real science for today's homeschooler
Getting ready for middle and high school science

Parents decide to homeschool for many different reasons, but there’s one thing they all have in common . . . they want what’s best for their children. I teach college prep science classes to middle and high school level homeschoolers in my area. I’m often contacted by elementary school parents who are looking ahead, and their number 1 question is, “What background will my child need before (s)he can take your classes?” My answer usually surprises them.

As a middle school science teacher, the number 1 thing I want my students to come in with is a love for science and a curiosity about the world around them. When you get right down to it, science is about observing the world around you and looking for explanations about why things work the way they do. At the elementary level, if students learn to be observant and ask questions, they are on the right track to becoming great scientists!

My advice to you as a parent of an elementary homeschooler is, don’t worry about which curriculum you use and what science facts you cover. Just build in opportunities each day for your child to explore the natural world. Encourage them to ask questions, and then teach them how to find the answers to their questions. This will obviously look different at different ages, but the scientific process is the same. Ask good questions. Then look for valid answers to those questions.

The only other thing I would add would be to make sure you’re exposing your child to many different topics in science. They may be really interested in dinosaurs, but also make sure they are exposed to plants, atoms, forces, etc. Having a well rounded exposure to all things science will help your child develop a deeper understanding of “the big picture,” and how everything in science is interrelated.

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