Science

Help! Our Science Experiment Failed

Help! Our Science Experiment FailedToday is science experiment day. You’ve collected all of the necessary supplies, you have instructions, and your kids are excited! This experiment is going to be so much fun, you think, patting yourself on the back.

Hands-on science for the win!

Or not, because something goes wrong: The seeds don’t sprout. The seeds mold or die before your kids take measurements. The water clock doesn’t tell time. The explosion is a dud. The tricky thing about science experiments is they can flop or not work as expected.

What do homeschoolers do when an experiment doesn’t go our way? We turn it into a new lesson, maybe one not related to science, and try, try again.

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New NGSS Standards-based BookShark Science: Why the Change?

The new 2021 BookShark Science was designed with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in mind. But why would a homeschool curriculum care about outside standards at all?

Isn’t the BookShark way of reading great books and doing hands-on exploration enough when it comes to learning science? Yes!

Aren’t homeschoolers allowed to do school their own way, at their own pace, without worrying about adhering to a strict outline of what should be covered year by year? Absolutely!

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Why a Spiral Approach Works for Teaching Science

Why a Spiral Approach Works for Teaching ScienceAs a child, you probably found yourself twisting the spiral that bound your notebook together, watching it circle through the holes down the side of the paper. It looped through a hole then through the next, over and over again all the way up the page. The spiral is a bit mesmerizing to both the eye and the touch. In education, we use the analogy of a spiral to describe a type of teaching.

A spiral approach to teaching means students circle back to learn about topics multiple times throughout their education, allowing them to remember more at a greater depth as they advance through their studies. BookShark Science uses this spiral technique.

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How BookShark Science Makes My Daughter a Stronger Reader

How BookShark Science Makes My Daughter a Stronger ReaderMy daughter grabs her BookShark binder and the Science book she’s currently reading. I grab my Instructor’s Guide and tell her which pages and questions we’ll be doing. She flips to the pages we’ll be reading today; immediately her questions and comments begin flowing.

Beautifully illustrated or photographed, all of the books capture her attention. “Let’s read and find out more,” I say. She doesn’t hesitate and either hands the book my way or begins to read herself. We take turns reading to each other.

When we started our BookShark Science curriculum several months ago, she was not eager to read. But now, it's different! Now she is often so interested in the text, she forgets to hand the book back to me and simply keeps reading.

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How to Handle One Science Experiment with Multiple Children

I’m currently homeschooling a middle schooler, an upper elementary student, an emergent reader, and a preschooler. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my seven years of homeschooling, it’s that they all love hands-on activities, especially experiments.

While I appreciate their zeal, it can be daunting to juggle their enthusiasm and mixed abilities. Figuring out how to keep everyone on track and participating has taken some practice. Here are five ways we’ve managed to keep the peace and learning flowing when doing BookShark science activities.

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Homeschool Science for Multiple Children: How I Failed But Finally Won

Homeschool Science for Multiple Children: How I Failed But Finally WonWith seven years of homeschooling I’ve racked up more than a few successes and failures, but nothing has been so black and white as our science journey. I’m sorry we wasted so much time but grateful we’ve finally found our perfect science fit. Here are six tips that would have gotten us learning and loving science much sooner.

#1 FAIL: Keep Using Science Curriculum No One Likes

We started out doing science with a grade-specific textbook for our oldest daughter. As time marched on and we added another student, we discovered that juggling two science programs was possible. I would sit down with each girl separately to read the assigned pages and ask the coordinating comprehension questions. But there wasn’t ever any additional discussion. They didn’t talk to each other about what they were learning, and they weren’t ever waiting at the door when their dad got home, bubbling with excitement over the new information they had learned.

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A How-to Guide for Winning with BookShark Science Curriculum

Young children are filled with questions about how things wor,k and science provides many opportunities for them to explore these questions. This natural curiosity easily leads to a love of science and hands-on activities.

Some parents, however, don’t look forward to the very activities that draw kids into this subject. The hassle of gathering supplies and cleaning up the mess are common reasons for skipping science experiments. It sometimes seems easier to just open a book and read about the topic. But how many of us actually preferred books to experiments when we were kids? Not many. Your kids are the same.

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3 Ways Indoors-y Homeschoolers Can Do Nature Study Without Going Outdoors

“Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.” The marvelous Miss Charlotte Mason said this, quite famously now, in regards to education and life.

This quote has inspired an entire belief system, a lifestyle, a veritable standard when it comes to homeschooling. Mention homeschooling in today’s times and you’ll drum up images of hours-long nature walks in ancient forests, children smiling freely with hands full of butterflies and worms, mushroom studies, lichen watercolors, and babbling brooks filled with wonder and learning. 

This is not my homeschool. 

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Shark Week Videos: The Ultimate Guide to Free Streaming for Homeschoolers

Are you ready for Shark Week? We get super excited about it around here because my kids love everything to do with this apex predator of the oceans. It's the perfect way to keep summer learning fun!

We’ve already created our sharky library list and now I’m looking into documentaries. My kids adore documentaries as they add a visually compelling and storytelling element to my kids’ studies.

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