Whatever I am doing on my blog, your questions are always at the top of my list.
I only had answered part of Laura’s question and now want to answer the second part of her question.
Hi there Tina!!
Laura here (a most grateful “follower” who thinks your site is awesome). I have two questions.
1. There are so many neat things to do and neat curriculum with science, how is one to get them all done. I’ve even thought about doing 2 along side each other.
Sharing with you first on how to pick a science curriculum helps you to see if it will fit in with what you want to get done for the day.
The most important thing I have learned about how to do science is to not ever do a bait and switch and give up hands-on projects. And, I did this to myself and have nobody to blame. I started off good when teaching science, but then lost my way.
My oldest son was a bit precocious when it came to learning and I fed his science love through hands-on experiments.
Simply doing something hands-on two or three times a week was the best start to science. We used several books. Two of them are below.
When they were young, it is more important for them to delight in learning. Understanding all the science and why’s behind an experiment comes later.
Then, I made the big science goof and gave up hands-on activities when they got a bit older in elementary grades. I fell victim to the thinking they had to only now write papers, do vocabulary and keep science journals. Instead of adding that AND keeping the hands-on, I got unbalanced and let the hands-on activities fall by the side. All along all I needed to do was to revamp my schedule to allow more time for science. I finally did that, but not before I lost a few precious years with my oldest son.
Hands-On Science or Picky Choosers?
So one hallmark of a well rounded out science program is plenty of hands-on projects. And, it should stay that way all the way to high school.
Science is about doing, not just reading or watching somebody else do it.
After that there are other things you want to determine about a program before you buy. For example, if you are short on time already, then you may want to purchase premade kits.
List at this list of questions:
Superb Science Schedules
After you decide what is important to you in a science curriculum, then you have to make time to do all of those wonderful hands-on science activities.
Don’t do the same thing I did and try to make a middle school budding scientist work on a toddler approved schedule.
Increase the time for science as they get older so that they know how to both research and note their findings AND have time to test those ideas, i.e. hands-on activities.
Too, along the 6th grade or so, you can start off your day with science which is a content subject instead of the skill subjects. Hopefully, this is past the time your children struggle with the skill subjects.
You know I am a firm believe in writing it all out and that means a schedule too. Write it all so that you not only see it, but that you as the teacher stick to it. This will help your children have well-rounded out days. Too, seeing it keeps these ideas from being “pie in the sky” dreams, but makes them reality.
Look at these options.
|Mon. – Fri. until noon ALL the skill subjects are to be done.||Mon. – Fri.
Science every afternoon for an hour.
|Mon. – Fri. until noon ALL the skill subjects are to be done.||Mon. Wed. Fri. Alternating days to switch with another content subject like history or geography.|
|Mon. – Fri. until noon ALL the skill subjects are to be done.||Mon. Tue.
Two back to back afternoons of science or visa versa make it W,T,F.
|Mon. – Fri. start off with science and then start your skill subjects.|
The two main keys to being sure you cover science is to 1) not push the skill subjects past the time they are suppose to be done. I have heard of drill sergeants moms who feel that all lesson plans have to be done before you move on to the other fun subjects. Skill subjects need to stay to the time scheduled by you.
Remember, it is the *time* for learning that needs to be scheduled, not necessarily the lesson plan. As long as they are doing it, they are learning. And, the next 2) thing to do is schedule it. Just do it.
Though I have used parts of two science curricula, I have never used all of any one curriculum. I simply used what I needed from each one.
What about you? How does your schedule look for science? Do you have any more tips for Laura?
Too, if you don’t remember the difference between the skill and content subjects, look at my post below:
Hugs and love ya,