Our Favorite Homeschool Tools (Pt. 3 Science)
Today, I am going to cover Science.
In the early years, science was covered by using BJUPress Science Books as a “guide” and springboard for further study.
We loved the Anna Comstock’s Handbook of Nature and our kids kept a nature journal.(I think this edition is OOP. You might find another version available on Amazon.) We would pack up the car with a picnic lunch or snacks and a drink, and head to a local park, cranberry bog or to the ocean. We’d eat and sketch. The kids would explore. Then we’d come home and show daddy our finds.
My kids were not all that crazy about the above named book. In fairness to the excellent Handbook of Nature Study, you are actually supposed to read in advance about a seasonal topic and THEN bring your kids outside to observe it. I didn’t realize this until later on. No, my poor kids sat through my reading it aloud. Big no, no! Educate yourself by reading before your excursion out. Trust me on this one. 😉
We also enjoyed a variety of field guides for birds in our area, trees, flowers, shells, etc. Obviously, these would need to be area/region specific to be helpful to you.
When the kids were little I would hang pictures of the birds that were in our back yard on the windows, and would teach them the sounds.
I would point out the bird, then rub my little ones tummy and tell them,”The Robin has a red belly. She says “Cheer up, cheerily.” Things like that help them to remember.
When we got our first digital camera, I let them take pictures of the birds in our yard. They loved this task.
Parables from Nature (free online) were read aloud and discussed.
I made a dark and sketchy video of how to use watercolor in your nature journal here. and highly recommend this book about Keeping a Nature Journal.
We also used nearly every science kit that Timberdoodle ever put into their catalog. Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but I forked over some serious cash for them and we all loved them.
Eventually we used Apologia materials for science and found them to be very user friendly although quite challenging. We also used BJU Videos for Chemistry, which Matthew loves and Emily dis-loves. 😉
How about you? Do you do nature study with your kids? Do you see the value in it or no? What do you recommend for Science?