and make observations about what you have found.
2) Popsicle Sticks! I think you can build almost anything out of popsicle sticks. Wagon Wheel, Helicopter's, Catapults, bridges and much more. (http://www.ehow.com/popsicle-sticks/)
3) Stop Watch. You can measure time with a stop watch. How long can you hold your breath? How long can you stand on one leg? Use the stopwatch to learn the importance of accuracy and precision when timing events.
4) Magnifying Glass. This is a fun tool that can be used to examine many different things. Looking at ants with a magnifying glass never goes out of style. Let your child look at the back of your hand. (Basic Magnifying Glass on Amazon)
5) Zip Lock Bags and Latex Gloves. When the kids come in with that dead bird or lizard you want to be prepared. You can touch a wide array of things with Latex Gloves. Dead birds, lizards, and chemicals can all be handled with latex gloves in addition with it's zip lock counter part you can back them and put them in the freezer so parasites can be killed before you work with the dead carcass.
6) Baking Soda and Vinegar. Building a baking soda volcano is always fun and teaches your kids about acids and bases. All our kids have had the opportunity to build their baking soda volcano's. You can talk about the reaction of the acetic acid which reacts with the sodium bicarbonate to form carbonic acid. (http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/buildavolcano.htm)
7) Microscope! Yes this tool is on the expensive side but well worth it. You can look at the world around you. Examine ants, cells, blood and many other things. ($60 Entry Level Microsope from Amazon | $200 Advanced Microscope from Amazon)
Well there you have it. 7 Basic Tools for Homeschool Science. Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list but our family has utilized many of these tools in our homeschool and they have worked wonders. If you have some science tools that you have used to spark a flame in your child please enter a comment below.
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