A recent science activity at our house reminded me of two distinct ways of teaching. The first is the way I learned. Despite good grades on my report card, very little that I learned – especially in science class – soaked into my brain. Science was at the top of my least favorite subjects list.
Textbooks were the basic staple of all of my classes and to get an A on a test, the only thing required was that I memorize the facts written in bold. Within minutes of taking a test, I would have very little memory of and probably no actual comprehension of what I had just written.
Thankfully, as homeschoolers we have many more options than classroom-style learning for our children. The second way of teaching is the way I prefer and this recent science activity has a way of sticking in my kids’ minds.
We have eight kids, ages 1-15, and when my oldest kids were in elementary grades, we went through the same Apologia Astronomy curriculum. One of their favorite activities was one I just repeated with three of their younger siblings.
My seven year old was the moon. She revolved/orbited around the earth (also known as my nine year old who is holding her sign upside down) while she rotated. At the same time, the nine year old rotated while she revolved/orbited around the sun — her ten year old brother.
Needless to say, collisions and dizziness were common – not to mention frequent entanglements with our curious cats.
But in the midst of the laughter, my kids, even the three year old and five year old who took their turns, too, were remembering a simple, but fundamental, fact about God’s universe.
Yes, we could have just read about it in a book. But it certainly sticks in their heads more this way.
It also makes me glad to know that God’s design for the universe was absolutely perfect.
Tell me – how do you make science memorable at your house?