Homeschool Science for the Non-Science Mom

a boy holds a magnifying glass up to his eye
Homeschool science? Can't I just delegate that to someone who loves teaching homeschool science? Sometimes, that is the best option, yes. But, for those of us moms that don't have that option, it helps to have help connecting the dots between homeschool science and the subjects we're naturally more drawn to.

Maybe you're like me. You love a good story. Give me a grammar sheet to grade or a book report to read. But, teach homeschool science? It doesn't come as naturally. Here are five tips to homeschool science from a non-science mom.

Use lots of real books for homeschool science

If your little homechool scientist is begging to be taught, keep your sanity by using lots of real books. By real books I mean, look for a literature-based science curriculum for your homeschool. Even a struggling reader enjoys being read to. For the non-science mom, this is a way to satisfy your own love of literature while getting the science job done.

A literature-based curriculum is one that's comprised of interesting and engaging books designed to pull the reader into the story while teaching fundamental truths. In other words, it uses story to captivate the learner.

Science is a perfect choice for a literature-based curriculum. Think of all the biographies! Further, often times literature gives the culture, context, and big picture to the people, places, and things that make up the bigger narrative. Isaac Newton isn't just a name to be memorized. He lived a life that can be studied.

Keep the science conversation going

I know you've experienced that blank look kids give you when you ask questions. It can leave the most seasoned of homeschooling moms disillusioned. One thing I've found immensely helpful over the years is to have the questions in advance. The type of question that keeps the conversation going. Forget the simple, "yes" or "no" type of question.

Open ended questioning is perfect for science as it requires children to process the information they've taken in.

Worksheets and activity sheets are additional tools that make keeping the conversation going easy. This means mom doesn't have to know everything, but can use these as springboards for review and games.

Plan ahead for potential messes

Homeschool Science for the Non-Science MomFor me personally, the biggest issue I had with teaching science was the mess. Honestly, I don't keep emery boards, giant pairs of tweezers, and ten varieties of rocks in my kitchen drawers. My kids finger painted on the back desk. Having a science curriculum that comes with all the bits and pieces was a big deal for us.

It had the added benefit of teaching the value of property. If you lost part of the science experiment kit, you had to "improvise, adapt, and overcome" - or not do the experiment. And clean up was their responsibility as well.

Do a little science each day

This might be one of the best tips ever shared with me. Don't wait for perfect, just do a little bit of science every day. We often saved Friday for field-trips and library runs, so doing a little bit of science (and other subjects) daily kept us on top of what we needed to get done. It kept the frustration level down. And my sanity in check.

This was perfect, especially when they were younger. As they grew into self-directed learning, this four-day per week method helped them learn to regulate themselves and plan ahead for bigger projects.

Reward scientific curiosity

It's great to know all the science facts. It's even necessary. They are, after all, the foundation of science, right? But, it's a lot of fun to use them as springboards of curiosity. Even though you're doing read-alouds and a little bit of book work most days per week, leave the door to learning wide open.

Don't be afraid to spend the afternoon out of doors - bird watching or collecting leaves. Make the volcano with the baking soda. In the words of the Magic School Bus's Miss Frizzle, "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!"

See BookShark's hands-on and literature-based Science programs.