How Do I Make Science Relevant to My Learners When I Find It So Difficult?
Science should be fun! Too often, science can be dry and unapproachable. If you dislike science or find it difficult, your learner will pick up on this. Instead, approach it like an adventure where you are the learner as well. Be enthusiastic and let your curiosity take over! Here are some tips to make learning science more enjoyable for your learner....and you!
- Choose fascinating, hands-on experiments. In this way you and your learner will enjoy the world of science.
- Rather than using a boring textbook with difficult jargon, think about using resources that present information in an easy to understand way. Tyler DeWitt, “science-teacher-on-fire”, uses fun and engaging stories to explain a science concept. He encourages you to use internet resources to explain science concepts in understandable terms. He states,” YouTube is the new blackboard.” Look for engaging YouTube videos on the science subject you are teaching, and let them launch you and your learner into experimentation. If you want to make your lessons more interesting, you must incorporate some kind of technology. Kids love it and you will too!
- One key focus should be teaching students the Scientific Method. The steps of the Scientific Method are: Ask a question, make a hypothesis, test the hypothesis with an experiment, analyze the results of the experiment, draw a conclusion, and communicate results. Teaching the Scientific Method shouldn’t be stiff as cardboard. Most scientists don't follow the order of the traditionally taught Scientific Method. They skip steps, start in the middle and work out to either end, and repeat steps. They also use imagination and intuition in their discoveries. You need to encourage an ongoing need to question the natural world. Science should be real-life.
- Be sure to make science hands-on fun. When teaching an experiment, try it out yourself. In that way you’ll find any pitfalls and be able to correct them. Choose experiments that have materials that are readily accessible. You'll find a lot of experiments can be done using simple ingredients found around your house. Improvise!
- Let your children be the teachers. Have them create an ongoing script. Digitally record them. Give them a notebook where they can take notes, glue in digital photos, ask questions, etc. as they go through the experimentation process. Have them draw diagrams or copy from the internet and glue in visuals that help explain what they are learning. A good science notebook has all sorts of medium included.
- Finally, don’t rule out the best science classroom available to you. Get out in nature. When you can, bring nature into the indoor learning environment. Watch tadpoles turn into frogs. Set up a terrarium with various types of plant life or planting seeds and observe them grow over time. Our world is science in action. Grab it and make it yours.
Donna Bathalter is the publisher of homeschool bits with a total of approximately 700 eBooks. She recently merged her publishing company, Teacher Book Bag, with homeschool bits’ titles. Donna’s goal is to provide quality material with enjoyable activities for a small cost to the homeschooling family. Each of her individual titles are priced at a reasonable $1.00 or less. Donna has a Master’s in Education as well as Library Science. She spent 29 years teaching in the public schools and 5 years as a homeschool teacher. She taught elementary and middle school science for 13 of those years. She lives with her husband, Bob, and their menagerie. They have nine rescue animals: four hounds, four cats, and a conure.
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