Updated: Oct 7, 2022
I have mentioned HERE before that science was NOT my forte at school. English, drama, music, history, art, photography....these were all subjects I had no problems with excelling in but science? Nope. Just nope.
Many times when I consult with parents new to the homeschooling journey, they tell me they have had the same experience. They like me wonder HOW you can teach something to your kiddo when you are not confident in yourself. So what can you do if you relate too hard to this? Two words. Outsource science.
What do I mean by that? Well, like anything with the homeschooling journey, you are really the facilitator of your child's interests. So lean on ALL of the amazing resources that are at your fingertips and create a science-rich learning environment for your kiddos. Here are my top 5 tips for outsourcing science.
1. Flip the script
So you didn't 'get' science when you were young? Didn't have the best teacher? Didn't understand science concepts? Well, flip the script and learn how to love science ALONGSIDE your kids! Make it as interesting as possible for you all. For my kiddos that means making most of our science EDIBLE. Yep...edible science is a thing. I wrote THIS blog post on it and there are even more links to lessons in the Australian Homeschool Hub. Kids aren't big on hands on stuff but prefer to learn by listening? Why not get a podcast up about science-y things? Take out an audio book on science. Or read aloud to the kids while they enjoy a hot chocolate or a milkshake. If you didn't feel science was enjoyable when you learnt about it, flip the script and make it unforgettable for your kids.
2. Get a kit
There are a few different kits out there varying in price and content. My only regret with my older 3 kiddos is that I didn't try a kit with them when they were homeschooling. They see the younger kids using them and always love checking out whatever the kit is!
We go with KIWICO for our tinker kits and we absolutely love them. In fact, Mr 11 can not get enough of them. As soon as one arrives, he wants to build it! He reads the instructions but loves that there are also step by step videos that Kiwico create for the visual learners. Use THIS LINK to get $10 off your first kit ;)
Today he built one that shot out foam discs and is motorised! All the parts arrive in the box (foam, adhesive - EVERYTHING!) and there is also a magazine that comes with them too so you can read about the science behind the project. I am sure had these been around when I was learning about science, I would have loved it.
3. Watch a YouTuber or Instagrammer
Chemical Kim has fast become one of my fave science Insta accounts for science. I love the way Kim uses every day items that you can get from your local $2 store and turns it into an amazing science lesson! So very, very cool!
Dave Hax is one of my kiddos fave YouTubers who has a lot of science experiments and hacks. Recently Zeeki made his own fairy floss machine at home based on a Dave Hax tutorial. You can watch Zeeki's experience HERE on our YouTube Channel.
4. Classes and Groups
Many local homeschool groups run co-op style classes for group learning. If you aren't yet connected to a local group, check out the Homeschool Support Directory that Beverley Paine from The Educating Parent adds to regularly.
And if you can't find a group in your area, you could always set one up. Group learning can be so much fun for kids and parents too! Sharing the learning and the facilitation can be a wonderful tool to have in your homeschooling-toolbox.
If you can't find a local group, why not try and join one online? Our favourite to use is Outschool* You could try THIS class called DNA for Young Scientists, or THIS class called Science Continuum or THIS group called The Animal Area: Veterinarians, Zoologists, Pet Lovers . Again, these are a great way to outsource science but also another great way for your kiddo to make new friends, learn from others and interact with a safe platform. If you'd like to try Outschool, this code: THL20 at the checkout will give you a discount of $20USD (which is roughly $30 AUD off).
5. Give them time and space to explore and investigate
One of the best things about homeschooling is how much time and space we have. We can give that as a gift to our kiddos to explore and investigate (two very basic building blocks for all things science!) We stock a heap of science experiment books on our shelves. One I purchased recently that is beautiful is called The Great Outdoors Activity Book. Sometimes, instead of just leaving the books on the shelves, I might open one up and leave it around on the learning room table or I might even suggest we have a go at an experiment together.
Give yourselves the time and space to go outside and explore too! It might be finding nature in your backyard or it might be heading to the local science museum, travelling to a observatory or investing in a pass to something like Questacon (if you live nearby!)
As in all our eclectic-style learning, we aim to follow our children's interests. Investing in those interests, not only shows them we respect and value them but also helps them stay engaged (just like we are when we are learning about things we like!)
And we'll end on a few freebies because who doesn't love them, right?! THIS is a freebie handout of a few experiments I created for Science Week last year. (Of course there are updated science week handouts in our Australian Homeschool Hub Membership too) THIS is a freebie printables bundle that has a science printable in it. Your kiddo can learn about a famous inventor or invention and then jot down a few main points on there. THIS is a link to the Science Museum Group resources page. There are some interesting 3D shots of scienc-y things and some discussion questions to talk about with your kiddos too!
Ok more soon friends and as always, I love hearing from you!