Yikes! What am I saying here? Am I
saying there is no need to teach science
until high school? No. Am I saying conducting laboratory experiments is unnecessary? No. My article is titled, Science
at Home is Easy: You Can Do This! Thus,
I am going to approach the teaching of
science in the home as something that is
easy and should be fun. I just wanted to
set the stage for how we “do science” in
our home and why the teaching of science does not have to be a daunting task.
Science in the Homeschool
Years ago when we started homeschool-
ing, I picked up that first science book,
read the first chapter, and could not un-
derstand how something so inherently
interesting could be so boring. In fact,
every chapter was as boring as the one
before. Sure, there were experiments to
conduct, but they were boring too. We
scrunched up a paper cup, poured water
in it, and put it in the freezer. The next
day we took it out, peeled the cup off the
ice, and every half hour we were sup-
posed to draw the melting result. Even
first graders have a basic idea what’s go-
ing to happen to their misshapen blob of
ice over time. That said, have you ever
tried to draw a picture of ice? Try it. It
is not easy. Ask a first grader to do this.
Definitely not an easy task. We had all
sorts of science experiments presented in
those texts, but most required at least one
thing that we did not have readily avail-
able around the house, and experiments
were often postponed as a result. And
honestly, they were not experiments that
interested any of us, at least in our home.
As we continued on through these
texts, I found that basically the same ma-
terial was presented each year, granted
with increasing detail, but, again, it was
boring. This pattern continued through
elementary and middle school, and I re-
alized that the physicist was right. High
school is where the science really begins.
I decided that science from the beginning
should be fun and engaging. We should
not bore our students with science, but
open the world to them.
Back to science in the homeschool.
We have science texts for kindergarten
through eighth grade. We do read the
texts, but we use the presented materials
solely as a guide and rarely engage in the
prescribed experiments. We prefer to do
our own experiments or means of discovery. Science is fun and can be something that is part of our everyday lives.
Look around you, around your home,
around your yard. Let your children take
the lead, and engage in those things that
interest them, and then see what you can
learn about that particular topic.
We supplement any science text, including our high school texts (biology,
chemistry and physics) with books from
the library, field guides, and materials or
equipment we purchase from Home Science Tools at www.hometrainingtools
.com. We have purchased some items
for our homeschool science activities
that we have used regularly over the
My rule of thumb is to
give our children the
tools required to pursue
their interest, and get out
of their way.