CoronaQuest Day 6

CoronaQuest Day 6 Challenge is Here!

 

JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP TO POST YOUR RESULTS AND OFFICIALLY ENTER THE CORONAQUEST CHALLENGE

Day 6 of the CoronaQuest challenge is ready for you to explore. This challenge brings twists and turns you can’t possibly predict. Be prepared for all outcomes, because you never know what you will find when you dive right in. The unintended consequences of your actions might surprise you.

Good luck, Questers. Let the challenge begin!

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Reference material can be viewed here:

Building Blocks book 4: Ch15, Unintended Consequences Game

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Remember to use your imagination and ask a lot of questions. You never know where your questions and experiments will lead. It’s totally up to you. Think big! Watch out for the pitfalls of “perfection” along the way. This challenge is about thinking creatively, not finding a right answer. We are here to cheer you on and lead the way.

The instructions for this challenge remain consistent throughout the 16 days, so Questers know what to expect and can be self-directed while learning to think big. No question is wrong. No question too farfetched. Map out your questions and narrow your focus to just one area of CoronaQuest study. Then, get ready to dive deep, learn big, and create something AMAZING!

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The daily image and instructions can be downloaded here: Daily Challenge 6

Don’t forget to reference your 101 Super Simple Science Experiments download for activity ideas!

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Instructor Tips:

  • Questers will track progress each day during the challenge. They can do this by taking pictures of their work, reflecting in a notebook, making a video, or creating a piece of art as part of their daily reflection.
  • Then, post about the challenge in the comments section of the Facebook group. Give us a quick thumbs up or post a picture. We would love to celebrate your successes as you move through CoronaQuest!
  • Day 16 is the accountability challenge. This challenge will bring together the previous 15 days of learning. Questers will be asked to make a photo collage, written essay, or video compilation (2 minutes or less) of their daily reflections. We are excited to hear what they learned about themselves, the coronavirus, science, and critical thinking.
  • Final submissions can be sent to [email protected] One submission can be made for a group as part of a larger organization, or students can be encouraged to enter individually. We leave that up to your discretion. Dr. Keller would love to send a personal note in celebration of completing the journey.

 

CoronaQuest Day 5

CoronaQuest Day 5 Challenge is Here!

 

JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP TO POST YOUR RESULTS AND OFFICIALLY ENTER THE CORONAQUEST CHALLENGE

You’ve made it through CoronaQuest days 1-4 and there are still many more adventures in store. Go the distance, way back in time, and see what you can discover and find. Compare the numbers, old and new, and see just where your questions take you.

Good luck, Questers. Let the challenge begin!

Reference material can be viewed here:

Remember to use your imagination and ask a lot of questions. You never know where your questions and experiments will lead. It’s totally up to you. Think big! Watch out for the pitfalls of “perfection” along the way. This challenge is about thinking creatively, not finding a right answer. We are here to cheer you on and lead the way.

The instructions for this challenge remain consistent throughout the 16 days, so Questers know what to expect and can be self-directed while learning to think big. No question is wrong. No question too farfetched. Map out your questions and narrow your focus to just one area of CoronaQuest study. Then, get ready to dive deep, learn big, and create something AMAZING!

The daily image and instructions can be downloaded here: Daily Challenge 5

Don’t forget to reference your 101 Super Simple Science Experiments download for activity ideas!

 

Instructor Tips:

  • Questers will track progress each day during the challenge. They can do this by taking pictures of their work, reflecting in a notebook, making a video, or creating a piece of art as part of their daily reflection.
  • Then, post about the challenge in the comments section of the Facebook group. Give us a quick thumbs up or post a picture. We would love to celebrate your successes as you move through CoronaQuest!
  • Day 16 is the accountability challenge. This challenge will bring together the previous 15 days of learning. Questers will be asked to make a photo collage, written essay, or video compilation (2 minutes or less) of their daily reflections. We are excited to hear what they learned about themselves, the coronavirus, science, and critical thinking.
  • Final submissions can be sent to [email protected] One submission can be made for a group as part of a larger organization, or students can be encouraged to enter individually. We leave that up to your discretion. Dr. Keller would love to send a personal note in celebration of completing the journey.

 

CoronaQuest Day 4

CoronaQuest Day 4 Challenge is Here!

 

JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP TO POST YOUR RESULTS AND OFFICIALLY ENTER THE CHALLENGE

Though this journey may have its ups and downs, how steep the climb becomes is up to you. The focus image before you takes a lot of critical thinking to figure out, but don’t give up too quickly! You’re goal is to stay the course and tackle the challenge at a slow, methodical pace. Good luck, Questers. Let the challenge begin!

Remember to use your imagination and ask a lot of questions. You never know where your questions and experiments will lead. It’s totally up to you. Think big! Watch out for the pitfalls of “perfection” along the way. This challenge is about thinking creatively, not finding a right answer. We are here to cheer you on and lead the way.

The instructions for this challenge remain consistent throughout the 16 days, so Questers know what to expect and can be self-directed while learning to think big. No question is wrong. No question too farfetched. Map out your questions and narrow your focus to just one area of CoronaQuest study. Then, get ready to dive deep, learn big, and create something AMAZING!

The daily image and instructions can be downloaded here: Daily Challenge 4

Reference material can be downloaded here:

Units-FOMS Physics Ch4

Plots-FOMS Chemistry Ch7

Don’t forget to reference your 101 Super Simple Science Experiments download for activity ideas!

 

Instructor Tips:

  • Questers will track progress each day during the challenge. They can do this by taking pictures of their work, reflecting in a notebook, making a video, or creating a piece of art as part of their daily reflection.
  • Then, post about the challenge in the comments section of the Facebook group. Give us a quick thumbs up or post a picture. We would love to celebrate your successes as you move through CoronaQuest!
  • Day 16 is the accountability challenge. This challenge will bring together the previous 15 days of learning. Questers will be asked to make a photo collage, written essay, or video compilation (2 minutes or less) of their daily reflections. We are excited to hear what they learned about themselves, the coronavirus, science, and critical thinking.
  • Final submissions can be sent to [email protected] One submission can be made for a group as part of a larger organization, or students can be encouraged to enter individually. We leave that up to your discretion. Dr. Keller would love to send a personal note in celebration of completing the journey.

 

CoronaQuest Pause and Reflect

CoronaQuest Pause and Reflect

 

JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP TO POST YOUR RESULTS AND OFFICIALLY ENTER THE CHALLENGE

All you Questers continue to amaze us with your creativity and curiosity. It’s such an honor to be on this journey of discovery with you. Sometimes it’s important to pause and take a step back from your focused study to get a better view of the overall learning. It’s a chance to assess, breath, and catch up. Today is the day to think about all of the questions you’ve formulated and researched. Use this time to remember the science adventures you’ve taken this week and then get ready, because tomorrow we bring a brand new challenge your way.

Now that you’ve had a chance to pause and reflect, share something you’ve learned with the group. Leave us a quick comment in the Facebook group or reply to our email and let us know what has been your favorite challenge so far. What have you learned? We want to hear about your science adventure! Look at some of the experiments other Questers have done and give them some encouragement.

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The instructions for this challenge remain consistent throughout the 16 days, so Questers know what to expect and can be self-directed while learning to think big. No question is wrong. No question too farfetched. Map out your questions and narrow your focus to just one area of CoronaQuest study. Then, get ready to dive deep, learn big, and create something AMAZING!

Don’t forget to reference your 101 Super Simple Science Experiments download for activity ideas!

 

Instructor Tips:

  • Questers will track progress each day during the challenge. They can do this by taking pictures of their work, reflecting in a notebook, making a video, or creating a piece of art as part of their daily reflection.
  • Then, post about the challenge in the comments section of the Facebook group. Give us a quick thumbs up or post a picture. We would love to celebrate your successes as you move through CoronaQuest!
  • Day 16 is the accountability challenge. This challenge will bring together the previous 15 days of learning. Questers will be asked to make a photo collage, written essay, or video compilation (2 minutes or less) of their daily reflections. We are excited to hear what they learned about themselves, the coronavirus, science, and critical thinking.
  • Final submissions can be sent to [email protected] One submission can be made for a group as part of a larger organization, or students can be encouraged to enter individually. We leave that up to your discretion. Dr. Keller would love to send a personal note in celebration of completing the journey.

 

CoronaQuest Day 3

CoronaQuest Day 3 Challenge!

 

 

JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP TO POST YOUR RESULTS AND OFFICIALLY ENTER THE CHALLENGE

Questions, questions everywhere! Our Questers are coming up with so many amazing questions on this journey! On Day 2 we saw many different avenues of study and all of them were unique. Fantastic work yet again!

Are you ready to accept another challenge? Don’t let day 3 go up in flames. Study the image above and uncover many new questions for today’s exploration. Look closely, who knows what you will discover? Remember to use your imagination and open a lot of avenues of discovery, because your quest is more intriguing that way. You never know where your questions and experiments will lead, because it’s totally up to you. Think big!

Watch out for the pitfalls of “perfection” along the way. This challenge is about thinking creatively, not finding a right answer. We are here to cheer you on and lead the way. Forge your own path and take some risks…BUT, please only take risks with a responsible adult close by on this one!!

The instructions for this challenge remain consistent throughout the 16 days, therefor Questers know what to expect and can be self-directed while learning to think big. No question is wrong. No question too farfetched. Map out your questions and narrow your focus to just one area of CoronaQuest study. Then, get ready to dive deep, learn big, and create something AMAZING!

Try viewing this animation of the image represented above. It might help your Quester in their search for questions and clues.

The daily image and instructions can be downloaded here: Daily Challenge 3

Don’t forget to reference your 101 Super Simple Science Experiments download for activity ideas!

 

Instructor Tips:

  • Questers will track progress each day during the challenge. They can do this by taking pictures of their work, reflecting in a notebook, making a video, or creating a piece of art as part of their daily reflection.
  • Then, post about the challenge in the comments section of the Facebook group. Give us a quick thumbs up or post a picture. We would love to celebrate your successes as you move through CoronaQuest!
  • Day 16 is the accountability challenge. This challenge will bring together the previous 15 days of learning. Questers will be asked to make a photo collage, written essay, or video compilation (2 minutes or less) of their daily reflections. We are excited to hear what they learned about themselves, the coronavirus, science, and critical thinking.
  • Final submissions can be sent to [email protected] One submission can be made for a group as part of a larger organization, or students can be encouraged to enter individually. We leave that up to your discretion. Dr. Keller would love to send a personal note in celebration of completing the journey.

 

CoronaQuest Day 2

CoronaQuest Day 2 Challenge is Here!

 

JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP TO POST YOUR RESULTS AND OFFICIALLY ENTER THE CHALLENGE

What an amazing first day we had! Questers showed up from around the globe to explore and share. There were many journeys and all of them were unique. Fantastic work!

Are you ready to accept another challenge? It may be risky and the object you’re searching for may not be seen. Look closely, who knows what you will discover? Remember to use your imagination and ask a lot of questions. You never know where your questions and experiments will lead. It’s totally up to you. Think big!

Watch out for the pitfalls of “perfection” along the way. This challenge is about thinking creatively, not finding a right answer. We are here to cheer you on and lead the way. Team Spoquaranteamed is here to pave the first path, but do not follow too closely behind. Forge your own path and take a risk.

The instructions for this challenge remain consistent throughout the 16 days, so Questers know what to expect and can be self-directed while learning to think big. No question is wrong. No question too farfetched. Map out your questions and narrow your focus to just one area of CoronaQuest study. Then, get ready to dive deep, learn big, and create something AMAZING!

The daily image and instructions can be downloaded here: Daily Challenge 2

Reference material can be downloaded here:

Focus On Elementary Chemistry Ch8 – Mixtures

Focus On Middle School Chemistry Ch9 – Mixtures

 

Don’t forget to reference your 101 Super Simple Science Experiments download for activity ideas!

 

Instructor Tips:

  • Questers will track progress each day during the challenge. They can do this by taking pictures of their work, reflecting in a notebook, making a video, or creating a piece of art as part of their daily reflection.
  • Then, post about the challenge in the comments section of the Facebook group. Give us a quick thumbs up or post a picture. We would love to celebrate your successes as you move through CoronaQuest!
  • Day 16 is the accountability challenge. This challenge will bring together the previous 15 days of learning. Questers will be asked to make a photo collage, written essay, or video compilation (2 minutes or less) of their daily reflections. We are excited to hear what they learned about themselves, the coronavirus, science, and critical thinking.
  • Final submissions can be sent to [email protected] One submission can be made for a group as part of a larger organization, or students can be encouraged to enter individually. We leave that up to your discretion. Dr. Keller would love to send a personal note in celebration of completing the journey.

 

CoronaQuest Day 1

                     Welcome to CoronaQuest!

 

You are now entering uncharted territory where each chosen path is unique. How many twists and turns your path takes is up to you as a Quester. Each Quester will receive the same daily challenge image, but where your questions and experiments lead is totally up to you. Think big!

Watch out for the pitfalls of “perfection” along the way. This challenge is about thinking creatively, not finding a right answer. We will be here to cheer you on and lead the way. In fact, our own team of Questers (team name “Spoquaranteamed”) will be moving through the quest right alongside you.

For the day 1 challenge, Spoquaranteamed asked a lot of questions after studying the focus image. Then, they narrowed their focus to dig deep and discover what the little red spikes were that protruded from the big sphere in the middle. They learned that the red spikes were called peplomers and that they are triangular in shape on the coronavirus, but that not all peplomers are triangle shaped.

The instructions for this challenge remain consistent throughout the 16 days, so Questers know what to expect and can be self-directed while learning to think big. No question is wrong. No question too farfetched. Map out your questions and narrow your focus to just one area of CoronaQuest study. Then, get ready to dive deep, learn big, and create something AMAZING!

Daily image and instructions can be downloaded here: Daily Challenge 1

Reference material can be downloaded here:

Building Blocks book 1 Ch9 -Viruses-Bacteria-Archaea

Building Blocks book 5 Ch9 -Viruses-Bacteria-Archaea

 

Instructor Tips:

  • Questers will track progress each day during the challenge. They can do this by taking pictures of their work, reflecting in a notebook, making a video, or creating a piece of art as part of their daily reflection.
  • Then, post about the challenge in the comments section of the Facebook group. Give us a quick thumbs up or post a picture. We would love to celebrate your successes as you move through CoronaQuest!
  • Day 16 is the accountability challenge. This challenge will bring together the previous 15 days of learning. Questers will be asked to make a photo collage, written essay, or video compilation (2 minutes or less) of their daily reflections. We are excited to hear what they learned about themselves, the coronavirus, science, and critical thinking.
  • Final submissions can be sent to [email protected] One submission can be made for a group as part of a larger organization, or students can be encouraged to enter individually. We leave that up to your discretion. Dr. Keller would love to send a personal note in celebration of completing the journey.

 

 

REAL Persistence Is the Key

Actor, Henry Winkler, grew up with learning challenges. He recently appeared on film giving some advice to his younger self. “No matter how hard it is for you to learn, no matter how difficult school is, it has nothing to do with how brilliant you are. You are not defined by your grades. You are defined by how great your thoughts are. You can do anything. You just find another path to do it.” He went on to say, “It’s okay, you don’t have to be so nervous because you can’t spell.” This valuable advice applies to each and every student, especially those studying science. Persistence is the key and king in the science realm.

We all have people we look up to for their knowledge, accomplishments, and character. But, how did our icons and mentors get to where they are? After all, no one is perfect. Successful professionals in every field, especially science, achieved success through hard work and a whole lot of persistence.

Recognizing that science heroes like Albert Einstein experienced a great deal of failure along the way can help students pick themselves back up after a setback and try, try again. Recent studies have demonstrated how valuable this message is to convey to young struggling students. One 2016 study conducted by the cognitive-studies researcher Xiaodon Lin-Siegler of Columbia University’s Teacher College found that students’ science grades showed significant improvement after being taught about the intellectual struggles of scientists like Einstein and Marie Curie. The students who were only taught about the scientists’ achievements actually experienced a decline in their grades. These findings were substantial enough that in mid-April, 2018, announced the creation of the Interdisciplinary Education for Persistence and Innovation Center.

There is purpose and value in the attempt and failure process, so long as young scientists and explorers are encouraged to analyze the attempts and learn from them. “Failure needs to give people a chance to regroup and rewind the clock,” Lin-Siegler explained. Her main goal, she said, is to help students realize that failure is a normal part of the process of learning. This process also models the scientific method.

A helpful tip when teaching science to your students is to focus on the idea that failure isn’t bad. Perseverance and persistence are what matter. Talk about the idea that success isn’t necessarily the result of aptitude, but more closely related to the amount of elbow grease applied. Some learners, like Winkler, are going to have to come at learning from different angles and it might take more attempts for some than others. But, success is there for the taking with the right amount of grit and perseverance.

Teach students that brilliant scientists worked very hard. They didn’t rely on innate talent and aptitude. It’s easy to look at an accomplished scientist and assume they were just born smart and success was inevitable. However, if you take the time to talk to those very same scientist you would learn a whole new story, one that involves a lot of hard work.

In the story The Little Engine That Could, the train says, “I think I can. I think I can.” This phrase is repeated until the train finally makes it to the top of the hill. If each of those utterances of “I think I can” were to represent an attempt with the possibility of failure, even a failure would be another inch closer to your goal. This example is nearer to the reality of what it takes to succeed — many attempts, many failures, and enough perseverance to reach the crest of the hill. But, don’t be surprised if the train backslides at times. That, too, can happen. With each failure comes another opportunity to try.

LIVING SIMPLY – LIVING WELL

Nothing effectively conveys the magnitude of complication that enters your life with the welcome of your first child. He or she is a blessing, for sure. But, life is forever changed and chaos can easily reign. What a wonderful, rewarding, and crazy ride it is…and even more glorious when viewed through life’s rose colored rear-view mirror.

Let’s face it, you can’t avoid chaos altogether. It’s not even advisable to try since the sources of chaos also tend to be the sources of joy and learning. You can, however, choose to minimize the extent that chaos is in control. A manageable amount of stress teaches you to swim in turbulent water. Massive amounts of stress can leave you drowning.

There’s no recipe to create a perfectly balanced environment. That’s just something you have to figure out through trial and error, since each lifestyle has its own set of variables to work with. Odds are, however, that in the hectic environment we live in today there will be plenty of room for simplification in any home.

Simplifying your life can be a tricky task because it will feel like it’s doing just the opposite for a while. Some processes that lead to long-term simplification require initial work and time, but what a payoff!

Simplification in the homeschool world is absolutely essential. Following is a list of 10 items we think produce the best results and can drastically reduce chaos in your home.

     

10 simple rules for a simpler life

   

1. Learn to say no. It’s easier said than done. Ultimately, you’re the gatekeeper, and “no” is your handiest tool. You control what enters your life. Continually saying yes in order to please others, or as an attempt to “do it all” is a fast trip to stress and exhaustion. Regardless of how many times you say yes, someone is inevitably going to be upset and put out when you say no. So, why not learn to get the disappointing “no” out of the way much earlier? It’s OK to let some things go, advisable even. Saying no enough times initially will also likely result in fewer requests in the long run.

              

2. Teach children to be self-sufficient. Some might find this to be the most challenging rule to implement. It requires a great deal of effort up front. Teaching kids to do something for themselves rather than you doing it for them is exhausting — in the short term. You’re also likely to get some resistance from your children. Some moms experience “mommy guilt” as their children struggle and push back at independence. Don’t stop! Keep moving forward. In the end they will actually respect you more for this act of tough love. You’ll be a better mom when you have a team of people able to help cover all the bases.

              

3. Less is more: Kids’ activities, commitments, clothing, toys, and more. Keep only the toys your kids regularly play with, even if the neighbor flaunts twice the number of toys you have. That mom just has more to clean up. Buy a small amount of clothing that is easily mix-n-matched. They will grow out of their clothes all too soon, anyway. And, kids’ activities? Too many of those turn you into a chauffeur, not a mom.

                 

4. Develop methods of organization that any family member can manage. Having a clean and organized house can really help provide a feeling of calm. Maintaining an organized home can create a ton of stress, however, especially when you’re the only one that buys into the plan. Declutter as much as you can by getting rid of things that aren’t used. Remember, less is more. Toys, books, and art/school supplies could be easily stored in simple-to-use bins that even your youngest child can figure out, use, and also help organize.

 

One tool you can use to get your family involved in organizing and cleaning the home is this app from ChoreMonster.

 

 

Another app that helps you set up to-do lists, shopping lists, or household chores is Wunderlist. This could also be categorized as a collaborative calendar as well.

       

 

 

5. Use one family calendar. Simplification is the key, and getting everyone on the same page means there aren’t any last-minute, stress-inducing surprises. Maintaining one family calendar is critical toward this effort. Here are a few suggestions for digital programs that can coordinate multiple people on one calendar.

COZI APP – This app lets you keep track of recurring appointments for multiple people and helps with meal planning and to-do lists.

 

 

GOOGLE CALENDAR — This app is a great option for busy families with multiple schedules to track.

 

 

FAMILY WALL — functioning like a mini Facebook app, Family Wall lets you post events, schedules, and even share pictures.

 

 

 

HUB FAMILY ORGANIZER — This app keeps your home and family organized.

            

 

 

6. Set aside time for the family to plan the week, then post the schedule where everyone can see it. As wonderful as the digital calendars are (and they really are fantastic), nothing beats an old fashioned dry erase board displayed in a traffic area of the home and filled with weekly activities for everyone to see. Not all members of the family may have access to electronics, but they can still take ownership of their activities. They just need to be able to see what those responsibilities are, and being a part of the weekly planning really helps them want to use the system. The more group involvement that goes into planning, the less the responsibility sits squarely on your shoulders.

                 

7. Use a nightly prep list to prepare for the next day. This may sound like extra work, but it’s really not. The goal here isn’t to add more structure; it’s to decrease stress. Planning for the next day reduces stress and adds efficiency. This item is key to reducing morning stress. The goal is to avoid the anxiety that comes from unmanaged chaos.

          

8. If you have young kids, always have an essentials bag handy: Snacks, water, baby wipes, clothing, Band-Aids, and a busy activity. Store your essentials in a small bag that can easily be transferred between the purses or satchels you regularly use.

          

9. You aren’t in a parenting competition with anyone but yourself. No mom is Pinterest perfect, although some do a good job of faking it. It’s easy to feel like you’re failing at the whole parenting thing when some woman in a starched apron claiming to be a stay-at-home mom produces dark chocolate cupcakes with perfectly piped salted caramel frosting. Her evidence of perfection is the Photoshopped image pinned with the caption, “Leisure afternoon project”. What you don’t see are the things outside the camera lens: toy strewn floor, dirty diapers, unfolded laundry, drippy noses, or an overworked grandma. Homeschooling moms, especially, have many hats to wear. Only one hat can be worn at a time…and it’s OK to put the others down while we focus on our kids’ education.

Kids learn at different paces as well. It’s OK if your friend’s daughter started reading a year ahead of your son. He’ll catch up at his own pace. Don’t worry. And, most importantly, don’t compare. That goes for the mom whose daughter was the early reader, too. Don’t compare. You may be one proud mamma of your early reader, but other moms are only going to feel inferior and that isn’t going to win you any friends.    

   

10. Make downtime a priority. Kids need downtime and so do you. Set aside a little time to relax and mentally unwind from the chaos of the day. Time is such a limited commodity and we give virtually all of ours to our kids. It’s OK to hoard just a few minutes for private quiet time. It will only serve to make you a better mamma during the other 23 ½ hours of the day.

Simplification is an ongoing process. It takes time to reduce possessions, change habits and develop new rhythms. It’s not easy to change directions when your family is moving at the speed of light with chaos always creeping in. Begin slowly with small and simple changes in just one category. Even small steps are a move in the right direction. Over time, you can accomplish great things. Simplification is about finding balance as you move away from “too much.” Less truly is more.

10 Ways to Encourage Scientific Exploration

Science can be one of the most intimidating subjects to teach, the time-consuming experiments and vast catalog of material needing to be covered might seem overwhelming. In terms of hand-wringing, it’s usually only second to math. With a little planning and preparation, however, it can also be the most fun and rewarding experience your student will have all year. Finding ways to engage children in everyday science is key to helping them develop a love for science. Use these 10 ideas to help kick start your science exploration.

   

1) Plan ahead. Read ahead.

Planning and preparation are key components to successful teaching. Try to have a one-month plan prepared before a new class begins. There are plenty of free lesson planners available to help you in your efforts. (Use this link to find a good planner that will work for you). Don’t forget that part of the lesson planning can be tackled by merely reading ahead in the material. Reading ahead and creating lab supply lists in advance are the simplest ways to reduce the stress of teaching science. Real Science-4-Kids makes this step simple by including a supplies checklist with each chapter for quick reference. Many items can be reused in several experiments, so it’s helpful to have one central box, bin, or kit where you can store items for later use. And finally, be prepared to deviate from the planner. Some of the most effective teaching moments happen unexpectedly and are worth adjusting the schedule for.

   

2) Budget an abundance of experiment time.

Experiments are not only the fun part of science, but are also where your child will develop the most synaptic connections, encouraging long-term memory. One-day lessons should ideally be followed by several days of experimentation to solidify learning. There isn’t a race to cram as many facts as possible into little heads. It’s meant to be a journey that instills a love for learning and nurtures a genuine curiosity about how things work. Foster inquisitiveness by taking time to explore questions and test numerous hypotheses. Don’t lead your student to the “right” answer. Let them meander on the path of exploration toward a natural conclusion.

  

3) Supplement with additional experiments.

Don’t skimp on the experiments. Use as many as you can. After all, this is where the bulk of the learning happens. There are many wonderful resources for science experiments. A quick internet search will produce more than enough ideas. RealScience-4-Kids also offers several options to help bolster your experimentation process, and these experiments include convenient supply lists for easy preparation. Another idea would be to host one experiment at home and then search for internet clips of other experiments that support learning. Whatever it takes to engage your student, do it.

  

4) Plan experiments using household items.

There are science lab kits available for purchase to ease your planning and preparation. Rainbow Resources and Home Science Tools are both good resources if you’re looking for prepared kits. Many experiments, however, can be completed using simple household items. Search out those experiments! Don’t waste time and money trying to locate hard-to-find, expensive supplies that can easily be substituted with cheaper alternatives. You don’t want to stifle experimentation because you couldn’t find the needed supplies. The Real Science-4-Kids curriculum makes experiments simple to plan for by using mostly household items for experiments. Household items are generally safer to use when letting students lead the experiments, and that is the preferred outcome. If the student takes ownership of the experiment, they will learn much more.

    

5) Double down on the topics your kids love.

If you find your student develops a love for a specific topic, slow down and focus on it. Regardless of age, science shouldn’t be a race to finish chapters. Provide additional resources that support the area of interest and then back away. Let your student direct the learning toward his or her point of fascination. This is where you will see a love for learning really blossom.

  

6) Use documentaries as a resource.

Although teachers and homeschooling parents can accomplish miraculous things, there are some concepts and experiments that just can’t be replicated effectively at home or in the classroom. Documentaries can be a wonderfully useful tool to explore the depths of the ocean or soar through space. They can take you into the microscopic world where no home microscope can venture. Students can learn from professionals on the cutting edge of science while in the comfort of their own home by using documentaries as a resource for scientific exploration.

  

7) Kids are never too young to study “real science.”

 

For some reason scientific education for early learners mainly explores biology. Other concepts can get drastically watered down or ignored early on. There is no reason to wait until middle school or high school to dive into “real” science. You can also avoid teaching concepts twice by introducing actual scientific terminology from the beginning. You will discover that your student can easily retain and understand scientific terminology when it’s used on a regular basis.

  

8) Get out and experience science where it is – in the world around us.

Scientific study and nature go hand in hand. Did you catch the meteor shower during the month of August? What better way to begin your study of astronomy! Are you currently studying biology? Find the nearest zoo or Bodies exhibit to unlock a real-world fascination. Look for a local horticulturist who is willing to host field trips. Is there a rock garden or rock shop nearby? Your study of geology could become immensely interesting.

  

9) Buddy up.

The addition of friends make science even more enjoyable. Form exploration groups to distribute adult responsibility and provide community for your students. Make science an ongoing part of your social life and it will be associated with fun. The collaboration of minds will amaze you.

  

10) Check for community resources.

Getting your student to discover his or her scientific fascination can be as simple as directing them to real world examples. Many students have no idea what physics looks like in terms of a career. It’s nothing more than a subject in a textbook. Ask science professionals if they’re willing to accommodate mini mentorships, or find out if local colleges have programs available that support the scientific discipline of choice. These opportunities can also form the foundation for internships later on.

  

These ideas will encourage a love of science and scientific exploration. They will nurture a child’s inquisitive mind and have a far more lasting impact than rote memorization of factual data. Science is meant to be experienced and not just learned.

Send us feedback about your own useful tools and ideas. We would love to share your ideas with other parents and teachers.

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