This is my first summer as an actual homeschooler. Last year, it was all the planning to BE a homeschooler. I was planning like crazy. Turns out, only one thing I planned worked. That was Science. 🙂 The perspective is interesting on this side of the first year.
It’s kind of
interesting impossible trying to plan something you’ve never done, because you don’t know what you don’t know. Almost everything I put together last summer was shot down by the kiddo. Intellego Unit Studies. Nope. American Girl Unit Studies. Nope. This amazing Microscope unit study. Nope. (Are you seeing a pattern here? I totally thought we would be a unit study homeschool lol… Turns out… no to the no to the no no no.) The one thing I did last summer that went over well, so well, we’re going to continue it next year was science.
I picked up Mystery Science last summer, during their “free year membership”. Which is actually going on right now. If you’re thinking about it, pick it up… it’s free… can’t hurt.
*** Quick aside ***
The overwhelming feeling of “omg how does this work, is this real, can this really work like this?!!!” is huge, or was huge for me at least, when I started all this planning. I heard Mystery Science was having a “free” sale, and all my alarm bells went off, I couldn’t believe it was true. I wondered how I was going to get taken advantage of in the end. Same for Homeschool Buyers Coop. It was all so foreign to me, it didn’t make sense. I couldn’t figure out how it made sense for them… but it was all on the up and up. AND if you’re struggling with these feelings too, and wish you had someone you could ask, “Hey is this the real deal?!”… there is! Join us here, and ask away!
*** Back to Science ***
So I picked up Mystery Science last summer for free. We decided to do Mystery Science on Tuesdays. We put it on the calendar. It was the only thing, other than roller skating, we followed on the calendar. 😀 I loved the open and go lessons, and I will never forget the look on my daughter’s face as we were mapping out the volcanoes of the world, and the ring of fire began to appear. To see the recognition appear on her face… priceless. <3
When I saw a group buy at the Homeschool Buyer’s coop for Mystery Science I picked it up again for this coming year. There might not be quite as much that’s suitable for her this year, but that’s ok. We’ll use what we can. Besides… Mystery Science was never our “only” science. Not because I don’t think it could be.. so many people ask me if it’s a “full curriculum”. I guess I don’t really know what that means, because we’ve never used ONE thing for anything lol.
Last year, in addition to Mystery Science, we did experiments from STEAM Kids books, we dug into physics questions, like how does the bottle flip challenge work? We got a hand held microscope, and looked at anything and everything we could get under it. We joined Antman’s Hill facebook group, as well as a snake ID and a snake education group and have gone out of our way to learn more about bugs and snakes. We listen to Brains On when we’re in the car. We studied chemistry in the kitchen making homemade bagels. Family members know my kiddo is a science nut and they buy her all kinds of sciencey things for holidays so we have magnet science, flying science, kitchen science, giant crystal science… you get the picture. Tons of science “boxes” around the house. And we got all the science subscription boxes we could get our hands on! Including Groovy Labs in a Box, Steve Spangler Science, and of course Tinker Crate. Ultimately we ended up subscribing to Tinker Crate and it’s become one of the favorite parts of our month.
I ordered Tinker Crates for Hanna for Christmas. I love them because everything you need comes right inside. You may need water… but I’ve never needed something that I didn’t already have on hand. I like that the crates are current and interesting. We ended up getting the slime box just after we’d spent an entire week making slime every single way you could think to make it. (I’m a bit over slime), but the box was great because it really dug into the science of it, and gave her the opportunity to make some slime she hadn’t made yet (hello glow in the dark slime). Here’s our unboxing of the Slime box, so you can get a better idea of what all comes with it.
I think my favorite so far, has been the Geometric Drawing Machine (or spirograph if you’re old like me lol).
Hanna loves getting mail every month. I will say, there are almost always projects that don’t get done in the box. That’s probably my fault, because I don’t “make” her do them all. We keep all our boxes. It’s interesting to me, how out of the blue she will think about an old box, grab it and start making more things out of it.
We don’t use these as “curriculum”. They aren’t things we sit down and “do” for science. I love having a lot of science material around she can pick up and do when she wants to do more science. That’s also why I picked up the STEAM Kids books. This year I also found a 500 Science Experiments books at the half price book store. We are looking forward to doing those as well.
I believe there’s plenty of time for sit down, SCIENCE. Until that time, I believe in stoking a love of science, inquiry, curiosity, asking questions. Without these things I don’t know how we’ll ever get through a “science curriculum” in the later years. We use Mystery Science, Tinker Crate, Steam Kids, of course, our Hand Held Microscope and the world around us to bring science to life… that’s how we do science. <3
How do you “do science”?