Science in the Early Years

 

Our Turtle Guy Studies a Friend

 

When we began homeschooling, we looked carefully at curriculum across the spectrum. And admittedly, science isn't my first love, so I leaned even more heavily on elementary science curriculum than anything else.

One fortuitous night several years ago, I was reading an issue of The Old Schoolhouse magazine. An interview with Apologia author and nuclear chemist Jay Wile revealed to me that science in the early years isn't really science-- it's nature study. Aha! This rang so true with me and allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief. Suddenly the pressure was off.

Now we have two sons studying their way through Apologia junior high and high school texts, and we are seeing that they will be more than sufficiently educated in the sciences, from physics to chemistry to biology and beyond. There was no need to try and attempt such subjects in the elementary years, so now we focus on lighting a fire of discovery for the younger kids, helping them develop a love for nature and the universe God created.

I choose a subject as a theme for the year and then we check out every good book our local library has to offer on our current science (or nature, if you will) focus. Last year it was astronomy and this year it's oceans. We view DVDs, take nature walks, draw in our nature notebooks, and take relevant field trips. We take advantage of free sources on the web. Some of our favorites have been:

Classical Astronomy

Monterey Bay Aquarium Teacher Resources

The Great Turtle Race

Nature Study Online

Free Lapbooks