Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Teaching Science to Little Ones

You are paging through the curriculum catalog, bombarded by all of the choices for teaching your little guys the wonders of science, and you feel the pressure to spend the big bucks on an entire program. The problem is children in early elementary don’t need a complex course. What they really need is some good books, fun activities, and a teacher who is excited about God’s creation.

Here are some ideas to get your K-5 children started on a love of science!

• Choose a topic for each month—the moon in September, invertebrates in October, magnets in November, etc. Then head to the library and check out books on the month’s topic—story books, informative books, experiment books.
• Collect magnifying glasses, terrariums, butterfly nets and binoculars and go outside. Collect, draw or photograph your sightings.
• Keep bird, tree, flower, insect and small reptile field guides handy to identify specimens you collect, draw or photograph.
• Visit parks, wildlife refuges, lakes, beaches, woods, fields, canal (yes, they are gross, but teeming with life!) and see what you can study. (We caught some cool tadpoles once—really fun!)
• Take advantage of local programs at libraries, zoos, parks and museums. Let the kids learn from the experts.
• Have experiments going all the time. Get ideas from books and from your children’s curiosity.
• Keep a science journal where your children can record experiment results, nature identifications, questions, etc.
• Use videos from the library or science programs on television to add to the wonders your children can experience. For example, you can go to the beach and study the marine life on the shore and then go home and watch a video that will allow you children to see squid or sharks up close.
• Collect rocks, shells, leaves, and flowers and have the children organize them according to different criteria. Classification is an important skill for the future scientist.

To prepare for college, your children will have to have more structured instruction in the upper grades, but in lower elementary, let them explore God’s creation with their curious minds leading the way!

Share any of your cool, fun, science ideas! We’d love to hear them.

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