If you’re like me, as your children grow older, you may find it increasingly difficult to accomplish all that needs to be done during a typical homeschooling day. Reading and math are a must, and sometimes just getting through those two subjects can take easily- distracted students several hours to complete. Lunchtime often becomes a much-needed break for everyone. And if you’re schooling multiple grade levels, your school days slip by even faster. Though you’re determined to teach at least a short science lesson, it’s soon time to start supper. “Tomorrow,” you say. “We’ll do that fun experiment tomorrow.”
And then tomorrow comes, and it’s as unpredictable as the day before. That wonderful science lesson gets pushed aside again. At least, that’s what often happens in our home. And I was becoming quite discouraged about it, until I recently heard Jeannie Fulbright speak at a local homeschooling conference.
Jeannie Fulbright is the author of the Apologia Young Explorer’s elementary science book series. And believe it or not, she had similar experiences when teaching science to her children. She found herself doing experiments with them just for the sake of doing the experiment; her children had no real understanding of the purpose of the experiment.
She discovered, however, that reading a good science book, one that engages the listener and immerses him in the subject, is all you really need to teach younger students. After all, she said, that’s how the great scientists did it. They read and read and read, and only when they had a theory did they finally test it.
To study science and encourage learning, then, Jeannie recommended:
- Choosing a science curriculum or science books that interest your child
- Reading the book to your child, having the child read to you, or having the child read to himself
- Having the child narrate to you what he has just read and/or what he has learned
- For older children, having the child write (as an essay) what he has read and learned
- Creating a notebook of drawings and text to chronicle the things the child has learned
- Then, if you have time, work on those great science experiments together.
Now that’s a plan we can follow!
Article by Samantha Bell
Picture by jimmiehomeschoolmom
Homeschooling Reading Curriculum by SmartTutor.com