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.
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…)
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
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
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!