- by Valerie Cox
Planning your family’s homeschool studies takes time and organization, and it can be hard to integrate other educational activities into your school day. Thankfully, learning about science can easily be integrated into your homeschool studies. From reading books on science explorers as part of reading comprehension to creating scientific word equations to use during math class, science can easily be combined with other areas of study to maximize your children’s learning potential.
1. Chart the weather each day.
Charting the weather each day is a simple way to integrate science into your homeschool routine. Not only will your children learn about the weather, but it will help them learn about calendars and time as well. If you track the weather on a monthly or weekly calendar, your children will easily be able to see weather patterns. In addition, you could also look at the weather in different cities (ex. favorite vacation destination, a city that other family members live in, etc.) to study the weather differences across regions.
2. Have your children help you in the kitchen.
Most people understand how cooking involves math because you must measure ingredients out and often use fractions if you are changing the recipe size. However, cooking also involves science, and allowing your children to help you in the kitchen is a simple way to integrate science into your homeschool routine. In certain recipes, children will be able to observe how ingredients react to one another and even change form.
3. Take a nature walk for recess.
For a recess activity, you can take a nature walk outside. On your nature walk, you can have your children identify different types of trees, look for animals, or study cloud shapes and types. For a change of scenery, you can visit a local park or hiking trail, and these places typically have signs up identifying trees and plants.
4. Perform a weekly science experiment.
Especially if you’re wanting to make science fun for your children, you can perform a weekly science experiment. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate experiment each week, but it does need to be age-appropriate for your child so it will hold their interest. There’s always the classic volcano, but easier experiments like making ice cream in a bag or oxidizing (cleaning) pennies will also teach your children about science. You can even make slime or playdough as a science experiment that your children will certainly enjoy.
5. Incorporate scientific aspects in your math lessons.
Math and science go hand-in-hand so it makes sense to incorporate scientific aspects in your math lessons. You can use scientific words in word problems, and you could also use calculate scientific equations like “How long would it take for a rocket traveling at Xmph to reach the moon (X miles away from earth)?” or “How many days will a child have lived on their 18th birthday?”.
6. Use books on science as part of your reading units.
For language or reading comprehension, you can use books on science to further explore the world of science while also working on language arts. You can choose biographies on science leaders, books that describe historical scientific moments, or books that further explain a scientific topic. If your reading curriculum doesn’t include many science books, you can visit your local library to find books to use alongside your curriculum.
7. Visit local attractions including museums, farms, and zoos.
Visiting local attractions as a field trip opportunity is a simple way to integrate science into your homeschool routine. You can visit places such as a local farm, children’s museum, zoo, or planetarium. You could also speak to any contacts you know who work in a science profession (ex. veterinarians, nurses, chemists, etc.) and see if they would be willing to talk to your children or have older children shadow them.
8. Combine science with your children’s hobbies and interests.
One of the easiest ways to integrate science into your homeschool routine is to combine science with your children’s hobbies and interests. If your child loves building with blocks, you could study architecture and design by having them build or recreate architectural structures. If your child loves playing basketball, you could study the physics behind making a goal or which muscles are used when you jump, run, or throw the ball.
Integrating science into your homeschool routine doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful for you. If you focus on finding simple ways to incorporate it alongside your child’s other studies or make it a part of your child’s hobby, you will be surprised at how much your child will be able to learn about different aspects of the science world.
Valerie Cox is a contributing writer for LOC Scientific. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, reading, and volunteering in her local community.