Here are 10 easy ways to add science into your homeschooling.
1. Observe ants. Carefully lift a rock near an ant nest and see all the ants try to move the eggs as quickly as they can! (Make sure you lower the rock carefully afterwards too, so you don’t harm the ants.) Try placing different foods (salt, bread, honey, for example) near the nest and see which food the ants are interested in. This can occupy your kids for weeks if they keep trying different foods.
2. Study the birds in your backyard. Some children might enjoy participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count, too, or the lesser-known annual loon count.
3. Check out all the live animal cams available on the internet. Watch eagle eggs hatch, see a barn owl up close, or find out what animals visit an African Watering hole at different times. Google and you'll be amazed at how many are out there.
5. Go on field trips: the local hydroelectric plant may offer tours, the chocolate store may offer a tour (we did this and it was great!), there’s maple syrup season, horseback riding, working farms…….you get the idea. It’s all learning.
6. Go to the beach. Look at the waves, find seashells and look them up in a field guide, catch a little crab, let the minnows nibble your toes and guess what kind of fish they are.
7. Teach your kids to weed the garden. Besides the obvious benefit of your not having to do it, they’ll find all sorts of creepy crawlies to observe, and see how plants grow from the seeds up, as well as learning how the weather in different years can affect the “crops”. If they are “veggie-resistant” at meals, you may find that picking their own food right off the plants they grew may increase their enthusiasm.
8. Polish rocks. As you walk, let them find pretty rocks of various kinds (I usually carry a Ziploc bag or two when we go out). Look them up in the field guide or online, talk about it, and throw them in the rock tumbler. When they’re all shiny and polished, put them as a decorative accent on the dining room table and they start all sorts of great conversations.
9. Magazines. Know, National Geographic Kids, Dig, Click, and Odyssey are just a few great ones off the top of my head. I casually leave the latest issue on the table or in the sun porch on a chair. I find them in a child’s hand a few minutes later and they are often telling me something they’ve just learned.
10. Colour! When we’ve been out walking and seen a new plant, bird, or tree leaf, I can usually find a colouring page to go with it (www.edupics.com is a great site for a lot of things).
How do you include some easy science?