Math, language arts, and history tend to take priority in many homeschool curricula. Subjects like art and science can be messy and time-consuming. Or it can be tempting to reduce science to reading from a textbook and answering questions. But to really bring science to life for your children, they need to do science. Here are some ways to make science happen with your early learner in your busy school days.
Tips for the Starting Out Stage
Science at this age can be kept very simple. Introduce your child to science vocabulary and concepts gently and naturally by using them in everyday life. Don’t think science textbooks and workbooks here. Think about allowing your child to do what already comes naturally: experience the world around him or her.
- Learn about the five senses and practice using them to explore the world.
- Take your children on nature hikes and discuss everything that you see and hear.
- Collect objects such as leaves or rocks and make observations.
- Begin using the terminology for the scientific method: observation, hypothesis, prediction, test, and theory.
- Use science vocabulary in everyday life.
- Do some basic, interesting science experiments using safe materials from home, such as making a volcano with vinegar and baking soda or testing which items float or sink in a tub of water.
- Teach your child to never eat a science experiment unless given permission by the adult.
- Provide and read aloud simple non-fiction books about science topics. Look for engaging text and colorful photos.
- Encourage your child to ask lots of questions. Don’t feel like you need to know all the answers! Show your child how you can look up the answer to a question you don’t already know the answer to.
- On the flip side, ask your child questions, too. Ask why she thinks something happened. You might be surprised at how much insight your little one can have!