By guest author Gabe Harder
The thought of teaching science scared me. (It still does!) All of the dry facts and theories not only intimidate me, but they also bore me. However, the thought of exploring God’s creation with my children excites me. Learning about the beauty, order, and wonder He provided in our world so that He could reveal Himself to us, His children, is truly amazing. I love learning right along with my children. In my 12 years of homeschooling, that has always been how I have approached teaching science.
Getting Your Kids Excited About Science …
When my toddler notices her shadow, we are exploring God’s creation. When my preschooler is playing in the sink full of water, he is discovering water displacement (though he may not know it yet!) Setting my kindergartener up with all sorts of powders and liquids from the kitchen gives her a first glance at chemical reactions. Just enjoying simple books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Bear Shadow gives an early introduction to science.
As my kids got bigger I slowly added some more formal science lessons in the form of Newton’s Workshop DVDs, Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers, and Moody Science DVDs, while we continued to explore and enjoy God’s creation.
Learning Through Observation
The day I took a deep breath and pretended to be excited about the tarantula that my son caught is one I will never forget or regret. It was the encouragement he needed to dive into the “bug” books we owned and spend months learning about those kinds of creatures (shiver).
Observing what is happening around you with your children and listening to their interests can be the springboard for diving deeper through library books or even the books that are already on your shelves. The Jonathan Park Audio Adventure Series has brought science to life in some very exciting ways during our lunch times, and I have learned so much through them too!
I have taken many deep breaths as my kids have gotten older. I cannot tell you how many bugs, birds, and critters I have found in my freezer waiting for a good time to be dissected. (Putting them in the freezer helps kill the germs and keeps them for later.) I have had countless experiments happen on my kitchen counters … some for way too long.
Science is Exciting!
It has been so very worth it, though, to see each of my oldest children discover a passion for science. Their little siblings are watching these passions grow and are excited too. I am so thankful that God has filled us with a love for Him and His creation and has used that to teach our children.
Apologia and Answers in Genesis have been my favorite resources through these older years. The kids have each loved getting to dive into these well-written resources to help them better explore their areas of interest. Once that interest is piqued all of those “boring” facts and theories become exciting! I believe this is true for any subject we are teaching our children.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10