A to Z — 26 Ways we do Science

You know we are not a curriculum kinda family.  We are a “ooh, look at that cool fungus!” kinda family and a “Mom, we have so many library books the basket broke!” kinda family.  We are the kind to wake the kids up and drive out to the country in the middle of an August night because the Northern Lights are supposed to be out.  We’re the kind where the walls are more likely to be decorated with posters of cross sections of cells than fine art and the kind where it’s a good thing if someone suddenly thrusts a really weird bug at you.

And somehow despite this (I dare say because of!), our kids are all well ahead of where they “should be” in science.  Better yet, they love the subject.

So when someone asked on an email list recently “what do you have planned for science next year?” I kinda went… hmmm.  More of the same?  🙂

Here’s a bit of our science curriculum.

Ant farms, triops tanks, worm boxes and other miniature communities

Bird watching

Collecting rocks, bugs, shells, bones, cool seeds….

DVD’s from Netflix (favorites are the “Rough Science” scientist reality show series, IMAX movies and shows about whatever themes the kids are into at the time)

Ecology Bus activities

Field trips to nature centers for events like maple syrup tapping, the swan release program and Conservation Days

Gardening (soil testing, composting, ammending, sprouting, treating pests, IDing weeds, increasing yields…)

Hatching monarch caterpillars on milkweed in the back yard and then hosting them inside to eventually release the butterflies

Identification Guides for bugs, trees, flowers, shells, rocks, tracks, you name it

Jeffers Petroglyphs, where we host homeschool days since there wasn’t anything like it for homeschoolers in our area (themes have included astronomy, geology, native plants and animals…)

Krampf’s weekly experiments

Lapbooks on science-related themes:  horses, carp, cells, gardening, you name it

Magic Schoolbus– the books and the show (get it on Netflix if your local station doesn’t carry it)

Nature centers, wildlife offices, wetlands and the DNR to talk to the rangers, get cool handouts, take part in community activities and more

Online coloring sheets, handouts, lesson plans, games and activities to correspond with whatever we’re studying

PBS shows and their websites like Zoom and Dragonfly TV

Questions!  Billions of questions and long talks about the answers

Reference books strewn about everywhere, from anatomy books to Bone Clones catalogs

Subscriptions to magazines like Ranger Rick, Kids Discover, National Geographic for Kids and the fabulous science magazines from the Cricket folks on everything from archeology to animals (many of these can also be found at your library)

Travel, and learning about the climate, habitats, inventions and species in whatever area we travel to

Using magnifying glasses, magnets, screwdrivers, microscopes, telescopes and other tools and nifties to learn how things work, behave and grow

Visiting children’s museums, zoos and other places that blend science, learning and fun

Web sites like OLogy, Science News for Kids and Exploratorium.

X-rays printed off the web of people, animals and various parts

You-tube has all sorts of fabulous videos — everything from science songs to fast action movies of seeds turning into plants and people trying really wacky experiments

Zillions of library books!


4 thoughts on “A to Z — 26 Ways we do Science

  1. Jack is really looking forward to some of the Ecology Bus activities this summer. Should be a blast!

    Science is so easy, I don’t think you should ever need a plan for it. I do love me some science though 🙂


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