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Learning science in a homeschool setting can be a wonderful experience for students and teaching it is an enriching experience for home educators. Unlike traditional students, homeschool scholars can have a truly hands on experience tailored to their specific learning style.
Here is a guide to a wide variety of homeschool science lessons. Some of the lessons are written for a brick and mortar school experience but are easily modified for homeschool use. Other lessons are perfect for use in a homeschool co-op setting.
This guide is divided into Elementary and Middle/High School. There are sections for each level that give suggestions for physical science and life science. Physical science encompasses study of non-living systems including matter, energy, forces of nature, elements, chemistry and physics. Life science covers living organisms such as plants, animals and humans. There is also a section that lists websites homeschool teachers can use as resources.
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Elementary Physical Science
Introducing your student to physical science studies can seem daunting. Don't worry; it is possible to teach chemistry, geology, space, meteorology and energy at home and make it hands on fun.
By using some common household items, your students complete lessons that help them experience the scientific method in a hands-on way. It's important to expose young scientists to ways to study and to solve problems in an orderly way. Making lessons interactive helps students retain the information more readily.
- Teaching the Scientific Method
- Elementary Chemistry Experiments to Try at Home
- It's Chemistry: A Lesson Plan on Mixtures and Solutions
- Go Beyond the Rock Collection: Activities for Teaching Rocks and Minerals
- Understanding Sound: An Experiment for Primary Student
- Understand the Phases of the Moon for Elementary Students
- Creating Connections Through Meteorology
- Introduction to Energy
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Elementary Life ScienceLife science is often a favorite class for elementary aged students. Learning about living things and the world around them is fascinating. Teaching them in a way that gives them real-world experiences helps them understand the world around them in a more relevent way. The tools to teach children about living things are available everywhere.Begin with teaching your students how to identify whether something is living or non-living and move onto plants, bugs or animal classification. It's even possible to teach marine biology at home because of the Internet.
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Middle and High School Physical Science
Teaching science at the middle and high school level does not have to overwhelm one. The benefit of homeschooling is you can enable your students to discover and to immerse themselves in the study that interests them the most.
Do you have a budding chemist? Let them build their own home lab. High school can be a chance for students to really find out what they want to spend the rest of their lives doing.
Physical science in the upper grades can really be exciting. Students can electroplate items with copper using something simple like pennies. Cooking and chemistry are a perfect fit.
By using common items and ingredients in your kitchen they can experience all the basics. Make fun things like slime and silly putty and learn what chemical reactions are taking place. On-line fireworks videos can teach your students about electron configuration. Physical science at home can be a blast.
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Middle and High School Life Science
Middle and high school life sciences include many options that lead to memorable hands-on learning. Are you ready for a little CSI in your lesson plans? Teach your high school students about DNA extractions using peas. Your budding ecologist benefits from learning how to identify organisms in pond water. You can also find virtual dissection sites for those students who are not comfortable with live specimens.
A really interesting and fun project is to partner with the Canadian Space Agency. Your students can assist researchers from the International Space Station to study seeds and help provide information for the next mission to Mars.
- Fun Biology Experiment: Teaching a DNA Extraction Technique
- Teaching Students About Plant Cells Versus Animal Cells
- Different Types of High School Biology Project Ideas
- Homeschool Habitat: Making a Terrarium or a Diorama as a Science Project
- Review of Digital Frog Software
- Introducing the Characteristics of Life
- Use the International Space Station to Teach Biology
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Resources for Online Learning
The following articles provide some excellent resources for on-line learning. It is hard to sort through all the options when it comes to science learning websites so here are some overviews of what is available. You can find what you need to enhance your homeschooling whether you are looking for a video of a space launch or an idea for a science fair project that will really make an impression.
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We hope this guide assists you in preparing a great year for your students. Teaching science can be fun, and it helps if you don't have to come up with all the ideas alone. If you have any ideas or article suggestions, we appreciate your input. Have fun exploring and discovering with your students, and be sure to leave us a message by using the comments section.
Photo credits - BV Screen shot
Photos credits - Science shots, royalty free.