Hands-on Science that Makes Sense: Supercharged Science

 

We enjoy science in our homeschool, but I’m not always confident about the best way to teach it and make it really relevant and approachable to my kids.  If you’ve ever felt challenged teaching science, or if your kids really love science, you’ll want to read today’s post.   Plus, you’ll have access to 5 free really cool complete science lessons, including “self-teaching” how-to videos.  (If you can’t wait, CLICK HERE to get them now!)

Supercharged Science 5 free lessons for The Homeschool Post readers @hsbapost @destinyblogger

{This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Supercharged Science.}

When it comes to teaching science, so many parents ask as single question:
“WHAT DO MY KIDS REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SCIENCE?”

Maybe you can relate.

I mean the curriculum publishers list out the chapters in their program, the state says something different based on standards, and friends tell us yet another story.
This is actually a really common question. Finally, today, I’ve got an answer – but it’s a bit different than you might think.

You see, it’s not the right question to ask first. It’s like stopping at a gas station to ask for directions and simply saying “How do I get there?”

First, you need to know where you want to go. Then someone can give you directions.
Different people have different goals in having their kids learn science! I’ll tell you some of the most common ones and explain how to get there. Then you can decide which is right for you and your kids.

Here are the top reasons people want their kids to learn science:
1.     To gain a true appreciation for the wondrous world we live in
2.     To learn to think in a logical & methodical way
3.     To learn to appreciate and enjoy a topic that they can really use in their future (like for a career)
4.     To be prepared for college entry requirements
5.     To meet state science requirements

Which ones are your top goals for your kids?

The good news is that reaching a number of these goals at the same time is pretty do-able.

If you picked any of the first three as your top choice, then you probably want to focus on hands-on science with academic material to support what kids learn through doing experiments (the rest of the reasons might be important to you, but I’m talking about your FIRST choice here.)

Your kids’ time should be focused on things like building robots, launching rockets, creating laser-beam splitters and stuff like that first.  Then, after teaching each topic, by providing the academics to support it, and also giving your kids flexibility to continue learning extra in areas that they’re really excited about.

Of course this first approach usually prepares kids well for college too and can be tailored to meet state requirements.

If reasons 4 or 5 were your top choices, then you may want a more “traditional” textbook based approach. State standards and entry requirements are usually based on a public school education, so they test for what that kind of education usually provides. This is typically memorization rather than true understanding. Kids tend to have less fun with this approach, but you can pack more academic material into a shorter time period. Note that kids who learn this way are much less likely to become inspired or excited by science.

I recently learned all this from Aurora Lipper, who is a master science teacher at Supercharged Science (not to mention a real live rocket scientist who used to work for NASA, but is now a mom who devotes her time to sharing her love of science with kids). She has created an award winning science curriculum that teaches science this way.

Click here to try a free sample of it, or to get details on the complete curriculum.

It turns out that when kids do hand-on science, they get much more excited to learn it and therefore teaching it is much easier (not a big surprise, right).
By doing this, kids gain a true appreciation for the world around them, AND they learn the academics.  They also remember the academic material much longer than kids who just learned from a book (and know it on a level they can really use).
If you want to see this with your own kids, today I’ve got a collection of science lessons for you that are actually “self-teaching”.  They feature step-by-step teaching videos that your kids can go through on their own, plus a supporting workbook.

And they’re entirely FREE for The Homeschool Post readers!

Click here to download it now.

The idea is that if kids learn about hydraulics by building a working hydraulic robot.  Then, they think it’s so cool, they really want to learn the academic side of things, because then they can build even more cool stuff.
The point is, it makes them WANT to learn.

I can’t imagine too many kids reading a chapter in a textbook where they had to do a bunch of equations on hydraulic pressure and then say “Wow, that was so much fun, can I do some more equations?!”

I believe that kids really need to try things in the real world in order to genuinely understand and appreciate it!

Remember when you first learned to drive. You may have known what the steering wheel, gas pedal and brake did on an intellectual level. But, going out in traffic armed with just this knowledge would have been a pretty dangerous thing. You needed hands-on experience to really know how to drive.

The same thing is true with science. The books might have all the facts, but to really know science, you need to do LOTS of hands-on experiments and projects.

Here’s the BOTTOM LINE:
If you want your kids to have a true appreciation for the world around them AND be prepared for college and life, get a science curriculum that focuses on hands-on science activities first, and then introduces the academics to support them (not the other way around).

Regardless of what science curriculum you choose, PLEASE ask questions before you invest in any science curriculum or program you’re considering.  I know you want to do the best you possibly can for your kids.

To get the free “self-teaching” science lessons and the risk-free science curriculum trial CLICK HERE.

 

Sara (15 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration. www.seethelightshine.com***
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Top Ten Wednesdays: Best Crafts, Plans & Projects Blog

HSBA-TOP-TEN-WEDNESDAYS

Each week, until April, we will be highlighting the Top Ten Bloggers from each category of The 2013 Homeschool Blog Awards. We understand the hard work that is involved in running a successful blog. Kudos to all who were nominated, all who made the top ten and to our winners!

This week we are highlighting the 2013 Best Crafts, Plans & Projects Blogs!

Best Crafts, Plans & Projects Blog

Do you turn to the blogosphere for a steady supply of great craft ideas, lesson plans, or projects that you can do with your homeschoolers? You voted for your favorite how-to blogs that provide us with things to be inspired by and ideas to use with our kids and in our homes.

Winner 2013 Best Crafts, Plans & Projects Blog

Only Passionate Curiosity was our big winner this year! Heather is a proud Air Force Mom, living with her husband and three kiddos in Germany. Her blog is chock full of reviews, homeschool helps, and free printables.

Top Ten 2013 Best Crafts, Plans & Projects Blog

In no particular order:

Winner-Best-Crafts-Plans-Projects

Top-Ten-Best-Crafts

A Word From Our Sponsors

The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner
***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration. www.seethelightshine.com***
***Share the meaning of Easter with your children with A Sense of the Resurrection: an Easter Experience for Families.***

Styling Your Text Blocks: Fun with CSS

If you’re a homeschooler, but not a blogger, I’ll save you some time and let you know you can skip this post. We normally focus our posts on encouraging homeschoolers. Since we host the Homeschool Blog Awards, I thought it would be fun to throw a post out just for the great homeschool bloggers.

Styling Your Text Blocks

You don’t need to know complicated code, or mess with your template, to make your posts POP!

One way to make your posts stand out is to use styled text blocks.

Blockquotes are one example of stylized text blocks. The style is declared in the external stylesheet.css file located with our theme.

But you don’t have to alter that file just to make some text stand out! You can use inline CSS as your writing your post – ON THE FLY!

Step One

First you need to identify the text you want highlighted. Is it a whole paragraph or just a small snippet (like a quote)?

Click over to your text only tab (or HTML tab), so you’re looking at the code behind your post, instead of the WYSIWYG version.

Find your text and wrap it in <div></div> tags. That means put <div> before your text, and </div> after your text.

Now that you’ve set your text apart, made it special by giving it a div of its own, it’s time to style it!

Step Two

There are five main attributes you will probably want to style.

  • Font Color – color: #00cc00;
  • Font Size – (pixels, em, or %) font-size: 125%;
  • Background –  (you can even use images!) background: #ffcc00;
  • Border – (size, solid/dashed/dotted, color) border: 2px dashed #ff9933;
  • Size – width & height – width: 300px; height: auto;

CSS lets you customize just about everything. These are just five of the most styled attributes.

Each attribute needs to be listed with a colon, followed by the style you want, ending with a semicolon. List them all out like this:

<div style=”color: #00cc00; font-size: 125%; background: #ffcc00; border: 2px dashed #ff9933; width: 300px; height: auto;”>This is my special text. I want to make it really stand out! </div>

It should appear like this, once you click back to visual:

This is my special text. I want to make it really stand out!

I know I picked some pretty rowdy colors, but I think they make my point! VisiBone has an easy HTML color code chart to help you pick what code to use.

Inline CSS styling is a quick and easy way to add some pizazz to your posts!


Want to know more about CSS?

I learned most of what I know from W3 Schools and my daughter has taken some free courses at Codecademy.

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Some of the things you’ll learn with these two amazing eBooks include:

  • How do I take better photos for my blog?
  • What is the secret to balancing motherhood and marriage with blogging?
  • What is the best way to write a product review?
  • What is an elevator pitch and why do I need one?
  • How can I make the most of SEO (search engine optimization)?
  • How can I get traffic to my blog and get visitors to subscribe?
  • Are link-ups really worth the effort? And where do I find them?
  • What is a media kit and how do I create one?
  • Is guest posting important?
  • How do you hold a Facebook party or Facebook hop?
  • What are the insider secrets to using Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook?
  • How can I sell my own products or give away freebies on my blog?
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Lisa Baldwin (58 Posts)

Disciple of Christ, Wife, Mother of Four, Homeschooler, Crafter, Designer (Graphics and CSS/HTML), Blogger. I share too much, laugh at the wrong things, and fall on my backside regularly. Thank goodness Jesus ignores all of that and loves me anyway.


A Word From Our Sponsors

The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner
***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration. www.seethelightshine.com***
***Share the meaning of Easter with your children with A Sense of the Resurrection: an Easter Experience for Families.***