10 Ways to Jazz Up Your Science

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Are you looking for ways to make homeschooling science fun and engaging for the whole family? Look no further with 10 ways to jazz up your science!

Science can be a blast when it’s creative and interactive, so you’ll love our top 10 ideas for livening up your next homeschool science lesson. Discover how to mix in art and music, explore multi-sensory activities, and create a hands-on experience that your kids will never forget. From playing science-based games and crafting homemade projects to visiting tech-savvy museums and putting science experiments to the test, you’ll find a variety of ways to turn science into a lively adventure.

So get ready to awaken your kids’ curiosity and whip up a storm of STEM fun in your home.

10 Ways to Jazz Up Your Homeschool Science | Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network

Here are ten ways to jazz up your science!

  1. Jazz up your science. Go outside:

  • Dig a hole Amazing what you can find. If you have manicured lawns, try digging in an obscure section of a flower or shrub box. Make sure the ground is damp. If it isn’t, you may want to water an area of ground where you plan to dig for several days in a row. This will attract larger insects you can observe with the naked eye. Bring a cardboard box out of a shoe box or larger, so you can sift through the dirt. You can make a sifting screen box to put your dirt in and gently shake it back and forth. Bring a magnifying glass or, better yet, a lighted microscope and look at the grains of sand under it. If you can, use the same hole and continue to dig deeper each time. 
  • Study the trees, shrubs, or plants in your own yard or in the neighborhood, and take a walk 
  • Observe butterflies and categorize them.
  • Observe birds and identify (one year, we had chimney swifts nesting in our fireplace. We didn’t know what type of birds they were at first, but with some research we found out. Isn’t it amazing how the Lord provides?!)

More Outside Observation

  • Observe the types of airplanes and helicopters that fly by. Research them.
  • Take pictures of these things and put them in a nature album with a brief description, which can be a single word for a preschooler or a paragraph for an older child. 
  • Draw pictures and keeps a nature album of all of the above.
  • Blindfold your child and have them identify sounds they hear. Let them blindfold you, and you can do this too!!
  • Study and observe the weather. Make various instruments to gauge the weather.

 

If we were in a small group, I would ask you what areas of academics we covered above, just by the things I mentioned, but since we aren’t, I’ll answer my own question Writing (which encompasses spelling and grammar), reading, observing, researching, math (counting, sorting, categorizing), acoustics study of sounds, ballistics study of flight, ornithology bird study, nature study, dendrology tree study, The botanical study of trees and other woody plants, entomology insect study, meteorology weather study, etc…

 

While you are outside, jazz up your science like this…

 

  1. Plant a Garden

The benefits of growing a garden are innumerable such as teaching children the art of giving, generosity, the joy of sharing, responsibility, nurturing, productivity, and accomplishment. From a scientific point of view: they could learn about soil analysis, seed germination, weather, seasons, calendar, insect control with and without pesticides, composting and fertilizers, and, best of all, fruits of labor! Eating: digestion, health, nutrition, etc

 

While you are still outdoors…

 

  1. Nature Walks

Possible supplies needed: A magnifying glass, binoculars, sunscreen/ bug screen, camera, pad, paper, and backpack to carry supplies. Try to take walks in different ecosystems. Begin simply in your own neighborhood, then branch out. If you have never camped, maybe this is a time to get started. If the thought of buying everything you need to “rough” puts you off, you may want to consider going to a “retreat” campground. Look around and see what is available near where you live or take a trip!

Areas for Nature Walks

 Mountainous area: Look at rock formations. As you probably already know, in Florida, there is an abundance of porous rock called limestone. Many times the kids can use a sharp object and scrape away at it and find fossil formations have the children look at the rock formations and categorize them. You can have them collect rocks from different locations they visit or enlist family and friends to bring rocks back for them. Remember to use your resources

 Beach area: Study or collect shells, in FL the coquina are great fun to watch (Take a clear cup and fill the bottom with sand, some water, and these tiny creatures. Then watch them bury down into the sand. It’s neat. Make a shell collection/ organize and classify your finds at the beach.

 Swamp area: There is an abundance of swamps in the Southern area of Florida. As I mentioned earlier, I have first-hand knowledge of this because we happen to live in the middle of an area known as the 6-mile cypress slough. Some of our land is underwater for a good part of the summer. While it may not make me very happy at times, it supplies an abundance of wildlife for the children to observe and learn about.

 Projects: Use your resources. There are great resources available on the Internet. You can do many searches using science as the keyword or the subject you are studying and find many resources. We have been involved in Science Fair projects and competitions. It may be worth considering if you have access to these competitions in your area or within your homeschool group.

 

5. Videos or Television Programs, computer programs, and Internet Sites 

The list is endless. You may need to see what is available in your area for videos and television programs.

 Here are some websites with great information on science.

Internet Sites: some of my favorite…

  • www.nasa.gov/
  • www.exploratorium. edu/
  • www.howstuffworks.com
  • www.icr.org/
  • www.MediaAngels.com

 

Computer Programs I have an extensive list in my book, but here are some I have personally used…

  • GeoSafari Science ages 8 and up,
  • A.D.A.M. the inside story (may need to be monitored),
  • Mayo Clinic Family Health,
  • ProOne Chemistry and Biology.

 

There are times when life gets in the way of schooling. Has this happened to you? Perhaps someone is ill, there is a new baby in the family, or it is the holiday season. There are times when video, computer, and internet resources can be a wonderful supplement to your curriculum.

When we studied astronomy, we downloaded free software that made looking at the night sky so much easier. We were able to maneuver around the night sky, look at planets close up and figure out what the night sky would look like when we went out in the evening to view the stars on a clear night. What a wonderful supplement to our curriculum.

Last year we studied world history and the children and I watched the series “Planet Earth.” It was a spectacular cinematographic feat. I enjoyed it more than the children. We took notes, mapped the geographic locations of the varied DVD, and kept track of the animals listed with drawings and additional research. This can be a stand-alone assignment for older children, with you keeping a watchful “ear” as you view the show nearby.

Of course, since your children are grounded in the evolution vs. creation debate, hint, hint, wink 😉 they can view these programs with an ear out for anti-creation thoughts. If not, you may want to look at our curriculum.

Television Programs

The most common are on the Discovery station and PBS Science. Noted shows include, “Bill Neye the Science Guy, Newton’s Apple, and Weird Science.

Here are a few Internet websites.

Creation

Secular

Discovery Channel

 

Sadly, the internet has replaced computer programs for the ease of accessibility and the freedom to view what you want, when you want. Thankfully, we can host a virtual field trip!

What are your favorite science internet websites or television programs? Share your favorites with us!

 

  1. Experiments and Activities

If you are teaching by reading science textbooks or having your child read the information in a workbook and skipping the experiments, then your child may find science very boring. This is the reason I didn’t like it as a child. I don’t remember doing one experiment until I reached high school. With hands-on experiments or activities come a better understanding and a greater chance for the retention of knowledge. Just observing has its limitations, just experimentation has its limits, and the scientific method in itself has its limits. Not everything is observable, but a mixture of reading about the topic and doing an activity or experiment is a wonderful combination. There are too many great experiment books to mention. I have many reviews for my book.

 

  1. Planetarium and Nature Centers

If your town has one, a nature center is a wonderful place to visit. They often include designated walks, museums, guides, gift shops, and group discounts. If you do not have a Nature Center in your town, perhaps you could find the closest one to you and plan a visit. Our children attended many of the science workshops they offered during spring break and during the summer.

If you want a guide to star gazing, then a Planetarium is for you. Most have shows (some that are pre-taped), and they shine various stars on the curved ceiling, pointing to various constellations and stars. They also have high-powered telescopes, and most of the nature guides we have met have been very enthusiastic, some offering to stay as long as we wanted! I recommend that anyone can attempt star gazing at home or in a dimly lit area. It’s exciting to take a car ride in the evening to view the stars. Get acclimated to the dark first. Put out a big blanket or get out the lawn chairs using a glow-in-the-dark star finder and a good pair of binoculars.

 

  1. Archaeological Dig

Remember when I mentioned action and adventure? Archaeology is something many children enjoy. There are archaeological sites all over the world! Did you know people out on walks have found the majority of the dinosaur fossils? Over the years, my children have viewed various digs. When they were younger, we visited Pine Island and a Caloosa Indian Dig. They found all types of artifacts, broken pottery, and shells. They took a canoe (the only way to get there is by boat) to Useppa Island and observed a dig there.

By far, their favorite has been the Fossil Float, which they took in Arcadia, Florida. A gentleman on a previous dig with CSI (Creation Science Institute) found Mammoth bones! The kids looked forward to this trip for a long time! They took canoes, homemade sifting screens, and their survival skills and braved the Peace River. There are alligators in this river, so care must be taken. The children found countless shark teeth and some fossilized remains. They were given charts to help in identifying the pieces they found. The Peace River is a freshwater river, and there is interesting speculation as to how saltwater creatures’ teeth are in a freshwater river. (We have written a fiction account, which takes place in Arcadia. It is an action-adventure in the book the Missing Link Found!)

 

  1. Field Trips

There are great places to visit all over the world. When you plan trips, consider a study of science. Once again, the Internet is a wonderful source for finding great locations. It is fun to plan trips with friends who are also homeschooling. Or try a virtual field trip!

Here are some trips we have attended:

Turtle Watching: In Florida, several times of the year are optimum for turtle watching. The large loggerhead turtles come up on FL beaches to lay their eggs and check with your nature center many have night watches using volunteers.

The Kennedy Space Center includes many rockets, space gear, and interactive displays. A hot air balloon festival. We went to the Brandon balloon Classic and usually held it in April. Brandon is near Tampa. For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce.

Museums and State Parks are fun trips located all over the world. As the children get older, so do their interests. This year my older 2 children and husband took a SCUBA certification class. They learned so much science in this intense course. They learned about currents, tides, buoyancy, air pressure, altitude, water pressure, pressure/ volume and density relationships, safety in handling scuba equipment, underwater vision, underwater hearing, heat loss, respiration, temperature, bottom compositions, aquatic animal and plant life, fresh and saltwater and on and on. Best of all, they had covered many of these concepts earlier at a much younger level. This was an opportunity to re-learn and apply past knowledge.

 

10. Co-ops

A definition of this is several families pooling their resources and talents, working together with the best of both worlds, still homeschooling, and enjoying group dynamics with handpicked friends. One parent recently told me she invited two of her daughter’s friends over once a week to do science, and this ensured that they got to the projects and experiments she often neglected. This gives you time to do experiments, activities, arts and crafts, plan trips, etc.

 

Could I keep this to just ten ideas? Of course not. Here are some extras:

  •  Study Scientists: Kepler, Newton, Morse
  •  Hatch chicken eggs: I have had many friends who have ordered eggs from a science catalog, and the children patiently waited for the chicks to hatch. Make sure you have a place for them to go after they’ve hatched!
  • Take Lessons: As I stated earlier, Scuba, water safety, boating, canoeing, sailing, and mountain climbing.
  • Science Camps: There are many camps available for children those that readily come to mind are space camps and oceanography camps. These are quite pricey, and you may want to plan ahead with your children for ways to fund these. Perhaps they could do special jobs for you, a neighbor, or a relative. Work takes on a whole new meaning when they are saving for something special.
  • Host a workshop: Have a speaker come to your area. This is a great way to motivate yourself or your children. Many are available and travel extensively.

 You can teach science!

As you can see, it is as easy as walking outside and digging a hole. You are the best model for your child, even your special needs child, whether you are enthusiastic, curious, or have the ability to make mistakes and correct them. There are many valuable lessons to be learned. The best way to begin is to just do it!


Felice Gerwitz is a wife, a homeschool mom and has five children, and has graduated two.

She is the owner of Media Angels, Inc., an author, and a conference speaker.

Resources for teaching Science and more from Media Angels

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