by Guest Contributor Valerie Cox
Whether your children realize it or not, science is everywhere in the world around us. From the sunlight waking us up in the morning to how our bodies digest the food we eat, science is a major part of our daily lives. As their educator, it’s important to engage your children with science so they have a better understanding and deeper appreciation of our environment.
1. Question Walks
One way to engage your children with science is to take a “question walk” where they can ask questions about what they see. As your children’s educator, you can take time to explain why the sky is blue or point out different plants and trees along your walk. You could try allowing the children to guide the question walk as much as possible so you can discover any new interests or
curiosities they have, and if you don’t know an answer to their question, you can have your children help you research the answer. It’s important for children to know that science is about continuing to learn even after you graduate from school.
2. Trip to the Zoo
If you are studying animals in your school unit, a trip to the zoo will be a wonderful way for your children to engage with science. You can have your children take journals and write down facts they learn or draw pictures of the animals they see throughout the day. You could also check with your zoo to see if they offer any educational opportunities specifically for homeschool students as this would be another resourceful way for your children to learn more about science and the animal kingdom.
3. Hands-On Experiments
If your children learn better with hands-on learning, performing science experiments would be a smart way to engage your children with science. Many simple science experiments can easily be done at home, and all you need to do is spend a few minutes online researching your different options to find one that is tailored to your children’s ages and scientific interests. If you are studying a specific scientific unit, you can find a coordinating experiment so your children will continue their science learning and have their curiosities piqued. From classic experiments like making a volcano to more in-depth experiments like ones involving dry ice, there is certainly a hands-on science experiment perfect for your children.
4. Build Structures
If your children enjoy playing with building blocks, you can engage your children with science by learning more about architecture and engineering. As you study the building process, you can talk about the different elements (stone, metal, wood, etc.) that most buildings are built with and have it serve as a math integration as well since your children will be calculating building height and other key measurements. You can have your children engineer their own structure or create a replica of a local landmark. If your children aren’t interested in building blocks, you can have them engineer a structure out of items they find around the house like plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, or egg cartons. For a hands-on experiment using engineering skills, you could have your
children create race cars or containers to cushion an egg during an egg drop.
5. Schedule Field Trips
Visiting a museum is a great way to engage your children with science. You can research different museums in your area and look for ones that would appeal to your children. From children’s museums to space museums to museums on specific scientific leaders, you can easily find a museum with a science element within driving distance from your house, and you can easily use this as a field trip opportunity for your children. As your children’s educator, you should think outside of the box! When looking for field trip opportunities, remember that your children can learn a great deal about science by visiting a local farm or manufacturing facility as well as traditional museums. You can sign up to receive communications from area museums so
you can stay up-to-date on new or traveling exhibits and if any museums are offering any education opportunities for homeschool students.
As both your children’s educator and parent, it can be hard to find new ways to engage them with science, but it’s important that your children appreciate how many scientific elements are in the world around them. By taking the time to think outside of the box and look for new opportunities, you can certainly find plenty of ways to engage your children with their scientific interests and curiosities.
Valerie Cox is a contributing writer for LOC Scientific.
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