Science is everywhere. Even in the city.
Our family has a few priorities when it comes to science and those priorities have very little to do with textbooks.
1. Be a naturalist.
Study your environment just the way it is. Don’t take the animal, flower, insect out of its natural environment unless you absolutely have to. Observe. Record. But don’t let the first thing you do be Touch.
2. Learn about man’s relationship with science from a Biblical perspective.
God created this natural world and gave us specific commands about it. I’ve always told people our ecology stems from our theology. We are conservationist of a different color, but conservationist nonetheless.
3. Worship the CREATOR, not the creation.
God expects us to enjoy this world. But the things of this world should never usurp or undermine our worship of its Creator.
Now we’ve tried journaling and nature walks and all of that, but they always seemed contrived for our family. Science just kind of happens here. All mom and dad have to do is be ready for it! (If you are interested in how we notebook when we do manage to do it, see this post on Large Family Notebooking!)
It isn’t uncommon for us to turn our 15 passenger van around in order to get pictures of wild turkeys or deer along the side of the road. I often call the children’s attention to an ant hill, rubbings on a tree, static electricity, the water going down the drain. We’ve been known to wake our children up in the middle of the night to see a lunar eclipse or a meteor shower. It’s all science. You needn’t look hard to find it. But you do have to be willing to take the time when you do find it.
In the early grades, we primarily use books to offer our children more in the way of science. However, my daughter is currently reading through the Apologia Elementary Science series. Our oldest is in General Science. So, yes, I do believe in textbooks when it comes to science, but I also believe the texts must be engaging (as are the Apologia books) and chock full of easy and informative experiments (another checkmark for Apologia!). There is absolutely no reason for science to be boring. (Learn more about how we use Apologia with multiple ages!)
Another great resource for science with character training added in are the Character Sketches from IBLP (These are really hard to find since the demise of IBLP, but they are still good books, and can sometimes be found used through Amazon or the like). The paintings are Audubon-esque and linked to a Bible story and a character lesson.
I also highly encourage moms to take a look at Karen Andreola’s books Pocketful of Pinecones and Lessons at Blackberry Inn. In those books she also makes mention of the Handbook of Nature Study, although at times that book can be rather cumbersome.
(You can download the Handbook of Nature Study for free HERE or simply read it via that same site, if you’d rather “try before you buy.”)
All-in-all, science is a very easy thing to incorporate into your homeschooling life if you only take time. I know that feels like something you don’t have much of, but trust me when I say the lasting benefits of pulling over your 15 passenger van or waking up your crew in the middle of night are well worth worth every second of being late and lost sleep!
So, how do you make science a part of your day?
Read the rest of the Lifestyle of Learning posts HERE.