Teaching Science in Your Homeschool | Using the Scientific Method

Teaching Science in Your Homeschool | Using the Scientific Method

Teaching Science in Your Homeschool | Using the Scientific Method

The scientific method provides a sequential way to teach the process of scientific inquiry to your students. This takes the pressure off of the teacher and allows her to count on the process. In a word, it makes teaching science in your homeschool doable.

What is the scientific method?

It’s following a sequential series of steps in an attempt to find an answer to a scientific question. When a question is asked, such as, “What does a plant need in order to grow?”, you follow a series of questions to (hopefully) come up with an answer. It’s not always the answer you expect or want. But, the process of discovering the answer is what’s referred to as the scientific method.

What are all the steps and what do all the steps in the scientific method mean?

There’s a basic 8-step process of inquiry. The steps and their definition are:

  1. Question- What is being solved?
  2. Research- What do I use for study?
  3. Hypothesis- What do I think the answer is?
  4. Materials-  What’s my list of items needed for experiments?
  5. Procedure – What are the sequential steps taken in executing the experiment?
  6. Experiment- A test or hypothesis.
  7. Observation – Careful examination of what’s taking place.
  8. Conclusion: a synopsis of the experiment

You can create a simple checklist based upon this process (which I include in my Study Guide, Teaching Science and Having Fun) based on these 8 definitions.

Is the scientific method for all grade levels?

The scientific method is ideal for all grade levels, including your younger ones. While I love nature study and hands-on activities (and advocate them!), a balance of using worksheets in science for our observations was important. While you wouldn’t expect a preschooler to write out the steps, they can be drawn or even talked through.

Can we do experiments without writing out the steps of the scientific method?

The scientfic method can be simple enough for a preschooler and complex enough for a graduate student. When conducting experiments, using this simple but throughout method of inquiry and recording your observations serves many purposes.

  • it provides a record of learning
  • it’s a ready-made hands-on approach to learning
  • troubleshooting an experiment failure is easier
  • cross-curriculum application, such as math or history, is made easy through notation

In conclusion, teaching science using the scientific method is a sound and proven way to approach the subject of science in your homeschool.

CHECK OUT the New Creation Science Podcast!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Media Angels Creation Bundle Membership Site

 

Get an entire K-12 Creation Science Curriculum for less than $70.

About Our Books:

Why should you teach your children about Creation? Because everything else they read that is remotely science related teaches evolution as FACT. Shouldn’t your children learn there is more than one side to the story? We do and we consider this our mission at Media Angels.

About the Study Guides:

These study guides include a readable outline of the main points in the Creation vs. evolution discussion, the major talking points you should know and ways to educate the children in these points with hands-on activities and experiments. This series isn’t a read-it-one-time and forget it!

If you want a course in Creation Apologetics for kids, this is it!

Additional Resources

Activity Packs for each of the study guides which contain hands on activities you can photo copy for your family.

Creation Kids Classes: On Demand

-Six weeks worth of classes — one per week for ages K-8th grade (high school if you’ve never studied Creation).
-Audio Recordings
-Handouts and Websites to visit
-Further research
-Bonus interviews

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Teaching Science | Unit Study or Single Subject?

teaching science unit study or single subject | Whether you're teaching science as a single subject or unit study, the key would be to get out and do experiments and activities that tie in with the topic, no matter what the approach. Have fun!

Teaching Science | Unit Study or Single Subject?

“I like the ideas of using a scope and sequence, but how should I teach science as a single subject or as a unit study?” 

There are many ways to teach science, and you need to decide which is best for our family. Let’s look at some examples, starting with science as a single subject.

Teaching Science as a Single Subject

I could look at a scope and sequence and find that a single subject, say Astronomy, is one of the topics to be covered this year. Under this subject, I could choose a subtopic, such as astronomers, stars and constellations, galaxies, etc.

If I were to emphasize the single subject approach, the children would take turns reading the books containing the topic we were studying, discuss the book, and supplement with activities tied to the topic. Other subjects, such as history, would be done separately.

Teaching Science as a Unit Study

Emphasizing the unit study approach, we would read as many library books and do as many experiments dealing with the topic as we could find. We would tie as many subjects together as possible. We’d plan to spend four to eight weeks on the unit. It’s ideal to cover as many subjects as possible, and science easily fits with history.

You can study the history of the subject, people, places, and even science tools as part of your science unit study. This lets children see the bigger picture, rather than learning things in isolation from one another. I’ve found they really enjoy making the connections themselves and having those aha moments.

Teaching Science to Multiple Ages or Grade Levels

If you are teaching a variety of ages, having more subjects overlapping makes your job much easier. A Unit Study truly unites the family!

A unit study is taking a topic and incorporating as many of the following school subjects as possible:  science, history, math, reading, language arts, spelling, grammar, creative writing, art, and music. New skills can be taught as old skills are reinforced. While our family chose to do phonics and math as separate subjects, you can easily incorporate those as well.

Multiple Level Teaching Example

Let me give you an example. We studied a geology unit. It took eight weeks to complete. You can decide how you want to lay our your day- who you work with when, what grade-level to “teach to”, and which activities you’ll directly supervise.  Teaching to the oldest is a popular way of teaching a variety of ages.

Let’s pretend you’re teaching four grade levels. Ages 2, 5, 9, 13, and 16 years of age. Watch how many subjects can go together.

  • Bible – read the Bible selection aloud. Discuss difficult words.
  • Reading – assign separate reading for the readers, have a read aloud, and read books to the youngers—all on the same subject.
  • Spelling – create an age appropriate word list from the reading selections
  • Grammar- ages 5 and under could use simple copywork, nine year old can identify parts of speech, and the older can diagram sentences from the reading selection
  • Science- a group experiment plus the 5-9 year old could work on a hands-on project together, giving the toddler a “helper” role. The older can do topic specific research with parent approved research tools, such as the internet.
  • Creation camp- hold a creation camp at home. Get everyone involved!

Whether you’re teaching science as a single subject or unit study, the key would be to get out and do experiments and activities that tie in with the topic, no matter what the approach. Have fun!

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Media Angels Creation Bundle Membership Site

 

Get an entire K-12 Creation Science Curriculum for less than $70.

About Our Books:

Why should you teach your children about Creation? Because everything else they read that is remotely science related teaches evolution as FACT. Shouldn’t your children learn there is more than one side to the story? Do you want your child to be informed? We do and we consider this our mission at Media Angels.

About the Study Guides:

These study guides include a readable outline of the main points in the Creation vs. evolution discussion, the major talking points you should know and ways to educate the children in these points with hands-on activities and experiments. This series isn’t a read-it-one-time and forget it! This series will be repeated again and again and is for K-12th!

If you want a course in Creation Apologetics for kids, this is it!

Additional Resources

Activity Packs for each of the study guides which contain hands on activities you can photo copy for your family.

Creation Kids Classes: On Demand

-Six weeks worth of classes — one per week for ages K-8th grade (high school if you’ve never studied Creation).
-Audio Recordings
-Handouts and Websites to visit
-Further research
-Bonus interviews

media angels membership subscribe button

How and What to Teach with Science

Unit Studies are an ideal way to teach science for how and what to teach with science in your homeschool. You have the flexibility and freedom to determine what your children learn when and still satisfy the scope and sequence. Have fun!

How and What to Teach with Science

You’ve asked the question, “Should I Teach Science in my Homeschool?” and have decided to make the jump. Now it’s time to decide how and what you should teach. Before you begin, you’ll want to answer a couple of questions.

  • Will you use a text book or a hands-on (unit study) approach?
  • What type of scope and sequence will you use?
  • What science disciplines will you choose?

What’s a good definition of science disciplines?

Science disciplines are science topics with many sub-categories for study. For our purposes, we’ll talk about Earth Science, astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Earth Science is the study of geology. Astronomy is the study of matter in space. Biology is the study of all living things. Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter. Physics is the study of matter and energy.

What’s the difference between using a text book and a unit study?

There is a big difference! A textbook has limited, structured reading material for each year with a minimal amount of experiments.  By contrast, a unit study uses a scope and sequence to combine books, field trip opportunities, and experiments. It’s a general guide to appropriate grade-level topics for each subject and grade level from K-12.

Understanding a Scope and Sequence

A scope and sequence can be used as a guide to determine if there are any facets of academics, such as science, you have not yet studied, or would like to study again. Or it can be used as a casis for a unit study. Having a scope and sequence will give you an idea of what should be covered. Lifetime homeschoolers aren’t usually concerned about what’s studied at each level as in traditional schools.

Does this mean I advocate teaching whatever, without rhyme or reason? No, I don’t recommend that at all. You can cover the material required, during the grade level of your choice, and at your child’s readiness level. One of the freedoms of homeschooling is flexibility!

Grade Level Guidelines for Teaching Science

Following are basic guidelines (or a brief scope and sequence) for each grade level:

  • Grades K-3- Teach the basic scientific method, stressing observations, collecting data and basic measurement. Reinforce studies with field trips and nature studies.
  • Grades 4-8- Scientific method: stressing methodology, collecting date, recording observations. Long-term project, such a science fair. Reinforce studies with field trips.
  • Grades 9-12- A complete understanding and application of the scientific method in all phases of experimentation. Stressing methodology, data collection, recording observations. Long-term project, such as a science fair. Labs are important.

Is there room for rabbit trails and non-traditional study topics?

Absolutely! We’re homeschoolers, after all! We love our rabbit trails. You can study things such as gardening, physics at an amusement park, animal husbandry, and more.

So we can see, Unit Studies are an ideal way to teach science in your homeschool. You have the flexibility and freedom to determine what your children learn when and still satisfy the scope and sequence. Have fun!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Media Angels Creation Bundle Membership Site

 

Get an entire K-12 Creation Science Curriculum for less than $70.

About Our Books:

Why should you teach your children about Creation? Because everything else they read that is remotely science related teaches evolution as FACT. Shouldn’t your children learn there is more than one side to the story? Do you want your child to be informed? We do and we consider this our mission at Media Angels.

About the Study Guides:

These study guides include a readable outline of the main points in the Creation vs. evolution discussion, the major talking points you should know and ways to educate the children in these points with hands-on activities and experiments. This series isn’t a read-it-one-time and forget it! This series will be repeated again and again and is for K-12th!

If you want a course in Creation Apologetics for kids, this is it!

Additional Resources

Activity Packs for each of the study guides which contain hands on activities you can photo copy for your family.

Creation Kids Classes: On Demand

-Six weeks worth of classes — one per week for ages K-8th grade (high school if you’ve never studied Creation).
-Audio Recordings
-Handouts and Websites to visit
-Further research
-Bonus interviews

media angels membership subscribe button

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