It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.
The study of science can be one of the most fascinating parts of your school year. Teacher and students alike learn discipline, reasoning, observation, and love for God as we study the world around us.
Most science text-books are dry, void of reference to a Creator, and limiting to the student. Rather than depending on them, get your hands dirty. Dissect, draw, experiment, and experience what our world has to offer. Do not get between the child and discovery. There are wonderful DVDs available that cover a wide range of subjects. Watch with your children in order to aid discussion. Using a sketch book for science recording allows for sketches, thoughts, graphs, charts, tables, and experiments to be contained in one book. Study each discipline separately. Human anatomy, botany, astronomy, chemistry, etc. are easiest to understand when studied systematically. Study the lives of famous scientists. Learn what led up to their discoveries, and the thought-processes they used. Encourage your students to experiment and invent. You can find science kits, books, stories, and experiment ideas at the library, second-hand stores, on the internet and at the mall. Give kits as gifts for special events, or request them from grandparents. If you are going to make the investment, spend money on well-made equipment. Do not buy the cheapest microscope or telescope, for example. They may not serve you very well. Do your homework before you purchase!
If you study history on a four-year rotation, you can integrate science as a part of those studies. The rotation may then look something like this: Ancient world- Life Science, Medieval and Renaissance- Earth Science and Astronomy, Early Modern- Chemistry, Late Modern- Physics. Perhaps summers could be used for computer science, electronics, or anything else on which you want to spend extra time. (If you are unfamiliar with the learning levels, please refer to my blogs dated 2/26-28/2013.)
Memorize facts, figures, tables, vocabulary, etc.
Read biographies, literary science, etc.
Spend time in the kitchen experiencing the wonders of food interaction. Learn safety and how to improvise.
Keep a nature notebook.
Learn about the world by experiencing it. Go for nature walks. Ask questions. Try new things. Hands-on activities are a great way to learn, and are often easier to remember.
Organize collections and learn to label and classify. Try using Latin classification for the serious scholar.
Orderliness and focus are important skills for any scientist. Encourage these at every opportunity.
Study and outline science texts.
Read and write reports. (Include data from experiments performed or observations from the world around them.)
Biography reading will enhance their study of both history and science.
Put science history dates on a time line; watch for the effects of scientific discovery on history in general.
Perform experiments, go on nature walks, ask questions, etc.
Keep a nature notebook.
Read biographies of great scientists as you study what was happening in the world around them. Look at the ways science, history, and literature play off each other and affect the world as a whole.
Take Honors level classes at the local high school or enroll in college courses.
Perform experiments, dissect, investigate.
Learn and utilize the laws and principles of scientific study.
Record experiences in their nature notebook.
Some of my favorite books for science study
How __________ Works published by Reader’s Digest
Eyewitness Books published by DK Publishing
Time/Life Discoveries series
Reader’s Digest Pathfinder’s series
Wild Days by Karen Skidmore Rackliffe
Usborne science books
The DK Science Encyclopedia
Field guides published by Golden or the National Audubon Society
There are great books in the non-fiction section of the library to take home and explore.