Biology is an interesting branch of science that lends itself to field trips and hands-on projects; but for many homeschoolers, especially those who didn’t like biology themselves, teaching it can be a daunting task. Fortunately, teaching biology is not only incredible easy but also very low-key in the preschool through first grade years.
Tips for the Starting Out Stage
In the Starting Out years, studying biology will primarily be done through observation. Students at this age can absorb all kinds of information, so while you should keep science simple, don’t shy away from using proper vocabulary and procedures.
- At this age, children tend to love learning about animals. This is a great time for visits to the zoo, fish hatchery, or nature preserve.
- Read plenty of living books about plants, animals, and the human body. Be aware, though, that even books for this age often include information on evolution. If your family has strong beliefs about this topic, be prepared for how you will handle it. Typical responses are to skip the parts referring to evolution, change the wording, or have a discussion about the words and their meaning.
- Subscribe to a nature magazine and read it aloud to your child.
- Keep lessons short and concrete. Save abstract concepts, such as cells, for later elementary or middle school years.
- Grow and observe a plant.
- Get a family pet.
- Have your student lie down on a large piece of newsprint or butcher paper and trace around him or her. Then help the student draw body parts in the correct location to help him or her understand the relative location of body systems.